|Golden Nugget Las Vegas
||129 Fremont Street
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
||August 30, 1946
|No. of rooms
|Total gaming space
||38,000 sq ft (3,500 m2)
||World's Largest Gold Nugget
||1985, 2005–2007, 2009 (new tower)
The Golden Nugget Las Vegas is a luxury casino-hotel located in Las Vegas, Nevada on the Fremont Street Experience. The property is owned and operated by Landry's Restaurants.
It is the largest casino in the downtown area, with a total of 2,345 deluxe guest rooms and suites. It has also maintained AAA's Four Diamond rating consecutively for 32 years from 1977 through 2009. It is one of only two resorts inside the city limits of Las Vegas to earn this distinction, the other being The Resort at Summerlin.
The Golden Nugget in 1983
The Golden Nugget was originally built in 1946, making it one of the oldest casinos in the city. Jackie Gaughan at one time owned a stake in the hotel as part of his many downtown properties. Steve Wynn bought a stake in the Nugget, which he increased so that, in 1973, he became the majority shareholder, and the youngest casino owner in Las Vegas. In 1977 he opened the first hotel tower and the resort earned its first four diamond rating from Mobil Travel Guide. It was the foundation for Wynn's rise to prominence in the casino industry. The second hotel tower opened in 1984 along with the showroom, and the third tower was opened in 1989. On May 31, 2000, the Golden Nugget (and all of Steve Wynn's other properties) was sold to Kirk Kerkorian; the consolidated corporation was known as MGM Mirage and has been the largest casino corporation in Las Vegas since that date.
Although the Golden Nugget was profitable, it was not part of the master expansion plan of the corporation which was focused on consolidating a long stretch of the Strip by acquiring Mandalay Resort Group, building City Center, and beginning construction in Macau. Gaming revenue on Fremont Street had peaked in fiscal year 1993. The Golden Nugget was sold for $215 million to Poster Financial Group, owned by Timothy Poster and Thomas Breitling in 2004. When Poster Financial assumed control of the Golden Nugget, they began to upgrade the gambling operation by installing new cashless slot machines and by increasing the maximum bet available at table games to $15,000. Their story became the basis for The Casino, a television series on Fox that premiered on June 14, 2004.
On February 4, 2005, Houston, Texas-based Landry's Restaurants, Inc. announced its intent to purchase the property and the Golden Nugget Laughlin. The sale closed on September 27, 2005.
After the purchase, the Golden Nugget embarked on a 14-month, $100 million renovation project, which was completed in November 2006. In December 2007, the Golden Nugget completed its $70 million Phase II project, which expanded the resort west onto First Street and introduced additional entertainment, event and dining venues. Phase III was the opening of a 500 room, $150 million dollar hotel tower on November 20, 2009 along with the Chart House restaurant.
- In the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever (1971), the casino can be continually seen in the police chase scene.
- The casino can be seen in the beginning of the film Smokin' Aces (2006), in which the antagonist cuts the ribbons for the casino's grand opening.
- In the film Next (2007), Nicolas Cage is briefly seen entering the Golden Nugget through the Fremont Street entrance.
- The Golden Nugget features prominently in the poker mockumentary The Grand (2008).
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1959 episode "Man From The South", the opening shot shows the Casino and Fremont St.
- The Golden Nugget and Fremont Street are in the opening scene of "The Night Stalker" (1972) with reporter Carl Kolchak investigating a series of vampire murders in Las Vegas.
- The Casino (2004), a Fox reality television series is based on the story of the Golden Nugget's acquisition by Poster Financial Group.
- In 2010, the casino's pool and shark aquarium were featured throughout an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
- In all Street Fighter II games (except HD Remix), Balrog's (M. Bison in Japanese) stage is set in front of the Golden Nugget. The Golden Nugget sign is clearly seen in the back. In HD Remix, it has been changed to the "Crazy Buffalo", presumably in reference to the name of Balrog's original Super Combo.
- The name Golden Nugget also designates casino games on Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and personal computers.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, the logo of the "Silver Rush," formerly a gambling hall, shows a similarity to the logo of the "Golden Nugget."
The world's largest gold nugget on display, the Hand of Faith, is displayed in the Golden Nugget lobby. Weighing 875 troy ounces or 27.21 kilograms and 46 centimeters in length, the Hand of Faith was found near the Golden Triangle in Australia, and put on display at the casino in 1981 amid a number of other gold nuggets.
