Hacienda Hotel and Casino

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For the demolished casino on the Las Vegas Strip, see Hacienda (resort). For other Gold Strike casinos, see Gold Strike.
Hacienda Hotel and Casino
Hacienda Hotel and Casino logo.jpg
Hacienda Hotel and Casino.jpg
Location Boulder City, Nevada
Address U.S. Route 93
Opening date May 1958 (as Gold Strike)
November 1999 (as Hacienda)
Closing date June 16, 1998 (as Gold Strike)
Theme Mexican
Number of rooms 372
Total gaming space 19,000 sq ft (1,800 m2)
Casino type Land-Based
Owner Dotty's
Previous names Gold Strike
Website haciendaonline.com

The Hacienda Hotel and Casino is a hotel and casino near Boulder City, Nevada. It was previously the Gold Strike until it was destroyed by an accidental fire on June 16, 1998 and reopened the next year as the Hacienda.[1]

The hotel is located on a parcel of private land within the boundaries of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, three miles from Hoover Dam. It overlooks Lake Mead and has a 17-story tower with 372 rooms. The Hacienda was owned and operated by former Mandalay Resort Group executives Michael Ensign, Bill Richardson and David Belding.[1]

The 19,000 square feet (1,800 m2) casino has 390 slot machines, 9 table games, 3 poker tables, and a race and sports book operated by William Hill.[2][3][4]


The property was originally a patented mining claim owned by Las Vegas real estate developer Patrick Sullivan, who was seeking gold and turquoise.[5] It became known as Sullivan's Gulch.[6] In the 1920s, the Bureau of Reclamation withdrew over a million acres of land for the creation of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead,[7] but overlooked Sullivan's land.[8] The National Park Service made attempts to buy the land as early as 1936.[7]

In 1954, Sullivan's heirs sold the property for $20,000 to Boulder City businessman Don Belding, his business partner, O. L. Raney, and Jack Richardson.[6][9] They saw an opportunity to service drivers going to and from the dam, and little competition because Boulder City prohibited gambling.[6] They opened the Gold Strike Inn[8] in May 1958 with a snack bar, gift shop, cocktail lounge, service station, and six slot machines.[5]

In the 1960s, the partners leased the site to a developer that hoped to expand it as an Old West theme park. The name was changed to Fort Lucinda, and attractions such as llama rides, a wax museum, and the Fort Lucinda Express 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge[10] railroad were added.[6] A "ghost town" consisting of buildings from various northern Nevada towns was moved to the property from the New Frontier casino.[11] The project was killed by financing and water supply problems, control reverted to Belding, Raney, and Richardson, and the Gold Strike name returned.[6][8]

The NPS tried again to acquire the land in 1964, prior to the creation of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. A court settlement was eventually reached in 1973, with the government buying 87 undeveloped acres of the property, and agreeing not to discuss any further sale unless first approached by the Gold Strike's owners.[12]

In 1977, Belding and Richardson sold their shares to their sons, Dave and Bill, and Raney sold his interest to Circus Circus executive Mike Ensign.[6] An 80-room hotel was opened in 1982, with another 80 rooms added in 1986, and a 16-story hotel tower in 1994.[7]

On June 16, 1998, an accidental fire destroyed the Gold Strike casino, while leaving the hotel tower mostly undamaged.[13]

The property was reopened in November 1999, at a cost of $30 million.[14] A name change had already been planned, because the Gold Strike name had been sold to Circus Circus, so the property was renamed as the Hacienda.[13] The Hacienda name was itself licensed from Circus Circus, which had owned the demolished Hacienda casino on the Las Vegas Strip.[13]

After several developers showed interest in buying the property to build a residential neighborhood or high-rise timeshare tower, the owners approached the NPS in 2003 with their willingness to consider an offer.[15][16] The Secretary of Interior allocated up to $20 million for a purchase.[7] The NPS hoped to tear down the tower, which they considered an "eyesore", and build a visitors center, offices, or a training center.[1] The owners ultimately decided not to sell the Hacienda because they were uncertain about their ability to find new jobs for the employees if the property were to close.[1]

In 2013, the Hacienda's owners agreed to sell it to Dotty's, a statewide chain of slot parlors. Dotty's announced plans to renovate the property and build a new gas station and convenience store.[17]


  1. ^ a b c d "Owners end negotiations to sell Hacienda to NPS". Las Vegas Sun. 8 September 2004. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Report of Locations (Report). Nevada Gaming Control Board. http://gaming.nv.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=3440. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  3. ^ Listing of Financial Statements Square Footage (Report). Nevada Gaming Control Board. http://gaming.nv.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=3428. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  4. ^ Nonrestricted Count Report (Report). Nevada Gaming Control Board. http://gaming.nv.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=3430. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  5. ^ a b Ferrence, Cheryl (2008). Around Boulder City. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 118–19. ISBN 978-0-7385-5876-9. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Berns, Dave (June 17, 1998). "Casino's claim on area's history not forgotten". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  7. ^ a b c d Couzens, Fred (August 20, 2004). "Hacienda Hotel purchase a big deal for Lake Mead". Henderson View. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  8. ^ a b c Packer, Adrianne (June 16, 1998). "Overlooked parcel of land led to claim on Gold Strike". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  9. ^ Koch, Ed (4 February 2003). "Obituary for Ruth Doolittle Belding". Las Vegas Sun Newspaper. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Surviving Steam Locomotive Search
  11. ^ Clark County Museum Guild. "Ghost Town & Mining Trail". Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  12. ^ Velotta, Richard (September 8, 2004). "Owners end negotiations to sell Hacienda to NPS". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  13. ^ a b c O'Connell, Peter (18 January 1999). "Hacienda reborn from ashes of June's Gold Strike casino fire". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  14. ^ Berns, Dave (15 November 1999). "Gaming Chips: Hacienda owner bafflingly mum about retooled property". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  15. ^ Brean, Henry (February 16, 2004). "BLM wants casino to cash out". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  16. ^ Benston, Liz (October 28, 2003). "Park Service studying Hacienda casino purchase". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  17. ^ Howard Stutz (August 6, 2013). "Hacienda ownership confirms sale to Dotty's operators". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 

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