Category Archives: Security Breaches

Fremont White Castle Opens This Week, Ditto Fremont East’s Flippin’ Good Burgers

A long-awaited White Castle restaurant, only the second such location in Las Vegas, will open at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Sep. 22, 2017.

Yes, we were the first to report a White Castle would be coming to Fremont, but we don’t like to brag. Link to our original story, yes, but brag, no.

White Castle Fremont Street

White Castle on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas is nearly ready for the onslaught.

The new Fremont Street White Castle is located at the east end of the Fremont Street Experience (where we work in digital marketing), just across from the Neonopolis shopping plaza.

Given the festive, liquor-fueled street party that is Fremont Street, we expect the owners of White Castle will soon have more money than any number of Gates or Adelsons or Buffetts.

White Castle Fremont Street

This is likely to be the last time you don’t see a line in this doorway. Because drunchies.

Fremont lost its Trader Bill’s sign with the arrival of White Castle, but the thought of some tasty sliders is helping with the grieving process.

Another burger restaurant, Flippin’ Good Burgers & Shakes, will also open on Sep. 22. Or, technically, re-open.

Flippin Good Burgers renovation

Yes, the door was open, but we’re calling it a “security breach,” anyway, because it just sounds cool.

The fast food restaurant in the Fremont East Entertainment district originally opened in August of 2015.

The eatery recently closed for a major renovation, and will now be more of a fast casual restaurant, complete with a new bar, servers and a focus on “chicken, burgers and beer.”

Flippin’ Good Burgers & Shakes has completely overhauled its interior with new colors, and flourishes of metal and wood. The new color scheme is reflected on the building’s exterior as well.

Flippin Good Burgers renovation

Flippin’ Good Burgers has an outdoor seating area with some new picnic tables, which will be perfect for the two weeks a year when Las Vegas has perfect weather.

It’s no coincidence these restaurants are opening on the same date. A huge influx of potential customers will be heading downtown for the Life is Beautiful music festival, and the restaurants no doubt wanted to take full advantage of the crowds.

Life is Beautiful runs from Sep. 22-24, 2017.

Share some Vegas. Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Caesars Palace Security Breaches Reveal Hell’s Kitchen Progress, Fountain Mystery

Up for a couple of security breaches at Caesars Palace? We’ve got this.

The transformation of the former Serendipity 3 into Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen restaurant is well under way at Caesars Palace.

Hell's Kitchen restaurant

At the moment, it’s less Hell’s Kitchen and more “Who in the hell is going to clean this up?”

Caesars Entertainment is clearly sparing no expense on the new Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, as demolition work has stripped the building down to its steel beams.

Hell's Kitchen restaurant

We didn’t even have time to say “Dibs on the Tiffany lamp!”

The extensive demolition provides the Hell’s Kitchen restaurant designers, Jeffrey Beers International, a virtual “tabula rasa” where they can re-invent the venue unencumbered by the restraints of the previous space. Yes, we’re drunk.

Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen is expected to open by Dec. 1, 2017, and will be the celebrity chef’s fifth restaurant in Las Vegas.

Hell's Kitchen restaurant

Work your magic, Las Vegas construction elves.

While we’re excited to see further progress at Hell’s Kitchen, we were even more excited to get a peek behind the construction wall around the iconic Caesars Palace fountains nearby.

A peek over the wall shows an outcropping of pillar-shaped additions to the fountains, and we honestly have no idea what they are.

Caesars Palace fountains

Not gonna lie, we’re hyperventilating right now.

It appears the famous statue in the fountains is still standing, but the Winged Victory of Samothrace replica is now in the company of more than a dozen mysterious metal poles jutting up from the bone-dry fountain.

Caesars Palace fountains

We love a good mystery, but we’d like having this mystery solved even more.

The metallic protrusions, wrapped in packing material, rest upon a framework that sits at what will be water level when (or perhaps if) the fountains are filled again.

Is it temporary? Is it permanent? Is it related to Hell’s Kitchen restaurant? Are we looking at the next iteration of the Caesars Palace fountain experience, one of the best Las Vegas photo ops, ever? Will there be lights? Lasers? Fire? Are these questions getting annoying yet?

Caesars Palace fountains

Oh, like we weren’t going to dig up a “before” photo. Do you know this blog at all?

Remember, you saw it here first, whatever the hell it might actually be. We’d love to hear your guesses!

Update (9/11/17): Our friends at Eater Vegas say it’s a “temporary Samsung Galaxy Studio” being built over the fountain, where customers will be able to pick up orders and try the company’s products. When the “exhibit” closes, the fountains will return to their original state, and we’ll all need a Silkwood shower because, seriously, is nothing sacred?

Share some Vegas. Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

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!

