Golden Gate Hotel and Casino
||This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (March 2013)|
|Golden Gate Hotel & Casino|
|Address||1 Fremont Street
Las Vegas, NV
|Theme||1930s San Francisco|
|Number of rooms||122|
|Signature attractions||Shrimp Cocktail|
|Owner||Desert Rock Enterprises (60%)
Mark Brandenburg (40%)
|Previous names||Hotel Nevada
|Website||Golden Gate Hotel & Casino|
The Golden Gate Hotel & Casino is located at One Fremont Street in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the United States. A part of the Fremont Street Experience, it is the oldest and smallest hotel (106 rooms) on the Fremont Street Experience.
It opened in 1906 as the Hotel Nevada. In 1907 it was assigned Las Vegas' first telephone with the number 1. In 1931, with gambling being re-legalized in Nevada, the Hotel Nevada was expanded and renamed Sal Sagev (Las Vegas spelled backwards.)
The hotel gained its current name in 1955 when a group of Italian-Americans from San Francisco Bay Area started the Golden Gate Casino. The 106-room, four-story hotel was renovated in 2005.
In March 2008, owner Mark Brandenberg sold a 50% interest in the property to Desert Rock Enterprises, the investment company of Derek and Greg Stevens, who also owned the Las Vegas 51s baseball team and a 19% stake in the Riviera casino. With new money infused by the Stevens's, the Golden Gate undertook casino upgrades and hotel room renovations. The following year, the Stevens's raised their stake to 60%, and Derek took over as CEO, with Brandenburg as president.
In 2012, the Golden Gate began its first major renovation in more than 50 years, gutting the old piano bar area and vintage hotel lobby area in favor of a more open and modern look, including scantily-clad women at the betting tables. The $12 million renovation includes a 35,000-square-foot, five-story hotel tower with 14 new suites and two penthouses, a new porte cochere, new check-in and slot club desks, expansion of the casino floor and added a high limit gaming area. 
The Golden Gate was the first to serve a fifty cent shrimp cocktail in 1959, now a Las Vegas cliché. Called the "Original Shrimp Cocktail" on the menu, it has become a mainstay of the San Francisco Shrimp Bar and Deli and is a favorite of both locals and tourists. It is what the Golden Gate is best known for. The idea came from owner Italo Ghelfi, who based it on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.
The Original Shrimp Cocktail consists of a regular-sized sundae glass filled with small salad shrimp and topped with a dollop of cocktail sauce. In 1991, the price was raised from 50¢ to 99¢. The price was raised in 2008 to $1.99. Unlike many other Las Vegas establishments that offer a 99-cent shrimp cocktail, the glass is not padded with lettuce or other fillers, which is often cited as the reason for the Original Shrimp Cocktail's popularity. Until the recent 2012 renovations, there was a deli bar from which the shrimp cocktails were served. Now they are served from the diner which is part of the casino.
A ton of cold-water shrimp are sold each week in tulip sundae glasses; the shrimp are harvested near Oregon, Washington, Alaska and the upper East Coast because the owner considers them whiter and meatier than other varieties. The sheer quantity of shrimp sold gives the small hotel the leverage of a large mega-resort with orders.
On April 26, 2008, the price on the famous shrimp cocktail rose to $1.99, due to a rise in fuel costs; it was the first increase in seventeen years. To offer a trade-off, the casino now uses larger shrimp in the cocktail. Prior to the fuel increase, the casino lost about $300,000 a year on shrimp cocktails. As of October 26, 2012, the price stood at $2.99 for everybody, with players' club members no longer receiving a discount. As of August 2013, the price is $3.99.
- Stutz, Howard (2008-03-21). "Commission approves sale of 50 percent stake in Golden Gate". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
- Knightly, Arnold (26 September 2009). "Partners create new look for Golden oldie". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- McGarry, Caitlin (19 March 2012). Las Vegas Review-Journal http://www.lvrj.com/business/details-of-golden-gate-renovations-unveiled-143382836.html. Retrieved 17 July 2012. Missing or empty
- Ashley Powers, A jumbo Las Vegas deal doubles its price, Los Angeles Times, June 15, 2008, Accessed June 17, 2008.
- Golden Gate Hotel & Casino (Official website)