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        This page was updated 12/10/09

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The "Swim with the Sharks" pool area


Landry's Golden Nugget Expansion

In the heart of downtown Las Vegas (since 1905), the Golden Nugget has been through many owners and many changes. The new owners (Landry's) have transformed the classiest downtown hotel and made it even classier.

The plans include:

  • the shuffling and addition of many restaurants and clubs.

  • an enlarged pool area with a shark tank.  (now open)

  • a remodeling of all the public spaces (finished)

  • expansion of the casino adding 400 slots and 10 table games including  the relocation and expansion of the poker room, sports book and keno areas  (now open)

  • a new 4,500-sq. ft. ultra-lounge, Gold Diggers, on the second floor of the area over First St. with an open area for viewing the Fremont Street Experience (now open)

  • 11,000 sq. ft. convention space addition (now open)

  • New high-limit slot salon "Salon Noveau" (now open)

  • The Buffet (now open)

  • Downtowns second sushi bar (now open)

  • The Grotto restaurant (now open)

  • remodel the 600-seat showroom (now open)

  • Lillie's Noodle House (now open)

  • a new porte-cochere on Casino Center Blvd. (now open)

  • new hotel tower (now open)

Early rendering of New pool

Grand Opening of Rush Tower

On 11/20/09 The Rush tower opened completing the expansion and remodeling of the entire resort.
I visited the tower on 12/02/09 and took these shots.

The area around the parking garage has been freshened up with entrance pylons and landscaping. A new Porte Cochére for the Rush Tower and an entrance to the pool bar has also been added.

Inside, a huge salt-water fish tank serves as the backdrop for the Rush Tower's front desk and the centerpiece for the new Chart House restaurant. Although they claim an expanded casino, the new area is only about a 20 ft. square. 
All photos by Mark Adams


The New Tower

The new 25-story, 500-room tower is under construction.
The building will have a second-floor pool that will adjoin the
existing pool (on its upper cabana level). Also, a 3,000-sq. ft. Chart House
restaurant and a casino expansion will join the Nugget's offerings.

Newest rendering

The final rendering of the new tower (above) looses the gold glass curtain-wall (as seen in the early rendering below)
for a more deco (less "80's") look. The south towers are being painted to resemble the new tower.

Slighter older rendering

This is another rendering in the resort that shows a much more
exaggerated and asymmetrical crown for both the new tower and the
existing south tower.

Earliest Renderings

Latest News

11/20/09  Rush Tower Opens

12/19/07 Gold Diggers nightclub and Red Sushi opens.

7/12/07  The new nightclub (under construction) now has a name - Gold Diggers. It will be 4,500 square feet and have an outdoor area which overlooks Fremont St. Other features of this new $70-million addition include 11,000 square feet of convention space, a casino expansion and downtowns first sushi bar.

Also, there was confirmation that they are still planning a room tower addition. The $150 million-tower will have about 500 rooms. They expect to break ground in late 2008 and plan a 2009 opening.

Golden Nugget Construction Photos

This shot was taken from the middle of the 61-acre Symphony Park during the groundbreaking for the
Smith Center. They did a pretty good job of painting the ugly old tower to resemble the ugly new tower. The swoop and new logo help it a bit.
photo 5/31/09 by Joel Rosales
The two close-up shots are by Greg Clarke from 5/26/09

come join the discussion on the blog


Well, the existing south tower is all painted to resemble the mundane architecture of the new tower (yawn). But they are working on a new crown for it (as seen in the renderings above). maybe that will spice it up.
Join the discussion on the blog
Photos 4/12/09 by Greg Clarke


This tower is progressing quickly (working on the 15th floor).
In the background, the old tower is being painted to resemble the new tower.
Photos 2/8/09 by Greg Clarke






The existing south tower is now missing
the fins that were being installed to
resemble the architecture of the new tower.
Construction issues?
(see the photo from 6/6/08 below).

The set (above) shows the new tower and where it ties in to the existing resort. There will be a small pool and spa area that will adjoin the upper deck of the cabana level of the existing pool.


