Hotels & CasinosStoriesVintage

A Brief History of the Golden Gate Casino

Golden Gate, the first casino in Las Vegas

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The Golden Gate Casino is one of the oldest establishments in Las Vegas. Previously, it was called Hotel Nevada, and it sits at the junction of the vibrant Fremont Street and Main Street. It was a prime area at the time, and it is still an exciting part of town to date, with many more projects that developed all around the area over the years.

The first-class Hotel

It was the first Casino ever in the city, and it was launched to the public in 1906. The Hotel at the time was a big deal in the city, and the local newspaper branded it a “first-class” hotel. It featured amenities such as heat radiators, decadent lighting from electricity, and large rooms. Guests could also enjoy alcohol and gamble at an extra fee.

A few years later, in 1910, gambling became illegal in Nevada, bringing a halt to any gambling activities at the Hotel. For many years, it was the case until 1931, when the authorities legalized it. Around this time, it changed the name to Sal Sagev, a name that sounds creative and probably with a hidden meaning. Quite the opposite, it was just the name Las Vegas spelled backward.

The city remained active during the Great Depression, and the economy did not suffer much. The increase in the number of workers in the city to build the Hoover Dam sustained the local economy. Prohibition did not deter anything in this city, evidently so as workers one day discovered a stash of whiskey bottles hidden in the walls of the establishment. The bottles are a significant part of history, and you can see them to date on display in the lobby.

The original partners of the establishment did a lot to make the Hotel stand out. Italo Ghelfi is one of the pioneers, and he oversaw operations in the Casino for several decades. 

The Modern Look

In the 1960s, some notable events include the Casino remodeling to give it a more modern look. It was also around this time that several legends started hanging out in the hotel and casino, including Frank Sinatra.

Years later, Italo’s sons acquired the property by buying out the partners at the time in 1990. They also switched back to the retro look of the building. Times have changed, and there are better and more modern architectural and interior design styles. In 2012, the property had its first grand expansion in fifty years, which enabled the hotel to acquire a bespoke modern look but still retain its rich history. It underwent further expansion in 2017, making it almost twice the size of what it was.

The hotel now comprises a beautiful luxury tower, impeccable suites, great lighting, and a dramatic entryway, among other significant amenities. It retains a vintage feel but is modern enough to compete with other hotels in the city.

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