Golden Gate - Vegas' Original Hotel & Casino - Celebrates Our City's Birthday with a Look Back at it's Colorful Past

Land for the Golden Gate (then Hotel Nevada) is purchased at the historic May 15, 1905 auction at the corner of Fremont and Main Street, signaling the birth of the Las Vegas town site. (Photo courtesy of the University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries, Special Collections)
Land for the Golden Gate (then Hotel Nevada) is purchased at the historic May 15, 1905 auction at the corner of Fremont and Main Street, signaling the birth of the Las Vegas town site. (Photo courtesy of the University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries, Special Collections)
  • Land for the Golden Gate (then Hotel Nevada) is purchased at the historic May 15, 1905 auction at the corner of Fremont and Main Street, signaling the birth of the Las Vegas town site. (Photo courtesy of the University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries, Special Collections)
    Land for the Golden Gate (then Hotel Nevada) is purchased at the historic May 15, 1905 auction at the corner of Fremont and Main Street, signaling the birth of the Las Vegas town site. (Photo courtesy of the University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries, Special Collections)
    Land for the Golden Gate (then Hotel Nevada) is purchased at the historic May 15, 1905 auction at the corner of Fremont and Main Street, signaling the birth of the Las Vegas town site. (Photo courtesy of the University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries, Special Collections)
    Land for the Golden Gate (then Hotel Nevada) is purchased at the historic May 15, 1905 auction at the corner of Fremont and Main Street, signaling the birth of the Las Vegas town site. (Photo courtesy of the University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries, Special Collections)
  • The Golden Gate opens to the Public in 1906. In this photo, founder J.F. Miller is seated in the carriage. The mystery woman in the 2nd floor doorway is believed to be Rosa, who would later become his bride.
    The Golden Gate opens to the Public in 1906. In this photo, founder J.F. Miller is seated in the carriage. The mystery woman in the 2nd floor doorway is believed to be Rosa, who would later become his bride.
    The Golden Gate opens to the Public in 1906. In this photo, founder J.F. Miller is seated in the carriage. The mystery woman in the 2nd floor doorway is believed to be Rosa, who would later become his bride.
    The Golden Gate opens to the Public in 1906. In this photo, founder J.F. Miller is seated in the carriage. The mystery woman in the 2nd floor doorway is believed to be Rosa, who would later become his bride.
  • In 1907, Las Vegas' first telephone is installed at the Golden Gate. The phone number? "Ring `1,' please."
    In 1907, Las Vegas' first telephone is installed at the Golden Gate. The phone number? "Ring `1,' please."
    In 1907, Las Vegas' first telephone is installed at the Golden Gate. The phone number? "Ring `1,' please."
    In 1907, Las Vegas' first telephone is installed at the Golden Gate. The phone number? "Ring `1,' please."
  • Gambling is outlawed in Nevada in 1910 and the casino's roulette and poker tables are (grudgingly) put away for another day.
    Gambling is outlawed in Nevada in 1910 and the casino's roulette and poker tables are (grudgingly) put away for another day.
    Gambling is outlawed in Nevada in 1910 and the casino's roulette and poker tables are (grudgingly) put away for another day.
    Gambling is outlawed in Nevada in 1910 and the casino's roulette and poker tables are (grudgingly) put away for another day.
  • Fremont Street - destined for fame - is paved for the first time in 1925. Model As and Franklin sedans gradually edge horses off what was a very dusty Fremont Street in the early years.
    Fremont Street - destined for fame - is paved for the first time in 1925. Model As and Franklin sedans gradually edge horses off what was a very dusty Fremont Street in the early years.
    Fremont Street - destined for fame - is paved for the first time in 1925. Model As and Franklin sedans gradually edge horses off what was a very dusty Fremont Street in the early years.
    Fremont Street - destined for fame - is paved for the first time in 1925. Model As and Franklin sedans gradually edge horses off what was a very dusty Fremont Street in the early years.
  • In 1927, the Golden Gate installs large outdoor electric sign - a forerunner of the neon lights soon to dazzle Fremont Street, and later all of Las Vegas.
    In 1927, the Golden Gate installs large outdoor electric sign - a forerunner of the neon lights soon to dazzle Fremont Street, and later all of Las Vegas.
    In 1927, the Golden Gate installs large outdoor electric sign - a forerunner of the neon lights soon to dazzle Fremont Street, and later all of Las Vegas.
    In 1927, the Golden Gate installs large outdoor electric sign - a forerunner of the neon lights soon to dazzle Fremont Street, and later all of Las Vegas.
