Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino

Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino (named after New Orleans' Bourbon Street) was a small hotel and casino near the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. Opening in 1980 as the Shenandoah Hotel, the property was plagued with licensing and financial difficulties from the start. Ownership changed hands several times, with new proprietors often envisioning major renovations or redevelopment, but none of the plans came to fruition. Finally, in 2005, it was bought by Harrah's Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment), who closed and demolished it.

Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino
Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino marquee.jpg
Location Paradise, Nevada 89109
Address 120 E Flamingo Road
Opening dateFebruary 1980
Closing date18 October 2005; 14 years ago (18 October 2005)
ThemeNew Orleans
No. of rooms166
Total gaming space15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2)
Casino typeLand-Based
OwnerHarrah's Entertainment
Previous namesShenandoah Hotel


Shenandoah Hotel (1980-1985)Edit

The Shenandoah Hotel began as a $29-million project, named after the Las Vegas estate of singer Wayne Newton, who was a minority investor in the property.[1] The hotel opened in February 1980.[2] The opening of the casino was delayed, however, because of a Gaming Commission investigation into Shenandoah president John Harlow Tucker for a 1975 securities fraud conviction.[3] Tucker's gaming license was ultimately denied, and he was ordered to sell his $1.8-million stake in the property.[1] Newton also pulled out, opting instead to buy the Aladdin casino.[1] The Shenandoah's landlord, Allarco Holdings of Edmonton, took over the project, and sought new investors to buy or lease the hotel, which was losing $500,000 a month.[1]

Allarco was acquired in January 1981 by Carma Developers, a Calgary-based real estate company.[4] Carma spent over two years trying unsuccessfully to sell the Shenandoah, before deciding to seek a gaming license to open the casino itself.[5] Nevada passed a law in June 1985 to enable foreign companies to receive gaming licenses, and, weeks later, Carma was the first to take advantage of the new law.[5] The property was reopened and rebranded as the Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino.[5]

Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino (1985-2005)Edit

In January 1988, Carma sold Bourbon Street to Las Vegas Investors Ltd., a firm run by two top executives of Hotel Investors Trust (now Starwood Hotels).[6][7] The following month, the firm turned around and sold the property to Hotel Investors Trust, along with the King 8 Hotel, for a total of $35 million.[7]

An agreement was announced in July 1995 to sell the property to Crown Casino Corp. for $10 million.[8] However, Crown abandoned the deal in November, losing a $500,000 deposit, citing the possibility of more attractive opportunities, a lack of attractive financing, and declining profits at the property.[9]

In August 1996, Starwood sold the property to Tarsadia Hotels for $7.8 million in cash plus $1 million in assumed debt.[10] Starwood cited a strategic focus on "full-service, high-quality hotels."[11] Tarsadia closed the property's casino and laid off its 400 workers, avoiding the complication of applying for a gaming license for its owner, Tusher Patel, who was not a U.S. citizen.[10] Patel planned to build a timeshare tower on the site, in partnership with an unidentified major casino company, but the plan was scrapped when the partner pulled out.[10]

In August 1997, Tarsadia agreed to sell Bourbon Street to Florida Gaming Corp., a jai alai operator, for $13 million in cash plus $1.5 million in stock.[12] The near-doubling of the hotel's value in the span of a year was attributed to rising property values on the Strip.[13] Florida Gaming planned to spend $6.5 million renovating the site.[12] However, the sale was never completed.

In April 2001, Tarsadia sold Bourbon Street to a partnership of Dallas-based real estate investor Michael Block, and the Red Sea Group of El Segundo, California, with a declared property value of $11 million.[14][15] With the property losing money, the partners immediately began discussions to redevelop or sell it.[14]

In 2003, Block began negotiating with Trevor Pearlman and Reagan Silber of Edge Resorts. Block bought Red Sea's stake in the partnership for $10.55 million and sold it to Pearlman the same day for $12.5 million. Four months later, Block sold his stake to Silber for $14 million. Block had not informed Red Sea of his negotiations with Edge, leading Red Sea to successfully sue Block.[14]

