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Stevens to acquire remaining 35 percent of Golden Gate

Golden Gate majority owner Derek Stevens was approved Wednesday to acquire the remaining 35 percent of the downtown Las Vegas landmark from Mark Brandenburg, whose family founded the casino.

Stevens told the Gaming Control Board the deal was a transfer of interest and didn’t disclose a sales price. Stevens and his brother acquired 50 percent in the Golden Gate in 2008 and raised the stake to 65 percent over the years. The Stevens brothers also own the D Las Vegas and acquired the closed Las Vegas Club in August.

“The Golden Gate is a unique property and a public community asset,” Stevens said. “The Golden Gate means a lot to this community.”

The Nevada Gaming Commission will have to sign off on the transaction on Nov. 19.

The Golden Gate opened in 1906 as a hotel, and it now has 122 rooms.

In 2012, the Golden Gate underwent its first major renovation in more than 50 years. The improvements cost $12 million and included a five-story hotel tower with 14 suites and two penthouses. The casino floor was expanded and a high limit gaming area was added.

Stevens said Brandenburg approached the brothers a few years ago about buying the remaining stake in the casino.

“This is a beautiful story,” Stevens said, “Mark grew up in the city.”

Brandenburg did not attend the hearing.

In an interview with the Review-Journal this summer, Brandenburg, 61, said he had a “fondness” for the Golden Gate “because it is so unique. It’s an authentic, original Las Vegas property. In terms of the building, we’ve preserved a lot of its history even as it’s grown over the years.”

Brandenburg wasn’t born into the Golden Gate family. His mother met and married Italo Ghelfi, one of the casino’s 22 original partners, while working as a cocktail server there.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Find @howardstutz on Twitter.

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