That sounds like a patchwork solution…shepherding Hooters along until maybe, someday, someone will actually want to buy the place.
Hooters is bringing in Navegante Gaming Inc. as consultants who somehow never help turn around a casino but always manage a casino til it’s inevitable end. They’ve most recently managed Gold Spike and LVH to their death and inevitable death, respectively.
Navegante Gaming Inc., the father-and-son company of industry veterans Larry Jean Woolf and Larry David Woolf, has won approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission to manage Hooters Hotel & Casino.
The property is is in the process of undergoing a remodel that has already seen $3 million spent to replace carpeting and affect some hotel renovations. A name-change for the off-Strip hotel-casino is also expected shortly, although attempts to find a buyer have, to date, been unsuccessful.
I have an idea for an awesome name – HLV. This in no way would be confused with LVH another awesome name for a casino that can’t be sold.
It seems as if Hooters is being cleaned up and prepared for sale but who would want to buy an off strip casino? I’ve never been to Hooters and have no plans to ever go. 1 of the 4 people I know that have been there left with pinkeye. I don’t want pinkeye.
Michael Downs, Downtown Project executive vice president of operations. said the property at 217 Las Vegas Blvd. North is in good shape. The Siegel Group of Nevada Inc. sold the property to Downtown Project investors recently for an undisclosed amount. When Siegel purchased the property five years ago, it did extensive renovations to the casino and hotel rooms.
Sexy Blackjack was stopped back in February and I could tell that this was just the beginning. See, the first place I worked out of college ran into financial problems and was looking for ways to trim the fat. Their first idea was to remove the water cooler. The water cooler was less than a $100 a month expense and let everyone on staff know that things were seriously bad. It didn’t have to be a water cooler that signified change but there was always a signal.
Sexy blackjack wasn’t an expense like the water cooler but its removal was a metaphor for change. Sexy Blackjack wasn’t sexy but it was fun to talk about. Gold Spike was always a part of my Downtown Vegas tour specifically because of Sexy Blackjack. “Hey, I just played $5 Sexy Blackjack” was something my friends and I would say pretty often. There’s plenty of $5 blackjack available downtown but there was no other “Sexy Blackjack”.
The Gold Spike will re-open as part of Downtown Project’s renovation/gentrification/takeover/expansion in Downtown Vegas. This isn’t entirely a bad thing. Reinventing the area around Fremont Street is great even though a little diversity in ownership would be nice. Monopolies are never good for the consumer. That’s for the government to deal with.
Sexy Blackjack and the Gold Spike leaving our lives means different things to different people. Gamblers won’t really be affected since there is plenty of $5 blackjack downtown, tourists will lose a few hundred cheap hotel rooms but room prices may increase with less competition, locals will have to deal with the Downtown Project expansion.
Me, as a local gambler? I’ll miss Sexy Blackjack because it was fun to say but that’s about it. If I want to look at girls while I gamble downtown I can go to Binions, the D, Golden Gate Casino or The Plaza but it won’t be the same as spending a lazy Saturday afternoon playing Sexy Blackjack.
Old Vegas became Downtown Vegas over the past few years because of a myriad of changes to the area. There have been a lot of additions to the area but the places I care most about are the casinos. Many of the Downton Vegas casinos have been renovated over the past few years. Some renovations are better than others. Here are my favorite Downtown Vegas casino renovations.
1. the D – The D casino used to be Fitzgeralds but a complete overhaul of the property last year turned it into something entirely new and awesome. I know I’ve been inside The Fitz but I have no memory of it. The D has two very contrasting floors of its casino. The first floor is incredibly energetic (and loud) with great craps and good 3:2 blackjack. The loud music gives beats that the Go-Go dancers in between table games can dance to. Upstairs has a more mellow vibe with slower music and more machine games. This is where you’ll find Sigma Derby, old video poker and slot machines. It’s a fun contrast and easily one of my favorite places downtown. Photo: Yelp
2. El Cortez – El Cortez was the first casino to renovate and the renovations almost seem old compared to the other casinos in downtown Vegas. The renovations being a little older than the other downtown Vegas casinos allows El Cortez to easily have the most real vintage feel. Besides having great gaming rules (3:2 blackjack, 10x odds craps) rules and cheap gaming ($5 blackjack, $3 craps) they give away free ice cream and free pie periodically. I love El Cortez. Photo: AllVegasPoker.com
3. Golden Gate – Golden Gate is the oldest downtown Vegas hotel and last year’s renovations go a long way to keep that vibe. The renovations were all done to a roarin 20’s theme. The casino is very small and can be claustrophobic to some but that coziness brings great energy to the tables. Golden Gate has the same owners as the D so much of the gaming is the same. The main difference is that the video poker here is not very good and some of the blackjack games use a Continuous Shuffle Machine (I hate CSM!). Most of the dealers at night are also G0-Go dancers. That doesn’t hurt. This is probably my favorite downtown Vegas casino to play craps (ironically, no go-go dancers are craps dealers). Photo: Priceline
Honorable Mention. Gold Spike – Gold Spike is a tiny casino off Fremont Street. The casino is made up of 4 blackjack tables. That’s it (I think). Gold Spike is fairly useless with the exception of $5 sexy blackjack. $5 sexy blackjack isn’t really sexy but it’s fun. Gold Spike is more of a change of pace than anything else. Drink service is super quick since it’s small and never busy.
Other: The Plaza – This is my least favorite of the renovated casinos downtown. There is just no vibe at all here. It’s clean, big and new but that’s about it. Odds are if I’m at this end of Fremont Street I’m probably across the street rolling dice or eating pancakes at DuPar’s inside the Golden Gate.