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GOLD SPIKE

Location:

What's There Now:

Opened:

Closed:

Downtown Las Vegas

217 Las Vegas Blvd. N..

Las Vegas, NV 89109

Closed building

1976

2013

TIMELINE

1976

Hotel opens as Rendezvous

1978

Hotel closes; Reopens as Gold Spike (date unknown)

1983

Hotel is purchased by Jackie Gaughan

2002

Gaughan sells hotel to Barrick Gaming

2007

Investor buys the hotel from Barrick Gaming

2008

Hotel is purchased by The Siegel Group

2009

Hotel is completely remodeled and adds adjacent moter inn as the Oasis at Gold Spike

2013

Hotel is bought by the Downtown Project; Closes on April 14, 2013

Reopens as a bar/restaurant only - no casino or hotel rooms

2014

Oasis at Gold Spike reopens as a hotel only.

2015

Gold Spike used as filming location for MTV's "The Real World."

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HISTORY

The hotel opened in 1976 as The Rendezvous. I haven't been able to find much detail about the property during this time period other than it had 112 rooms and a small casino and that it closed in 1978.

Sometime between then and 1981, the property reopened as the Gold Spike and it attracted the interest of none other than gaming legend Jackie Gaughan, the man who owned other Downtown hotels like The Plaza and El Cortez.

Although never a top-tier property, the Gold Spike declined over the 1980s and 1990s to the point where it had become little more than a flop-house with a tacky, smoke-filled casino. I have a very clear memory of the Gold Spike from that era. I wandered in because I had heard it was one of the few places that had penny slots in the casino, a rarity at that time. The space was like something out of a bad movie - wood paneling on the walls, green shag carpeting. Come to think of it, it kind of looked the basement rec-room in my house when I was kid. Only there were no homeless people playing penny slots in my basement.

Gaughan sold most of his empire to Barrick Gaming in 2002 including the Gold Spike. Nothing was done to improve the property and it continued to be a place most Vegas visitors avoided.

In 2007 the hotel was sold to an investor who planned to make it over but lack of funding forced him to sell it in 2008 to the Siegel Group.

That company also acquired the neighboring Travel Inn Motel, an abandoned blight of a property. But the Siegel Group turned that all around with a massive top to bottom overhaul of the both hotels, renovating rooms, revising the casino, turning the Travel Inn parking lot into a swank pool, and adding dining and other amenities. The transformation was nothing short of miraculous, turning what been a rat trap casino and a derelict motel into one of Downtown's most interesting boutique properties.

In 2011 it was announced that Zappos.com, a leading Internet retailer, would be moving their headquarters and thousands of employees from suburban Las Vegas to Downtown in the old city hall building one block over from the Gold Spike.

The CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh founded an organization called The Downtown Project. Their mission was to buy land around Downtown with the intention of improving existing facilities and creating new ones in order to turn the area into a model for urban redevelopment.

The Downtown Project purchased The Gold Spike in April of 2013 and closed it down on Sunday, April 14.

The ground floor of the main building reopened a few weeks later with a bar, a restaurant, and games but not of the casino variety. Instead, it has billiards and other amusements.

The neighboring former Travel Inn reopened as a hotel in October of 2014 - The Oasis at The Gold Spike with remodeled rooms geared toward a youth market - they were called "crash pads" and came with things like bicycle rentals and DJ equipment. The casino and the rooms in the main building remained closed.

In 2015, The Gold Spike and the Oasis were used for filming of "The Real World," the long-running MTV "reality" show.

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