Hotel spans decades as downtown fixture

From its roots as Hotel Nevada in 1906 to the property it is today, the Golden Gate, 1 Fremont St., has seen Las Vegas undergo major changes, especially downtown. The hotel has been through changes of its own, from the property’s name to renovations planned to be completed this month.

Mark Brandenburg, president and co-owner of the Golden Gate, said the hotel’s history makes it different among others downtown.

“Going back to the roots makes Golden Gate something very unique,” Brandenburg said. “The Golden Gate is the original Las Vegas hotel and casino. It gives a special meaning for us to be able to look back and preserve Las Vegas history.”

Land at 1 Fremont St. sold for $1,750 in 1905. The Hotel Nevada’s doors opened in 1906 with room and board costing customers $1 per day. The first telephone in Las Vegas was installed at Hotel Nevada in 1907 with the number “1.”

“When you think about the Golden Gate, it’s Las Vegas’ oldest building,” said Derek Stevens, one of the hotel’s majority owners. “It has that 1 Fremont St. address and the first telephone. These are things that are unique and can’t be replicated.”

In 1909, gambling was outlawed in Nevada. When it was re-legalized in 1931, the manager, John F. Miller, expanded and re named the hotel to Sal Sagev, which is Las Vegas spelled backward .

“With the hotel expansion going on, J.F. Miller changed the name, because at that point, he wanted something more specific to the city,” Brandenburg said. “It brought gambling back to the hotel.”

The Sal Sagev name stood until 1955, when partners from San Francisco took over the casino and renamed it Golden Gate for the Golden Gate Bridge. Italo Ghelfi, one of the original partners and Brandenburg’s stepfather, ran the casino for almost 40 years. Brandenburg said his stepfather and his partners thought of the hotel as a gateway to Las Vegas.

Ghelfi and his partners, however, brought more than a name change to downtown’s oldest hotel. In 1959 he instituted the Golden Gate’s famous shrimp cocktail, which was served in a large sundae glass with Ghelfi’s original cocktail sauce.

“My stepfather was from the Bay Area, and he liked to think about food,” Brandenburg said. “He tried to think about something different from the desert and wanted to do something different in a big way. He thought about Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and started selling the shrimp cocktail.”

The shrimp cocktail sold for 50 cents for 32 years. Brandenburg said the price increased to 99 cents in 1991, when the hotel was losing $300,000 a year on its shrimp cocktails. Customers can purchase the cocktail for $1.99 today at the hotel’s San Francisco Shrimp Bar & Deli.

Other than the price of the shrimp cocktail and its past names, the Golden Gate has seen little change – that is, until its recent renovations. The hotel still has its original 106 rooms, but two penthouses and 14 suites are slated to open this month. A new hotel lobby, elevators and bars also are featured additions in the renovation.

“Mark and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the key elements with these renovations are,” Stevens said. “We have the old slot machines, the old bottles of booze, which are part of the cool, rich history we want to maintain and show off. There are certain amenities that are more 2012. I think it gives us the ability to provide (frequent) customers with the history they enjoy and modern-day amenities while bringing new customers downtown.”

Brandenburg said although the Golden Gate is receiving a face-lift, its history will continue to be visible in the new additions.

“I think we’re presenting aspects of unique architectural design themes that really span the century (in which) the hotel has been here,” Brandenburg said. “We’re getting ready to start a new era. This is the year of downtown. People are talking about the downtown renaissance, and we’re here to remind people that renaissance means the rebirth of a classic.”

Contact Paradise/Downtown View reporter Lisa Carter at lcarter@viewnews.com or 383-4686.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like