Derek Stevens Gets The City’s Green Light For His Third Downtown Las Vegas Casino

Written By Katie Callahan on July 24, 2018
Derek Stevens has a new Downtown Las Vegas casino project.

The Las Vegas City Council approved the start of construction for developer Derek Stevens’ new Fremont Street casino-hotel on July 18, bringing his tally to three Las Vegas casinos.

“The time is right,” Stevens told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Stevens currently owns the Golden Gate Hotel-Casino and The D. The former will sit across from the new casino, at the west end of the Fremont Street Experience, reported KTNV. The new development is set to be constructed on land once occupied by the Las Vegas Club, Mermaids, and the Glitter Gulch strip club.

This construction project is the first of its kind in years for the downtown area. Here are some stats on the new resort from the Review-Journal:

  • 1,224,485 square feet
  • 459 feet over Fremont Street
  • 777 guest rooms
  • 117,740 square-foot gaming area
  • 1,187-space, above-ground parking garage
  • Pedestrian bridge
  • Sits on Ogden Avenue, Fremont, and Main Streets
  • Resurrection of the iconic Vegas Vickie figure (also known as Sassy Sally)

The new look

The plans last revealed a gaming area in two levels of the casino, a pool, and 600,000 square feet of casino and garage space for use as a nightclub. This facility could also host:

  • A sportsbook
  • Multiple dining options
  • Spa
  • Meeting rooms
  • A ballroom
  • A rooftop bar and lounge

Mayor Carolyn Goodman suggested that the new project will rejuvenate Fremont Street, which is already going to undergo a $33 million overhaul of its LED canopy attraction. The project also provides a much-needed injection of job opportunity and growth potential for local job seekers.

The unnamed property is tentatively known as 18 Fremont. Stevens purchased the Las Vegas Club back in 2015 and then proceeded to purchase the other businesses on the tourist-heavy street.

The new property is set to open by 2020.

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Stevens committed to Downtown Las Vegas expansion

If the pedestrian bridge to his other casino isn’t a hint of what’s to come, a look into the past might provide some direction.

Stevens doubled the size of the Golden Gate in less than five days back in August of 2017.

The new space included:

  • 100 new slot machines
  • a 24-foot TV tower centerpiece
  • 20 feet of bar space for the One Bar at Fremont Street
  • new velvet drapes for the casino entrance

The new space also got upgraded fixtures, carpeting, and restrooms.

Stevens meticulously planned the 106-hour renovation over the course of eight months.

Back in 2011, the Stevens brothers bought Fitzgeralds Las Vegas, which would become the D Las Vegas one year later. This property sits down the street from the Golden Gate. The renovation/rebranding cost $22 million.

In 2014, the Stevens brothers tore down the courthouse on Carson and 3rd for a Downtown Las Vegas Events Center ($10 million later).

Stevens won’t back down

The eccentric Stevens has always bet big, both professionally and personally. Further proving that he is not afraid of a bet, his March Madness wager was 40:1 on University of Michigan at $25,000. Stevens is big on sports betting and generally looks to score during the NCAA basketball tournament.

Stevens hedged his bet, placing $330,000 on Villanova to win $100,000 at the Four Queens’ William Hill-operated sportsbook, reported the Review-Journal.

While Stevens regretted not betting more on Villanova, he said he’s a gambler.

“I’m a gamer in my business, but a gambler in spirit, and when you’re a gambler, sometimes you lose.”

Naturally, the new casino will host a sports book and Stevens plans for it be the one of the best sportsbooks downtown.

Time will tell whether these investments pay out.

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Katie Callahan

Katie Callahan is a freelance journalist, blogger and copywriter who covers everything from poker, business, education and politics to construction, startups and cybersecurity.

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