The face of Las Vegas continued to change last week as one of its oldest casinos, the Las Vegas Club, shut its doors for good just after midnight Thursday. It was almost dead already, but it was still a sad moment for its regular customers nonetheless.
The Las Vegas Club opened in 1930, the year before gambling was legalized in Nevada. In 1931, in a bit of a fun historic move, it was the first hotel gambling venue to install a neon sign, only the second neon sign on any establishment in Las Vegas. It is currently situated at the corner of Fremont Street and Main Street in downtown Vegas, on the west end of the famous Fremont Street Experience. It was originally across Fremont Street, approximately where the Golden Gate is now, but moved to its present location in 1949.
The Las Vegas Club had been struggling for years, closing its hotel in April 2013. In May of this year, the casino announced that it was going to open a gigantic pharmacy, likely to the dismay of its customers, but those plans were scuttled when Derek and Greg Stevens agreed to buy the property this month. The Stevens brothers own the D and Golden Gate resorts and plan to renovate the Las Vegas Club. It is not known what exactly it will become, but it is not out of the question that it could become another casino. It just won’t be what it was and it certainly won’t be called the Las Vegas Club, as the brothers did not purchase the name.
The casino went out with a whimper, as not only had the hotel closed in 2013, but the table games had already been shut down last weekend. All that was left were slots and video poker. There was no grand funeral to mark the closure.
Respected gambling writer John Mehaffey told VegasInc.com that it wasn’t necessarily the casino itself, but rather the people that won him over. “The employees here made the place,” he said. “The more time went on, the more appreciative they were of the people who still came here. They took care of the regulars for sure.”
Fortunately, many of the employees of the Las Vegas Club will be transferred to the neighboring Plaza, so not only will unemployment from closing be mitigated, but some of that great customer service will still be nearby. The Plaza is operated by PlayLV, the same company that operated the Las Vegas Club.
The gift shop will still be open through the end of August, presumably in an effort to dump as much Las Vegas Club-branded gear as possible to people who want to own one more minor piece of Las Vegas history.