Tuesday, Oct. 5, 1999 | 11:29 a.m.
Longtime casino operator John Woodrum opened his second local operation Friday evening, as the redesigned Klondike Sunset Casino opened its doors on Sunset Road in Henderson.
Woodrum said he's invested about $5 million in the property, bought in a foreclosure auction about a year ago. The property, formerly known as Tom's Sunset Casino, has been closed since last year.
"We're not trying to reinvent the wheel here," Woodrum said. "We just take care of our customers the best we know how."
The casino has an Alaskan wilderness feel, in keeping with the theme of Woodrum's Klondike hotel-casino, located on the Strip south of Mandalay Bay. In its previous life, the casino had a Southwestern theme.
At 15,000 square feet, the property's roughly the size of the Strip casino, but doesn't feature any hotel rooms. Woodrum has owned the Klondike on Las Vegas Boulevard for more than 20 years.
Woodrum is positioning his Henderson casino as a locals property, and will use food and drink giveaways as a key draw. The Sunset casino has already blanketed nearby Henderson residents with free food and drink coupons in the mail, and Woodrum laid out a buffet and champagne to welcome the casino's first guests. Many of the Strip property's players come in from Henderson, he said, and Woodrum's hoping to draw them to something closer to home.
"We found our clientele is mostly locals and seniors," said John Michael Woodrum, John Woodrum's son. "They don't want to go to all of the big places. A lot of the seniors don't have to worry about getting lost in a gigantic casino."
The property has 360 slots and video poker machines, along with three blackjack tables and a roulette table. In keeping with the "joint" motif Woodrum takes pride in, the Klondike Sunset offers $2 minimum blackjack and 25-cent roulette, both rarities in today's Las Vegas.
"I'm the master giveaway artist," Woodrum said. "I'm a dinosaur. When I'm gone, there won't be no more of me."