Changing of the Palace Guard

An era has ended at Palace Station, and it doesn’t involve a parking garage implosion or even a last call, but it’s just as important to the threads that bind Las Vegas together. Cocktail server Lynda Allan is retiring after 34 years at the locals-oriented casino.

When Allan arrived in Las Vegas in 1978, she was fresh off a divorce and looking to leave the town she’d called home, Niagara Falls, N.Y., and start over. With an aunt already living in town, Las Vegas seemed as good a place as any. An office worker in Niagara Falls, it didn’t take her long to find an office job at a television repair shop. She lasted one day; it was so boring she offered to let her former employer keep her first days’ wages. Allan had heard that the Bingo Palace might be hiring, so she stopped by to apply for an office job. Though she had never thought of herself as a potential cocktail waitress, she was offered—and accepted—a job bringing drinks to players. She loved it.

Allan has seen a lot of changes at the property, the most obvious being the transformation from Bingo Palace to Palace Station. Over the years she’s gotten to know all of her co-workers and many of the casino’s guests; she spent her last day laughing and crying with them, happy to be moving on but sad at leaving her family.

“It still hasn’t sunk in that I won’t be coming back … as an employee,” she says. “I’ll still visit.”

Recounting her years at the “acorn that turned into all the other Stations,” as she puts it, Allan is particularly appreciative of the Fertitta family’s role.

“I’d see Mr. Fertitta [Frank II, the father of Frank III and Lorenzo] all the time. He’d always say ‘Hi, Lynda’ and stop to talk. I’m still amazed at how Frank and Lorenzo have expanded the company.”

Allan hasn’t given much thought to what she’s going to do now that she’s not working Wednesdays through Sundays at Palace Station, but it’s clear that Palace Station is going to miss her just as much as she’ll miss it. At a time when many employees’ tenure can be measured in months rather than years, Allan’s longevity at Palace Station speaks volumes.