In the grand scheme of things, businesses rise and fall like the hypnotic ocean tide, but there are some that leave such a lasting impression that we naturally assume they’ll be around forever. That was the estimation of many of the solemn visitors who came out Wednesday night to bid a fond farewell to the Las Vegas Club, one of the oldest casinos in Nevada.
It was a somber scene as the clock ticked its way ever closer to midnight. The Downtown Vegas casino was already but a shell of its former self. Many of its gaming areas had already been evacuated of customers and furnishings. The table games ceased to deal over the weekend, while the hotel’s multitude of rooms have been unavailable to guests since 2013.
Nevertheless, such limitations could not stop a throng of nostalgic guests from visiting the Las Vegas Club one last time to play what was left of the casino’s video poker and slot machines. It wasn’t quite the same as the gala the Strip’s Riviera attracted when its doors closed in May, but the wistful atmosphere and sentiments were the same.
Las Vegas Club (1930-2015)
Originally opened in 1930 on the south end of Freemont Street, the Las Vegas Club relocated across the road in 1949 before claiming its final, prime position on the corner of Freemont and Main. In 2002, Jackie Gaughan sold the casino to the Tamares Group.
Then, just last week on August 14, it was announced that the Las Vegas Club was being sold to Derek and Greg Stevens, owners of two other Downtown Vegas casinos, the “D” and Golden Gate. The new owners elected to close the Las Vegas Club in lieu of renovations. However, having declined to purchase the appellation, if and when it does reopen, it will be under a different name.
At precisely midnight on Wednesday, August 19, 2015, the Las Vegas Club closed its doors for the last time.
Remembering a Downtown Vegas Legend
One of the Club’s prominent regulars, John Mehaffey, a prominent gambling journalist and Las Vegas local, was in attendance on that final night. John has been a frequent visitor of the casino for years now, having become keen on a particular video poker machine long ago.
Mehaffey was playing that very game the other night when he took a brief pause to relay why he loved the Las Vegas Club so much. “The employees best cooling pillow review here made the place. The more time went on, the more appreciative they were of the people who still came here,” Mehaffey said. “They took care of the regulars for sure.”
In closing, I’ll leave you with the famous lyrics of one who knew Las Vegas as well as anyone could, Frank Sinatra. I’m sure anyone who’s visited the once stoic Las Vegas Club over the last 85 years will agree the following sentiments are perfectly in tune.
| “…We said we’d never say, “Good-bye.”
But that was long ago.
Now you’ve forgotten, I know.
No use to wonder why.
Let’s say farewell with a sigh.”
-Frank Sinatra, “Goodbye”