There are times when a gambler yearns for a fresh start, when past losses magically disappear. You could also say that the gambling city of Las Vegas is built — and rebuilt — on the idea of fresh starts. Rooms are gutted and names are changed at a frenetic pace, all with a goal to wipe the slate clean.
If you haven’t been to Vegas lately, these are some of its latest reincarnations:
On May 15, 2011, the Sahara closed its doors. At the time, there were no plans for the Rat Pack’s former home. But in November, the Clark County Commissions approved plans to renovate the property. Alas, the roller coaster will not live to see another day.
The Las Vegas Hilton is now LVH- Las Vegas Hotel and Casino: The hotel, located near the convention center, lost its Hilton franchise in January. The LVH is currently being run by a court approved receiver while Goldman Sachs proceeds with its foreclosure of the property.
Fitzgeralds Casino & Hotel changed its name the D Las Vegas. The “D” apparently stands for “Downtown,” “Detroit” (hometown of the Stevens brothers who now own the property) and/or CEO Derrick Stevens’ nickname “D.” The new owners are also kicking in $15 million to renovate the old Fitz.
O’Shea’s celebrated one last Saint Patrick’s Day before it closes its doors on April 30, 2012. But this Strip casino owned by Caesars Entertainment will rise again. The new O’Shea’s will open as part of the Linq project, due for completion sometime in mid-2013.
Wynn Resorts has a restaurant named Okada, named after a one-time (?) partner in the casino. But Steve Wynn and Kazou Okada have been embroiled in an epic feud. As a result, the restaurant will be renamed Ohtaki and will include some changes to the menu.
Steve Wynn also cut ties with chef extraordinaire Alex Stratta. Needless to say the Wynn’s restaurant Alex has disappeared and will be replaced with a new nightclub named Climaxx.
The Lady Luck closed in 2006 for renovations. But financing collapsed and the lay dormant for years. But the downtown casino and hotel is now scheduled for a rebirth as the Downtown Grand in April 2013.
The Playboy Club at the Palms is closing in June 2012. Will the rabbit warren be reincarnated? The Vegas odds are in its favor.