Share some Vegas. Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

14 Sips of New, Cool and WTF in Downtown Las Vegas

Things move fast in Las Vegas, so we’ve carelessly slapped together a list of 14 new things happening in downtown Las Vegas to keep you in the loop.

Why 14 things? Well, it was originally 20, but in Sin City, the house always takes its vig. Or something.

1. Golden Gate Expansion

The expansion of the Golden Gate into the former La Bayou space is moving at a brisk pace. Note: Every great list of Las Vegas things begins with a security breach.

Golden Gate expansion

Golden Gate is doing a lot with a little. La Bayou was a mere 25 feet wide and 130 feet deep.

It’s expected the new structure will be completed in August 2017 and will feature 100 new slot machines. Here’s an inside look at the expansion construction.

2. Pop-Up BBQ

Across Fremont Street from the Golden Gate, a new BBQ truck has taken up residence in a spot where two shops used to be. Find it between the closed Mermaids and Glitter Gulch strip club.

The shops were purchased by Derek and Greg Stevens for $13.5 million and the space will eventually be part of a new resort, currently referred to as 18 Fremont.

BBQ truck

There are only about four things on the menu. That means less time waffling, more time carnivoring.

It seems the BBQ truck idea is catching on, and the pop-up restaurant will be in place as demolition of the closed Las Vegas Club begins in Q3. Derek Stevens talks about his new resort on our podcast, so have a listen.

downtown Las Vegas

Fun fact: If some of the accessories look familiar, it’s because they’re from the closed Mermaids casino, right next door.

3. Pizza Rock Menus

Just when we thought Pizza Rock couldn’t get any better, it busts out some awesome new menus. Real album covers with real albums inside double as menus. Glorious.

Pizza Rock

Millennial translation: “Albums” were made of vinyl and people used them to listen to music back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

4. Fear the Walking Dead: Survival Attraction

Demolition and construction have begun on a new attraction at Fremont Street Experience. The new walk-through attraction, inspired by “Fear the Walking Dead,” will be a mixture of escape room, maze and interactive motion ride. Here’s a look at the space.

Fear the Walking Dead Survival

Given the zombie theme, think how much money they’d save by just leaving it like this and adding zombies.

The “Fear the Walking Dead: Survival” attraction will be near the base of the SlotZilla zip line tower and is expected to open in July 2017.

downtown Las Vegas

We actually work at Fremont Street Experience as our day job. If you can’t security breach at your own place of employment, where can you security breach?

5. SlotZilla Video Screens

The SlotZilla zip line tower got an upgrade to its video screens. The largest screen is 23 feet wide. Three others simulate the reels of a (wait for it) slot machine.

SlotZilla

Yes, we rode it, and we are not a heights person. Thank you, comedy-hypnotist Marc Savard.

Here’s a look at all the dudes it took to install the largest screen.

SlotZilla zip line

You should probably consider something a little smaller for your man cave.

6. Hennessey’s Pint Glass

The seemingly endless process of rebranding the “World’s Largest Pint Glass” at Hennessey’s Tavern continues. The glass will eventually transform into a mug touting Not Your Grandfather’s Root Beer, including the addition of a massive handle.

Hennessey's pint glass

This is the back of the pint glass. The front side is 85 feet tall. That’s a lot of head.

7. Inspire Bar Windows

A small tweak to the exterior of the street-level bar at Inspire Theater has opened up the space and lets guests experience the sights and sounds and occasional fragrances of Fremont Street.

Inspire lounge

It’s actually “Inspire Bar, Lounge and Theatre.” Yes, with the fancy spelling of “theatre.”

The bar is quite welcoming, and yes, they have Captain Morgan spiced rum, the best thing since the advent of sex on giant Ferris wheels. Allegedly.

Inspire bar

Inspire is at the corner of Fremont Street, Las Vegas Blvd. and Hipster Avenue.

8. Progress at The Vault

At long last, there’s activity at a new bar on Fremont East, The Vault. Previously, the space was home to a clothing store called Coterie. Not sure where things are on Fremont East? We did walking tour.

The Vault Fremont East

The Vault is located between the Griffin and Beauty Bar, which you have also never heard of.

Outside, not a security breach. Inside, security breach.

The Vault Fremont Street

The Vault could be the hottest new spot for gymnasts in Las Vegas, unless we’ve completely misread the meaning of “vault.”

9. Changes at Emergency Arts and Eureka

A mural-covered construction wall has come down at the Emergency Arts Building across the street from El Cortez. There’s a lot of activity inside the building’s bottom floor where a new restaurant, Eureka, is expected to open soon. The space used to be the Beat Coffeehouse. There will be a quiz.

Eureka Las Vegas

Eureka sure is taking its sweet time.

