Back in 1998, Phil Ruffin wandered into Las Vegas and plunked down $100 million for the New Frontier hotel and casino. Ten years later he sold most of the property and the hotel for over $1 Billion and left town, smiling all the way.
The biggest concern most people had with the transaction was “What about Gilley’s?” The famous countrified Honky-Tonk inside the old place. What about the Gilley Girls and the riding bull? Where will the cowboys be, come PBR and NFR?
Well, when the city hit the skids and MGM management was dumpster diving, trying to find cash in every seat cushion, plastic bottle return deposit and coin slot they could, Phil came back with cash in hand and an idea.
The Treasure Island could be had for a song and just the right amount of cash that Phil happened to be dangling. MGM kissed the pirate show good-bye and Phil went on a remodeling spree.
Now all is well with the cowboys, buckle bunnies and wanna-be Bull Riders. Phil opened Gilley’s front and center of the place. Literally front and center. Right next to the pirate show. He even put a front porch out there so you could see the pirates and his girls.
Phil is never one to miss an opportunity to show off HIS place… he invited the boys from the PBR over to the new 22,000 square foot digs and introduce them back to the Gilley’s Girls and to let the world know he is back in business.
Sometimes its nice to be a cowboy!
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