Las Vegas Sun

April 27, 2015

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Joe Downtown: Slots making brief reappearance at Gold Spike


Steve Marcus

The Gold Spike casino and hotel, seen from Fourth and Ogden streets, in downtown Las Vegas.

Map of The Gold Spike

The Gold Spike

217 N. Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas

The Gold Spike reopened this week with a surprising addition: slot machines.

Technicians on Tuesday morning wheeled some 10 or more machines out of a truck and onto the floor of the business, which closed April 21, less than a month ago after being purchased from Siegel Group Nevada Inc. by Downtown Project investors.

After the sale was completed, Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO and one of the Downtown Project partners, said it would not reopen as a casino.

So why were slot machines brought back in?

Michael Downs, Downtown Project executive vice president of operations, said the machines' return insures the business can keep its gaming license. He said the slots had to be on the floor at least eight hours per year to meet gaming license requirements.

After eight hours, he added, the slots will be hauled away.

Downs and other staff were taking care of details Tuesday inside the bar/restaurant. The western section of the first floor was blocked off with sheets of plastic until new carpet and a variety of games – billiards, darts and shuffleboard, among them – were installed.

However, the bar was open and featured a new list of beers. Among 17 imports is “Wells Banana Bread,” while the domestic specialty beers include “Moose Drool.”

The new owners hope the bar, which will be open 24/7, becomes a go-to spot for downtown Las Vegas residents and workers who want to unwind after their shifts.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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