Tag: Vegas HistoryView All Tags
The only constant in Vegas is change. We know it. We love it. Sometimes, we can hardly wait for it. However, we often regret it, too.
While Monte Carlo rips out its facade in the name of progress, it's also taking a bit of our hearts as well. Just read the comments left here and here. So, as we close out the week here on VegasChatter, we thought we'd share some images of the Monte Carlo that once was before the demolition. If you have photos you'd like to share, too, just drop us a line.
Construction / Bill's Gambling Hall And Saloon / Gansevoort Las Vegas / Name Changes / Openings / Renovations / Vegas History / → All Tags
(Photos courtesy Greg C.)
Vegas History / Vegas Past / Turning Back The Clock / MGM MIRAGE / Kerzner International / → All Tags
We love Las Vegas and part of that is loving Las Vegas’ history. So, while we enjoy telling you what we love about Vegas and keeping you up-to-date on what's going on, we also like to take time to look back at Vegas past. Today, we continue a special series on Vegas history. We hope you enjoy the stroll down memory lane.
Back in the summer of 2007, then MGM MIRAGE announced a partnership with Kerzner International to finally develop that barren plot of land across the street from what was still the Sahara. It was exciting news not just because something was finally being done with that acreage, but because hotelier Sol Kerzner was part of the venture. You may not know the name, but you probably know one of his more iconic resorts, Atlantis in the Bahamas. (And, now also in Dubai.)
At Sahara, it's hard to miss the gaping swatch cut through the building as work continues toward transforming it into the SLS Las Vegas. We've been keeping an eye on things, but we're not the only ones. Readers like Greg C. have been chronicling the changes earnestly.
The dramatic panoramic shown above is from the SLS' Facebook page, but Greg recently provided us with a before shot showing the roofline that once was.
Greg has also spied that the de-theming of Sahara's towers has begun. This is what the Tunis tower looked liked before recent changes:
This is it looks like now:
Notice the removal of the green shade structure and green-trimmed glass railing on the penthouse balconies. The windows that once rimmed the suite's walls are now gone, too. Also, some of the ornamental Moroccan-esque roofline is coming down while the entire roof of the building in the foreground has also vanished.
As we've previously reported, Sahara's iconic marquee and dome have already fell in the name of progress. In the photo gallery below, Greg documents the porte cochere's destruction, or as he calls it the incredible shrinking dome.
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.
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.
Vegas doesn’t stay the same for very long.
The Sands closed and became the Venetian. Desert Inn once stood where the Wynn is now. The Imperial Palace has become The Quad. Downtown Grand is emerging from the shuttered Lady Luck. The Las Vegas we see every day will eventually be a distant memory. As new superstructures eventually take the place of such icons as Luxor, Bally’s, and Riviera (at least that's where we'd start), we will fondly tell the stories of these places.
From existing photographs we can see just how cool Las Vegas used to be. We know that Vegas Vic used to wave and shout “Howdy Podner,” but we have to use our imaginations to see how it was. Most of us never saw the Silver Slipper spin or how the neon lights of long-closed casinos used to shine. When a video shows just how Las Vegas used to look, it should be cherished and shared. Chicago-based film colorist Jeff Altman came upon one, and he shows us something truly amazing.
Grass. Slides. Diving boards. Rafts. Inner tubes. Vegas pools of today may think they're all that, but they ain't got nothing on the pool scenes of yesteryear.
The Las Vegas News Bureau recently released file footage reminding us how lost Vegas really made fun in the sun, well, fun. No DJ required. Check out this video compilation showing Vegas pool life spanning the 40s to the 60s.
We love Las Vegas and part of that is loving Las Vegas’ history. So, while we enjoy telling you what we love about Vegas and keeping you up-to-date on what's going on, we would like to take some time to look back at Vegas past. Today, we continue a special series on shuttered (but not forgotten) Las Vegas hotels and casinos. We hope you enjoy the stroll down memory lane.
Last week, the Key Largo Casino on Flamingo caught fire and burned almost to the ground. Since then, the fire Clark County has ordered that the remainder of the casino be demolished by the end of April. Key Largo is probably best known for being the abandoned casino across the street from the Hard Rock (and Terrible's). The casino was built in 1972 and closed in 2005.
The former valet area at Binion's is a bit of a ghost town since the casino sent the valets home for good a couple years ago. The one constant has been the presence of the the very Binion's-specific, long-horned limo parked in front an elevator. Guests who self-park are likely to pass it each time they enter the casino. Those who stick to Fremont may have seen it periodically decorated and displayed out front before it was put in park out back.
Other than admiring and being tempted to stroke the horns without raising the ire of either the ghosts of Binion's or security, we knew little of the history of ol' Bessie. Our name for Binion's limo (not to be confused with Benny Binion's limo) since she has to be a Bessie, yes?
Las Vegas likes to blow up its past. But, a century old remnant of the original Downtown Vegas may get a second life. And, free up some potentially valuable real estate.
A bold proposal would move the entire two-story, 113-year-old Victory Hotel and drop it three miles away at the Springs Preserve to create an authentic recreation of pre-gambling, turn of the century, Nevada city life. So simple, you wonder why nobody thought of it earlier.
And, just like that, another piece of Vegas has slipped into history.
The good news is that a piece of the Sahara will always live on in downtown's Neon Boneyard where this sign can already be found: