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You Really Need To Take A Look At The New Gold Spike

Where: 217 Las Vegas Boulevard North [map], 89101
May 21, 2013 at 5:01 PM | by | Comments (11)

Remember the Gold Spike? Forget the Gold Spike. This is the new Gold Spike. The former downtown casino has become a microcosm of the future ideals and aims of the Downtown Project and we have your first preview.

Now open 24/7, the ground floor officially opened Monday. It's non-smoking and non-gaming. Neither will change. Nor, will the name. The hotel section is in flux, but actively being worked on. We expect news in the near future.

During the day, Gold Spike will probably be best considered a coworking space for downtown residents and local visitors. With free, fast WiFi. Same concept as the ground floor of the forthcoming Inspire Theater. At night, it will switch over to a lounge vibe. The former security booth becomes a DJ booth. And, there are distractions aplenty.

Shuffleboard, bean bags, hefty art books on the tables. Lots of areas to pair off, or sit in groups. Two pool tables. A few non-obtrusive TVs. Candles everywhere. There is a bed right by the entrance.

The bar was overhauled and all the gaming removed. And, we heard the counter has already been filled with wall-to-wall laptops during the day. By each stool there is a power outlet for you to charge up. Surrounding the bar, two oversized dart boards with chalk walls. They check the chalk graffiti daily for obscenities. You'll also discover a golf video game and a miniature shuffleboard set-up.

The never-close Grill has added some healthier options to their menu, but it remains a modern version of a casino coffee shop. While local murmurs mistakenly suggested a pizza joint was moving in, there are thoughts about adding another food concept down the road.

Next to the Grill, on the way out to the patio, is an ATM and photo booth. Then you walk out to this:

Outside, the high-speed WiFi is still in full force. They are thinking about what to do with the airstream provided by Airstream 2 Go, a DTP-backed project located at Fremont and 10th. It has already been used for a conference meeting.

You can also watch construction on the forthcoming Downtown Grand.

Stuff, is a mini booth next door to the former cashier's cage. You can borrow retro games and, soon, a selection of books from the counter. Right now, they have things like Battleship, Clue, Twister, Scrabble, etc. At the bar during our visit, Connect Four was set up and ready to play. From MB!

Options for the cashier's cage, like a number of sections on the ground floor, are still being brainstormed. Even an aquarium was suggested. They are currently limited by imagination.

Gold Spike embodies a physical realization of the theories behind Tony Hsieh and the Downtown Project's approach to redeveloping this area. Connections, random elements, youthful energy, a not-so-serious imagination and a destination that is clean and safe. An eradication of the former downtown experience.

And, enthusiasm is key. The reason we were able to receive an early tour was an introduction by a security guard we encountered the second we stepped through the door. We can't remember a more enthusiastic ambassador for a new venue, an employee who urgently wanted to introduce us to the new Gold Spike. We were impressed at the transformation. And, really liked what what we saw. We urge you to discover for yourself.

Comments (11)

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The only laptop there yesterday

was mine in my bag...but I wished I had my charger because I was out of juice. I will definitely go there to use their wifi and grab a beer.

I am so sick and tired of DTP

Non-gaming + non-smoking = Non-Vegas.

No thanks.

On first glance

It looks like a nursing home.

Your Vegas Is Gone

Deal.

Only a matter of time...

I feel like it is only a matter of time before the mentally ill homeless and runaway teens take over the place.

Like a glorified community center.

This is open to the public now? Will stop by next time I'm downtown!

Lincster

Comments are so wrong.  This is great!

Lincster

I'll be there mid-June and give a full report.  

Clash Of The Titans

Hsieh is going to great lengths to prove to his Zappoinians (or whatever they are called) that he's going to recreate Henderson (Green Valley) for them.

Funny Note: On the last night of the Gold Spike, significant amounts of Zappos employees were present and MANY of them were smoking. So, I guess now many of them will be having their serendipity interactions outside in the heat of the summer while they light up.

While the Gold Spike was always a small player, I have to think that other downtown casinos operators are rejoicing over Hsieh (apparently) tossing away that unlimited gaming license.

Hsieh can't buy up much of anything along the Fremont Street Experience (or at least not much of it), so we'll see where the Zappos world ends and the smoking/gaming world begins.

@Chilcoot Reviving the scummy/dead part of downtown (something which I applaud) isn't going to chase the 17 million Fremont Street Experience yearly visitors away.

But I think it is safe to say that tourists won't exactly be drawn to the "new" Spike. On the flip side, Hsieh can afford to run it at a loss as long as he'd like.

Odd

I don't really see the point of this. It certainly looks nice enough...but what's the appeal of hanging out there? I go to Vegas for the gambling, the thrills..this is lost on me, I suppose.

Zapponian behavior on the last night was awful

"Funny Note: On the last night of the Gold Spike, significant amounts of Zappos employees were present and MANY of them were smoking."

I was there on the last night as well and found it extremely distasteful that they were basically taking the place over and celebrating its death, all while being watched and served by people who, thanks to their Dear Leader, would be out of a job the next day.

Coolness Factor

I think that some of you are missing what he is trying to do.  I think he wants to create a place where people can go and stay while in Vegas and they can chill. There is gambling everywhere.  Why not have a place you can go back to and just hang out.  
I also had heard that he created this space for his employees.  I don't know how true that is but it makes sense.  Who knows.  All I know is we were there and it was pretty awesome

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