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Finding the Blood-Covered Towel

bloody-towel

In yesterday’s post Too Old to be This Young, I told you all that I was staying with some buddies in The El Cortez Hotel.

The El Cortez.

The armpit of Las Vegas.

In fact, it doesn’t even deserve to be called the armpit of Vegas. It’s more like a hanging wart on the armpit of Las Vegas.

I’m sorry, but I don’t have a lot of nice things to say about El Cortez right now. I mean, it was dirty, and it was smelly, and it was fun to make jokes about murder and death while we walked the halls.

But then the incident with the blood-covered towel happened, and shit became real.

Pardon my French.

But I’m trying not to lose my lunch here, and I’m not doing a very good job of it.

When we first checked into our shared hotel room, I noticed a peculiar stench. It wasn’t quite the stench of death. It was more the stench of what was once death, covered with cheap whiskey, covered with B.O., covered with sex smells, covered with old fried chicken, covered with more B.O., and covered with nursing home.

With the smell that hit us, I was 100% absolutely positively certain there had to be a decaying body under the bed, so I looked. Nothing there but an old pair of granny panties that had long before become infused into the carpet. I think I saw whiskers protruding from one of the leg holes, but nothing that would account for the smell. After a thorough search, I decided it must just be the permanent smell that has long ago become part of the wallpaper.

And, then we crashed (which was when I wrote yesterday’s post), and by the time we had ventured back out again and spent a couple hours hitting the roulette table, we were part of El Cortez.

The smell no longer smelled like anything.

The décor no longer seemed dilapidated.

Eighty-year old diseased and eager prostitutes became attractive temptations for us.

We were more or less fluent in Chinese, the only language the dealers there seem to speak.

And, our disgusting crap-hole room seemed like a luxury suite.

That is El Cortez. The hanging wart on the armpit of Vegas. Stay there a few nights sometime. You’ll be amazed how your perception of acceptable reality changes when you’re throwing dice next to homeless people who have bathed much more recently than the men with the derelict tuxedos and long sticks behind the craps tables.

On day two, my buddy AJ had lost too much money in El Cortez, so he decided to head off to another casino and play some poker, a game he’s truly great at.

At that point, we were all on cloud zero after having stashed more than 100 entry-cards as a group into a drawing that was held that morning. There were five chances to win. We knew we would win. We had plans of what to do with the money as a group when we did win. We could smell the win. We could taste the win.

We didn’t win.

My friend Brian, as they started spinning the wheel, pointed to a toothless hillbilly with hiked up semi-transparent shorts standing in front of us and said, “I guarantee he’ll win.”

Less than a minute later the hillbilly was jumping up and down screaming about his five hundred dollar prize. And I can’t blame him. Five hundred dollars buys a lot of squirrel jerky.

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

359 comments
Dawn Carver
Dawn Carver

We have checked in, gone up to our room and checked out 5 min later. We will not stay in a filthy hotel!

Susan Auerbach
Susan Auerbach

Why in the hell would you ever book a room at the El Cortez? My God, it you wanted the Fremont Street experience you could stay at the Plaza, or better yet The Fremont, or the Golden Nugget. What were you thinking? Next time just go to the Mission on main st. You won't have to make reservations and the food will be hot and the showers clean.

Erin Jernigan
Erin Jernigan

This is hysterical. This is why we sleep in cars dude. Showers are better at those gas station that never have hot water. XDXD

Rachael Maxwell
Rachael Maxwell

You stayed at El Cortez. That explains everything. You stayed downtown... explains a good chunk, too. The hotels downtown aren't known for being beautiful relaxing places to stay. =]

Katie Hamilton
Katie Hamilton

Ok, I work in the hospitality industry, and this was just plain AWFUL! I gagged a bit myself. Hope you brought that crap to management, because SOMEONE is obviously not doing their job! I would be mortified to see that happen in my place, and just horrified to see it anywhere else, but then, we run a tight ship here.

Barb N
Barb N

They are ranked #104 of 269 Las Vegas Hotels on Trip Advisor...so conceivably, you could pick a worse hotel. I would never stay in a hotel that wasn't in the top 10. There's a funny review on Trip Advisor about the El Cortez from 8/5/2013 titled "I'd rather sleep in a compact car with a pack of rabid raccoons."

AmericaYamaguchi
AmericaYamaguchi

Ketchup? Marinara? Some redhots got into the dryer? I hope..?

IndyIndigoWriter
IndyIndigoWriter

Of all the amazing hotels in Vegas..how did you end up there?

Nicole Mendiola
Nicole Mendiola

I would demand you get your money back and get the HELL out of there that's a serious health issue!

Tina Gross
Tina Gross

You have no luck when you're in Vegas!

doug
doug

sorry not buying it unless the blood on the towel came from the made less than a minute before you got into the room the blood would have dried and turned dark.

Rebecca C
Rebecca C

This is why I tell my husband we are not taking the kids to Vegas.  Yikes. I think I would have thrown up a little in my mouth too.  Sorry, but I giggled through this whole thing.  I just love how you describe the place. 

Michael Whitman
Michael Whitman

Just back out of Las Vegas slowly. I've been there. It could get worse.

