D Las Vegas owners plan new hotel-casino on Fremont Street

The owners of the D Las Vegas and Golden Gate properties in downtown Las Vegas say they’ll build a third hotel-casino after acquiring a building adjacent to the Las Vegas Club from the Granite Gaming Group.

Derek and Greg Stevens, who also own the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, said Thursday the purchase of the building that houses two small casinos and the Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch adult entertainment club will provide land for an as yet unnamed project along the Fremont Street Experience light canopy.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The topless club and the Mermaids and La Bayou casinos will close June 27. The Stevenses said current employees of the two casinos will be offered priority interview opportunities for new positions at the D and Golden Gate.

In an interview Thursday, Derek Stevens said it’s too early to project how large the new hotel would be, what type of theme it might have or when construction would begin.

“When we purchased the Las Vegas Club in August, we knew then we wanted to look at a larger footprint,” Stevens said. “Now that we’ve done this transaction, it completely changes the scope of what the project could become. I’m going to need a little time with my team to start thinking through what this project will look like.”

Stevens said the important thing is that he’ll more than double his Fremont Street frontage, which he said is important to the development plan.

“To me, this is going to be really exciting,” Stevens said. “We’ll have the entire west side of the block (along Main Street) and the north side. Now, we have the entire east side and all the frontage along Fremont Street.”

Stevens said he and his team would analyze the market and the land presence to determine the appropriate number of rooms, slot machines, table games, restaurants and amenities that would be appropriate to the site, adding that the company would make the analysis “as quickly as reasonable.”

Stevens also said part of the process would also include an analysis of the historical significance of Mermaids, La Bayou and the Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch.

“Every time there’s something new that comes in, it means there are some things that are turned to memories,” he said.

He said he expects those three properties will see an increase in business in the months ahead as loyal patrons make their last visits.

Stevens already was the successful bidder for Clark County’s Bridger Building at Third Street and Bridger Avenue, which the company said was purchased for future growth. Stevens was the only qualified bidder and paid $2.7 million for the property.

He said Thursday that the Bridger Building likely would be used for warehousing, receiving and shipping and for corporate office space, which currently is in short supply.

The new hotel-casino would be the first ground-up hotel development in downtown Las Vegas in decades. Numerous properties have had facelifts over the years with a new tower opening at the Golden Nugget in 2009 and the Downtown Grand being remodeled and reopening in 2013 from what originally was the Lady Luck.

Other facelifts have occurred at the Four Queens, the Plaza and Stevens’ Golden Gate and D Hotel properties — the D formerly was known as Fitzgeralds and the Sundance.

The departure of the Glitter Gulch club marks the departure of topless entertainment from the heart of downtown. Olympic Gardens, technically considered a part of downtown, is about a mile south on Las Vegas Boulevard toward the Strip.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find him on Twitter: @RickVelotta.

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