Category Archives: Las Vegas Club Demolition

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.

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.

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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Mermaids Casino is Demolished in Downtown Las Vegas

Mermaids Casino, a seedy but beloved casino on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, has been demolished to make way for a new resort.

Mermaids demolition

Mermaids has gone to Davy Jones’ locker.

The Mermaids site has hosted a number of casinos since it opened as Silver Palace in 1956.

After Silver Palace, it was Carousel Casino, Gambler’s Hall of Fame Casino, Sundance West and Sassy Sally’s.

Mermaids demolition

An excavator dips below ground level, where there was once a restaurant, Cosmo’s Underground Italian restaurant.

Mermaids closed at 11:00 p.m. on June 27, 2016, along with another small casino nearby, La Bayou.

Mermaids was a low-roller favorite on Fremont Street, known mainly for its convenient restrooms and deep friend Oreos and Twinkies.

Mermaids demolished

Nothing says “mermaid” like guitars, bongos and congas.

On August 5, 2017, the Mermaids facade came down as part of a blockwide demolition which includes the Glitter Gulch strip club and Las Vegas Club casino.

Here’s an aerial view of Mermaids in all its pulverized glory.

Crews have already begun work on gutting the casino level of the Las Vegas Club. Soon, the casino’s parking structure and hotel towers will be brought down.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Now’s a fine time to bid farewell to the Las Vegas Club casino, too.

Demolition of the block will be completed by the end of 2017, and a new resort, from Derek
and Greg Stevens, owners of The D and Golden Gate, is expected to debut in 2020.

Mermaids casino demolished

That’s going to take some getting used to.

One thing can be said for certain about Mermaids, it had character. The casino, a certified
“grind joint,” was a source of fond memories for many Vegas visitors. And intestinal
distress. But mainly that first thing.

Mermaids casino

In Las Vegas, a light rain is akin to beer goggles.

Farewell, old girl.

Enjoy more exclusive photos from Mermaids’ final moments.

18 Fremont Demolition Update: Time Has Come for Mermaids and Las Vegas Club’s Casino

Our alleged obsession with casino demolitions continues with the latest from the 18 Fremont project in downtown Las Vegas.

Let’s cut to the chase.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Mermaids is lower left, the Las Vegas Club’s casino is upper middle, Glitter Gulch is that debris in between.

Demolition crews have made quick work of several buildings at the block on Fremont Street that’s home to the closed Las Vegas Club. Recently leveled was the strip club equivalent of a Petri dish, Glitter Gulch.

On Aug. 2, 2017, excavators began having their way with a once-popular grind joint, Mermaids. (Please note it’s Mermaids, not Mermaid’s. Like Caesars Palace. And that’s the only way Mermaids was in any way like Caesars Palace, trust us.)

Here’s a sweet look at the sexy demolition happening at 18 Fremont. Yes, video is a bit of overkill, but blog awards don’t win themselves.

Mermaids was best known for its free Mardi Gras beads, deep fried Oreos and Twinkies, sticky floors and convenient restrooms.

Mermaids closed on June 27, 2016. And, yes, this blog personally had the very last deep fried Oreos ever served there. We love living dangerously.

Look closely at our exclusive photos of Mermaids and you may get a glimpse of a little-known historical artifact, Cosmo’s Underground Italian Restaurant.

Mermaids demolition

Bon voyage, Mermaids, we will miss your abysmal slot hold percentages.

The demolition at 18 Fremont is being done by North American Dismantling Corp., considered to be one of the best demolition companies in the world.

The demolition company has proven it can multi-task, because on the same day they went to town on Mermaids, they also took some mighty big chunks out of the Las Vegas Club casino.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Demolition of the Las Vegas Club’s casino wasn’t scheduled to begin until Aug. 8. You go, excavator dudes.

The Las Vegas Club closed at midnight on Aug. 19, 2015.

Plans are for the entire 18 Fremont block to be taken down to the ground, paving the way for a new downtown casino resort owned by Derek and Greg Stevens, owners of The D and Golden Gate.

Next, North American Dismantling Corp. will get to work on the Las Vegas Club parking structure, then the two Las Vegas Club hotel towers, with the assistance of the largest excavator in the country.

Crews will use a 182-foot CAT 5110B Ultra High-Reach Excavator to take apart the hotel towers. The excavator can reach the top of an 18-story building.

Mermaids casino demolition

Mermaids has had lots of names. It started as Silver Palace, then Carousel Casino, Gambler’s Hall of Fame Casino, Sundance West and Sassy Sally’s. For now, we like Barney. Just watch “Ocean’s 11” again.

