Boardwalk Hotel and Casino
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|Boardwalk Hotel and Casino|
The Boardwalk in 2004
|Address||3750 South Las Vegas Blvd|
|Opening date||1966 (Holiday Inn)|
|Closing date||January 9, 2006|
|No. of rooms||653|
|Total gaming space||33,000 sq ft (3,100 m2)|
|Architect||Homer Rissman (Holiday Inn, 1966)|
|Previous names||Holiday Inn (1966–1985)|
|Renovated in||1968, 1985, 1989, 1996|
The Boardwalk Hotel and Casino was a Coney Island-style hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. It was owned and operated by MGM Mirage. It was part of the Holiday Inn hotel chain until it was acquired by MGM in 2000. It was built before the era of the mega-casinos, and with 653 rooms was relatively small compared to many properties in its vicinity.
The hotel's Coney Island theme could be seen in its facade with an original 1906 parachute jump ride and a faux wooden roller coaster. The hotel was composed of three distinct buildings all built at different times. The newest building was the sixteen-story tower built in 1996.
The Boardwalk began as a 138-room Holiday Inn hotel, planned for opening in August 1965. The hotel included a restaurant, cocktail lounge, and meeting space with a capacity for 100 people. The hotel, located at 3740 South Las Vegas Boulevard, was designed by architect Homer Rissman and was completed in 1966. The hotel first opened with a six-floor tower, ultimately known as the Steeplechase tower.
In March 1966, employees of the Holiday Inn, who were represented by the Culinary Workers Union, began picketing in front of the hotel, alleging that they did not receive wages and conditions that were standard for the area. Holiday Inn denied the claim, stating that wages and conditions were equal to or above local standards. The union ultimately lost its fight.
A second hotel tower, eventually known as the Luna Park tower, opened in 1968. Norbert Jansen, former owner of Pioneer Club, opened a gift shop, Holiday Gifts, at the hotel in 1972. In October 1975, the hotel's innkeeper died in a fire that was believed to have been started by a cigarette. The fire was confined to the innkeeper's room on the fifth floor, and caused approximately $40,000 in damage. Guests of the fifth floor were evacuated, and approximately 10 were treated for smoke inhalation. Later that month, the Holiday Inn received approval from the Clark County Commission for a 10-story, 300-room expansion. The hotel was located on 6 acres (2.4 ha).
In December 1977, the Nevada Gaming Control Board voted against Avis Jansen's plan to install 15 slot machines at the gift shop, then known as Holiday Gifts South. She had been rejected due to the fact that her husband Norbert was the landlord of the business; he had previously been convicted of tax evasion in the 1960s, and was also involved in a company that filed bankruptcy. The gift shop soon began operating a casino on the site known as Slot Joynt. During the 1970s and early 1980s, the hotel was known as Holiday Inn South and Holiday Inn South Strip, differentiating it from other Holiday Inn hotels in the city. The hotel was renamed as the Viscount in 1985.
In December 1997, Mirage Resorts agreed to purchase the Boardwalk and three adjacent parcels for $135 million. The $105 million Boardwalk sale was approved by the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission in June 1998. At the time, the Holiday Inn Boardwalk included 650 employees, 653 rooms and a 33,000 sq ft (3,100 m2) casino. Minor improvements were planned for the Boardwalk, with no immediate plans to replace it. A decision to expand or replace the Boardwalk was expected within three or four years.
- Wedding gazebo
- Two small pools
- Several restaurants including a sushi bar and the 24-hour "Surf Buffet"
- 75-seat race and sports book
- Prince cover band Purple Reign
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