Trista Finster
Trista Finster

Just as a point of interest... we hillbillies do not spend money on squirrel jerky. Any hill folk worth their salt will make their own with a fresh kill.

Sierra Marie Providence
Sierra Marie Providence

OMG!! I hated myself for laughing at what they are going through - but I swear it's only due to the way it was written. Those poor souls...get out of there NOW - even the streets sound safer than that bug hole!

revkathe
revkathe

Stay at the Wyndam (sp) even if you don't have a membership weeknights are $70-$90 in henderson not sure about Vegas proper. there is always the Quad which is cheap and yet not horrid like the El Cortez



Richard Raymond Meyers
Richard Raymond Meyers

El Cortez???? I was just there dated but my room was clean and I like to play blackjack there

Natasha Tucker
Natasha Tucker

put that damn thing down and go do a Silkwood scrub down!

Sarah Cork Henderson
Sarah Cork Henderson

Gross. You know, there are other places to stay in LV. Lots of other places that are actually pretty decent.

Carrie Roberts
Carrie Roberts

There's a reason we locals call it the "El Caca"...NO ONE goes there.

Holly Crausby Lumbert
Holly Crausby Lumbert

Thanks for the late night ab workout! That had me rollin' for 4-5 mins straight...out loud and everything!

Jana Claire Abrams Karam
Jana Claire Abrams Karam

If it makes you feel any better, when I got my suitcase off an international flight to the tropics it was soaked, as in completely saturated, in blood. Everything in it, newly purchased for vacation, was soaked. I don't know how they let me through customs and into their country. After connecting flights and arriving at a little oceanside hut, I paid to have everything washed. It didn't help. Flight insurance helped me once I got home but 23 years later I can still smell the blood and I still wonder whether someone got murdered in the cargo hold or whether a poorly packaged side of beef was just flung on my bag (a murder of another sort.) I say, check out of that hotel! Your luck can't get worse. Go get yourself a sweet suite and put this behind you ASAP lest you carry similar memories for the coming decades.

David Mozes
David Mozes

I'm sorry to hear about your experience at the El Cortez, but while you are downtown you should check out one of the best new cafes in the area (walking distance from the El Cortez) - Bronze Cafe at The Center. We just opened in late March and our reviews are great. Come check us out and enjoy a delicious meal that will restore your faith in the resurgent downtown Las Vegas.

Dee
Dee

Wow, what on earth were you thinking?!? Dude, why didn't you just check out, AND demand your money back? At least check out. Nobody should stay in a place like that. I used to work for a hotel company. Those places are disgusting - the bedspreads are rarely washed! ACK!

Rebecca Stone
Rebecca Stone

That is the most disgusting thing ever!!! I would have immediately jumped back in the shower and scrubbed til I was raw!!

Melinda Burnett
Melinda Burnett

Beware of bedbugs. They're real and they travel with you to your home!!

Niqi Archambault
Niqi Archambault

If it is still bright red and not like a dark stain - then it was most likely lipstick - that stuff is so hard to remove! still not cool - just not quite as gross. We have stayed in many cheap places - many with "questionable" stains on the coverlet (that decorative thing they cover the bed with that often looks like a grandma's couch) - or nicotene smell that just won't go away. makes me want to choose camping instead whenever I can.

Melanie Tober
Melanie Tober

We had a similar experience at Whiskey Pete's (stateline). They gave us a room where A) the beds were torn up and propped against the wall next to a huge commercial sized fan that was trying to dry some kind of wetness, B ) there was a mix of barf and cigarettes in the bathroom sink, and C) There were a pair of men's underwear covered in what looked like blood on the bathroom floor. The smell was that of death!

Jolee Crank-Vanderhaar
Jolee Crank-Vanderhaar

My husband and I found a pretty good sized spot of blood on our sheets at The Orleans once. So nasty!! I feel ya!

Kristin La Ve'
Kristin La Ve'

Totally disgusting but I'm laughing harder than I have in ages. What an awesome adventure! Sounds like a few band houses we've stayed in.

atta
atta

should you see your doctor for prophylactic HIV treatment???...I would definitely get checked for Hep C

ladygreige
ladygreige

my travel code..take your own sheets  everywhere I go...lay them flat and in the bottom of suitcase...Oh and at the happiest place on earth in one of their hotels....used condom in the bathroom trash can....thought I woold gag,,,,13 years ago and kept the pics at check in

Samantha Jane Minton
Samantha Jane Minton

OMFG...... The profanity would still clinging in the atmosphere so heavily, it would be visible from space. I'd burn that place to the ground (figuratively, that is).

PaulaJaramilloStewart
PaulaJaramilloStewart

I certainly hope you let management at the hotel know..  The El Cortez has always been a dump.. We live in Las Vegas & I know their are many places to choose from,,  So now I have to ask why?

Lisabeth Medeiros Dion
Lisabeth Medeiros Dion

i just searched google for the el cortez... it offered me a $14 room on expedia.... if you paid that, then you overpaid by... at least $14 *shiver

RoxanneFlores
RoxanneFlores

@Richard Raymond Meyers My parents stay there all the time lol