It’s expected demolition of the entire 18 Fremont block will be completed by the end of 2017, and the new resort is likely to open sometime in 2020.

Enjoy a few more photos from the Las Vegas Club and Mermaids demolition site, and if you bump into Derek Stevens at The D, please tell him he should let us share the name of his new resort, thanks.

18 Fremont Update: Vegas Vickie Relocates, Last Hurrah at Mermaids and Las Vegas Club, Demolition News

There’s a lot going on at downtown’s 18 Fremont block, and we’ve got all the latest scoop you won’t find anywhere else.

The 18 Fremont block is home to the closed Las Vegas Club, Mermaids casino and Glitter Gulch. The entire block is being demolished to build a new casino-resort.

First up, the iconic Vegas Vickie sign was removed from the infamous Glitter Gulch strip club facade.

Vegas Vickie removal

We trust those feelings you’re having are nostalgia. Freak.

Vegas Vickie was installed in 1980, the brainchild of Las Vegas character Bob Stupak. She was the counterpart to another great neon sign, Vegas Vic. The duo were symbolically “married” in a ceremony in 1994 to mark the construction of the Fremont Street Experience.

While Vickie’s name has been spelled in a variety of ways over the years (Vicky, Vicki), Vickie is, indeed, the proper spelling.

Vegas Vickie

Seriously, what is wrong with you?

It’s been widely misreported Vegas Vickie was originally called Sassy Sally. First, the Sassy Sally’s casino was half-a-block away (where Mermaids now sits) from Vickie’s perch. Second, Vickie was installed a year before the Sundance West casino became Sassy Sally’s.

Vegas Vickie’s suffered a good deal of damage over the years, so it looked like she might be demolished with the surrounding buildings. The new owners of the sign, Derek and Greg Stevens, decided to invest in safely removing her, anyway.

Removal of Vegas Vickie alone is said to have cost in the range of $11,000.

The plan is to keep Vegas Vickie in storage so she can be restored and mounted again, all due respect.

Vegas Vickie's leg

Vegas Vickie’s once-kicking leg left on its own truck. The leg stopped kicking about six months after she was installed. It was never repaired.

We’ve heard estimates for Vegas Vickie’s restoration are around $125,000.

One of the biggest mysteries has been where Vegas Vickie will ultimately end up.

Early in the design process of the 18 Fremont project, it was thought Vegas Vickie might be integrated into the resort. Her imposing size, 25 feet tall, made that impractical.

Vegas Vickie

‘Til we meet again.

One of the options considered was the site of a “Welcome to Fabulous Downtown Las Vegas” sign that was destroyed by a reckless driver. That location, at South Fourth Street and Las Vegas Boulevard North, is a fairly crappy one and would make for a poor, and potentially dangerous, photo op.

Here’s a look at Vegas Vickie as she rides off into the sunset. For now, anyway.

Any number of entities have shown interest in Vegas Vickie, but we’re hearing the most likely scenario is she’ll return to Fremont Street.

We’ve got exclusive renderings of where Vegas Vickie is most likely to end up, on a landing platform for the SlotZilla zipline, just a few feet from the new resort at 18 Fremont.

Vegas Vickie

This is one of two possible positions for Vegas Vickie when she makes her return to Fremont Street. The new resort will be in the direction her leg is pointing.

In another rendering, we can see how Vegas Vickie will look if she’s positioned to jut out over Main Street.

Vegas Vickie

Vegas Vickie will soon be back, alive and kicking, at least metaphorically.

There’s no timeline for when Vegas Vickie might be back, but casino executives are working with the City of Las Vegas and Bob Stupak’s son, Nevada Stupak, to bring her back to Fremont.

As for the other classic signs on the site, like the Golden Goose and Glitter Gulch signs, their fate will lie in the hands of the demolition company. They will ultimately decide if the signs can be salvaged, and can give them away or sell them at their discretion.

It’s believed the facades of these buildings will stay up throughout the demolition process. They’ll keep the street from looking like a construction site, as well as helping to block dust from the demolition.

18 Fremont demolition

Dibs on an egg.

See the photo gallery at the bottom of this story for more photos of Vegas Vickie’s removal.

While Vegas Vickie has grabbed much of the spotlight at 18 Fremont lately, there’s a lot more going on.

While the Las Vegas Club and Mermaids casinos closed back in June 2016, a quirky gaming license regulation resulted in them opening up again recently. For eight hours each.

Las Vegas Club temporary casino

Eight hours of casino is better than zero hours of casino.

That’s right, both Las Vegas Club and Mermaids opened for a few hours on June 27 and June 28, 2017.

