In January 2021, the Golden Gate, which originally opened as the Hotel Nevada in 1906, celebrated its 115th anniversary – a record for Las Vegas. It is located at 1 Fremont Street and no casino in the city has been in operation for a long time. When it opened, a room was $1 a night.
In October of last year, Circa opened across the street: a massive, 35-story $1 billion resort with the area’s largest sports book and Stadium Swim, a rooftop pool. This new neighbor represents the shiny new Las Vegas Downtown, but the rivals are not enemies and the casinos are working hand-in-hand to revitalize Old Vegas to compete with the modern South Strip. For example, guests at the Golden Gate can use the rooftop pool at the Circa under certain conditions. In addition, a lot of public money is invested in improving pedestrian infrastructure and developing cultural activities such as the Las Vegas Art District.
At one point, the Golden Gate became the meeting place for members of the famous Rat Pack—Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford—when they weren’t performing.
The property never had any ambition to become one of the city’s mega-resorts and, at 122 rooms, is now the smallest hotel in the Fremont Experience. Visitors today can still book one of the hotel’s original 10 rooms on the second floor, but they now cost more than $1.
Downtown Vegas is a lifestyle treat and if you fancy spending some time at the remaining legendary casinos of the past, head to the northern part of Sin City. Enjoying old school Vegas at Binion’s or the Golden Nugget comes at no price and should be enjoyed while it lasts because nothing lasts in Vegas. The next construction project will soon be ready to erase another part of the city’s history in favor of more profits.
Just outside of downtown Las Vegas there is a great but sad place. This is the neon open-air museum that features historic Las Vegas casino signs. A nice tribute to the history of gambling and the city.