A Brief History of Downtown (cont.)

#1 Fremont Street- The Golden Gate

Across the street from The Plaza on the south side of the street, at #1 Fremont Street, is The Golden Gate Hotel.  Considered to be one of the oldest hotels in Las Vegas, the Golden Gate was originally the Hotel Nevada.  During the land auction of 1905, this corner was a tent hotel.  Men who had brought parcels of land and had no place to stay, stayed here bunking in shifts with other men.  In 1906, the tent was replaced with the brick facade of the Hotel Nevada.  The publisher of the Las Vegas Age newspaper, Charles "Pop" Squires had his office in the Hotel Nevada.  When telephone service finally came to Southern Nevada in 1907.  Hard to imagine that people once had houses on Fremont Street.  The Hotel Nevada benefited from being across the road  from the train depot.

  Downtown 1920s

Downtown 1920s

Gambling was against the law until in 1931, when desperate to stir up some tourism trade the voters repealed the anti-gambling law. 

Perhaps to celebrate, in 1931, the Hotel Nevada underwent a name change and became the Sal Sagev (Las Vegas spelled backwards).

  Downtown 1930s

Downtown 1930s

The property, with its neon script Entrance sign in the back and its neon script blue Restaurant sign next to the Alley,    remained the Sal Sagev until 1955.  In 1955, a casino opened on the ground floor and became the Golden Gate Casino.

  Golden Gate Restaurant

Golden Gate Restaurant

In 1964, while making Viva Las Vegas!, Elvis Presley drove down Fremont Street passing the Golden Gate Hotel.  In 1974, the owners of the Golden Gate bought the hotel and it the entire property becomes the Golden Gate Casino and Hotel.   In the late 1990s, the owners stripped off the faux-1960s metal awning on the building and restored it back to its original brick facade.  The Golden Gate is famous for its 99 cent shrimp cocktail.