The Western in Las Vegas
In the 1950s Las Vegas was beginning to develop and evolve into a holiday and gambling destination, and what would soon become the now-famous Las Vegas Strip.
Jackie Gaughan began to build a number of low cost casinos in the areas around Fremont Street, a competitive edge on the high cost casinos that we know of today. These casinos were designed for low rolling players, and the last to be opened by Gaughan, The Western, became the one of the most popular budget hotels and casinos in Las Vegas.
While we are used to extravagance in the design of most modern casinos, Gaughan made sure fixtures and fittings were kept to a minimum in order to provide customers with extra value. The Western used to offer more than other hotels and casinos such as free meals, 1 dollar drinks and a very reasonable 10 dollars for a nights stay.
The Western Casino
The main attraction for a limited-budget player was that there were numerous penny slot machines on offer. The card and table games also had a low minimum stake requirement, which allowed players with less money to get the most value from their low-value bankroll, much in the same way they would from mobile poker games.
Both visitors to Las Vegas and locals enjoyed playing at The Western, and for more that just the penny slots and low minimum stake requirements. The casino would offer 1 dollar shots and Coors Drafts, as well as a minimum wager of 1 dollar available to play Craps and only 2 dollars to place a minimum stake in Blackjack.
The Western History
After opening in 1970, The Western became extremely popular for its Bingo Parlor that held seating 1020 possible players, and was unlike the other available venues in Las Vegas.
In 2004 the property was sold to Barrick Gaming, who had a completely new vision to redevelop the site into a Latino-based destination resort. This however would not have been an entirely smart move due to people forming an opinion that this area was becoming dangerous and undesirable in the late and early hours.
In 2005 Barrick Gaming put the property out to lease and the Tamares Group took over the hotel and the casino. In 2010 the hotel fell into financial unsustainability and closed, while the casino was left open to the public.
By 2011 the number of visitors was at an all time low, with the loss of the hotel taking a toll. It was announced that The Western would be officially closing its doors, and in the next few months it did exactly that.
The property stood empty thereafter until it was sold for 14 million dollars, in a hope that it will eventually form a part of the Downtown Project, which is said to be extended much further down Fremont Street.
The Western Closes its Doors
Anyone who is aware of the area of Downtown Las Vegas will understand why The Western had no choice but to close. The address for The Western was listed as 899 Fremont Street, an area situated away from most of the casinos in Las Vegas and one that is often perceived as a dangerous or derelict place.
In spite of its previous popularity, the position of The Western proved to be more of an issue as the years went by. Thus, fewer players continued to visit the venue and on the 16th of January 2012 the casino was forced to close its doors for the very last time.