Best Casino - 2009
Utter the word "casino" and some people's eyes will light up as bright as the Vegas strip as they imagine swank lounges and $10,000 poker hands. Utter that same word and other people will scowl as they envision pensioners robotically feeding quarters into slot machines. Or avoid this dichotomy altogether and just say: "Let's go to Ameristar St. Charles." This is a casino that everyone can enjoy — from the blackjack diehard to the person who won't risk a nickel. Ameristar situates its tables and machines off the main concourse. Rather than walking into a sensory-deprivation tank of beeps and bings, guests walk into a sunny, airy streetscape lined with cafés and full-service restaurants — everything from pancakes to crab legs to the Vietnamese noodle soup mì hoành thánh. The entertainment's topnotch, too — particularly the national acts that drop by the gorgeous Bottleneck Blues Bar. A little more than a year ago, Ameristar completed more than $260 million in renovations; the hotel is totally updated (the rooms and spa are downright posh), and Home nightclub is one of the most visually impressive venues in the St. Louis region. If you can't find a way to win at Ameristar, odds are you're not trying.