To satisfy the gaming regulation, and maintain the gaming licenses for the sites, the casino hired a third party vendor, United Coin Machine, to set up 16 slot machines inside the physical footprint of each casino.

Las Vegas Club temporary casino

Enjoy. It’s the last time you’ll get to see inside the Las Vegas Club.

It’s hugely expensive for a casino to go through this silly exercise (think five times more than it took to remove Vegas Vickie), but rules is rules.

Ironically, despite the cost, the owners of the casino don’t get to keep the revenue generated by the “pop-up” casinos. It doesn’t amount to much, but still.

Mermaids temporary casino

Ditto Mermaids.

We had to try our luck at each of the pop-up casinos, of course, and are pleased to report we bucked the odds and hit four-of-a-kind at the Las Vegas Club.

Las Vegas Club four of a kind

Mojo is mojo, no matter how brief.

In the words of our attendant, “You’re the last person to ever win money at the Las Vegas Club.” Immortality ensured. (Although, it was arguably already ensured when we had the very last deep fried Oreos ever served at Mermaids.)

If you’re a Las Vegas casino nerd, you’ll be interested to know the temporary casinos don’t use a TITO (ticket in, ticket out) system, but rather accept cash and pay jackpots in cash.

Mermaids temporary casino

Our last fling at Mermaids.

This practice of temporary casinos is a time-honored, masturbatory ritual in Las Vegas. It’s sort of like smog checks. Everyone knows it’s a racket, but nobody seems to know how to make it stop.

Up next at 18 Fremont: Demolition.

We recently laid out the way the demolition will happen, in phases, with the entire block eventually being leveled, including the Las Vegas Club’s two hotel towers.

18 Fremont demolition

Destruction will take place in this order: 1. Granite Gaming office. 2. Mermaids, Glitter Gulch. 3. Las Vegas Club casino. 4. Parking structure. 5. Old tower. 6. New tower.

The first building to be demolished in this phase of the process is the former office of Granite Gaming (see below), the previous owner of Mermaids and Glitter Gulch. That demolition begins July 17, 2017.

Preparation for the demolition has been in the works for months, including a key step recently, as utilities were capped off. You can see traces of that work on the street between Binion’s and the Granite Gaming building.

Bid farewell to that little building on the upper right.

Demolition of the block actually began back in February 2017, but now the project begins in earnest.

In case you missed it in the photo caption above, each building on the 18 Fremont block will be meticulously taken down, with Mermaids and Glitter Gulch next (late July), then the Las Vegas Club’s casino (early August), the parking garage (late August), then the two hotel towers (starting in early September). It’s expected the demolition will be complete by the end of 2017.

Sorry, no implosions. All the structures will be taken down with demolition equipment, including the largest crane of its kind in the world.

Update (7/17/17): Demolition crews wasted no time in taking down the Granite Gaming building.

18 Fremont demolition

Given the time it took for this building to disappear, we predict this demolition is going to be way ahead of schedule.

Here’s a better view of the demolition on July 17, 2017.

Update (7/19/17): Crews appear to be ahead of schedule, as Glitter Gulch has already bitten the dust.

Glitter Gulch demolition

The demolition of Glitter Gulch strip club is the Silkwood shower we’ve all been looking forward to.

While we’re in the neighborhood, it’s probably a good time to check in on the expansion at Golden Gate, just across Fremont Street.

Golden Gate has announced the expansion to its casino, in the former La Bayou footprint, will debut on August 25, 2017.

Golden Gate expansion

The expansion at Golden Gate will blend seamlessly with the existing building, the oldest hotel in Las Vegas.

We’ve heard some juicy details about the Golden Gate expansion, including the fact the new space will feature a chandelier made up of dozens of video screens.

(Update 7/20/17): Here’s a first look at what the Golden Gate’s new facade will look like, including a peek at the video chandelier.

Golden Gate casino expansion rendering

Golden Gate is going to need to hire someone just to keep track of all the remotes.

The first floor of the expanded space will add another 100 slots to the casino. Golden Gate currently has 361 slots. The second floor of the expansion will be used for storage and distribution of liquor to the casino, expected to save the casino about $100,000 a year.

Golden Gate expansion

You thought we were going to do this entire story without a security breach? Do you know this blog at all?

There’s a metric hell-ton going on downtown, and the demolition and construction of the new resort at 18 Fremont will be fun to watch.

And watch we will.

Check this blog often for all the latest news. It’s not like you’re all that into your job, anyway.

Vegas Vickie Relocated, More at 18 Fremont

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