  • In 1931 Hotel Nevada becomes "Sal Sagev" - Las Vegas spelled backwards. Gambling is legalized in Nevada... again and Golden Gate's gaming tables are dusted off and back in action.
    In 1931 Hotel Nevada becomes "Sal Sagev" - Las Vegas spelled backwards. Gambling is legalized in Nevada... again and Golden Gate's gaming tables are dusted off and back in action.
    In 1931 Hotel Nevada becomes "Sal Sagev" - Las Vegas spelled backwards. Gambling is legalized in Nevada... again and Golden Gate's gaming tables are dusted off and back in action.
    In 1931 Hotel Nevada becomes "Sal Sagev" - Las Vegas spelled backwards. Gambling is legalized in Nevada... again and Golden Gate's gaming tables are dusted off and back in action.
  • Prohibition ends in 1933. Fremont Street is stunned to discovery that whiskey had been illegal. Many years later, during a renovation, construction workers would find these whiskey bottles hidden in the walls of the Golden Gate. The bottles are now on display in the hotel's lobby.
    Prohibition ends in 1933. Fremont Street is stunned to discovery that whiskey had been illegal. Many years later, during a renovation, construction workers would find these whiskey bottles hidden in the walls of the Golden Gate. The bottles are now on display in the hotel's lobby.
    Prohibition ends in 1933. Fremont Street is stunned to discovery that whiskey had been illegal. Many years later, during a renovation, construction workers would find these whiskey bottles hidden in the walls of the Golden Gate. The bottles are now on display in the hotel's lobby.
    Prohibition ends in 1933. Fremont Street is stunned to discovery that whiskey had been illegal. Many years later, during a renovation, construction workers would find these whiskey bottles hidden in the walls of the Golden Gate. The bottles are now on display in the hotel's lobby.
  • In 1955, a group of Italian-Americans from the San Francisco Bay Area come to Las Vegas to start the Golden Gate Casino. Original partners included Italo Ghelfi, Robert Picardo, Al Durante, Leo Massaro, Dan Fiorito and restaurateur Tiny Naylor.
    In 1955, a group of Italian-Americans from the San Francisco Bay Area come to Las Vegas to start the Golden Gate Casino. Original partners included Italo Ghelfi, Robert Picardo, Al Durante, Leo Massaro, Dan Fiorito and restaurateur Tiny Naylor.
    In 1955, a group of Italian-Americans from the San Francisco Bay Area come to Las Vegas to start the Golden Gate Casino. Original partners included Italo Ghelfi, Robert Picardo, Al Durante, Leo Massaro, Dan Fiorito and restaurateur Tiny Naylor.
    In 1955, a group of Italian-Americans from the San Francisco Bay Area come to Las Vegas to start the Golden Gate Casino. Original partners included Italo Ghelfi, Robert Picardo, Al Durante, Leo Massaro, Dan Fiorito and restaurateur Tiny Naylor.
  • In 1959, starting a true Las Vegas tradition, the Golden Gate brings shrimp cocktail to Las Vegas at a bargain price of just 50 cents. Locals continue to vote it "Best of Las Vegas" year after year.
    In 1959, starting a true Las Vegas tradition, the Golden Gate brings shrimp cocktail to Las Vegas at a bargain price of just 50 cents. Locals continue to vote it "Best of Las Vegas" year after year.
    In 1959, starting a true Las Vegas tradition, the Golden Gate brings shrimp cocktail to Las Vegas at a bargain price of just 50 cents. Locals continue to vote it "Best of Las Vegas" year after year.
    In 1959, starting a true Las Vegas tradition, the Golden Gate brings shrimp cocktail to Las Vegas at a bargain price of just 50 cents. Locals continue to vote it "Best of Las Vegas" year after year.
  • The Golden Gate is expanded. The metal screen façade conceals the hotel's historial exterior in favor of a more "modern" look. Caesar's Palace soon will be built using a similar screen façade.
    The Golden Gate is expanded. The metal screen façade conceals the hotel's historial exterior in favor of a more "modern" look. Caesar's Palace soon will be built using a similar screen façade.
    The Golden Gate is expanded. The metal screen façade conceals the hotel's historial exterior in favor of a more "modern" look. Caesar's Palace soon will be built using a similar screen façade.
    The Golden Gate is expanded. The metal screen façade conceals the hotel's historial exterior in favor of a more "modern" look. Caesar's Palace soon will be built using a similar screen façade.
  • In 1991, the Golden Gate celebrates the sale of its 25 millionth shrimp cocktail. The signifcance of the event was maked by the attendance of the four Las Vegas mayors, whose collective terms in office spanned the entire 32 years and all 25 million shrimp cocktails.
    In 1991, the Golden Gate celebrates the sale of its 25 millionth shrimp cocktail. The signifcance of the event was maked by the attendance of the four Las Vegas mayors, whose collective terms in office spanned the entire 32 years and all 25 million shrimp cocktails.
