Key Largo Casino had just a small role in Las Vegas history


The now-burned-out and soon-to-be-demolished Key Largo Casino actually had a bit part in Las Vegas lore. It was one reason the casino became the Key Largo.

The closed Flamingo Road casino, which caught fire Thursday, opened in 1973 as the Ambassador. In the 1980s, it was renamed the La Mirage Casino.

In 1989, Steve Wynn was about to open The Mirage, the Strip’s first new resort in almost 15 years. Wynn didn’t want any confusion with his $565 million development, so he went around town and spent $750,000 to purchase the name “Mirage” from the off-Strip casino and a downtown motel.

La Mirage became known as the Quality Inn Hotel. In 1997, the property’s ownership gave the casino a $7 million renovation to create a South Florida-enhanced theme.

When ownership closed the Key Largo in 2005, plans were under way to develop the roughly 5-acre parcel across from the Hughes Center and near Paradise Road into a 196-foot-tall high-rise condominium and hotel project of more than 1,000 units.

Obviously, the development stalled and the Key Largo sat deteriorating until Thursday.

Comment section guidelines

The below comment section contains thoughts and opinions from users that in no way represent the views of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. This public platform is intended to provide a forum for users of reviewjournal.com to share ideas, express thoughtful opinions and carry the conversation beyond the article. Users must follow the guidelines under our Commenting Policy and are encouraged to use the moderation tools to help maintain civility and keep discussions on topic.

 
View Comments
Loading...