Category Archives: Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas is a quirky alternative to the Las Vegas Strip, with good gambling, a grittier vibe and a diverse collection of restaurants, bars and casinos. Downtown Las Vegas isn’t for everyone, but many locals and tourists enjoy it for the value, authenticity and lively atmosphere.

All the Latest From the Las Vegas Club Demolition

We know you’d be lost without knowing the latest about the demolition of the Las Vegas Club, so we’re all over it!

The project is moving along at a brisk pace, and crews have just about completed demolishing the Las Vegas Club’s parking structure.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Somebody has a very extensive rubble collection.

Excavators have also started carving out a bottom portion of the Las Vegas Club’s north hotel tower.

Las Vegas Club demolition

The Las Vegas Club’s hotel towers closed years before its casino was put out of its misery on Aug. 19, 2015.

Here’s an exclusive look at the demolition happening at 18 Fremont, and pay special attention to the large yellow excavator being assembled at the site.

Oh, yes. Bronto is here.

Bronto is the nickname of the CAT 5110B Ultra High-Reach excavator which will soon take apart both Las Vegas Club hotel towers. Bronto (short for brontosaurus) is North America’s longest reach excavator, and was delivered on eight trucks.

Hear the General Superintendent for the demolition site, Greg Goscenski of North American Dismantling Corp., talk about the excavator and other details of the demolition on our podcast. We knew doing a podcast would come in handy someday.

Here’s Bronto in all his glory. Or her glory. It’s Vegas, so we’re not about labels, we’re about bigass pieces of machinery.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Yes, Bronto is happy to see you.

What can we tell you about Bronto, which the demolition guys tend to refer to as the “fifty-one ten high reach”?

The excavator was brought in from Denver for the 18 Fremont gig. Assembly of the machine started on Aug. 30, 2017.

Bronto weighs a staggering 580,000 pounds, and has a reach of 182 feet.

Las Vegas Club demolition

The only thing that could console us about the fact there won’t be an implosion is the fact there’s a bigass excavator.

The southernmost Las Vegas Club hotel tower is concrete and will come down first. The north tower is made of steel and will be wrapped in mesh before being dismantled.

The demolition at 18 Fremont, of course, is to make way for a new resort expected to open in 2020.

For better or worse, expect more updates soon. We have issues.

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Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 60: So Much Vegas, You May Rupture Your Lap Band

It’s the podcast your mother warned you about, just before she sexted us!

In this week’s hastily slapped-together episode, we make it rain exclusives like we’re at the Cromwell.

We’ve got the latest on the Fontainebleau sale, the end of Vegas Seven’s print edition and augmented reality on the way to the Big Apple coaster at New York-New York.

We chat up an epic human who also happens to be the Director of Hooch (sorry, “Beverage”) at The D and Golden Gate and Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, David Rosborough.

David Rosborough Golden Gate

David Rosborough is one of our favorite casino executives, ever, and not entirely because he holds the key to all the liquor. Primarily, but not entirely.

Get the inside scoop about the monster excavator, nicknamed Bronto (for brontosaurus), that will take down the hotel towers at Las Vegas Club.

We pulled Greg Goscenski, General Superintendent for North American Dismantling Corp., off the demolition site to give you the skinny you won’t get anywhere else.

Las Vegas Club demolition

That yellow thing is the base of the bigass excavator (also known as “Bronto”). The orange thing is the crane being used to assemble it.

Naturally, we round up the latest Las Vegas news, and crank out an obligatory “Listicle of the Week.” This time around, we rattle off “12 Places to Satisfy Your Munchies (or Drunchies) in Las Vegas.”

We cap off our 60th episode with a conversation with Markham Anderson. Anderson is the voice actor behind Pappy and Zoltar, the characters inside those ubiquitous fortune-telling and penny-crushing machines around Las Vegas and the country.

With more than 212,000 downloads, we’re feeling pretty feisty, so listen in and revel in the unlistenability of the ninth best podcast in Las Vegas, the Vital Vegas Podcast.

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Golden Gate Casino Unveils Multi-Million Dollar Expansion

Downtown’s Golden Gate has revealed an expansion that nearly doubles the size of its casino floor, including the addition of about 100 new slot machines.

Golden Gate’s expansion encompasses the space formerly occupied by the La Bayou casino and an alley. You’ll want to see our “before” photos of the construction, of course.

Golden Gate casino

Three’s nothing quite like that new slot machine smell.

