The Bonanza Gift Shop at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip, long billed as the “World’s Largest Gift Shop,” has been sold and is under new management.
The name of the store’s new owner is PRE Sahara Square LLC. Here’s more.
Confirmation of new ownership at Bonanza comes a year after rumors of a sale were first floated by this very Las Vegas blog. It was originally believed the gift shop would end up in the hands of MGM Resorts because it sits adjacent to the company’s event site that hosted the Rock in Rio USA music festival, but that aspect of the story hasn’t panned out.
When we first heard rumors Bonanza would be sold, the then-owner Lynn Morris vehemently denied the store was for sale.
Some of the confusion about who owns what at the Bonanza Gift Shop, or what’s been “sold,” comes from some confusing terminology.
Apparently, the owners of the property upon which the Bonanza Gift Shop sits has been in the same hands for many years, that of the W.S. and Marjorie L. Robinson family. Lynn Morris was the “owner” of the lease for the last 50 years, and that lease recently changed hands as well.
Details of the change in management are few, but from what we hear there was quite a bit of drama behind the scenes and many of the previous staff members are now gone.
One of the only signs of the management change was the posting of signs. Several “Grand Opening” signs now adorn the Bonanza Gift Shop.
Not much is known about the new lease-holder, New Bonanza LLC, other than the fact it’s a foreign limited-liability company. The new management company of Bonanza Gift Shop also runs gift shops on Fremont Street.
The most visible change has been the removal of the gift shop’s “Naughty Town,” a portion of the sprawling Bonanza Gift Shop devoted to adult-oriented gifts and toys. Naughty Town has now been replaced by “Kidz Town.”
Now that the Bonanza Gift Shop is more family-friendly, Angelina Jolie is sure to be back with her kids.
We’ve been most sorry to see new management has removed the gift shop’s funny “If it’s in stock, we have it” signage.
Update: Yeah, it’s sort of been confirmed the new owners and lease-holders lack a sense of humor. Here’s what replaced the classic “If it’s in stock, we have it” sign.
Plans for the Bonanza Gift Shop haven’t been made public yet, but according to Las Vegas Weekly, a store manager says it will become “more like a shopping center,” including the addition of food options.
Numerous calls to the gift shop and e-mails to the former owner have not been returned. So, while we can’t be sure, it appears the gift shop will remain in operation for the foreseeable future.
Business activity has been building on the north end of The Strip. SLS Las Vegas is trying to find a formula for success, and two new casinos are set to come online in the next few years, Lucky Dragon and Resorts World.
Insiders suggest the current Bonanza Gift Shop property owners are just waiting for the right offer to sell off the Las Vegas landmark. The Bonanza Gift Shop sits in an ideal spot for further development down the road.
Update (10/24/16): The Bonanza Gift Shop was apparently sold again on Oct. 21, 2016, for $50 million. Read more.