Shuttered Western Hotel sold to Downtown Project

The Western Hotel, a rundown and shuttered hotel-casino on East Fremont Street between Eighth and Ninth streets, has been sold to Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project, Andrew Donner, who handles real estate transactions for Hsieh, confirmed Thursday.

Tamares Real Estate took over the Western Hotel in 2005 from Barrick Gaming for an undisclosed amount. Jonathan Jossel, director of Las Vegas properties for Tamares, declined to disclose the purchase price.

“Tamares Real Estate will continue to focus on its other properties in downtown Las Vegas, including the Plaza and our other properties on Sixth and Fremont streets that have become home to very successful downtown businesses,” Jossel said in a statement.

Tamares retail property in the Fremont East District is home to the Commonwealth, Le Thai and Don’t Tell Mama. Jossel said restaurateur Michael Morton is scheduled to open a new Mexican restaurant at 106 Sixth St., just off Fremont Street and across from the El Cortez.

After four decades in business, Tamares closed the Western Hotel on Jan. 16, 2012. The casino, which had 90 employees, was known for its 15,000 square feet of low-minimum slot machines, bingo and table games.

Jackie Gaughan and Mel Exber built the Western in 1970. Barrick Gaming acquired the property, along with the Plaza, Gold Spike and Las Vegas Club in 2004.

No redevelopment plans were announced Thursday. The purchase of the Western is the latest investment in downtown Las Vegas by Hsieh’s Downtown Project. Hsieh, the founder of Zappos.com, has committed $350 million to revitalizing the area. On its website, the Downtown Project says it has created 232 jobs locally.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty @reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @sierotyfeatures on Twitter.