Golden Nugget Las Vegas

Coordinates: 36°10′15″N 115°08′41″W / 36.17083°N 115.14472°W / 36.17083; -115.14472
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Golden Nugget Las Vegas
Golden Nugget Las Vegas is located in Downtown Las Vegas
Golden Nugget Las Vegas
Golden Nugget Las Vegas is located in Nevada
Golden Nugget Las Vegas
Location Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
Address 129 Fremont Street
Opening dateAugust 30, 1946; 77 years ago (August 30, 1946)
ThemeGold Rush
No. of rooms2,419
Total gaming space38,000 sq ft (3,500 m2)
Permanent showsClint Holmes & Frankie Moreno (through August, 2017)
Signature attractionsGold Nuggets
Shark Tank
Notable restaurantsVic & Anthony's
Red Sushi
Chart House
Casino typeLand
Renovated in1977, 1984, 1989, 2006–2007, 2009, 2014, 2018, 2021

The Golden Nugget Las Vegas is a luxury hotel and casino located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada on the Fremont Street Experience. The property is owned and operated by Landry's, Inc.[1] It has 2,419 hotel rooms.[2]


The Golden Nugget in 1983

The Golden Nugget was originally built in 1946,[3] making it one of the oldest casinos in Las Vegas.[4] Jackie Gaughan at one time owned a stake in the hotel as part of his many downtown properties.[5] 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 and purchased the neighboring California Club in 1973 and combined the two properties under the latter's banner.[4] In 1977, he opened the first hotel tower[4] 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. Frank Sinatra periodically headlined at the Golden Nugget.[4]

The second hotel tower opened in 1984 along with the showroom, and the third tower was opened in 1989.

In 2000, the Golden Nugget (and all of Mirage Resorts' other properties) was sold to MGM Grand, Inc. (later named MGM Mirage).

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 in 2003, for $215 million to Poster Financial Group, owned by Timothy Poster and Thomas Breitling. 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.

The Hand of Faith

On February 4, 2005, Houston, Texas-based Landry's, 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 the 500-room, $150 million Rush hotel Tower on November 20, 2009, along with the Chart House restaurant.[1]

Media history[edit]


  • In the opening credits of the Elvis Presley film, Viva Las Vegas
  • In the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever (1971), the casino can be continually seen in the police chase scene.[6]
  • Briefly in the Chevy Chase comedy film, Vegas Vacation
  • 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).[7]

Was seen in the music video for "Night Fever" by the Bee Gees.

  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1959 episode "Man From The South", the opening shot shows the Casino and Fremont St.[8]
  • 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.[9]
  • Vega$ (1978-1981) showed exterior shots of The Golden Nugget in the opening and closing slots and in the pilot episode[10]
  • In the episode Honky Tonk Woman of the anime series Cowboy Bebop, the logo of the Golden Nugget can be briefly seen as they escape from the casino, insinuating it will still exist in the distant future.
  • The Casino (2004), a Fox reality television series is based on the story of the Golden Nugget's acquisition by Poster Financial Group.[11]
  • In 2010, the casino's pool and shark aquarium were featured throughout an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.[12]
  • The casino was a recurring property in Billion Dollar Buyer on CNBC.[13]

In games[edit]

  • In all Street Fighter II games (except HD Remix), Balrog's (M. Bison in Japanese) stage is set in front of the Golden Nugget, with the sign 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 updated version of the scenario that appears in Street Fighter V changes the name of the casino to the "Golden Bullion", most likely to avoid legal issues.
  • The name Golden Nugget also designates several casino games: Golden Nugget (1997), Golden Nugget 64 (1998), Golden Nugget Casino (2004; Game Boy Advance), and Golden Nugget Casino DS (2006).
  • 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 still shown today in the Golden Nugget lobby.[14] Weighing 875 troy ounces (960 oz; 60.0 lb; 27,200 g) and 18 inches (46 cm) in length, the Hand of Faith was found near Kingower, Victoria, Australia, and put on display at the casino in 1981 amid a number of other gold nuggets.[citation needed]

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 larger 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.

