9 thoughts on “Five Hundy by Midnight 38: A Tribute to Westward Ho

  1. Enjoyed your Ho podcast!

    The nicest thing about the Ho was that if you got on their mailing list and gave them some action when you visited, you would keep getting periodic invitations to themed events (such as “Grubstake Jamboree” or “Ho-waiaan Luau”), usually with a free room for 3 nights, a themed dinner with entertainment, and coffee, juice and rolls in the morning. These stays were not deducted from your players club balance, so your play could be used to earn meal comps. It’s so different from the typical LV low-roller comp story, where they say “we’ll evaluate your play and decide what to give you”. At the Ho, you KNEW your room was comped.

    The next nicest thing about the Ho was that the clientele skewed very old. Unlike some of the megaresorts, it was not a place for families or sloppy drunk frat boys. (Unfounately, however, in recent times, some of the large families that gorge on Slots-A-Fun food could also be found at the Ho deli gorging on the megadogs. But these famililes would not stray far from the deli area.)

    The longtime favorite Ho lounge act was Lamar “the Hat Man” Harris. He packed them in. He had a lot of hats and he sang funny songs. Las Vegas Weekly says he “left suddenly for parts unknown”.

    Until recently, the Ho had Nickel Nick’s where a cup of coffee was five cents.

    Until the late 1990s, the Ho deli had a 49 cent biscuits and gravy special during graveyard.

    Until recently, the Ho and Slots-A-Fun would compete on cheap beer, with bottles under a buck. The last couple of times I was there, however, Slots-A-Fun had fallen out of the running and the Ho was alone in offering Coors and Heineken for a buck or less.

    The Ho billed itself as the world’s largest motel (as opposed to hotel). Some have said the Motel 6 at Trop and Koval is the world’s biggest, but at 607 rooms it’s not close to the Ho.

    We are going to miss the Ho. We don’t know where we will stay after it’s gone.

  2. You have really outdown yourself with this podcast. I LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!! The sounds of the Westward Ho along with thoughts of the Mega Dog really brought a smile to my face. I closed my eyes and it was almost as if I was there. I haven’t made it to the lounge, but, I think I am going to have to check that out, sounded too funny. Thanks again for all that you do.

  3. The Ho band reminds me of that Saturday Night Live skit with Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon as the characters Marty Culp and Bobbie Mohan Culp-the middle school music teachers/singing couple with the key board.

  4. Lamar “the Hat Man” Harris had a unique opening show hook. Prior to the show he would roam the lounge talking with all the patrons and guests. He would ask your name and talk about where you were from in the country. When he started his set, he would sing a song using all the names of the people he had just met and mix in something about them. The song would include everybody. He always remembered everyone’s name and what was discussed. One afternoon when we were there, the lounge had about 30 guests. His song contained everyone’s name and where they were from. A great man and act for the Ho’.

  5. I really appreciate your fondness for the the classic hotels of Las Vegas.
    One of my favorites has always been the Frontier where the crap tables were in such bad condition that you would lose your chips in between the rails … that would never happen at the newer ones on the strip.

  6. Hey there … need some feedback on the Stardust. I’ve been there, but never stayed there. I’m looking to go to Vegas for two days in Jan and tie it in with a business trip. What are the rooms like? Not that I need ultra luxury, I just looking for a room that gives you more than one bar of soap and a small towel with the Stardust imprinted on it. Also, are any of the restaurants and how generous are they regarding comps … I’m a craps player.

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