Thursday, Dec. 7, 2000 | 11:15 a.m.
Las Vegas' latest hotel-casino opened Wednesday night, as the $65 million Terrible's Hotel-Casino opened its doors near the Las Vegas Strip.
The locals-oriented property, located on Paradise Road at Flamingo, opened shortly after 6 p.m. at the site of the old Continental hotel-casino. The property, extensively improved, is the third owned by Herbst brothers Ed, Tim and Troy, though it is their first in Las Vegas.
"We got our feet wet in Pahrump (with two smaller hotel-casinos)," Tim Herbst said. "But you always have dreams of getting into the Las Vegas market."
Officials estimated the opening night crowd at "thousands," but did not have a formal estimate on crowd size.
The property features 750 slot machines, almost all of them using the "EZ Pay" ticket payment systems used at the Suncoast. Other features include 370 hotel rooms, a 220-room bingo hall, a race and sports book and several restaurants. Hotel rooms will start at $45 per night.
It isn't nearly the level of features seen in properties operated by the largest players in the local casino market, such as Station Casinos Inc. and Coast Resorts Inc. But Ed Herbst said a key focus will be low prices and an emphasis on good odds for gamblers.
"I can't compete with a Station or Coast," said Ed Herbst. "We know what local people like. We're price-conscious operators."
Another advantage for the new property will be its joint marketing efforts with the string of Terrible Herbst gas stations and convenience stores, owned by the Herbst family. The Herbst brothers also own E-T-T Inc. -- the second-largest slot route operation in Nevada -- and plan to use a single slot club for both the slot route and the Terrible's Casino.
One bank of video poker machines even offers patrons a chance to win gas at a Herbst station. Players can also redeem points earned at the casino for gasoline at one of the Herbst stations.
"This is the first time (a casino's) gaming will be outside of four walls," said businessman Jerry Herbst, father of the three brothers that own Terrible's.
For the Herbst family, it creates a sort of family competition. Jerry Herbst isn't an owner in the new Terrible's casino, but he is a major shareholder with Michael Gaughan in Coast Resorts, the second-largest operator of locals properties in Las Vegas.
"We're friendly competitors," Jerry Herbst said. "The boys are learning from Mr. Gaughan."