Golden Gate Casino downtown Las Vegas expansion plans

March 19th, 20120 Comments »

The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino has announced, or shall we say, re-announced and tweaked their expected expansion plans. A downtown mainstay, who although small, has been somewhat of a champion in helping to revive the downtown Las Vegas hotel and Casino market.

In September of 2011, expansion plans were first announced and called for a “five story addition that will occupy a huge chunk of the parking lot out back”.

“applicant is requesting approval of a 24,603 square-foot addition to an existing 71,156 square-foot hotel/casino and improvements to two existing surface parking lots. The proposed uses are permitted and in conformance with the General Plan and the C-2 (General Commercial) zoning district. The site consists of the existing Golden Gate Hotel and Casino and a valet parking lot north of Carson Avenue, and a surface parking lot to the south. The addition is located at the rear of the existing structure, adjacent to the valet lot, and includes 4,267 square feet of casino floor area, 19 hotel suites as well as additional lobby, restaurant and service areas.”

Updated plans recently released still note the 5 story addition with 16 suites instead of 19, a high limit pit area and a deli.  In total the expansion is larger than originally announced and will add 30,000 square feet.  Their website provides an estimated (and aggressive I may add) completion date of summer 2012.

A few things come to mind.  While I certainly wish Derek and team all the best and have no doubt that he has the financial resources and business sense needed to make it happen, I can’t help but wonder how well a revamped hotel and casino will fare.  No doubt the hotel rooms need a thorough remodeling and I think the deli is a fabulous idea since a more upscale restaurant would not likely be successful. Btw, I also love the idea of renaming the Fitz to the “D”

Working in the downtown Las Vegas market for 6 years, I wonder how well the clientele will react.  The Golden Gate exudes a certain type of old world charm and it’s slight “dumpiness” makes it all the more appealing.  Each week, I would visit the Golden Date simply to see what they were up to. Since they have recently acquired ownership of the Fitzgeralds Casino, perhaps it is the right financial time for the company.

Expansion plans can be tricky especially for a newcomer who now has reached the status of multi-unit ownership. What a larger company simply takes for granted when they expand, …Executive staffing, vision, buy-in, commitment, loyalty, passion, a team with expansion experience and simply having the right people on hand to name a few……becomes more of a challenge.

I remember the days of Columbia Sussex…..those in the know referred to them as “sucks-ix” since they destroyed what was the former Maxim. Although successful in the hotel industry, their entry into the heavily regulated Casino Industry was marred by their brutal, inexperienced, ” I can do anything I want” attitude which led to  numerous regulatory problems which resulted in their eventual  license revocation in New jersey. Their big plans of being “big time” casino moguls ended rather abruptly.

So with cautious optimism and seeing the beginning signs of a recovering industry, I look forward to the Golden Gate expansion and wish them much success. But please, don’t lose that old world charm or wonderful artifacts currently on display in the lobby!

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About Chellie Cervone

A Las Vegas "native" by way of New York, I'm a professional blogger who favors all things Las Vegas and offers a unique, witty and sometimes controversial perspective. You can count on me to tell it like it is. Please visit my other sites Las Vegas World News and Celebrity Feast Connect with me on Google+ Chellies World on Google+

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