Plaza Hotel & Casino

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Plaza Hotel and Casino
Plaza Hotel & Casino.jpg
Location Downtown Las Vegas
Address 1 Main Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Opening dateJuly 2, 1971
No. of rooms1,033
Total gaming space80,000 sq ft (7,400 m2)
Permanent showsA Mob Story
Signature attractionsPlayers Club
Notable restaurantsOscar's Steakhouse
Hash House A Go Go
Casino typeLand-based
OwnerTamares Group
Operating license holderPlayLV
Previous namesUnion Plaza
Renovated in2004, 2011

The Plaza Hotel & Casino is a casinohotel located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada owned by the Tamares Group, and PlayLV is the leaseholder and operator of the property. It currently has 1,037 rooms and suites, as well as an 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) casino and there is more than 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of event space. The Plaza also features a classic showroom, seasonal roof top swimming pool, and fitness center, as well as a race and sports book.

The Plaza began an extensive $35 million renovation project at the end of 2010 that included brand new guestrooms and suites, an entirely remodeled casino floor and lobby, and all new restaurants, bars and entertainment options.[1] The renovations utilize contemporary furnishings and materials purchased from the Fontainebleau Resort after it suspended construction on the Las Vegas Strip. The hotel and the full casino reopened on September 1, 2011.


Las Vegas Union Pacific Station[edit]

Union Pacific Station, Las Vegas, ca. 1940

Prior to the construction of the casino, part of the site was used for the first train station in Las Vegas, a Spanish style depot, constructed in 1906.[2] It was replaced in 1940 with a Streamline Moderne train station designed by H. L. Gogerty, with a Union Pacific shield, and "Streamliners & Challangers" neon sign.[3] This station was demolished in 1970 and replaced by the Union Plaza Hotel,[4] which included a small waiting room to be used as a station for Amtrak trains.

Union Plaza Hotel and Casino[edit]

Opened on July 2, 1971 with the owners including local businessmen: Sam Boyd, Frank Scott, Howard Cannon and Jackie Gaughan. Its original name was Union Plaza, in reference to the Union Pacific railroad station that originally stood at the site.

From 1990 to 1992, the red neon object was installed at the top of the neon sign.

Before the discontinuation of the Desert Wind train route on May 10, 1997, Amtrak made its Las Vegas, Nevada station near the Plaza. The station and ticket windows were directly connected to the hotel. It was the only train station in the United States located in a casino.


Barrick Gaming Corporation acquired the Plaza from Jackie Gaughan and in late 2005 later ceded operation to majority owner Tamares Group. On July 1, 2005 after Tamares took control of the Plaza mayor Oscar Goodman made his opinions clear in an article in the Las Vegas Press. He said If I had my druthers, I would like to have somebody in place to discuss imploding the Plaza.[5] He was referring to his desire to see the Plaza replaced with new construction that would create a scenic entrance to Union Park.

During its ownership by Barrick Gaming Corporation, D.W. Barrick's good friend, Larry Manetti (who played Orville "Rick" Wright on the television show Magnum, P.I.) hosted a celebrity brunch every Sunday, featuring such guests as Pat Morita and Steve Rossi.[citation needed] He also owned Manetti's in the Plaza. When Barrick sold its interest in the hotel to the Tamares Group, Manetti closed his restaurant and severed his relationship with the hotel. The Plaza's famed glass dome is now the home of Oscar's Steakhouse, mutually influenced by Las Vegas former mayor Oscar Goodman and the Plaza itself.

The hotel closed for renovations on November 11, 2010, and acquired furniture, carpets and fixtures from the bankrupt Fontainebleau Resort Las Vegas project on the Strip.[6] From November, 2010 to August, 2011, the Plaza still operated its sports & racebook, showroom, one bar, and a portion of the casino. By March 2011, the south tower had been renovated, and the casino finished renovations and re-opened on August 24, 2011.[7] The hotel again opened for business on September 1, 2011.[8]

In 2014, the Plaza announced that a new 3,500-seat facility would be constructed at the hotel to become the new home arena for the Las Vegas Wranglers minor league hockey team of the ECHL.[9] However, the hockey team suspended operations for the 2014-15 season and would eventually fold mid-season.