    In 1991, the Golden Gate celebrates the sale of its 25 millionth shrimp cocktail. The signifcance of the event was maked by the attendance of the four Las Vegas mayors, whose collective terms in office spanned the entire 32 years and all 25 million shrimp cocktails.
    In 1991, the Golden Gate celebrates the sale of its 25 millionth shrimp cocktail. The signifcance of the event was maked by the attendance of the four Las Vegas mayors, whose collective terms in office spanned the entire 32 years and all 25 million shrimp cocktails.
  • In 1995, the Fremont Street Experience closes the street to vehicle traffic and transforms the world's most famous neon street into an urban theater with landscaped paths, street performers and a 10-story-tall, 4-block long "space frame" with multi-sensory light shows choreographed to booming start-of-the-art sound.
    In 1995, the Fremont Street Experience closes the street to vehicle traffic and transforms the world's most famous neon street into an urban theater with landscaped paths, street performers and a 10-story-tall, 4-block long "space frame" with multi-sensory light shows choreographed to booming start-of-the-art sound.
    In 1995, the Fremont Street Experience closes the street to vehicle traffic and transforms the world's most famous neon street into an urban theater with landscaped paths, street performers and a 10-story-tall, 4-block long "space frame" with multi-sensory light shows choreographed to booming start-of-the-art sound.
    In 1995, the Fremont Street Experience closes the street to vehicle traffic and transforms the world's most famous neon street into an urban theater with landscaped paths, street performers and a 10-story-tall, 4-block long "space frame" with multi-sensory light shows choreographed to booming start-of-the-art sound.
  • Mayor Oscar Goodman toasts co-owner Mark Brandenburg and his new partners, Derek & Greg Stevens, launching a new chapter in the history of the jewel of downtown Las Vegas.
    Mayor Oscar Goodman toasts co-owner Mark Brandenburg and his new partners, Derek & Greg Stevens, launching a new chapter in the history of the jewel of downtown Las Vegas.
    Mayor Oscar Goodman toasts co-owner Mark Brandenburg and his new partners, Derek & Greg Stevens, launching a new chapter in the history of the jewel of downtown Las Vegas.
    Mayor Oscar Goodman toasts co-owner Mark Brandenburg and his new partners, Derek & Greg Stevens, launching a new chapter in the history of the jewel of downtown Las Vegas.
  • In 2012, the Golden Gate announces plans for its first major expansion in 50 years, welcoming a 35,000-square-foot luxury tower with 16 suites, new porte cochere and valet, extended gaming floor with a high-limit pit featuring its signature dancing dealers, new lobby displaying artifacts from its historical past, and much more. Even throughout the renovations, the property is committed to preserving its history and vintage Las Vegas vibe.
    In 2012, the Golden Gate announces plans for its first major expansion in 50 years, welcoming a 35,000-square-foot luxury tower with 16 suites, new porte cochere and valet, extended gaming floor with a high-limit pit featuring its signature dancing dealers, new lobby displaying artifacts from its historical past, and much more. Even throughout the renovations, the property is committed to preserving its history and vintage Las Vegas vibe.
    In 2012, the Golden Gate announces plans for its first major expansion in 50 years, welcoming a 35,000-square-foot luxury tower with 16 suites, new porte cochere and valet, extended gaming floor with a high-limit pit featuring its signature dancing dealers, new lobby displaying artifacts from its historical past, and much more. Even throughout the renovations, the property is committed to preserving its history and vintage Las Vegas vibe.
    In 2012, the Golden Gate announces plans for its first major expansion in 50 years, welcoming a 35,000-square-foot luxury tower with 16 suites, new porte cochere and valet, extended gaming floor with a high-limit pit featuring its signature dancing dealers, new lobby displaying artifacts from its historical past, and much more. Even throughout the renovations, the property is committed to preserving its history and vintage Las Vegas vibe.
  • In 1990, Italo's sons, Craig and Mark, buy out the former partners and  restore the building's historical appearance.
    In 1990, Italo's sons, Craig and Mark, buy out the former partners and restore the building's historical appearance.
    In 1990, Italo's sons, Craig and Mark, buy out the former partners and  restore the building's historical appearance.
    In 1990, Italo's sons, Craig and Mark, buy out the former partners and restore the building's historical appearance.
LAS VEGAS – Happy Birthday, Las Vegas! One hundred and seven years ago today, the historic 1905 land auction founded this glorious city on a 110-acre patch at the corner of Fremont and Main Street.

