Details Emerge of Las Vegas Club, Mermaids and Glitter Gulch Demolition, Plus Vegas Vickie’s Fate

There’s a lot going on at the Las Vegas Club site in downtown Las Vegas, and we’ve got all the skinny about the upcoming demolition set to clear the way for a new hotel-casino.

Demolition of a one block site at Fremont Street and Main, informally called “18 Fremont,” will begin on or around July 15, 2017.

All the structures on the block will be taken down to ground level, including the closed Las Vegas Club casino and its two hotel towers, Mermaids casino and Girls of Glitter Gulch strip club.

At one time, it was believed the older of the two Las Vegas Club hotel towers would be imploded, but it’s now been decided no implosion will take place.

Las Vegas Club

If you’re a fan of things being “blowed up real good,” sorry. The Las Vegas Club hotel towers are coming down with a whimper, not a bang.

Demolition in mid-July will begin with a small office structure once used as the management offices of Granite Gaming, owners of Mermaids and Glitter Gulch. Removal of that building, along with a couple of smaller buildings (one a power house, another an “annex”), will make way for some heavy duty demolition equipment to set up shop in the middle of the block.

One of the cranes which will be moved into the site is said to be the largest demolition crane of its kind in the world.

Next, Mermaids and Glitter Gulch will bite the dust.

Mermaids casino

This makes Mermaids prettier than it actually was, trust us.

The owners of the property, Derek and Greg Stevens, along with their team, have devoted an extraordinary amount of time creating an inventory of the signage on all the structures involved in the demolition.

Vegas Vickie, for example, will be removed from the Glitter Gulch facade on June 12, 2017.

It’s estimated the Stevens will invest $11,000 just to remove the iconic sign. There are questions as to whether Vegas Vickie can even be removed intact given her deteriorated condition.

Vegas Vickie

It’s unclear whether Vegas Vickie’s removal will necessitate a divorce from Vegas Vic. They were married in 1994. Not kidding.

Vegas Vickie will ultimately be restored and put on display. Exactly where Vickie will end up hasn’t been decided, but early word is that it will most certainly remain in downtown Las Vegas and is expected to be even more accessible for photo ops.

In the meantime, she’ll be packed up and kept in storage until details of a new location can be sorted out.

It’s estimated the cost of restoring Vegas Vickie could be as much as $100,000. Talk about high maintenance.

There are dozens of other signs in and around Las Vegas Club, Mermaids and Glitter Gulch, including another classic sign, a neon beauty which reads Golden Goose.

Golden Goose casino

Golden Goose opened as the State Cafe. Then it was was Buckley’s Casino, and later the Mecca Casino. Oh, like you’re going to remember all this.

Many of the signs will be salvaged prior to the demolition, and Derek Stevens has said some signs and other fixtures in and on the buildings will be given away in casino promotions. Listen to our recent podcast to hear more.

We’ve learned exclusively the giveaways will begin in August 2017, and players will have a chance to win letters from the various “Las Vegas Club” signs at the site. There are 24 letters up for grabs.

Las Vegas Club sign

Dibs on a “V.” Because Vital Vegas. Please try and keep up.

The demolition will continue around the site, with the Las Vegas Club’s street level casino next on the chopping block.

Then, it’s on to a parking structure on the northeast side of the site.

Finally, the older of the two hotel towers (14 stories) will be taken down, then the newer tower (15 stories) will meet its end. The buildings won’t be taken down floor by floor, but in “columns.”

Here’s a look at the various phases of the demolition project at 18 Fremont.

18 Fremont demolition

Here’s the plan. 1. Granite Gaming office. 2. Mermaids and Glitter Gulch. 3. Las Vegas Club casino. 4. Parking structure. 5. Old tower. 6. New tower.

By the way, the band names on the rooftops are remnants of a video used to promote the Life is Beautiful music festival back in 2015.

That’s Fremont Street Experience in the upper right of the photo, where we work in digital marketing as our day job. The D and Golden Gate, part of the Fremont Street Experience, are owned by the Stevens.

If all goes as planned, demolition at the 18 Fremont site will be completed in November 2017.

In an intriguing twist, it’s been announced slot play will return to Las Vegas Club and Mermaids for eight hours each on June 27-28, 2017.

A quirky (and costly) gaming rule requires that slot play be made available to the public for at least eight hours every two years. Yes, it’s a deeply stupid rule, but hey, this blog loves it some quirky. Check out our visit to another temporary casino, Moulin Rouge.

temporary casino

Yeah, not exactly your typical flashy Las Vegas casino. The worst part: No cocktail service.