The centerpiece of the multi-million dollar expansion is a 24-foot tall fountain of TVs around a spiral chandelier.

Golden Gate expansion

Universal remote, much?

The TV fountain is made all the more dramatic by 468 mirrors lining a arced wall that frames the decorative piece. Yes, we asked. And, yes, we know we have issues.

The tower of televisions sits just inside a brand new entrance to the Golden Gate.

The Golden Gate’s expansion includes a new loyalty club desk.

Golden Gate loyalty desk

The loyalty desk was previously tucked away near the hotel’s registration desk. Now, it’s front and center. By the way, 1906 is the year the hotel opened, originally as Hotel Nevada. Technically, the Miller Hotel. Long story.

The previous loyalty club desk has vanished through some kind of Las Vegas magic.

Golden Gate casino

“Las Vegas magic” is, technically, redundant.

Golden Gate’s interior design was done by Dez Motif, the architecture by Moser Architecture Studio.

The Golden Gate took the opportunity during its expansion to entirely replace and upgrade its sound system throughout the existing casino.

A good deal of the expansion won’t be readily visible to guests. On the casino’s second floor, a new beer distribution room is a sight to behold.

Golden Gate beer room

Golden Gate’s new beer chilling room distributes suds to the casino’s Prohibition Bar, as well as the casino’s outdoor bars, now with the help of gravity.

Still in the works is an upgraded outdoor bar, One Bar. When completed, the bar will be 20 feet longer. Translation: More slushy drinks for us.

Golden Gate casino

You can never have too much bar. It’s Vegas.

While the new casino area at Golden Gate made its debut on Aug. 25, 2017, the expansion’s official opening takes place Sep. 1, 2017, with the requisite hoopla.

Golden Gate has done a great job of creating a new space that feels modern (so many TVs), but which stays true to its old-school roots (dark wood and marble).

When you check it out, let us know what you think. We’ll be at the end of Prohibition Bar, not noticing the dancing dealers. At all.

Golden Gate Expansion Reveal

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Las Vegas Club Demolition Update: Rubble Happens

The demolition of downtown’s Las Vegas Club continues at a brisk pace.

Crews and their toys have virtually finished off the casino level of the former Las Vegas Club.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Soon, the Las Vegas Club will re-emerge as a new resort. Sort of like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, but in this case the butterfly is wearing tassels. Hey, it’s Vegas.

See our complete, borderline obsessive, coverage of the Las Vegas Club demolition.

The street-facing facades of the Las Vegas Club and Glitter Gulch strip club are being kept in place to assist with dust suppression, as well as for as aesthetic reasons. The facade of Mermaids casino was supposed to stay up as well, but the excavator guy had a little too much coffee that day. That’s our technical explanation, as we know less about demolitions than sports, which we didn’t actually think was possible.

North American Dismantling Corp., out of Michigan, has now turned it attention to the Las Vegas Club’s parking structure.

Here’s a look at the Las Vegas Club demolition site, mainly because it’s less expensive than therapy.

Workers are using a massive excavator to cut through the Las Vegas Club’s parking garage like butter, but it’s not the biggest excavator that will be used during the demolition.

Soon, a record-breaking excavator, with a reach of 182 feet, will be delivered on a fleet of trucks. It’s the longest reach excavator in the country and we’re giddy about seeing it in action.

Las Vegas Club demolition

It’s like cutting into a layer cake, but with rebar instead of frosting. Or something.

Starting in September, the shorter of the two Las Vegas Club hotel towers is slated to come down first, followed by the taller.

After a bit of clean-up, the entire 18 Fremont block will be ready for construction of a new resort from Derek and Greg Stevens (also out of Michigan, by the way), owners of The D and Golden Gate.

Demolition of the Las Vegas Club and 18 Fremont block should be completed by the end of 2017, at which point we’ll have a massive void in our lives which we hope to fill with Captain Morgan and age-inappropriate women.

Hey, you do therapy your way and we’ll do it our way.

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Golden Gate Expansion Nears Completion, Here’s a First Peek Inside

Golden Gate’s expansion is in the home stretch, and we’ve got an exclusive look inside.

Golden Gate expansion

Dead center is where the 24-foot tower of televisions will be. No, we haven’t talked about that yet. We don’t live by society’s rules.

The expansion has been months in the making as Golden Gate has moved into the footprint of the former La Bayou casino.

The additional space will nearly double the size of Golden Gate’s casino floor, adding about 100 slot machines.

