Demolition Sets Stage for New Downtown Grand Tower

It’s taken awhile, but there’s finally some construction activity at Downtown Grand in preparation for a new hotel tower.

Technically, it’s deconstruction, but let’s not get bogged down in details. Things are happening!

Downtown Grand construction

We can’t find a “before” photo, but trust us, it didn’t look like this before.

Downtown Grand’s porte cochere structure is being demolished, with plans to erect a hotel tower with 495 rooms.

The new hotel tower will sit at the corner of Ogden Ave. and 4th Street, just across from Gold Spike, a place we used to visit until they took out all the slot machines.

Here’s a rendering of the new hotel tower, because renderings are life.

Downtown Grand tower

The new tower will have three presidential suites, as if one president weren’t already far too many.

While Downtown Grand has struggled to become profitable since it opened in 2013—it’s rumored the resort loses about $4 million a year—the resort’s hotel is a strong revenue driver, so it makes sense the owners (CIM Group) would try and exploit that asset.

The demand for accommodations downtown exceeds capacity. Downtown accounts for only about five percent of the rooms in Las Vegas, despite an estimated 24 million-ish people visiting downtown each year.

Downtown Grand hotel tower

Sorry, we can’t share this photo because a guy at the site, clearly an expert in both demolition and constitutional rights, said, “No photos.”

The new Downtown Grand hotel tower is expected to open in 2020, as is everything ever announced in the history of Las Vegas.

Some of the things expected in 2020 include Raiders stadium, the new Circa resort, the Las Vegas Convention expansion, The Drew (don’t hold your breath) and MSG Sphere.

The start of construction at Downtown Grand is a welcome relief from untold delays since the project was first announced in July 2017.

Downtown Grand

Never before have so many taken so many photos of so little.

It should be noted there were also plans for an entertainment complex at Downtown Grand, complete with a tavern, fitness center and outdoor climbing wall. The project was apparently scrapped at some point. The fact the project was to be called “The Quad” did not bode well, anyway. Long story.

Beyond Downtown Grand’s mellow casino and appealing pool deck, we’re a big fan of its restaurants, especially Triple George Grill and Pizza Rock.

It’s great to see Downtown Grand playing to its strengths, despite a tricky location. More hotel guests means more gamblers, more restaurant patrons and more hope this boutique casino resort can turn its fortunes around.

Update (1/24/10): Boom, gone.

Downtown Grand demolition

Downtown Grand seems to have a handle on demolition, now let’s see how it does at building.

22 thoughts on “Demolition Sets Stage for New Downtown Grand Tower

  1. Bill

    I like the Grand, but its casino feels like they were obligated to have a casino but didn’t really want one…or maybe it’s just because no one is ever in there because their gambling is too expensive. Which is a whole nother topic: why do casinos insist on leaving $20 minimum table empty when the one and only $5 table is overflowing with people playing and waiting to play? Someone’s excel sheet must say it’s alright, but it’s a mystery to me.

    Reply
    1. EnuffBull

      “Which is a whole nother topic: why do casinos insist on leaving $20 minimum table empty when the one and only $5 table is overflowing with people playing and waiting to play? Someone’s excel sheet must say it’s alright, but it’s a mystery to me.”

      YES! Sums up most of my search for low cost tables, at every casino!

      Reply
    2. Martin Veneroso

      “Which is a whole nother topic: why do casinos insist on leaving $20 minimum table empty when the one and only $5 table is overflowing with people playing and waiting to play? Someone’s excel sheet must say it’s alright, but it’s a mystery to me.”

      Why would a retailer advertise and sell a loss-leader, and then limit the number of items one can purchase at that price? I suspect that a similar concept is at play in spreading table games. A $5 or $10 table could actually be losing money for the casino the same way a loss-leader loses money for the retailer, but they both hope to make it up in other expenditures.

      If you have enough years wandering casino floors, you might recall nickel slots and dime slots. They’ve gone the way of the dodo replaced with “penny” slots that have minimum bets of forty or fifty cents. Weren’t the nickel slots making money? Not any more, not when factoring all the costs of keeping them in action, not least of which is the opportunity cost of the floor space they take up.

