Luxe Life Blog
Photos: Golden Gate toasts big major renovation, expansion in 50 years
History in a sense repeats itself tonight at the Roaring ’20s-themed gala VIP party to celebrate the completion of the Golden Gate Hotel’s first major expansion and renovation in more than 50 years, the hands-of-time, turn back to the colorful past of the first -- and the original -- downtown gaming hotel.
It’s a fascinating trip back through the years to 1905 when the frontage at 1 Fremont St. was sold for $1,875. A year later, room and board was $1 a day and proved the perfect party playpen for silver prospectors, railroad builders and wild women.
Co-owners Mark Brandenburg and Derek Stevens will be joined tonight by Mayor Carolyn Goodman for the ceremonies and new hotel preview: Be sure to wear flapper dresses and fedoras.
This is where the first Las Vegas buffet shrimp cocktail was served. Even with inflation, the original 50-cent price hasn’t dramatically increased in 100 years. It’s $1.99 today, and in 1991 it went into the record books when the 25 millionth shrimp cocktail was sold. I think that’s more than anywhere else in the world!
In 1907, the property received the first phone in Las Vegas. In 1910, when gambling was outlawed in the state, roulette and poker tables were placed in storage. The ban lasted 21 years until the reopening in 1931 when gambling was legalized again with the big promise of “a cooling system” to be installed before summer heat. By 1964, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. -- the Rat Pack -- really put it on the map partying and playing there.
The fun and nostalgia all roar back to life tonight. Mark explained the major renovations in this YouTube report on KTNV.com.
“The Original” now boasts a 35,000-square-foot, five-story luxury tower with 14 super suites designed as a tribute to notable guests from yesteryear. Additionally, two vintage showgirl-inspired penthouses top the entire fifth floor. The new lobby is lit by the original neon sign that previously hung at the Golden Gate’s Main Street exterior.
Oh --- that very first telephone is just one of the hotel artifacts on display, along with Prohibition-era whiskey bottles discovered in the walls during the construction. The nod to the Roaring ’20s and the rise and fall of the Las Vegas Mob comes with an expanded casino floor featuring a ’20s flapper-inspired, high-limit gaming room and the property’s playful dancing dealers.
Check back later to Vegas DeLuxe for coverage of the gala, and I’ll post photos and reports on Twitter @robin_leach during the evening. Luck be a lady -- or two -- tonight!
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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