My latest talk with Craig Shacklett of URComped.com is up. In it we talk about the real impact of the Vegas Golden Knights on Las Vegas, Derek Stevens’ role in Downtown Las Vegas (and his support of the Knights) and the latest obstacles for aspiring slot YouTubers:
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I talk about two of Derek Stevens’ latest moves in Downtown Las Vegas. How are they tied to the past?
The past few weeks have offered a good perspective on the dance between old Vegas, new Vegas and new old Vegas that characterizes our times. In particular, two incidents involving Downtown casino owner Derek Stevens that could only have happened in 2017 show just how far Las Vegas has come and why it’s important not to lose sight of its past.
I really was reminded of Jackie Gaughan when I heard about The D hosting the Golden Knights–it’s exactly the kind of thing he would have done. At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Stevens driving around The D’s garage with a pair of jumper cables.*
* I’ve heard from multiple people that Jackie Gaughan would do just that at the El Cortez, ready to help out any customer with a dead battery.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I consider the last hours and legacy of the just-closed Las Vegas Club, which is likely destined for better things.
It is a name—a generic one, but a name nonetheless—that has been part of Nevada history even before the 1931 relegalization of commercial gaming. In early April of that year, Las Vegas Club, then at 21 and 23 Fremont Street, received a license to offer games of chance from the Las Vegas City Commission. Earlier this month, that gambling hall—located on the opposite side of Fremont since 1949—closed its doors.
I’ve heard some very interesting speculation about what might happen at the former Las Vegas Club, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the Stevens brothers create.
When Derek Stevens started accepting Bitcoin at The D and Golden Gate, I became curious: How did he make the decision to do this, and why? The result of my curiosity is this week’s Green Felt Journal:
Sometimes a story about newfangled technology doubles as one about old-fashioned neighborhood gumption. When The D and the Golden Gate became the first casinos to accept Bitcoin albeit only for non-gaming purchases it was a sign of the way Downtown Las Vegas, by dint of geography and necessity, is pushing the boundaries of innovation in the casino business.
Since the gaming industry handles so much money, any alternate form of payment should be of interest. We will have to see how Bitcoin develops.
My next Vegas Seven contribution is a short piece about the strange mixing of the past and present that’s coming to define Downtown Las Vegas:
Downtown continues to mine a balanced—and, so far, successful—strategy of mixing Old Vegas nostalgia with modernized amenities. Nowhere is the Janus-faced approach that’s come to define downtown as apparent as at The D. The most obvious example is the split-level casino, which looks to the present on the first floor and the past on the second.
I expect to be writing more about this theme. Downtown seems to be pulling in two separate directions–retro casino value and dot com hub. I look forward to writing more about those tensions define the area.
This week in Vegas Seven’s Green Felt Journal, I look at someone who’s making some waves Downtown:
Although the energy of Tony Hsieh and other non-gamers has helped fuel the transformation of downtown Las Vegas, a cadre of Fremont Street casino owners also deserve credit. Derek Stevens is prominent among them.
I had a very nice conversation with Mr. Stevens in writing this piece. He’s got a definite vision for what he wants to do, and I think it’s a great match for Downtown.