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Knowing Vegas: What’s the oldest building in Las Vegas?

If you think the historic Huntridge Theater or the Moulin Rouge was the first building in Las Vegas, you’re wrong.

Way wrong if you thought it was the Flamingo.

The Golden Gate Hotel-Casino was the first of its kind in Las Vegas, but not immediately. Part of the building opened in 1906 as the Hotel Nevada, then again in 1931 as the Sal Sagev and finally as the Golden Gate in 1955.

The price of the land at the time of purchase was $1,750 and at opening, room and board was only $1 per day. Talk about a Vegas deal. Except there was no air conditioning, according to their website, so that wouldn’t be fun.

Las Vegas’ first telephone was installed at the Golden Gate, they say, and oh — ever heard of shrimp cocktail in Las Vegas? You can thank their managing partner Italo Ghelfi in 1959 for that.

But, if you think that was Las Vegas’ first building, you’re wrong again.

The first non-native building in the City of Las Vegas is the Old Mormon Fort, built in 1855.

The 150-square-foot adobe structure was built by Mormon colonists near the Las Vegas Creek, now situated in a historic state park at 908 Las Vegas Boulevard North.

Las Vegas was once just the center of a dusty mail trail between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. The fort was used as a way station for travelers while 29 settlers farmed from the creek, but the Mormon effort was abandoned not two years later, according to the City of Las Vegas.

If you’re looking to get your nostalgia on, you can visit the still-standing Old Mormon Fort for $1.

Oh, and in case this will settle any arguments, The Flamingo was actually the third hotel-casino on the Strip. The first and second were the New Frontier and the El Rancho Vegas.

Contact Kristen DeSilva at 702-477-3895 or kdesilva@reviewjournal.com. Find her on Twitter: @kristendesilva

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