The Tale of Las Vegas Club's Shutdown: A Narrative

Las Vegas Club big wheelThe big wheel table at Las Vegas Club was shut down in August 2015.

This serves as the third installment in a collection of anecdotes aimed at recounting various recollections of Las Vegas throughout the period of closures.

In 2004, my Las Vegas Club adventure began. It wasn't exactly a glamorous casino during my patronage. What I truly relished were the classic rules of World's Most Liberal 21, and I also indulged in some coin-operated games like Joker Poker and Gamemakers. One particular gem from that time was the video Let it Ride, which cleverly utilized quarter stacks on Gamemakers.

I developed a close relationship with the staff during my visits. The waitresses were familiar with my preferred drink and I always made sure to take care of them. One thing that I really appreciated was how the slot attendants were always willing to keep an eye on my machines if I needed to use the restroom. It can be quite inconvenient when you're playing coin games and have to step away.

Las Vegas Club had some really impressive comps, and what was even better was that you could use them at Plaza as well. I remember receiving this incredibly generous mailer once, offering me $500 worth of free play. The catch was that I had to book a room at the hotel, so I decided to give it a shot. Well, let me tell you, the experience was beyond awful. The hotel was unbelievably ancient and disgustingly filthy. I couldn't bring myself to stay there for a second. Luckily, I had another comp at a different hotel, so I quickly made my way over there instead.

Las Vegas Club had a truly distinctive atmosphere. The mixture of patrons consisted of a blend of regulars from the area, as well as a multitude of visitors from various parts of the world. It was characterized by a predominantly convivial ambiance, although it leaned more towards a crowd reminiscent of El Cortez rather than the typical Golden Nugget clientele.

At night, I found myself particularly enamored with the music that resonated through the halls of the Las Vegas Club. It was a delightful compilation of lesser-known gems from the alternative scene of the 80's and 90's. The tunes that echoed in the darkness were akin to a deep cut, evoking a sense of nostalgia and rebellion. However, as the sun graced the skies during the day, a shift in the sonic landscape occurred. The melodies transformed into classic hits from the golden eras of the 50's and 60's, transporting me to a bygone era filled with timeless tunes and enchanting rhythms.

Demise came slowly

During the mid-2000s, the closure of amenities began at the Las Vegas Club, with the Dugout diner being the first casualty on the second level. Subsequently, the Great Moments Room and later Tinoco's Kitchen met the same fate. The closure of the hair salon and sundries shop added to the list of shuttered establishments. The disappearance of live keno, along with its short-lived sportsbook and poker room, only added to the vanishing act. Meanwhile, a Hawaiian restaurant in the food court closed its doors, eventually transforming into a jerky store before eventually relocating to Plaza. Ultimately, by the end of this series of closures, the Las Vegas Club was left without any dining options and devoid of any amenities beyond gambling.

During my time in Las Vegas, I witnessed a significant event that unfolded in 2013. The once thriving hotel, Las Vegas Club, made the unfortunate decision to shut its doors after barely surviving on peak weekends for over a year. It was disheartening to see how the back of the casino, located near the front desk, had gradually transformed into a desolate and abandoned space. The passage of time had left its mark, evident in the various uses the area had been subjected to in its final years, including a bingo room, nightclub, and even a haunted house. However, the final blow came when the beloved rear bar, affectionately known as Frisky's, was closed permanently, sealing the grim fate of this particular section of Las Vegas Club.

The Las Vegas Club, in due course, decided to abandon the gaming area at the rear of the establishment. The decision was made to board it up, thereby compelling visitors who entered through either the old valet zone or the parking garage to traverse a passageway that was previously restricted to staff members only.

During this particular period, there was a transformation in the vicinity. A gift shop emerged at the intersection of the front corner and the convergence of Fremont Street and Main Street. Furthermore, the machines situated on the western side of the premises, near the entrances on Main Street, were taken out.

I will never forget the year 2015 when Las Vegas Club made a bold move and approached the city council with a proposal. Their plan was to shut down a certain section of the casino and transform it into a fully licensed store that could sell packaged liquor. It was a daring request, one that didn't sit well with the other casino owners in the downtown area. The opposition to this idea was strong, with concerns and doubts raised about the potential consequences. Looking back, one can only wonder if this move was a mere bluff, a strategic play to gain leverage, or a genuine attempt to diversify their business. Sadly, we may never truly know their intentions, as the outcome of this proposal remains shrouded in mystery.

The Las Vegas Club property, which Derek Stevens, the owner of Golden Gate and The D, acquired for $40 million, will now be transformed into Circa. Construction is currently underway to bring this new establishment to life, with an anticipated opening date set for December 2020.

Abrupt sale announcement

It was a shock to the employees when the announcement unexpectedly arrived. On August 13, 2015, news started to circulate that the Las Vegas Club, a renowned establishment, was going to be sold and permanently closed. The following day, the official confirmation was made, solidifying the imminent end of an era. As a result, on August 17, Las Vegas Club bid farewell to its table games, marking the conclusion of an era. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I happened to be the final craps shooter to ever grace the casino's tables. When the final moment arrived, and the table closed for good, I left with a memorable memento - a cherished set of Las Vegas Club dice.

The doors of Las Vegas Club were locked with little fanfare beyond the photo taken at the top of this page, as the bar closed with the table games and there was no drink service. Its remaining guests were asked to leave at midnight on August 19, and the slots remained open for three more days.

The beverage division experienced downsizing. Slot attendants, dealers, and supervisors were transferred to Plaza, where a significant number of them were already employed, effectively merging the two casino operations.

Visuals depicting the Las Vegas Club captured in stunning photographs and captivating videos.

I created an extensive collection of photographs and a pair of videos capturing the last moments of the Las Vegas Club. Check out the images and access the YouTube videos through the links provided below.