Its always sad to see an older establishment close its door in Vegas. This establishment is no exception, the WESTERN Casino and Hotel ?(I guess) will be closing after the New Years... so make your plans now to be a part of the last big hoorray there. All joking aside, It seems once Im comfortably back at home from a trip and browsing the web, I read about a closing, implosion or implosion before even an opening (see HARMON TOWER).
This trip ended a week ago and I read about the Western today.
This personal phenomenon dates way back to News Year of 1998 I stayed in a Hotel called World Trade Center, Jan. 1st rolled around and we woke and drove back to Phoenix and didn’t think about that place again until a couple weeks later I read it was soon to close. In the following years the closings continued with the Westward Ho, Stardust, New Frontier, Boardwalk, Lady Luck, Sahara and right on down the line. If I haven’t stayed in a "soon to be closed" Casino I feel the need to rush back to Vegas to fulfill my part of history by staying there at least for a night. I’ve made it to many, but to be honest in this case I wont be so quick to book, not because I wont miss it but because I have spent well over my share of time in this place.
I went to school about 5 blocks from the Western, and that's the spot I learned all I needed to know about the seedier side of casinos, casino dealers, bartenders and cocktail waitresses. Yes, It was a little nicer 15 years ago and yes it is a SHIT HOLE now, but nothing (with the exception of BINGO) has changed in there through out the years.
Their popular one dollar Black Jack and Craps was how I learned to play both, and sports were always on their tvs after school, making it easy for me to learn parlay cards, money lines and point spreads, at age 17.
So Thank you Mr. Jackie Gaughan for opening the worlds largest BINGO Parlor back in 1970.
Jackie Gaughan sold the hotel in March 2004 and then there were some plans to remodel or renovate the property but nothing has happened since then but deterioration. In 2004 the place was sold once again to the current owners (Tamares Group) and more plans of renovations were talked about, although nothing came from those talks either.
The Western employs about 90 workers; some could be chosen to work for the other two properties Tamares owns, PLAZA and LAS VEGAS CLUB. Hopefully a large percentage of them get the chance.
What about renovations, you ask?
The Tamares Group did say they are open to redevelopment ideas for the spot the WESTERN sits on. Issuing this statement ""Due to decreased demand at this location, Tamares Real Estate will be closing the Western Casino, effective Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, for an indefinite period of time and will review redevelopment plans." Adding "We remain extremely confident about the long-term success of downtown Las Vegas. The closure of the Western does not change the commitment Tamares has to the area, In fact, just the opposite is true. We believe that the ongoing redevelopment of the nearby East Fremont Street district and other exciting downtown developments and partnerships will continue to enhance the area around the Western, and we look forward to future growth.".
I agree, consider the Mob Museum, Oscars and The new MOB BAR opening very soon, and the great success of the Vegas Streats food truck meetups, different artistic shows, and Pub Crawls and various street parties, this area has much to be proud of. They (Oscar and company) spent over 5.5 million to re beautify this area and it seems to be working.
The GOLDEN NUGGET and PLAZA downtown went through great renovations recently with GOLDEN GATE working on some now, also ELCO and GOLDEN SPIKE both fixed up there properties recently to stay in competition with the downtown upgrades. The ex-LADY LUCK just announced their plans to completely redo their look and start over as the "DOWNTOWN GRAND".
I don’t see why the Western shouldn’t at least slop some paint on itself, update their employee uniforms, sweep out the 40 plus years of spilled beer and blood maybe get a new chair or two, and get back in the mix with these places. Downtown is trying to make a comeback of sorts and I would appreciate moving back to a town I called home 15 years ago.