10. Stoned N Baked Closes

A tasty pizza shop inside the Downtown Container Park has closed. The owner says he sold the business, including the equipment and recipes, to the Downtown Project, with promises the shop would open again in some form.

Stoned N Baked

Recreational marijuana will be available for sale in Las Vegas on July 1, 2017. Missed it by that much.

11. ChillSpot Closes, Puffles On the Way

Also at the Container Park, a frozen pop store called ChillSpot (owned by the same folks as Stoned N Baked) has also closed. A new “gelato and waffles” shop, Puffles, will take over the space.

Puffles

Puffles cones use egg waffles which originated in Hong Kong, a city whose king once climbed the Empire State Building.

12. The Dome

In other Downtown Container Park news, The Dome has opened. The dome-shaped theater seats 25 people and offers five different shows (mostly music-driven and family fare) and one interactive shooting game.

The Dome Las Vegas

In “Logan’s Run,” people rose into the air and blew up as part of a ritual called Carrousel. Location: Dome.

13. Petting Zoo

You knew we’d get to the WTF, eventually. This one’s flown under the radar, but it seems there’s a petting zoo coming the the Downtown Project’s Learning Center space.

Friends of the Wild

We spend way too much time poking our nose into places we shouldn’t.

Friends of the Wild will be a “a non-profit educational animal facility,” and appears to be in the fundraising phase. We’ll keep an eye on this one.

Friends of the Wild

Las Vegas Zoo closed. Roos-N-More closed. Let’s get it right this time, please.

14. Bonanza Gift Shop Signs

Bonanza Gift Shop is sort of downtown. Well, the “World’s Largest Gift Shop” has finally gotten around to repairing its signs damaged by high winds in March 2017. And we’re using the word “repairing” very liberally here.

Bonanza Gift Shop

Being the world’s largest gift shop means there’s plenty of space to store all the WTF.

There are always new things going on in downtown Las Vegas. If you spot something new or notable, drop us a line.

Full disclosure: This blog’s day job is in the marketing department at Fremont Street Experience. Our opinions, especially the most idiotic, are entirely our own.

Share some Vegas. Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

The Trains Are Officially Leaving Palace Station

The off-Strip Palace Station is getting a major facelift, and that includes dumping its train station theme.

The resort recently unveiled its fancy new porte cochere.

Palace Station

Hey, it’s fancy for Palace Station.

Other upgrades have included a remodel of the hotel’s facade and a new bingo room.

Since it opened in 1976 (as The Casino, because naming things is hard), Palace Station has featured several decorative trains—more art than accurate replicas—on its north-facing exterior.

The trains are out of sight thanks to a large construction wall.

Palace Station

Nice attempt at thwarting us there, Palace Station. We are, however, 100% thwartproof.

Construction walls don’t tend to serve as a deterrent to us, so we nabbed a photo of the very first of the train noses to be removed.

Somebody’s got to do it.

Palace Station trains

Thwart this.

While Palace Station claims it’s in talks with the Neon Museum to take the trains, but that’s a symbolic exercise. The trains aren’t of any particular historic value to the Neon Museum, and more significantly, they don’t have any neon.

When donations are made to the Neon Museum, a nonprofit, removal and transportation of the signs is paid for by the donor, often at a cost of thousands of dollars. Donors are also asked to donate additional funds for the restoration of the signs.

So, as we said, an unlikely scenario. The Neon Museum might get one of the trains, but otherwise, it’s farewell to these decorative touches at Palace Station.

It remains to be seen what will happen to the large, classic marquees at the resort, as they’re clearly train-inspired.

Palace Station

The device on the front of a train that deflects objects is called a “cowcatcher.”

Palace Station officials have said the renovations are moving the resort toward a “mid-century modern design.” Translation: “Less interesting.”

A number of Las Vegas casinos have attempted de-theming to modernize and presumably have a broader appeal. We’re looking at you, millennials.

Monte Carlo will soon become Park MGM, and Treasure Island was rebranded as TI, along with removal of many of its swashbuckling elements, including its free “Sirens of TI” show. The Luxor, at least on the inside, is much less Egyptian than when it opened.

Next up, Palace Station will revamp its buffet and add two additional restaurants.

Share some Vegas. Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Construction Begins on 18 Fremont Resort (Las Vegas Club), World Almost Misses It

There were no fireworks, no gold-plated shovels, no mayoral Proclamations. There were none of the trappings of a Las Vegas resort groundbreaking, but it was, indeed, just that.

That tingling sensation you feel isn’t numbness resulting from sitting at a slot machine too long, it’s the excitement of knowing a long-awaited Las Vegas resort is finally in the works on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. We’ve got all the exclusive scoop! Because having an “exclusive” is nearly as good as “having a life,” and that’s the story we’re sticking to.