Golden Nugget Casino — Slide through the shark tank

A total of five specialty restaurants were added: Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse, Grotto Ristorante, Lillie's Asian Cuisine, Red Sushi and Chart House. The Chart House has a view of one of the aquariums. The pool is a $30 million unique three-level adventure with an enclosed slide through a shark tank, hidden grottos, swim-up bars, jacuzzis and multi-depth areas.[15]

Golden Nugget and Poster Financial group[edit]

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.[16] The partners made $113 million in profit, called the highest rate of return in such a short time in the gaming industry.[17] However, 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
Date Description
Year 2000 Tom Breitling and Tim Poster sell their web-based business for over $100 million
Early 2003 Tom Breitling and Tim Poster begin shopping for a quality affordable casino for their vision of Vintage Vegas
Jun 2003 MGM-Mirage announced an agreement to sell the Golden Nugget (Las Vegas & Laughlin) to Poster Financial Group for $215 million
Jan 2004 Binion's Horseshoe across the street from Golden Nugget closed because of IRS liens[18]
Jan 2004 Poster & Breitling take possession of the Golden Nugget. Introduce policy high-limit policy on table games[19]
Jun 2004 Fox reality show The Casino, which focuses on Tim and Tom, is broadcast from June 2004 to August 2004. The show was canceled after its first season due to low ratings.
Jun 2004 Tim and Tom are two of the 50 Hottest Bachelors in People Magazine
Sep 2004 High-limit policy backfires, as a lucky gambler known as Mr. Royalty wins $8.5 million on a 2-week hot streak
Dec 2004 Annual report filed with SEC shows net loss of $9.196m for Poster Financial Group for the year 2004[20]
Dec 2004 Landry's, Inc. successfully executed a refinancing of $850 million[21]
Feb 2005 Agreement of sale entered with Landry's, Inc. for Golden Nugget
Sep 2005 Landry's, Inc. takes possession of the Golden Nugget.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Skolnik, Sam (February 15, 2009). "Golden Nugget runs against economic winds". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "Stay in Downtown Las Vegas". Archived from the original on November 11, 2016.
  3. ^ "Glitter Gulch's Golden Nugget turns 50". Reno Gazette-Journal. AP. September 2, 1996 – via
  4. ^ a b c d MBA, Eric P. Endy (July 14, 2022). Paul S. Endy Jr. Las Vegas Casino Gaming Legend. Fulton Books, Inc. ISBN 978-1-63710-239-8.
  5. ^ "Gaughan changeover leaves workers a little melancholy". Las Vegas Sun Newspaper. March 25, 2004. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  6. ^ "Goofs for Diamonds Are Forever". IMDb. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
  7. ^ "Interview: Zak Penn's The Grand ( Blog) –". Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  8. ^ "Alfred Hitchcock Presents (The Alfred Hitchcock Hour) – Nostalgia Central". June 22, 2014. Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  9. ^ "I Want To Rewatch: An X-Files Podcast: The Night Stalker: Revisited (New Anniversary Edition) on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  10. ^ "Nevada's TV boom began in 'Vega$'". Las Vegas Review-Journal. October 12, 2014. Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  11. ^ ""The Casino" (2004)". IMDb. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  12. ^ "Golden Nugget to Appear in Upcoming Episode of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" | - Las Vegas News". September 20, 2010. Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  13. ^ "Billion Dollar Buyer: "My Guests are Number One" Gallery". CNBC. Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  14. ^ "See Real Gold at Golden Nugget in Atlantic City". Archived from the original on March 7, 2014.
  15. ^ "Golden Nugget Pool".
  16. ^ Tom Breitling. "Double or Nothing Video". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 11, 2008.
  17. ^ Tom Breitling. "Double or Nothing". Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved December 11, 2008.
  18. ^ Jeff Simpson (January 12, 2004). "DOWNTOWN GAMING: Closure sends dark message". Las Vegas Review-Journal.
  19. ^ "High Limits Video". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
  20. ^ "Annual Report for Year 2004, page F5". Retrieved December 11, 2008.
  21. ^ "Landry's Press Release" (PDF). December 16, 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 12, 2006.

External links[edit]

36°10′15″N 115°08′41″W / 36.17083°N 115.14472°W / 36.17083; -115.14472