Monday, April 30, 2018 | 6 p.m.
The last train is leaving the station.
Marking one of the final transitional pieces of the $192 million modernization of Palace Station, the property’s longtime train-themed marquee is coming down.
Work crews began Monday removing the first piece of the marquee, an 11-foot-tall by 37-foot-wide smokestack. The entire marquee removing process will last about two weeks.
The 126-foot-tall by 126-foot-wide sign was erected in 1983 and features 11,442 linear feet of neon and 9,280 individual lamps. The Palace Station letters themselves are 11 feet tall.
“It’s definitely bittersweet but also exciting,” said Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokesperson. “Palace Station represents our first property in our family of 20 … while we’re ushering in an exciting new chapter completely modernizing Palace Station, we want to celebrate its roots of the original train theme.”
Frank Fertitta Jr. first opened the property in July 1976 as a 5,000-square-foot casino named The Casino. After its first few years of operation, the property’s name was changed to Bingo Palace.
Then in 1983, the company hosted a naming contest that received 26,000 entries, and Palace Station was the name chosen, submitted by Las Vegan Claire Jarvis. The train theme saw a 35-year run at the property. Fertitta liked the train theme and that the new name retained the “Palace” portion of Bingo Palace.
Palace Station’s exterior was adorned by eight train signs that stood 8 feet wide by 17 feet tall and weighed about 1,800 pounds. After the remodeling project saw those trains removed, to preserve the property’s history, the “Nevada Southern No. 9” train was donated to the Neon Museum along with a 50-foot-long Palace Station neon sign.
The property’s renovation, which began in 2016, includes a new casino floor and bingo room, a new resort-style pool, new exterior façade and additional parking, two new restaurants, an updated buffet and food court and two new bars. The entire project is slated for completion at the end of the year.
“For the past year and a half, we have been transforming the property, while keeping it open,” Nelson said. “It’s been a terrific reaction thus far of everything new coming in, but we’ll always honor and celebrate our past.”