In popular culture[edit]

The Plaza at night
A large mural by artist Shepard Fairey on the side of the hotel, 2017.


  • In the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, the construction of the Union Plaza is visible as Bond evades the attention of the police department.
  • In the 1989 film, Back to the Future Part II, Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise Casino Hotel is based on the structure of neon lights & signs of this hotel.
  • The Union Plaza played a major role in the 1992 movie Cool World.
  • The Union Plaza is visible as giant baby Adam walks through downtown Las Vegas in 1992 movie Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.
  • In the 1994 movie version of The Stand, the Union Plaza played a key role as the headquarters of Randall Flagg.
  • In the 1995 movie Casino, a scene starring Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone plays inside the Center Stage Restaurant, where Ginger (played by Sharon Stone) and Sam (played by Robert De Niro) argue over missing money.
  • In the 2000 movie Pay It Forward, a scene starring Kevin Spacey plays inside the Center Stage Restaurant.
  • In the 2001 movie The Mexican, Samantha and Winston stay at the Plaza, and Frank is killed by being thrown from one of its balconies.
  • In the 2003 movie Looney Tunes: Back in Action, the Plaza serves as the hotel tower for "Yosemite Sam's Wooden Nickel" casino.
  • In the 2004 movie The Girl Next Door, desperate to win her back, Matt (Emile Hirsch) and his friends follow Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert) to Las Vegas and find her performing at a convention, which appears to be taking place at the Plaza.
  • In the 2008 film The Grand, the Plaza serves as the hotel tower for "The Rabbit's Foot".
  • The Union Plaza played a major role in the 2008 film Yonkers Joe.
  • The Plaza is briefly shown in some scenes of the 2013 movie The Hangover Part 3.


The syndicated Ultimate Poker Challenge has been taped at the Plaza as well as the currently-running National Wrestling Alliance program NWA Wrestling Showcase, airing on Colours TV.

CBS finished production early in 2010 of a show called The Odds that was to take place at the Plaza Hotel as well as along the Fremont Street Experience starring Donald Faison.[10]

In a 1991 episode of Murder She Wrote - A Killing in Vegas, the Plaza Hotel can be seen in two scenes. The first is where Jessica is seen coming out of the Hotel she is staying at and the Lobby Entrance Canopy lights can clearly been seen. The second is just before the victim gets murdered and the scene shows a quick glimpse of Fremont Street from the Pioneer looking up the street towards the Plaza at the top of the road (the name Plaza can clearly be seen.)

Music videos[edit]


  1. ^ Finnegan, Amanda (23 June 2011). "Renovation is transforming downtown’s Plaza Hotel". Vegas Inc (Las Vegas). Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  2. ^ "Union Station, 1906-1940". Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  3. ^ "Union Station, 1940-1970". Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  4. ^ "Union Plaza". Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  5. ^ "New land baron moves on downtown".
  6. ^ "Plaza gets Strip stuff at Downtown prices". Las Vegas Sun. 2010-10-07. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  7. ^ O'Reiley, Tim (25 August 2011). "Fresh look for downtown's Plaza". Las Vegas Review-Journal (Las Vegas). Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Infographic", Plaza Hotel & Casino. Retrieved on 26 June 2013.
  9. ^ Katsilometes, John (2014-02-14). "Wranglers' search for a new home in Las Vegas ends at the Plaza". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  10. ^ "The Odds (2010) (TV)". IMDb. Retrieved 2010-08-16.
  11. ^ Tannenbaum, Rob (August 31, 2016). "An Oral History of "We Built This City," the Worst Song of All Time". GQ. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  12. ^ Kim, Emmeline (October 2, 2013). "Iggy Azalea Calls 'The New Classic' A Sonic & Visual Hip Hop Experiment". HipHopDX. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  13. ^ "The Killers' new video features several classic Las Vegas locations". 28 June 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°10′18″N 115°08′47″W / 36.17175°N 115.14651°W / 36.17175; -115.14651