      Reply
      1. Bill

        Here’s the problem: I’ve seen several $20 tables completely empty, a few $10 tables half-or-less full and the one $5 table completely over-flowing. And yet, they have dealers standing by the $20 tables are doing nothing. IDK for sure, but I presume the dealers are getting paid the same no matter what table they’re at. So, loss-leader doesn’t make much since here. While it’s possible casinos are losing on $5 tables, I doubt it, but, in any case they are also losing on $20 because no one is playing and they still are paying the dealer. I don’t know why it is so hard for the pit-boss to lower the minimum on a $20 table that no one is playing at, when the $5 table is over-flowing. That way the dealer is at least not doing nothing and the people standing around waiting for an opening at the $5 can play. Once the lower tier tables are all full and if people start to play at the $20, then they can do the reverse and require all new entries to a table to pay the new minimum. I don’t think this is rocket science, the only thing I can think of is some sort of law that prohibits this kind of thing.

        Reply
  2. Andy

    Downtown is putting it’s makeup on for us generation X’ers. I look forward to spend more of my money there. Good job guys,keep it coming.

    Reply
  3. Michael Rasmussen

    We stayed and played here the first weekend of March Madness in ’18. The “dead” feeling wasn’t a problem that weekend, and the casino still managed to keep table minimums at $10. I really liked the place with the exception of the atrocious service at freedom beat (the food was amazing). I really only had 1 enduring complaint, the windows. It was SO LOUD at night. I hope that they put in better soundproofing in the new tower. Modern rooms at this place would go a long way to bringing me back.

    Reply
  4. Jack Tarasar

    A little OFF TOPIC. But, I previously sent an email requesting update information on the Freemont Street Experience CANOPY UPGRADE. Supposedly, it was supposed to START in mid December. I never hear any updates. Does that mean it STILL has not started?

    Reply
    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      The process of manufacturing the LEDs has started, yes. The installation will begin in May and the target is to complete the overhaul by NYE. Does that help?

      Reply
  5. Martin Veneroso

    You wrote “erect” and *didn’t* include a nod to a double entendre? Are you feeling OK, Scott? I’m worried about you — blink twice if you’re being held captive or something.

    Reply
  6. Vegas Insight

    I liked the Grand, overall, the one time I stayed there. I get that the location is sooooooooooo tricky, because people won’t walk a block away to access a casino with low minimums and good rules for blackjack. You just can’t get people to walk a block or two. You can’t. (Cough: El Cortez: Cough)

    If you’re going to staff a casino, why not find a way to generate traffic in it, even if you don’t make much off of low minimums? What am I missing?

    Reply
    1. Tom Imdieke

      Don’t know what you’re talking about concerning El Cortez. Its tables are always busy. Some of these failing downtown properties could learn a thing or two from the El Cortez.

      Reply
  7. Jeff in OKC

    I like Downtown Grand and think it is a neat property. Loved the set-up when it first opened and wish it made enough money to stay that way. Damned shame.

    I can’t figure out how it always loses money, yet has super-rich, deep pocket owners who continue to invest in it? Must be the definition of “Real estate play”.

    Reply
  8. FYMYAWF

    I see they’re going for “Modern Industrial Park” on the tower design. Very exciting. C’mon, DT Grand, it’s Vegas, spruce it up a little. Maybe not Circa spruce, but spruce.

    Reply
  9. brianb

    Really? I dont like this casino at all. It is trying to be something it is not. Not sure how else to describe it. Maybe they think building another tower and spending millions upon millions will make their business better??? In my opinion, it is too far off of Fremont to be relevant.

    Reply
  10. BBR

    If you have a car, there is no place to park. No parking garage. Where are we supposed to park where our vehicles are safe????

    Reply
  11. EnuffBull

    LOVE me some Downtown Grand! Only been twice, but hope construction won’t be LOUD when trying to sleep.

    And seriously… less than a one-block walk to Fremont Street is NOT considered too far from the action. I don’t mind their casino, but do find more winning at other downtown establishments.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  12. Christopher Lee

    I certainly hope a casino expansion is in their plans for this new tower, especially if it is going in the footprint of the valet parking drive thru. I love the Grand: love their premium rooms, the feel of the casino, the fact that it’s a block off of Fremont. I don’t dig the volume to be heard from the rooms if you’re facing 3rd street, but that’s really a small complaint; I go to Vegas to party, so the noise comes with the territory. But their casino is far too small to compete with any of the Fremont ones, even at better table odds. Speaking of odds, wtf is with $10 minimums on craps? I realize that casinos want to attract a full table at a $10 minimum, but I just keep walking. If I play a simple 6/8 plus Pass/Odds game, I’m playing $54 a hand, minimum. Who can afford that as a low roller? I miss the days of $2 mins with 5x odds at the GG. I know those are gone, but $10 games just make me sad.

    Reply

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