Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 | 5:04 p.m.
The D could mean dramatic, different, delicious, daring or the duke of downtown. Or it might simply be named The D after its owner Derek Stevens or his Detroit hometown, but the guessing game continues right up until tonight’s grand reopening of the former Fitzgerald’s.
Just wondering if this new trend of naming hotels with only letters -- Q, LVH -- is a result of social media creating shortcuts like LOL?! The D arrives with a rock and roll kick and a weeklong reopening celebration. And not just with tonight’s ceremonies but also with two free concerts: rocker Bret Michaels of Poison on Saturday and OneRepublic a week later. Derek is promising even more music stars performing on the nearby 3rd Street Stage monthly.
Derek told Vegas DeLuxe: “The D embraces the energy of new downtown Las Vegas. We’re incredibly excited to be part of a new era in downtown Las Vegas. The D’s renovations reflect the high energy and friendly atmosphere of Fremont Street, and we want everyone to have a blast when they stay and play with us.
“It’s an exciting time to invest in downtown. I think when you look at the underlying aspect of what downtown is all about, the stars are aligned to have a positive and successful rejuvenation. With everything new in the area including the Smith Center, City Hall, Fremont East, new bars and restaurants and even the casinos, you’re starting to see a surge of capital being employed, and that always bodes well.
“We wanted to create something completely different from the property’s former identity. The result is a sleek, modern style that still incorporates elements of classic Las Vegas. I’m proud to say we were able to refurnish the entire property with American-manufactured products from a local Las Vegas company. We want everyone to feel comfortable at the D. The two-level casino, with vintage coin-operated machines upstairs and a contemporary vibe downstairs, offers a place that appeals to a wide variety of guests.”
Derek is promising gamblers the chance to win a GM car each month in his “Keep America Rolling Contest” supporting the economy and the now bailed out stimulus public car company. He’s engineered a dramatic transformation from the sadly aged Fitzgerald’s into a sleek, new styled haunt below the largest video screen in the world.
The D sits at the center of four neon blocks of nonstop party action, and you can double down in its two-level casino. Dancing dealers are on the first floor, and Vintage Vegas is upstairs complete with a derby-simulated horse-racing game and old-time, three-reel slots.
There’s a new lobby and valet area. Dream and doze in the 624 remodeled rooms with 14 deluxe suites all with iPod docks, hi-speed wi-fi and coffeemakers. There are two new drinking delights with flair bartenders: down a drink at Longbar in the casino and D Bar on Fremont Street. Derek has brought Detroit’s iconic American Coney Island Chili Dogs to its first location outside Michigan serving legendary Coney dogs at his property. The D offers entertainment with the “Purple Reign Prince Tribute Show” and the interactive murder mystery dinner experience “Marriage Can Be Murder.”
Derek, along with his brother Greg, Mayor Carolyn Goodman and her husband, former Mayor Oscar Goodman, who is now Host Committee chairman for the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority, will welcome tonight’s first guests to the red ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Our thanks to contributing photographer Tom Donoghue for his photo galleries of American Coney Island Chili Dogs and D Bar.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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