by The Associated Press, June 28, 2016
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas is losing a trio of kitschy downtown properties, including the last remaining topless show on the Fremont Street casino pedestrian mall.
Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch and the Mermaids and La Bayou casinos planned to close Monday. Developers and casino owners Derek and Greg Stevens acquired all three properties from the Granite Gaming Group in April and said they plan to build a new hotel-casino.
The Stevens brothers say they are still in the planning stages for the new property, which would be the first ground-up development in downtown Las Vegas in decades.
"There will be a combination of demolition, renovation and new construction," Derek Stevens told the Las Vegas Review-Journal (http://bit.ly/28Qy0Yz ). "At this point, this is all that is a certainty."
They also own the open-air Downtown Las Vegas Events Center concert venue on the site of the former Clark County courthouse as well as the D Las Vegas and Golden Gate casinos.
Mermaids opened in 1956 as the Silver Palace, which was the first two-level Fremont Street gambling hall at the time. It's known for its deep-fried Twinkies and Oreos.
La Bayou, which has had several names over the last century, got the first gaming license in Nevada in 1931.
The casinos were among the last few in town where slot machine gamblers could still hear the clunk of coins hitting metal trays, and customers cashed out with real money instead of paper vouchers.
The topless show took its title, Glitter Gulch, from a nickname for the Fremont Street gambling district in the years before the Las Vegas Strip was developed a few miles south.
The closure means the loss of about 170 jobs, although the Stevenses pledged in April to give priority hiring to employees at the shuttering venues.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com
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