Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011 | 7:02 p.m.
Map of Plaza Hotel and Casino
1 Main Street, Las Vegas
After nine months of renovations, the Plaza downtown is ready to reopen its doors Thursday, boasting 1,037 remodeled hotel rooms, a revamped 80,000-square-foot casino floor and new hotel lobby.
Michael Pergolini, vice president of hotel operations, said that when the Plaza closed in November, the renovation was not expected to be as extensive as it turned out.
“When we started planning, it was to do a $20 million renovation of the hotel," Pergolini said. In the end, the price tag was $35 million.
Patrons who have gambled at the 40-year-old casino on Main Street will be taken aback by drastic changes throughout the building, Pergolini said. “Everything that we’ve done is considerably different than it used to be,” he said.
The Plaza, which offered a sneak peek to the media today, features new furniture, carpeting and wall coverings, all acquired at a discounted price from the halted Fontainebleau project. The hotel’s original chandeliers also have been restored.
When the old Plaza closed, more than 400 people were laid off. But after a job fair this summer, 800 people were hired, 300 of them returning staff, Pergolini said.
Along with its new décor, the Plaza is now home to restaurants including Hash House a Go Go, Island Sushi and Hawaiian Grill, Zaba’s Mexican Grill, GiGi’s Cupcakes, Cafelatte coffee bar and, opening in November, Oscar’s — former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman’s steakhouse.
The casino’s existing 600-seat main showroom will be joined by the Swingers Club, a dueling piano bar surrounded by a nine-hole Las Vegas-themed mini golf course.
Cantor Gaming will operate a race and sports book and add mobile gaming early next year.
There are also plans to eventually refurbish the rooftop pool and outdoor recreation area.
The Plaza is offering rooms starting at $44 on weekdays and $109 on weekends.
- Will Plaza’s much-publicized overhaul pay off? (8-13-2011)
- Renovations to Vegas downtown Plaza nearly done (8-7-2011)
- Booze and beef: Oscar Goodman to open speak-easy in downtown’s Plaza(8-3-2011)
- Downtown’s Plaza hotel to hire 800 employees, plans job fair (6-20-2011)
- Plaza Hotel set to reopen after renovations (6-15-2011)
The Plaza, renovated in 2011, has a lobby that features marble and inlaid mosaic tiles, chandeliers and a plush front desk that matches the classic Las Vegas feel with a contemporary look.
The hotel has 1,003 rooms and suites that showcase views of the Las Vegas Strip and downtown Las Vegas. Amenities include world-class entertainment, a casino floor that offers an array of classic gaming choice, which include 600 slot machines, a 400-seat bingo room, 18 table games and 57,120 square feet of casino space.
Among the dining options is Oscar's Beef * Booze * Broads, a steakhouse opened by former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, which is located in the glittery dome enclosure above the hotel's main entrance.
The Plaza sits at the west end of the Fremont Street Experience on the site of the first train depot and auction site in Las Vegas, dating back to the San Pedro-Los Angeles-Salt Lake Railroad in 1905. The railroad was sold to Union Pacific in 1921 and the depot was demolished in 1970 to make way for the Union Plaza Hotel, built in 1971.
The hotel has been featured or is visible in several movies, including the 1971 James Bond film, "Diamonds are Forever;" the 1989 film "Back to the Future Part II;" the 1995 move "Casino," and the 2000 movie "Pay it Forward."
CORRECTION: Officials initially reported the renovations cost $45 million, but later said it was $35 million. | (September 1, 2011)