Golden Gate will close temporarily on Aug. 20, 2017 to complete the build-out, and the new space will officially debut on Aug. 25.

If you know anything about this blog, you know we’re not real big on waiting for things to “officially debut,” so we had to do a security breach, while adhering to all applicable laws, ordinances and safety regulations, of course.

Golden Gate expansion

We love that new slot machine smell.

During the closure, virtually the entire east wall of Golden Gate’s existing casino will come down to connect the new and old spaces.

A highlight of Golden Gate’s expansion will be a 24-foot tower of TVs, surrounded by hundreds of beveled mirrors.

The television “fountain” will sit inside a new entrance to the casino, with marble flooring and velvet drapes.

The opening of the new casino area and entrance will coincide with an expansion of the casino’s lucrative outdoor bar, One Bar. The bar will expand 20 feet.

Golden Gate expansion

There are fewer words in the English language we love more than “more bar.”

Another big change at Golden Gate will be the relocation of the casino’s loyalty club desk. To complete the finishing touches of the loyalty club and casino expansion, it’s rumored crews will work 108 hours straight during the casino closure to meet the Aug. 25 debut date.

We’re exhausted just typing that sentence.

Golden Gate loyalty club

This is where they’re going to keep the loyalty.

To celebrate the debut of the casino expansion, owners Derek and Greg Stevens will host a free concert by Better Than Ezra on Sep. 3 at 9:00 p.m. The concert is a late addition to the free summer concert series put on by Fremont Street Experience (where we work as our day gig in digital marketing).

Golden Gate has made the most of a fairly modest space, and the casino interior already gives off a welcoming vibe with its mix of modern and classic design elements, including dark wood accents we sort of want to rub our various body parts up against for some reason.

Golden Gate expansion

Golden Gate opened in 1906. Back in those days, slot machines paid jackpots in cobwebs.

The new space is already filling up with shiny new slot machines (no classics from the Riviera here), many of which were too tall to put in other areas of the casino due to the classic casino’s low ceilings.

Golden Gate’s expansion is a great excuse to stop by during your next visit, and make sure to check out the demolition site just across Fremont Street while you’re there.

Here’s a little-known fact related to Golden Gate: The hotel was home to the first telephone in Las Vegas (the phone number was “1”), but that’s not the little known fact. The little-known fact is about who got the second telephone in Las Vegas. Any guesses?

We’ll wait.

You’re going to love this.

Golden Gate (originally called Hotel Nevada) was owned by John F. Miller. The second telephone in Las Vegas was installed in his home, at the behest of Miller’s wife, Rosa. Who else do you think he’d call with the city’s first phone? Now you know!

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Demolition Crews Make Quick Work of Las Vegas Club

The Las Vegas Club, in downtown Las Vegas, opened in 1930. It closed on Aug. 19, 2015, and is well on its way to being a memory.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Oddly, there’s very little difference between the Las Vegas Club now and its last few years of operation.

The Las Vegas Club is being leveled to make way for a new Las Vegas resort. The resort project is informally referred to as “18 Fremont,” the address of the shuttered Las Vegas Club.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Serves them right for giving us $20 on that Wheel of Fortune spin. That’s what was the Glitter Gulch strip club, at left.

Our obsessive coverage of the demolition continues with this sweet video of the 18 Fremont site.

The Las Vegas Club was around forever, and was purchased by Derek and Greg Stevens, owners of The D Las Vegas and Golden Gate.

Here’s a look inside the Las Vegas Club right before its demise, just in time to save Fremont Street the fate of having another (wait for it) pharmacy.

No, really. The previous owners were making a deal to turn half the Las Vegas Club’s casino into a CVS. Because the WTF is strong downtown.

Las Vegas Club demolition

The largest excavator in America will soon start tearing down this hotel tower, then its neighbor. This could be better than an implosion.

Demolition mavens North American Dismantling Corp. have been making swift progress in recent weeks, taking down an office building, Mermaids and the Glitter Gulch strip club.

Here’s a look at Mermaids today.

Mermaids demolition

Mermaids is currently doing its impression of a sandbox.

In the time it’s taken to write those first paragraphs, demolition has begun on the Las Vegas Club’s parking garage.

Las Vegas Club demolition

There’s never a dull moment when you’re pulverizing things.

Enjoy more demolition porn from the 18 Fremont project, and check out all our posts about the demolition of Las Vegas Club, Glitter Gulch and Mermaids.

Las Vegas Club Demolition

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