It was on that day that the first proprietors of the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino bid on the very land that stood beneath the auctioneer’s feet. The address? One Fremont Street. The cost? $1,750. Just eight months later, the Golden Gate, then Hotel Nevada, opened its doors as the first hotel and casino in Las Vegas that is still up and running today, welcoming a colorful procession of characters who would build Las Vegas into the vibrant and diverse city it is today. Today, we celebrate this important day with a look back on Golden Gate’s rich history:

1905 – The land for the Golden Gate (then Hotel Nevada) is purchased at the historic May 15, 1905 auction at the corner of Fremont and Main Street, signaling the birth of the Las Vegas town site. he price for the prime Fremont Street frontage, that soon would hold the Golden Gate Hotel, was just $1,750. Poker chips, whiskey and wild women accompanied the building of the rail road boom town.

1906 – The Golden Gate, opens to the public. When the hotel opened, room and board was just $1 per day. Whiskey and gambling were extra.  The local newspaper, the Las Vegas Age, published the guest register on the front page, describing the hotel as “first-class,” “as comfortable as any other hostelry found anywhere,” with “large” rooms (10’ x 10’), electric lighting, ventilation and steam-heat radiators. No air conditioning.

1907 – Las Vegas’ first telephone is installed at the Golden Gate. The phone number? “Ring ‘1,’ please.”

1910 – Gambling is outlawed in Nevada and the casino’s roulette and poker tables are (grudgingly) put away
for another day.

1925 – Fremont Street – destined for fame – is paved for the first time in 1925. Model As and Franklin sedans
gradually edge horses off what was a very dusty Fremont Street in the early years.

1927 – the hotel installs large outdoor electric sign – a forerunner of the neon lights soon to dazzle Fremont Street, and later all of Las Vegas.

1931 – Gambling is legalized in Nevada… again. Golden Gate’s gaming tables are dusted off and back in action.
The hotel expands and changes its name to “Sal Sagev” – Las Vegas spelled backwards.

1933 – Prohibition ends and Fremont Street is stunned to discovery that whiskey had been illegal. Many years later, during a renovation, construction workers would find whiskey bottles hidden in the walls of the Golden Gate. The bottles are now on display in the hotel’s lobby.

1955 – A group of Italian-Americans from the San Francisco Bay Area come to Las Vegas to start the Golden Gate Casino. Original partners included Italo Ghelfi, Robert Picardo, Al Durante, Leo Massaro, Dan Fiorito and restaurateur Tiny Naylor. Italo managed the casino for nearly 40 years, establishing a colorful reputation as a Las Vegas gaming pioneer.

1959 – Starting a true Las Vegas tradition, the Golden Gate brings shrimp cocktail to Las Vegas at a bargain price of just 50 cents. Locals continue to vote it “Best of Las Vegas” year after year.

1964 – The Golden Gate is expanded. The metal screen façade conceals the hotel’s historical exterior in favor of a more “modern” look. Caesar’s Palace soon will be built using a similar screen façade.

1990 – Italo’s sons, Craig and Mark, buy out the former partners and  restore the building’s historical appearance.

1991 – Golden Gate celebrates the sale of its 25 millionth shrimp cocktail. The signifcance of the event was maked by the attendance of the four Las Vegas mayors, whose collective terms in office spanned the entire 32 years and all 25 million shrimp cocktails.

1995 – The Fremont Street Experience closes the street to vehicle traffic and transforms the world’s most famous neon street into an urban theater with landscaped paths, street performers and a 10-story-tall, 4-block long “space frame” with multi-sensory light shows choreographed to booming state-of-the-art sound.

2008 – Mayor Oscar Goodman toasts co-owner Mark Brandenburg and his new partners, Derek & Greg Stevens, launching a new chapter in the history of the jewel of downtown Las Vegas.

2012 – Golden Gate announces plans for its first major expansion in 50 years, welcoming a 35,000-square-foot luxury tower with 16 suites, new porte cochere and valet, extended gaming floor with a high-limit pit featuring its signature dancing dealers, new lobby displaying artifacts from its historical past, and much more. Even throughout the renovations, the property is committed to preserving its history and vintage Las Vegas vibe.