Bonanza, the “World’s largest Gift Shop” located on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Sahara Ave was formerly home to 4 different casinos before its self-proclaimed stature.
In 1963, casino called “Honest John’s opened but only took up space on the western side of the plot. Despite it’s diminutive stature, it remained open until 81 when Bonanza took over
In 1971, the big wheel casino opened next door to honest Johns. The exterior structure of the casino is still used to this day by Bonanza
In 1975, Big Wheel Casino became Centerfold Casino and advertised naked girls. Exactly what this establishment was is in debate considering the Nevada gaming commission prohibits nudity on a gaming floor. Some argue that Centerfold Casino was simply a strip club. It is possible that the only naked women were in an establishment separate from the casino floor.
Lastly, in 1977, Centerfold Casino became the Jolly Trolly casino, restaurant & lounge until 1981 when Bonanza consolidated, or in the adult bookstores case, was incorporated all under one roof.
Vegas Mate Review of the Week
Andrew’s Aug 20th Review of Carrot Top @Luxor – 5/5 chips
Twitpic of the week
You know what Vegas is missing? A roulette style pool that sits right at the head of a property offering a sweet view of Fremont St while cooling off with a refreshing adult beverage. Ohhhh, but you’d be wrong. Vegas already has one…or had one. Now a dome covers it, a steakhouse resides upon it and the view has been dramatically obscured by an experience and a stage. If you’ve not figured it out by now I’m concerned we drastically over estimated your Vegas savvy. Oscars Steakhouse at the Plaza used to be an outdoor pool, shaped to emulate a roulette wheel, with remarkable views of old school Fremont St, prior to its experience. This week’s winner comes to us from @plazalasvegas (giving credit to over50vegas.com) for sharing a photo documenting that time.
They didn’t go so far as to paint it to match but the water feature in the middle, the circular pool in the middle and the organization of the chairs around it were all intended to resemble a roulette wheel. As so often happens in Vegas, at some point, the Plaza couldn’t justify having a quality free amenity in a space with such significant earning potential. So they threw a dome on it and turned into the Center Stage Restaurant. Since the renovation of such things as a pool in Vegas are not documented as well as I told them they should be, based on what we see in the picture, what we do know about Plaza’s history and because I say so, this photo was taken in the 70s. The pool more than likely lasted into the 80s, about as long as the name Union Plaza did. Its little things like this that I think make Vegas and places like Disney the magical places they are to those who love them. Once again, photography shows that it is the superior of all art forms because we get to continue to progress and evolve as time passes and yet are still able to fondly recall and enjoy the past when property documented as such.
Access Vegas Coming Attractions
The Black Keys - 11/8