Edge Resorts planned to build the W Las Vegas condo-hotel project on the site, in partnership with Starwood. However, even after buying an adjacent apartment complex, bringing the site to 8 acres total, they decided they needed more space, and bought a 21-acre lot on Harmon Avenue.[16]

Edge sold Bourbon Street and adjacent properties to Harrah's Entertainment in March 2005.[17] Records filed with the county listed the total property value at $60.6 million.[15]

Harrah's decided to close Bourbon Street effective October 31, 2005.[17] On October 18, however, a water main broke, threatening the building's structural integrity, and the property closed early.[18] Demolition work began the following January, and the tower was imploded on February 14, 2006.[19]

Between 2005 and 2007, Harrah's had consolidated control of much of the east side of the central Strip, also acquiring the Imperial Palace, Barbary Coast, and much of the residential Flamingo Estates neighborhood north of Bourbon Street.[20][21][22] CEO Gary Loveman envisioned a mega-resort called Epicentre for the company's 350 acres.[23] As of 2018, the site is being used as a surface parking lot for employees of The Cromwell Las Vegas[24].


Bourbon Street had 166 hotel rooms, including 16 suites.[8]

The casino was 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2). As of 1995, it had 420 slot machines and 15 table games.[8] By the time it closed in 2005, it had just 100 slot machines, managed by slot route operator United Coin.[17]


  1. ^ a b c d Weiss, Clyde (October 14, 1980). "Las Vegas deck stacked against Allard". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
  2. ^ Weiss, Clyde (November 19, 1980). "Shenandoah exec plans New Year's Eve opening". Las Vegas Review-Journal. p. 6B.
  3. ^ Weiss, Clyde (May 13, 1980). "Nevada looking at gambling license". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
  4. ^ "Carma takes over". The Leader-Post. January 14, 1981. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
  5. ^ a b c Atkinson, Don (June 20, 1985). "Carma awaits casino approval". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
  6. ^ "Consolidated Carma sells Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino". PR Newswire. 3 February 1988. Retrieved 9 January 2012.[dead link]
  7. ^ a b "Woodland Hills Hotel Firm To Lease Las Vegas Casinos". Los Angeles Times. 14 June 1988. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  8. ^ a b c "Clarification Of Bw1066 Crown Casino To Purchase Las Vegas Casino". Business Wire. 17 July 1995. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  9. ^ "Note E". Quarterly Report (Report). Crown Casino Corporation. 13 December 1995. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  10. ^ a b c Steinhauer, Adam (30 April 1997). "Bourbon Street still in transition". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Starwood Lodging completes $7.8 million sale of Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino". Business Wire. 13 September 1996. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  12. ^ a b Berns, Dave (8 August 1997). "Bourbon Street swallowed". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  13. ^ Berns, Dave (11 August 1997). "Bourbon Street's value doubled in past year". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  14. ^ a b c Red Sea Gaming, Inc. v. Block Invs. (Nevada) Co. (13 January 2010). Text
  15. ^ a b "Parcel Ownership History, Parcel 162-16-410-047". Clark County Assessor's Office. Archived from the original on 25 December 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  16. ^ Smith, Hubble (24 August 2005). "Development: W Hotel Takes Sin City Spin". Casino City Times. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  17. ^ a b c Stutz, Howard (30 Jul 2005). "Bourbon Street Casino Closing". Review Journal. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  18. ^ "Bourbon Street Casino closed early by Harrah's". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 18 October 2005. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  19. ^ "Vegas Today and Tomorrow". Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  20. ^ Stutz, Howard (23 August 2005). "Imperial Palace sold: Harrah's keeps buying". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  21. ^ Koch, Ed (18 December 2006). "Landowners stand in way of 'the gorilla'". Casino City Times. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  22. ^ Vogel, Ed (8 February 2007). "Regulators recommend land swap". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  23. ^ Binkley, Christina (2008). Winner takes all: Steve Wynn, Kirk Kerkorian, Gary Loveman, and the race to own Las Vegas. Hyperion. pp. 278–280. ISBN 1-4013-0236-X.
  24. ^ Google Maps Street View of Site (Map). April 2018. Retrieved 24 December 2018.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 36°06′54″N 115°10′02″W / 36.114869°N 115.167253°W / 36.114869; -115.167253