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Our Story

A Look Into Our Over 100-Year History

 

Golden Gate Hotel & Casino is the oldest casino in downtown Las Vegas, and our rich history is full of ups and downs. From Prohibition to the largest roulette bet in Las Vegas history, learn more about the events that shaped the hotel and casino we are today:

1905

A land auction is held at Fremont and Main Street, which begins the Las Vegas town site. The price for the prime Fremont Street frontage that would soon hold our hotel? $1,750. Poker chips, whiskey and wild women accompany the building of the railroad boom town.

 

1906

Room and board was $1 per day. A local newspaper called the hotel, then Hotel Nevada “first class” with its electric lighting, ventilation, and steam heat radiators. In fact, modern editions of these original rooms are still in use!

 

1907

Las Vegas’ first telephone was installed in the hotel. The phone number? “Ring 1, please.”

1910

Our roulette and poker tables are (grudgingly) put away for another day as gambling was outlawed in Nevada.

 

1925

Fremont Street is paved for the first time, which means cars finally outnumber horses!

1927

We install our first outdoor electric sign, which is the forerunner of the neon lights soon to dazzle Fremont Street.

 

1931

Gambling is legalized in Nevada (again)! We dust off our gaming tables, expand, and change our name to Sal Sagev (Las Vegas backwards).

1933

Prohibition ends and the Fremont Street regulars are stunned to discover that whiskey had been illegal all along.

 

1955

A group of Italian-Americans from San Francisco come to Las Vegas to start Golden Gate Casino at this historic site. Original partners included Italo Ghelfi, Robert Picardo, Al Durante, Leo Massaro and Dan Fiorito. Italo managed the casino for nearly 40 years, establishing a colorful reputation as a Las Vegas gaming pioneer.

1959

Golden Gate Managing Partner Italo Ghelfi is responsible for bringing the shrimp cocktail to Las Vegas, where it’s voted the “Best of Las Vegas” year after year.

 

1964

A new metal screen is added to give the hotel a more modern look and Rat Pack icons Frank, Dean, and Sammy drink and play at Golden Gate.

1991

Golden Gate celebrates the sale of its 25 millionth shrimp cocktail! The four Las Vegas mayors whose collective terms spanned the sales of all 25,000,000 shrimp cocktails came to celebrate.

 

1995

Fremont Street Experience transforms the world’s most famous neon street into an urban theatre with dazzling light shows on 10-story tall, 4-block long Viva Vision.

2008

Mayor Oscar Goodman toasts Mark and his new partners, Derek and Greg Stevens, as they launch a new chapter in the history of the jewel of Downtown Las Vegas.

 

2010

The biggest roulette bet in Las Vegas history was made at Golden Gate. The four kids from the cast of the MTV series, “The Buried Life” brought in $125,000 and wanted to parlay it into $1,000,000 to fulfill their 75th bucket list item of making a million bucks! Prior to the filming, the largest roulette bet in Las Vegas history was $220,000.

2012

Blending vintage and contemporary Vegas, Golden Gate is renovated and expanded with brand-new luxury suites, an elegant high limit pit, and more. New lobby displays artifacts from our historic past, while high-tech features complement both the gaming area and guests’ in-room entertainment.

 

2013

Golden Gate Hotel & Casino is named “One of the Hottest Boutique Hotels in all of Vegas” by USA Today’s Experience Vegas, “where the past meets the future and where the Las Vegas experience is very much alive and well.”

Come make your own story at Golden Gate Hotel & Casino!

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