Klondike Hotel and Casino

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Klondike Hotel and Casino
Location Paradise, Nevada
Address 5191 S Las Vegas Blvd
Opening date 1962
Closing date June 30, 2006; 11 years ago (June 30, 2006)
Theme Klondike, Yukon[citation needed]
No. of rooms 153
Total gaming space 7,700 sq ft (720 m2)
Casino type Land-Resort
Previous names Kona Kai Motel
Klondike Inn
Renovated in 1973
Coordinates 36°05′00″N 115°10′20″W / 36.083295°N 115.172212°W / 36.083295; -115.172212Coordinates: 36°05′00″N 115°10′20″W / 36.083295°N 115.172212°W / 36.083295; -115.172212

Klondike Hotel and Casino (formerly Kona Kai Motel and Klondike Inn) was a 153-room hotel and a 7,700 sq ft (720 m2) casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, in the United States.

The hotel sat between the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign and McCarran International Airport on Las Vegas Boulevard on 6 acres (2.4 ha) of land. The Klondike was the southernmost hotel on the Las Vegas Strip until it closed in 2006. Mandalay Bay is now the southernmost hotel.

John Woodrum, the casino's long-time owner, also operated a sister property, the Klondike Sunset Casino, in nearby Henderson, Nevada, from 1999, until his death in 2014.[1][2]


Kona Kai Motel (1962-1975)[edit]

The Klondike opened in 1962 as the Tiki-themed Kona Kai Motel, and included a restaurant and cocktail lounge.[3] Ralph Engelstad purchased the motel in 1967.[4] In 1973, four motel buildings from Engelstad's other property, the Flamingo Capri motel (later re-opened as the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino), were relocated and converted into a one-story motel building for the Kona Kai.[5]

Klondike Inn (1975-1982)[edit]

In 1975, John Woodrum split from his business partner, Bill Boyd. Woodrum and another partner, Katsumi Kazama, purchased the motel that year for $1.2 million and renamed it as the Klondike Inn. Woodrum became the sole owner in May 1976.[6] In 1976, Woodrum provided a power line to the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, which had not been lit for several years. The county later provided power to the sign.[6]

Klondike Hotel and Casino (1982-2006)[edit]

In 1982, Woodrum added a casino and renamed the motel as the Klondike Hotel and Casino.[7][8] In September 2004, Leroy's Horse & Sports Place began operating a sports book at the casino.[9] In May 2005, Royal Palm Las Vegas LLC bought 5.25 acres of land adjacent to the Klondike for $42 million. In September 2005, the Klondike was sold to Royal Palm for $23.7 million, for a total of 10.5 acres.[10] The casino closed on June 28, 2006, while the hotel, restaurant and bar closed on June 30, 2006.[11] Shortly after its closure, the property was used for training by the K9 unit of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.[12]

The Klondike's replacement would have been called Paramount Las Vegas. The new resort would have included an 1,864-room condo-hotel and 80,000 sq ft casino. Plans for the new resort were approved by Clark County in October 2006,[13] but were sidelined in late August 2007, when an investor pulled out of the project before closing on restructuring a land loan.[10]

In September 2007, homeless people were living in the abandoned motel rooms of the Klondike. Royal Palm Las Vegas LLC was ordered to either demolish the buildings by November 13, 2007, or repair them by December 18, 2007.[14] In November 2007, the Klondike was boarded up. Demolition of the Klondike began around March 17, 2008, and concluded on March 20, 2008.[12] The land was put up for sale in May 2008, at a price of $18 million per acre.[10] In May 2013, plans for a Harley-Davidson dealership were announced, to be built on the former land of the Klondike.[15]

In popular culture[edit]

While the Klondike's name is not mentioned or seen, the casino appeared in a scene in the 1997 film Vegas Vacation where Clark (played by Chevy Chase) tries to win money back.[3] The film version of the casino featured simple games such as "Pick a Number Between 1 and 10," and "Coin Toss." However, the also-featured casino war is in fact a real casino game.

The hotel and casino appear in the 2005 film Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous.[12]

In 2005, Avenged Sevenfold filmed a portion of the music video for their song, "Bat Country", inside one of the Klondike's motel rooms.[16]


  1. ^ "Casino reopens as Klondike Sunset", David Strow, Las Vegas Sun, October 5, 1999.
  2. ^ "Klondike Sunset gets new owner, Arnold M. Knightly, Las Vegas Review-Journal, September 16, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Kona Kai Motel. www.lostandfoundvegas.com, December 13, 2013.
  4. ^ Imperial Palace owner Engelstad dies. Liz Benston, Las Vegas Sun, November 27, 2002.
  5. ^ "Clark County Department of Building & Safety" (PDF). www.dsnet.co.Clark.NV.US. September 26, 1973. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-10-16. 
  6. ^ a b "John Katsilometes talks with longtime Klondike Hotel owner John Woodrum about the place closing on June 30". John Katsilometes, Las Vegas Sun, May 28, 2006.
  7. ^ Gaming license. www.ClarkCountyNV.gov. April 1, 1982.
  8. ^ General gaming license www.ClarkCountyNV.gov. April 1, 1982.
  9. ^ "Business License Detail Information (Leroy's Horse & Sports Place)". Clark County business license database. Retrieved May 3, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c "Klondike Inn Owner Explores Sale", Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 31, 2008.
  11. ^ "Klondike Casino Closes After 45 Years on the Strip", www.8newsnow.com, June 28, 2006.
  12. ^ a b c Klondike History, www.leavinglv.net, August 28, 2008.
  13. ^ UC-0385-06 ROYAL PALM LAS VEGAS, LLC: from Clark County web site
  14. ^ "Homeless camping on Strip", Las Vegas Review-Journal, October 9, 2007.
  15. ^ "Harley-Davidson plans $18 million strip dealership", Alan Snel, Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 10, 2013.
  16. ^ Avenged Sevenfold Making of Bat Country Part 2. YouTube.com. February 24, 2011. Event occurs at 3:35. Retrieved May 3, 2015.