Construction, or more accurately “deconstruction,” has quietly begun on a new hotel-casino from Derek and Greg Stevens, owners of Golden Gate and The D Las Vegas.

18 Fremont resort

“What construction?” you ask. We’re trying to build some suspense here, just play along for once.

Owner Derek Stevens has said he’s attended more than 50 design meetings for the new downtown resort. While it doesn’t have a name yet, its placeholder name is “18 Fremont.”

A modest demolition project, not easily seen by pedestrians on Fremont Street, marks the beginning of a major (and expensive) construction project which will make the new resort a reality.

The demolition is happening behind two closed shops, Blowout and Forever Flawless. Demolition crews are making quick work of the structure.

18 Fremont resort construction

Boom. Work on the next Las Vegas casino resort begins, sans hoopla, which would make a good band name.

Blowout and the Forever Flawless store (covering a tiny 0.08 acres) cost the Stevens brothers  a steep $13.5 million. Millionaires be crazy, as the kids say, but there was a method behind the madness.

The shops were a critical element of a series of acquisitions allowing for 18 Fremont to encompass a full block, spanning a stretch of Fremont between Binion’s and the Plaza casino.

18 Fremont casino

This is how the lot looked midday. Keep reading to see how it looked a couple of hours later. Suspenseful, right?

Mermaids and the Glitter Gulch strip club were also purchased by the Stevens brothers, along with La Bayou, currently site of an expansion of the Golden Gate casino.

The Stevens also acquired a parcel across the street from the Las Vegas Club, between Plaza and Main Street Station, for $7.5 million.

Yes, there will be a quiz.

18 Fremont construction

A couple of hours later and virtually nothing of the shops remains. They’re going to need a really big vacuum cleaner.

Why is the demolition of the Blowout and Forever Flawless shops so important to the 18 Fremont project? We won’t ruin the surprise. (Suspense!) All we can say is there’s equipment in motion at 18 Fremont and that’s enough to get us excited about what’s to come.

Derek Stevens and others involved in the project have been tight-lipped about specifics of the new resort, but Stevens has at various times hinted it’s likely to take downtown’s pool scene to a whole new level. On an episode of our podcast, Stevens described downtown Las Vegas as “underpooled.”

The casino will be the centerpiece of the resort, of course, but multiple restaurant and bar offerings will also be in the mix. Stevens has also said it’s likely the resort will have a spa, but relatively few specifics about the resort have been shared to-date. Hey, we’re working on it.

18 Fremont construction Las Vegas Club

Look closely. The shops are now see-through.

It’s been confirmed the Las Vegas Club hotel towers (and indeed all the structures on the block) will be demolished, but not with an implosion.

After watching failed casino projects like Alon, and seemingly stalled projects like Resorts World, it’s refreshing to see a Las Vegas casino project moving forward full steam ahead. Millennial translation: Nobody’s come up with a better way of saying “full steam ahead” since the steam engine, sorry.

18 Fremont demolition

Here’s a peek inside what was the Blowout gift shop. Their inventory now consists largely of debris.

This new resort represents not only hundreds of millions of dollars of investment, but also an entirely new place for us to drink Captain Morgan and diets and play Top Dollar. Just keeping it real.

Las Vegas Club demolition

The forever forgettable Forever Flawless. Anything that decreases the number of annoying salespeople chasing us down Fremont Street Experience (where we work in marketing as our day job) hawking face cream is fine by us.

Here’s a little help with where this demolition site is in relation to things you might recognize, specifically a strip club and some classic neon, including Vegas Vickie.

Las Vegas Club demolition

The good news is we can all start using “Glitter Gulch” again without feeling the urge to get a “Silkwood” shower.

Update (2/23/17): Things move fast in Vegas, and what a difference 24 hours can make. Here’s a photo to keep you abreast, and not just because we love using the word “abreast” as often as possible.

18 fremont construction

Did we mention these demolition guys don’t mess around?

It’s a pretty straight shot to Fremont Street now.

18 Fremont construction

Demolition guys must have really organized closets.

Demolition of the Blowout and Forever Flawless shops is expected to take just a few days (Feb. 24, 2017 is the expected completion date), but there’s much more in the works, so anticipate a cavalcade of security breaches in the months to come.

Update (2/26/17): Like we said, blink and you’ll miss it. We’re pretty sure we said that. Anyway, here’s another look at the site. Cleans up real nice.

18 Fremont construction

A good many great things begin in tiny spaces. Which sounds a lot dirtier than it is.

Yes, yes, there’s video. Demanding, much?

We trust this won’t be our last update about the 18 Fremont construction project, so visit this Las Vegas blog often. Hourly, if possible. No pressure.

Share some Vegas. Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone