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Ice Skating / Events / Holidays / The Strip / Off Strip / Venetian / Palazzo / Gold Spike / Caesars Palace / → All Tags
With high temps in the 70s, things are not even close to beginning to look or feel like Christmas in Vegas. Since snow on the Strip is rare (but, yes, it has happened just check out the photo below from 2008), we usually make our own joy in our own small, over-the-top way.
Drinking / World Cup / Downtown / The Strip / Off Strip / Gold Spike / Golden Gate / Bier Garten / Plaza / Due Forni / South Point / The Chelsea / The Cosmopolitan / → All Tags
Vegas Technology / Apps / Downtown Project / Shipping Container Park / Gold Spike / Events / → All Tags
Downtown is where it's at, or would be, if it were easier to discover what was happening where. For many, learning about events takes a bit of luck and being in the right word-of-mouth chain.
This writer heard about so many events after the fact that it wasn't until I set up my own downtown dragnet that I managed to turn that around. I signed up for the Downtown Project newsletter and liked Downtown Project, Inspire Theater, Fremont Street Experience and Container Park on Facebook (as well as made sure I set it so I would be notified of every posting) and I even created some Google alerts, too. (I'm also cyber-stalking the D and Downtown Grand.) But, really who else would do that besides this gal? Likely, not many.
Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Gold Spike / Ice Skating / Fun Vegas / Openings / → All Tags
Execs have transformed a parking lot adjacent to its outdoor lounge area into a 4,000-square-foot ice rink for the season. We popped in for a peek on Sunday. Comfy lounge seating, fire pits, heater lamps, a parking lot light turned Christmas tree as well as log cabin-esque tiny houses to go complete the holiday scene.
So, when can you give it a go? We're not quite sure. At the time of our visit, staff didn't know exactly when the rink of faux ice would make its debut, except that it would happen by the end of this week.
Openings / Holidays / Ice Skating / Tony Hsieh / Gold Spike / → All Tags
Who knew this desert city yearned to glide through the chill of a dry winter so much? (Hey, if we can say "dry heat," we can say dry winter!)
It all started when Venetian/Palazzo built a floating ice rink Strip-side in 2011. The Cosmopolitan decided to join the party in 2012 and, in a few days, Caesars Palace will throw their
hat skates into the ring rink, too. But, why should The Strip have all the fun?
Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Gold Spike / Beer / Drinking / Bars / → All Tags
Shortly after Gold Spike re-opened as a casino-less and hotel-less bar, we decided to check out the scene from a beer drinker's point of view and were happy with what's on tap (and in the bottles). The beer selection at Gold Spike isn't as massive as The Pub at Monte Carlo, but it has a nice variety and is fairly priced.
Some of the recent bar openings downtown have priced their craft or micro brews at the top end of market prices. It wouldn't be a surprise to pay $6-$8 for a beer at many of the new spots. Gold Spike has priced their
crappy macro American draft beers (Coors Light, Miller Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon) at $3 while craft beers from breweries like Magic Hat and New Belgium are $4 or $5, respectively. For comparison, a Magic Hat #9 at Gordon Ramsay Pub will cost $8. Even a premium beer like Delirium Tremens is moderately priced at $12 a bottle. That's not cheap by comparison to the other beers in stock, but it's not expensive. We've seen the beer priced slightly lower as well as slightly higher.
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.
Construction / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Las Vegas Club / Downtown Grand / Pizza Rock / Gold Spike / Inspire Theater / Slotzilla / Shipping Container Park / → All Tags
Downtown Vegas openings are still happening fast and furious with Park on Fremont, La Comida, Mingo's Kitchen and Velveteen Rabbit boosting its hipster cred of late. But, there is much more still on the horizon and no end in sight, at least right now, from the cacophony created when tourism, construction and community collide.
With smart phone camera in hand, we traversed downtown earlier today to provide you with snapshot updates of some of the biggest projects still to come.
As we all know by now, Tony Hsieh has purchased the Gold Spike and, with very short notice to the employees, shut it down it down a week ago Sunday. This Chatter'er rarely criticizes Mr. Hsieh. He has done a great deal of good for the city in a short time. Hopefully, this move will turn out for the best as well.
For many, the Gold Spike will be remembered as a dead, little, run-down casino. It is the only one downtown with a Las Vegas Boulevard address. It opened in 1976 as the Rendezvous. Mostly unremarkable, it was sold to Las Vegas casino legend Jackie Gaughan in 1983. During the next two decades, it existed as a smoky casino with a spotty reputation. After a 2001 fire that had guests jumping from third floor windows, Gaughan sold the Spike again. It would change hands and formats a couple more times. From slot-filled grind joint to hopeful boutique hotel, the Gold Spike never could find its foothold.
Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Gold Spike / Tony Hsieh / Downtown Project / Vegas Observations / → All Tags
We're going to share some unusual fallout from the closure of downtown's Gold Spike. This past weekend, they handed over the casino's keys to Tony Hsieh's Downtown Project, the same folks spending $350 million to revitalize downtown. In an insider report by local journalist John Katsilometes, he says the "likely outcome is for Hsieh’s group to turn the property over in 30 days, remaking the building as a bar and restaurant." We believe him.
Hsieh himself is quoted as saying he doesn't want to keep the gambling going as he's part of a group of "people who are trying to help build a community." Journalist Downtown Joe also cites rumors "some or all of the hotel rooms to house Downtown Project visitors, creating a club and/or boutique hotel and specialty retail space." Now, this is interesting to locals who have been wondering if the Gold Spike would turn into apartments for the new residents of the "community" that Hsieh and pals say they are building.
It wasn't always known as the Gold Spike, but after 37 years of operation under one name or another the long-running, just off Fremont Street hotel-casino closed at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The Gold Spike's final weekend, from most accounts, an unremarkable one. A last hurrah attended not by hordes but a history lovin' few.
VegasChatter friend Danial Mente stopped by for one last toast on Saturday night and reported a "very quiet" atmosphere that was "very sad" and "depressing." Some of the photos he took are shared here on this page.
Danial relays that a waitress told him staff were given only three days notice and that they were losing their jobs. It had been previously reported by the Vegas press that both Gold Spike's outgoing and incoming owners were trying to find replacement positions for staff.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal just broke the news that the downtown casino-hotel has been sold to Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh's Downtown Project "for an undisclosed amount" and will officially close this Sunday at 3 p.m.
At this time, there's no word on what guests with future reservations will be told nor is it known what Downtown Project has in store for the property.
April 12 Update: VegasChatter fan Ron A. let us know that Gold Spike is offering stays at its sister properties, The Artisan, The Rumor or the Resort at Mount Charleston, as alternative locations for guests holding future reservations.
Also Just In: Gold Spike will host a final "Thank You" bash this Sunday, April 14 from noon to 3 p.m. All bar drinks will be $1 and a 50 percent discount will be offered on food at the Golden Grill. There will also be cash and Gold Spike swag giveaways as well.
(PHOTO: Gold Spike on Foursquare)