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The D Gets The 'F' Out

Where: 301 E Fremont St. [map], 89101
October 12, 2012 at 3:23 PM | by | ()

Once upon a time, there was a hotel and casino called Fitzgeralds. And now, there isn't. The end.

But, actually, it's just the beginning because the hotel formerly known as Fitzgeralds is now the D Las Vegas. And, a lot more has changed than its name.

The green? Gone. The leprechauns? Gone. And, in the ultimate "F you" to this former downtown Las Vegas hotel, all the Fs are gone, too. Ten thousand Fs to be exact. That's a whole lot of Fs! (We've only had one F. In junior year Spanish. We were never very good with foreign languages).

Anyhoo, during an opening day media tour of the D, led by its owner and CEO Derek Stevens, VegasChatter got an inside look at the property's dramatic transformation. The D, by the way, stands for downtown Las Vegas, Derek Stevens and Detroit (which happens to be Stevens' hometown).

Derek Stevens, da man behind the D.

Here's a rundown of what's changed (and what hasn't):

The Hotel

Every single room was remodeled with deep reds, dark woods, gaming-inspired artwork and all the modern amenities. The suite design is inspired by classic menswear, featuring pinstripe couches, houndstooth carpeting and other masculine touches, such as black marble countertops in the wet bar and artwork made from men's ties. Stevens said that, in staying true to his Detroit roots, all the hotel furniture was manufactured in the United States. The hotel hallways, however, have yet to be remodeled, so expect popcorn ceilings and gaudy carpet before you enter your lavish accommodations.

Two Bars

The D Cup D Bar.

The sleek red, black and white D Bar outside the hotel's front entrance features flair bartenders, flirty dancers and frozen drinks. Long Bar (it's long and it's a bar) stretches across the first floor of the casino. Stevens ensures that fellow Detroit fans can catch all their favorite games on one of the bars' massive flat screens.

The Casino

The first floor exudes a more modern vibe with dancing dealers. The second floor is Vintage Vegas (as in, not really remodeled) with retro music and coin-operated machines, including Sigma Derby. Yet another nuance of Motor City, Stevens said the D will only give away American-made cars during casino promotions.

The Facade

Those walking along the Fremont Street Experience will enjoy a colorful graphics light show outside the D which Stevens describes as a technology tapestry. Those going up the new escalator to the Vintage Vegas casino will come face to face with 40 flat screens forming one massive screen of swirling designs and other surprises.

The Coney

How many short order cooks does it take to roast a weenie?

Straight from Detroit, the iconic, family-owned American Coney Island serves up traditional coney dogs at its first out-of-state location. If you don't know what a coney dog is, then you need to go try one. Like right now. We're not joking. Turn off your computer and head downtown to the D immediately. You're welcome.

This prince didn't show his royal jewels.

Immediately following the tour, The D's opening celebration featured a stellar as always performance by Jason Tenner and his band Purple Reign from his the Prince tribute show. (We should mention that it did, indeed, start raining during their performance. But, it wasn't purple.) Purple Reign performs in the (un-renovated) D showroom. Tenner previously told VegasChatter he hopes to decorate it with more Princely touches.

Of course, it wouldn't be a proper opening celebration in downtown Las Vegas without Mayor Goodman (not pictured), the former Mayor Goodman and their exotic feathered pet showgirls.

Stevens (as well as his brother and business partner Greg Stevens) thanked the Goodmans for their "infectious energy" in revitalizing downtown. Finally, he invited the public to come in and explore the property, but not before paying homage to his hometown team: "Let's go, Tigers!"

Archived Comments:

The Ditz

From this day forward, I will refer to the old girl as "the Ditz".

Bourne Identi-D

The Ditz! It has a nice ring to it. Having grown up in Las Vegas attending parades along Fremont Street long before the Fremont Street Experience was even a glimmer in Oscar Goodman's martini glass, it's definitely a little strange to imagine that a hotel like Fitzgeralds could have its identity completely erased. A lot of the younger set are already asking me, what's Fitzgeralds? I didn't have any special connection to the Fitz, but it still hurts a little. That said, I am really excited about the improvements to downtown and I definitely have a soft spot for the D.

Love it

Your headlines lately have been brilliant!

As Elvis might say ...

Thank you, thank you very much. :)

Out With The Old

I always have mixed emotions about things like this. Seeing The Stardust go was pure stupidity and I miss it. However, The Sands had to go because it was so run down. (In its final years, it was known for dollar blackjack and at one point had a promotion offering two Bud beers for $1.00).

As a downtown regular, I always had a soft spot for Fitz because it was a best kept secret. You could almost always get a spot at the upstairs bar for full-pay (when you factor in the progressives) 8/5 VP and more often than not, get a seat out on Vue bar.

But, no question that it was old and tired. As downtown continues to really make itself the alternative to the drunks, clubbers, and high prices on The Strip, they at least need to put their best foot forward.

The D remodel -- especially the drastic changes to the exterior -- will help this cause.

Not a fan of all the changes

The main floor of the D is to loud & I don't like all the dancers.  I prefered the atmosphere in the Fitz.  The second floor is great as well as the escalator.  The room I was in still had the same noisy air conditioner.  Beds are great.
Please tone down the music at night.

Second Photo

In this ancient post...

At an event which many of us were there for, my main news and newsletter guy Rick "Ziggy" Ziegler insisted that I note that it is him walking behind Derek Stevens in the second photo.

Good times.