Las Vegas' Original Casino Celebrates 1st Major Expansion in 50 Years!September 24, 2012 By: Nightclub & Bar
What happens in Vegas, started at Golden Gate Hotel & Casino. The history of Las Vegas' original casino, which opened its doors at One Fremont Street in 1906, spans the roaring 20s, Prohibition, Rat Pack era and now the 21(st) century. The landmark boutique property is celebrating the completion of its first major expansion in 50 years; it's the rebirth of a classic.
Staying true to its roots, the Golden Gate’s contemporary look draws inspiration from its colorful past:
- Its new 35,000-square-foot, five-story luxury addition boasts 14 hotel suites designed as a tribute to notable guests like Frank, Sammy and Dean;
- Two vintage-showgirl-inspired penthouses encompass the entire fifth floor;
- An expanded casino floor features a new 1920s flapper-inspired high-limit gaming room, complemented by Golden Gate’s playful dancing dealers;
- A new lobby is lit by a vintage “Hotel” sign that previously adorned Golden Gate’s Main Street exterior, and features hotel artifacts including original 1907 gaming ledgers, an authentic model of Vegas’ first telephone and Prohibition-era whiskey bottles found in the walls during construction;
- The building’s original façade has been restored with the addition of a modern digital marquee and contemporary LED lighting accents representing pinstripes from the roaring 20s. Golden Gate’s new porte-cochere offers the most convenient parking in downtown Las Vegas.
“The expansion and renovation of the Golden Gate preserves and enhances a Las Vegas legacy – not only this classic 106-year-old building, but the Las Vegas spirit and the mystique it embodies,” said President and Co-owner Mark Brandenburg. “Throughout the renovations, our goal was clear: remain true to our vintage Vegas character and deliver an experience that is original, people-centric and bursting with energy.”
A Look Inside Golden Gate:
- The Suite Life. The hotel’s new luxury suites present a fresh and contemporary feel, blended with styling that spans the decades. Each is themed with Swing era-inspired pinstriped carpeting; Art Deco accents; and a photograph of an iconic Las Vegas celebrity, many of whom frequented Golden Gate. All suites are climate-controlled with motion sensors and boast a 50-inch HD flat-screen TV, California king bed and sectional sofa with a queen-size pullout. The Golden Gate also features 106 recently remodeled rooms that date back to the 1906 opening.
- For the High Roller. Encompassing the entire fifth floor, two premium penthouses invite big bettors to relax, play and entertain. The rich, exclusive style reflects the elegance of the vintage Vegas showgirl from custom carpeting inlaid with a feather motif to unique artwork on the walls, complemented with rich wood countertops and beaded chandeliers. Each boasts a spacious layout with two bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, plush living area with three giant flat-screen TVs and a kitchen area with island bar. A rare feature in Las Vegas hotels, the penthouses include a large outdoor patio with comfortable lounge seating, a state-of-the-art gas grill, wall-mounted fireplace, full wet bar and 50-inch flat-screen TV.
- Up the Ante. A new high-limit gaming area is wrapped in rich colors and styling from the Roaring 20s, including fringe-lined walls inspired by flapper dresses. The setting is intimate, offering gamblers a semi-private environment to bet big with a prime view of the casino and signature dancing dealers. The casino’s new credit program and higher table limits appeal to high-end players looking for a boutique gaming experience with traditional odds. The expanded casino floor continues to offer the highest “free play” reward in town and features the latest in slots and video alongside craps, blackjack and newer table games. Blackjacks always pay 3 to 2 and you can still find 10 times odds on dice.
- Tech Savvy. Delivering a unique in-suite entertainment experience, Golden Gate has partnered with Tangerine Global to provide digitally streaming content to its HD TVs, complete with crystal-clear picture quality and surround sound in each suite. Guests will enjoy a rich fusion of HDTV offerings spanning everything from adventure, sports and travel, to fashion, food and wine. The property is also home to the first fully digital HD surveillance system approved by the Gaming Control Board in Nevada. Back in the day, Golden Gate’s “high tech” security included two-way mirrors above the casino floor. These can still be seen above the original gaming pit today.
- Going Green. The Golden Gate strives to maintain energy efficiency across the property. Golden Gate features Nevada’s first Gen2 elevator (the 16th in the world); using re-gen technology, the elevator generates power as it travels down thereby reducing electrical usage by 40 percent. Closed loop geothermal wells are used for refrigeration and domestic hot water (10 wells – each 475-feet deep), saving energy and reducing gas bill costs on heating water to almost nothing. This is what keeps those frozen drinks at OneBar frosty and delicious even in Vegas’ hot summer months.
- Drink and Dine. With three dynamic bars on property, guests can choose to take in beautiful bikini-clad bartenders at OneBar, be dazzled by flashy tricks at Flair Bar or tip their glass where Frank and Sammy once drank inside the casino. For those with a craving for home-style cooking, Du-par’s Restaurant and Bakery is open in the casino 24 hours a day. Golden Gate founding partner Italo Ghelfi introduced shrimp cocktail to the casino scene in 1959, starting a Las Vegas tradition spanning several decades and more than 40 million shrimp cocktails. Still the best tail in town!
- Lights, Party, Action. The first paved street in Las Vegas, now known as the Fremont Street Experience, is just a few easy steps outside the Golden Gate and is home to the world’s biggest video screen – Viva Vision – that towers over four neon blocks of party action. With free entertainment and old-fashioned hospitality, this is where vintage Vegas meets contemporary Vegas in a high-energy street scene.
- The Vegas Original. This landmark property has been a major part of the history that shaped Las Vegas into the city it is today. The Golden Gate’s land was purchased for $1,750 in the historic May 15, 1905 land auction that signaled the birth of Las Vegas. When the hotel opened, room and board was just $1 per day. In 1907, it became home to the city’s first telephone, and the phone number was 1! In 1927, the property welcomed one of the city’s first neon signs – now synonymous with Las Vegas. Heralded as “first class” by the Las Vegas Age upon opening, Golden Gate’s 2012 renovations restore it to first-class status by 21st century standards. Take a stroll through Golden Gate’s colorful history: http://goldengatecasino.com/history/.