The casino's large hotel sign at its entrance off Fremont and Casino Center was removed in 1984 when the casino underwent renovations. The old sign presently sits at the YESCO signage yard.
The expanded resort is built around two aquariums. The largest faces the swimming pool, and incorporates a slide through the tank containing full grown sharks. The smaller aquarium is in the lobby of the Rush Tower. A total of five specialty restaurants were added: Vic and Anthony's steakhouse, The Grotto Italian food, Lillie's Asian Cuisine, Red Sushi, and the Chart House Seafood Restaurant. The Chart House has a view of one of the aquariums.
Golden Nugget and Poster Financial group
Golden Nugget during the day in 2007
Tom Breitling and Tim Poster were the highest profile successful entrepreneurs who profited in the downtown market during the last crisis. As recounted in Tom Breitling's book, Double or Nothing, the partners agreed to buy the Golden Nugget and had an agreement to sell the property after operating it for only one year. The partners made $113 million in profit called the highest rate of return in such a short time in the gaming industry. Amazingly enough the partners had a negative income for the year and the fortune was made while total revenue for downtown was still basically flat.
Timeline of Poster & Breitling (Poster Financial Group) ownership of Golden Nugget
||Tom Breitling and Tim Poster sell their web based business for over $100 million
||Tom Breitling and Tim Poster begin shopping for a quality affordable casino for their vision of Vintage Vegas
||MGM-Mirage announced an agreement to sell the Golden Nugget (Las Vegas & Laughlin) to Poster Financial Group for $215m
||Binion's Horseshoe across the street from Golden Nugget closed because of IRS liens
||Poster & Breitling take possession of the Golden Nugget. Introduce policy high-limit policy on table games
||Fox Reality Show The Casino about Tim and Tom debuts but quickly cancelled because of dismal ratings
||Tim and Tom are two of the 50 Hottest Bachelors in People Magazine
||High-limit policy policy backfires, as lucky gambler known as Mr. Royalty wins $8.5 million on a 2 week hot streak
||Annual report filed with SEC shows net loss of $9.196m for Poster Financial Group for the year 2004
||Landry's Restaurant successfully executed a refinancing of $850m
||Agreement of sale entered with Landry's Restaurant for Golden Nugget
||Landry's Restaurant takes possession of the Golden Nugget.
Golden Nugget and the recession
Revenue at the Golden Nugget has dropped in the recession. The chart below shows the quarterly revenue at the Golden Nugget since it was owned by MGM Mirage, through its acquisition by Poster financial group, and its purchase and renovation by Landrys Restaurants. Frank Martin noted after the last quarterly report that the revenue from the previous year at the Golden Nugget was lower than the year 2004 when it was owned by Poster Financial Group.
- ^ a b Skolnik, Sam (February 15, 2009). "Golden Nugget runs against economic winds". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- ^ Golden Nugget Accommodations
- ^ "Golden Nugget Las Vegas Earns AAA Four Diamond Award for 32nd Consecutive Year".
- ^ Gaughan changeover leaves workers a little melancholy, Las Vegas Sun, March 25, 2004, accessed May 16, 2012.
- ^ "Steve Wynn's Vegas Vision Turned Into Reality".
- ^ "Goofs for Diamonds Are Forever". IMDB. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
- ^ Interview: Zak Penn's The Grand (ComingSoon.net Blog) – ComingSoon.net
- ^ ""The Casino" (2004)". Imdb. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
- ^ Tom Breitling. "Double or Nothing Video". Retrieved Dec 11, 2008.
- ^ Tom Breitling. "Double or Nothing". Retrieved Dec 11, 2008.
- ^ Jeff Simpson (January 12, 2004). "DOWNTOWN GAMING: Closure sends dark message". Las Vegas Review-Journal.
- ^ jdb2414. "High Limits Video". Youtube. Retrieved Dec 12, 2008.
- ^ "Annual Report for Year 2004, page F5". Retrieved Dec 11, 2008.
- ^ "Landry's Press Release". Dec 16, 2004.
- ^ "Golden Nugget owner sees revenue fall in LV, Laughlin".
Coordinates: 36°10′15″N 115°08′41″W / 36.17083°N 115.14472°W