Big changes in store for Downtown Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS - Development in Downtown Las Vegas is booming.

Derek Stevens is one of the people who is playing a big part in the area’s transformation. He says he has more projects on the way, especially for the iconic Golden Gate Hotel and Casino.

"You know we got a lot going on Fremont Street. This was really special. The Golden Gate is the oldest building in the history of Las Vegas," said Stevens, Owner, D Las Vegas & Golden Gate Hotel & Casino. 

The property is 111 years old and will soon be double the size as part of the larger Downtown development.

When construction is complete in about a month, the Golden Gate will have almost 100 new slots machines.

“More gaming. We are going to increase everything a little. The Golden Gate was a small property, and this gives us a little more room to have fun with," Stevens said. 

Visitors like Larry Valrie say they’re excited about the changes in store for the area.

"You know I'm a gambler so I definitely like the casinos in Vegas and prefer to gamble on Fremont actually," Valrie said.

Downtown Las Vegas is up nearly 15% in gaming revenue in the last six months, according to UNLV's Center for Gaming Research. 

Stevens is working to keep that momentum going.

"The Golden Gate expansion is important to us because we have this big project right across the street. The Old Las Vegas Club," Stevens said. 

The Old Las Vegas Club is where the cowgirl neon Vegas Vickie once lived.

Demolition on the property is underway to make room for a new resort-casino that will transform the west end of Fremont Street.

Stevens says the reason for the change is to keep things fresh and give people an unforgettable experience.

"They give us 48 hours of their life we have to give them the greatest experiences they can ever have and let them go back home and tell all their friends about it," Stevens said.

The Golden Gate will be closed for five days next month due to construction. It will be only the second time the casino has closed in its long history.  

Stevens says casinos aren't the only attraction coming to Downtown. There will also be additional cultural and art venues like the Mob Museum and Symphony Park to lure people to the area.

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