Gold Coast celebrates silver anniversary

Twenty-five years ago, before Las Vegas residents began moving to Summerlin and the city skyline changed with construction of the Stratosphere, the Gold Coast rose in the middle of the desert.

It was part of the early wave of locals casinos, after Sam’s Town on Boulder Highway. Most of the city’s residents lived on what is now the east side of town, and the area west of Las Vegas Boulevard still felt like ranchers’ land.

So Michael Gaughan gave the first casino he built a Western gambling hall theme.

“The Gold Coast was the beginning of a trend to start building on the west side,” said Bill Boyd, whose company, Boyd Gaming Corp., bought the Gold Coast in 2004. “Now we have The Orleans, the Red Rock, the Suncoast. I think it started a trend that has become very significant in our history.”

Little could Gaughan have guessed that less than 10 years after opening the Gold Coast, an Asian shopping center would open down the street, the first sign of rapid changes to come in the area’s demographic and the casino’s clientele.

Gold Coast Vice President and General Manager Kerrie Burke said the casino is “a melting pot of various diverse groups” in its 25th year. The Asian customer base is large, drawn by the casino’s proximity to the growing Chinatown neighborhood, its Chinese restaurants (Ping Pang Pong and Noodle Exchange) and annual Chinese New Year celebrations.

The Gold Coast embraced its neighborhood, advertising the property with Chinese billboards and adding Asian-themed amenities.

But the property still attracts its fair share of cowboys, particularly during the recent National Finals Rodeo (which Boyd Gaming sponsors), as well as the Latino market, for which the property hosts Latin-themed dance nights on Saturdays.

More than just the customer base has evolved. The casino’s interiors were revamped in 2002, and Burke said the property plans to resume its hotel room remodeling project, which was put on hold in 2007, next summer.

“From the outside, we look the same as we did 25 years ago,” Burke said. “The facade has not changed a lot. On the inside, it’s changed a whole bunch. It’s new; it’s still equally as entertaining.”

And when the economy improves, Boyd said, the company may decide to expand the Gold Coast.

“When the economy would dictate and our customers tell us, we would expand it and make it a greater property and larger with more amenities than it has today,” Boyd said.

Gaughan sold his Coast Casinos, and with it the Gold Coast, to Boyd Gaming Corp. in 2004.

The emphasis on locals and family that Gaughan was known for didn’t change with the ownership transition, said 25-year Gold Coast employee Marty Hernandez.

Hernandez, now a swing shift security supervisor, began working in the casino’s security department when the Gold Coast was just a dirt lot littered with construction equipment.

“Since Day One, Mr. Gaughan made it like family. If there was gum on the floor he would pick it up,” she said.

When Boyd took over, Hernandez said, the family atmosphere remained.

That’s why she stayed.

Larry Spickert, a casino shift manager, has also worked at the Gold Coast since it opened Dec. 21, 1986.

“It’s the most stable property in the industry. It has stayed busy,” he said. “I was standing on the floor when we opened. The excitement is still there.”

There was plenty of excitement in the air Wednesday as the Gold Coast hosted a cake-and-champagne anniversary party. Dealers wore 25th anniversary top hats and gamblers caroused with glasses of champagne.

Burke credits the Gold Coast’s employees, including the 33 workers that have been with the property since it opened, with its longevity.

“If you offer a great value, a great price, and you have good people running your place — meaning the folks that are on the floor — you’re going to be successful, because locals appreciate that,” Burke said.

Contact reporter Caitlin McGarry at or 702-387-5273.

Mecum Car Auction in Las Vegas
The Mecum Auctions is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Construction underway for new Google Data Center
Henderson is slated to be home to a new Google data center in December 2020. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development approved $25.2 million in tax abatements for Design LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google. The company plans to build the data center on 64 acres of land on Warm Springs Road west of Boulder Highway.
Anthony Rufo talks about his new product, an in-home digital companion and monitor.
Anthony Rufo talks about his new product, HAPPIE Home technology, an in-home digital companion and monitor designed for unpaid family caregivers that gives personalized alerts, messages and reminders. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Holiday parades help bring shoppers to Downtown Summerlin
Sports Town USA floor manager Angela Gardonio talks about the work that goes into the Downtown Summerlin holiday parades and how they benefit her and other businesses there.
Final vote on CG Technology
Final commission vote on the $2 million settlement for CG Technology.
Happie Home Startup Establishing Headquarters In Las Vegas
Digital companion startup company Happie Home is establishing its headquarters in Las Vegas after receiving tax abatements from the Governor's Office of Economic Development on Nov. 15. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Facebook-branded space inside of Macy’s at the Fashion Show shopping center
A Facebook-branded space inside of Macy’s at the Fashion Show shopping center will showcase 13 small businesses in November and December and seven in January. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
T-Mobile uses ticketing data to plan for event
T-Mobile Executive Director of Arena Operations explains how ticket sales data and demographics help plan staffing, vendors, parking and operations for an event.
Costco opens its doors in southwest Henderson
Costco has opened its fifth Las Vegas-area location near the intersection of St. Rose Parkway and Amigo Street. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas strip mall and office park
The Krausz Cos. and WG Group bought a strip mall and an office park in Las Vegas for nearly $80 million total. They acquired a portion of Tropicana Beltway Center in the southwest valley for $59 million. They also acquired the Westbay office complex in the Las Vegas Medical District. The buyers are former owners of The Gramercy, a once-mothballed mixed-use project in the Las Vegas suburbs. They sold The Gramercy in phases for more than $100 million.
Mario Barth talks about the growth of the tattoo industry
Celebrity tattoo artist and business owner Mario Barth talks about the growth of the tattoo industry at The World of Tattoo industry trade show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas
$7.5M Las Vegas pot dispensary opens near Las Vegas Strip
Planet 13, which bills itself as one of the largest dispensaries in the world, opened to the public Thursday. It has entertainment including an interactive floor and floating orbs. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars CEO to step down next year
Caesars Entertainment Corp. CEO Mark Frissora will leave the casino company in February. Frissora has been CEO since July 2015. He was named CEO right after Caesars' operating company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Caesars Entertainment emerged from bankruptcy protection in October 2017 Before Caesars, Frissora spent seven years as chairman and CEO of Naples, Fla.,-based Hertz He led the consolidation of the rental-car industry through Hertz‘s acquisition of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.
Planet 13 in Las Vegas adds twist to marijuana dispensary look
Planet 13, which bills itself as one of the largest dispensaries in the world, opened to the public Thursday. The dispensary is located near the intersection of Desert Inn Road and Sammy Davis Jr. Drive, near Trump International, in Las Vegas. Planet 13 has plans in the future for a coffee shop, a tasting room for marijuana-infused beer and wine, a lounge for consuming marijuana on site if that is legalized and space for food.
Caesars Entertainment opening 2 resorts in Dubai
Cove Beach will open on Meraas’ Bluewaters Island in Dubai in November and Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai and The Residences at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai will open in December. (Caesars Entertainment)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like