Las Vegas said goodbye to another casino this week. Not a big deal because the Las Vegas Club Casino had already lost most of what made it famous so many years ago. But it was kind of sad to see it happen. Its been a downtown Las Vegas institution in one form or another since the 1930’s. Its fate is now in the hands of Derek and Greg Stevens, the brothers who also control the D and the Golden Gate resorts. The fate or future of the casino is not in their hands. They bought the building and the land. Nothing else.
Now many people and most of the Vegas prognosticators have been weighing in on what will happen to the casino now that its in the hands of two people who have shown a long-lost love for all things downtown Las Vegas. And I think most of them are wrong on its future.
Derek and Greg have done a tremendous job of rebuilding and branding The D (formerly the Fitzgerald’s) and expanding and upgrading the Golden Gate. But I don’t seem them doing anything gambling related with the casino part of the Las Vegas Club building.
If its not made into a parking lot/performance center, I see three other options:
- A bargaining chip with the city of Las Vegas for another piece of property or other favors. The rumor of the Downtown Grand being sold means that the property that was once the city bus transit hub may be coming back into the city’s hands for redevelopment. It was used for leverage by former Mayor Oscar Goodman to get The Lady Luck made into the Downtown Grand.
- The hotel being reopened. Maybe not as a hotel, but long-term stay for tech workers coming to Las Vegas. If it reopens as a remodeled hotel, it could work well for a upscale boutique hotel that will compliment the Golden Gate’s recent upgrades. Much like the Golden Spike was made into a hostel for Zappos people.
- The casino/restaurant part being remodeled into a shopping gallery. This would help move some of the small shops being hurt by the beggars and “artistic” bums filling the Fremont Street Experience and driving away customers. The vendors and the tourists would be in peace and some relative quiet compared to what they have now. The footprint of the main floor is perfect for this.
What sold me on the idea that it will not reopen as a casino is what I saw across the way from the Las Vegas Club at the Golden Gate. Derek has already started to cut off the free flow of traffic from the zoo under the canopy to his casino.
From what has been said, how the deal went down and other moves the Stevens brothers have made in Downtown Las Vegas, I just don’t seem them wanting to open up another casino when there are other options for making money available to them as downtown transitions away from gaming. Plus the future of the Fremont Experience is in trouble if the city doesn’t stop paying lip service to the panhandling problem down there and cuts it off.
Just My Opinion. What’s Yours??