These are shots of RED 8 Sushi, the casino expansion and the entrance of The Grand (concert venue)

Photos 12/23/08 by Mark Adams


Construction on the new hotel tower continues
atop a new four level garage.

Photos 12/7/08 by Greg Clarke


Work is finally underway on Golden Nugget's new hotel tower. The existing tower is getting a paint job which will add some personality.
Photos 6/6/08 by Jason Cunningham

posted 6/24/08


The existing Golden Nugget towers are being
re-skinned (probably with gold glass).
Also, a tower crane is being installed, marking the beginning of the new tower's construction.
Photo 5/11/08 by Scott Grady.


Gold Diggers, the new nightclub, is now open.
Photo 12/27 by Bill Adams


Phase two of Golden Nugget's transformation is taking place at the property's northwest corner. A second-floor nightclub overlooking Fremont with two restaurants and casino expansion below.  This construction is taking place on the former 1st street, where the bandstand once stood.


Construction photo 11/20/07 by Mark Adams
shows the nightclub addition shaping up.


Photo credits left to right
1- FiveHundyByMidnight.com 1/07
2- Mark Adams   4/07
3- RateVegas.com 8/07


Photo 11/26/06
Wow, that was fast! The pool area looks ready to go for its December opening. The enclosed water slide
 runs through the shark tank, which is located under two levels of luxury cabanas.

Click image to enlarge


Photo 10/11/06
Construction continues on 
Golden Nugget's pool area.

    Click image to enlarge



Photo 9/28/06
Construction of the Golden Nugget's pool area.

Click image to enlarge 




Photo 3/1/06 
Construction has begun on pool area

News and Views

 click to enlarge

City Abandons Section of First Street

The City of Las Vegas has abandoned a portion of First Street at Landry's request to facilitate the expansion of the Golden Nugget.

Landry's  Moving Forward

7/20/05  The Golden Nugget casino in downtown Las Vegas is looking into expanding the west side of the property across First Street. The owners have purchased some land across First Street for potential development. The move would enable the casino to add about 12,000 to 15,000 square feet of additional gaming space by moving existing non-gaming operations to a new building on the new site.

Expanding the property onto First Street would be complicated because the street is city-owned and is leased by the Fremont Street Experience mall and lightshow, which also operates a bandstand there. The Fremont Street Experience is considering moving the bandstand so the Golden Nugget can expand.

9/8/05    Landry's, the new owners of the Golden Nugget are planning to use the newly acquired land for a new rooms tower, two high-end restaurants, and a 1200 seat auditorium.

Landry's is the nation's second-largest operator of aquariums and plans to develop a swimming pool at the Golden Nugget next to an aquarium so that swimmers can swim within inches of sharks.

This expansion will require the use of 1st St. (between Fremont St. and Carson St.) and Carson St. (between 1st St. and  Main St.) (shown left). This is the second time the Golden Nugget has requested that the city abandon a street for an expansion project.

click to enlarge


A Brief History



The Golden Nugget opened in 1946 as a small gambling hall with sawdust on the floors. Over the years, they bought up lot after lot of neighboring land until they owned the entire block.

In 1972, Steve Wynn took control of the Nugget and convinced the city to sell one block on Carson Street to enable a full block expansion including a new rooms tower. This project put the Golden Nugget on the map, with a complete makeover of the existing spaces. The expansion (bringing the rooms total to 1,907) and makeover, raised the Nuggets rating to four stars and attracted a better classed clientele.

In 2000, Wynn sold all of his properties, including the Nugget, to MGM.

In 2004 MGM sold the Nugget to Tim Poster and Tom Breitling, who used FOX TV to highlight the hotel on the show "Casino". They changed a few things here and there but nothing major was done.

In February 2005 Tim and Tom sold the Nugget to Landry's. Landry's owns and operates more than 300 restaurants including Landry's Seafood House, Joe's Crab Shack, Willie G's Seafood & Steakhouse and The Chart House.  By 2009, They completely remodeled,  reconfigured, and expanded the property.




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