Best Downtown Revamp

Golden Gate Hotel

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There’s the elegant porte cochere where the grimy lot and sketchy valet stand used to be at the Golden Gate Hotel. Inside the revolving doors—where the old deli once cranked out those little shrimp beauties—is the brand-new lobby with the minimalist-swank vibe of a big-city boutique hotel. (We’re in love with the “HOTEL” art—reclaimed metal letters from the original Gate sign—on the wall behind the front desk.) Las Vegas’ first hotel, built in 1906, has managed to preserve what’s made it our favorite cheap gambling haunt while rivaling the cool, contemporary kids on the block. It started with go-go dancers gyrating behind the low-limit tables a few years ago. Now it includes the aforementioned revisions as part of a new five-story tower that does something only a few properties have managed to do over the years: offer a sense of style Downtown.

GoldenGateCasino.com.


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Jason Strauss

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Jason Strauss

The tastemaker and nightlife impresario is a partner of Tao Group, a leading restaurant and nightlife company that develops, owns and operates numerous high-profile food and beverage facilities nationwide, including Tao, Lavo and Marquee. Along with his partners, Strauss was named Hospitality Operator of the Year by Nightclub & Bar in 2006, and their work with Marquee has been profiled as a case study by Harvard Business School.

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