One of the stranger aspects of the whole temporary casino nonsense is casino owners don’t keep the money played on the machines. The whole operation is set up by a vendor, United Coin Machine.

So, that should provide some idea of what’s going down at the former Las Vegas Club at 18 Fremont. The official name of the new resort has yet to be announced, but trust us, we’re doing a lot of poking around.

The Las Vegas Club opened in 1930 and had the second neon sign in all of Las Vegas (the first at a casino). The Las Vegas Club closed at midnight on August 19, 2015. Glitter Gulch closed on June 27, 2016. Mermaids closed on June 27, 2016.

There’s lots of new and shiny on the way, but first there’s some serious house cleaning to do.

Expect more photos, drone footage and security breaches in the months to come. Allegedly.

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  • Rooster

    Great post, and thanks for the update! It will be exciting to see what they do with it.

    On a related note, I wish they’d open the temporary slot play in the casino. It would be fun to walk in the old rathole that was the Las Vegas Club one last time.

  • RustyHammer

    The illustration is nice. A lot of this is stuff your faithful readers and listeners already know. You scooped yourself, pervert.

  • Dr Dee

    Thanks for the update, looking forward to future stories.

  • Coop

    Excellent scoop. Are you paying rent in Derek Stevens house? LOL. Its so great that he see’s the value in your coverage. Certainly not your typical Casino Baron.

    As far as Vegas Vicki goes…Take that 90210. This old lady is 37 yrs old and only needs $100,000 worth of “enhancements”.

  • G in GP

    I was hoping it would be announced that Vicki would go back up in the same place. Was hoping they would keep the facade of the Golden Goose and Glitter Gulch and just build new behind it.

  • RustyHammer

    Based upon your photo of the old MR, it appears a partial structure exists on the site. If so, you need to get drone footage of what’s still standing.

    And here’s a question that your MR article posed: Why did Nevada stop issuing unrestricted gaming licenses, thereby requiring these ridiculous 8-hour casinos?

  • Bouldersteve

    Those slots in the trailer will they pay out in coins or a voucher?. If its a voucher i guess you would have to cash it before you leave or will have a worthless piece of paper. I will stop by and take a look.Doubt anybody will be playing those machines although it might be fun to put in 10 bucks and see what happens.Looks like they are all VP machines..probably lousy paytables similar to what you find at a gas station.Good photo of Vegas Vickie..must have been taken when she was young and beautiful.

  • Kodidog

    Thanks, Scott. Will you be wearing a helmet over a hairnet for a while, on your daily strolls (and peeks) while they do the demolition?

  • Big Steve

    Had the high roller suite in the newer of the two Las Vegas Club towers. It was pretty unbelievable considering the normal clientele of that place. The suite had a pool table, wet bar, and much of the same stuff I used to get at Wynn, minus the butler.

  • Hyrdr

    Hate to see the old stuff come down.

    • She’d fall apart if she didn’t, I think. At least now they can try and save and refurbish her.

  • Steven L. Heindl

    Best stay away from the Demolition, so much asbestos especially the old tower of the Vegas Vlub.

    • They are spraying lots of water to keep down the dust.

  • Ezekiel 25:17

    I saw the big claw machine gnawing away at the old hotel tower. It was surreal and sad because I had not been prepared to see a block reduced to rubble. I think about how much has changed since my first landing in Vegas in the 90’s. The list grows each time I visit. The laser show at Luxor, Merlin’s show at Excalibur, Lions at MGM, Coke Museum where you sampled all the exotic flavors for one price, 7-11 north of MGM, the west side of the south strip starting at Monte Carlo (Aria took it away and ruined it). The gas station that gave free aspirin, and the pirate show. The old original strip casinos like Aladdin, Sands, Stardust, to name a few. How about great food such as the Pharaoh’s Pheast. That was prior to cook strike which they won, then didn’t. Now gone is not always bad. The illegals aggressively hitting you with the nudie rags is a wonderful thing to see gone. I didn’t even see a single POS on my last visit in Sept 2017. I hear they arrested the owners for a drug and prostitution ring. About 2010, it had got very bad. In front of Planet Hollywood, there was a gauntlet of 30 plus 30 as you walked down the sidewalk. They coordinated their attack. At that time, I punched an illegal dude in the face and knocked him backwards into the street. There were so many people nobody even noticed.

    • jamie

      So, the old tower will go too? The iconic old tower as shown in the movie “Pay It Forward?” So sad. Beautiful building.

  • Last time in Vegas I was watching them pick apart the smaller hotel, it will be interesting to see the taller one get picked apart, interesting to see wrecking balls are out and now they use that big claw, looks like they squeeze a concrete column then it vibrates and it just breaks up and falls apart.