Golden Gate: Las Vegas’ Oldest Hotel & Casino

With a wide variety of places to stay in Las Vegas, it can be difficult to choose, but I do love history, so we opted to stay in Vegas’ oldest operating hotel and casino, the Golden Gate.

Large bulb and neon sign reading "Golden Gate" across the side of the hotel.

Exterior shot of the hotel with a towering neon sign that features an image of the Golden Gate Bridge and letters reading "Golden Gate Casino Hotel" Below across the bottom reads "Restaurant" in yellow neon.

Myself, wearing a pink and purple floral peasant top and jean shorts, leaning against a row of vintage vending machines.

Back in 1906 Las Vegas was a nothing town in the middle of the desert, a train stop en route the Pacific Ocean. But that isn’t what John F. Miller thought, he thought Las Vegas could be so much more. Miller opened Hotel Nevada at 1 Fremont Street, across the street from the train station. The hotel had ten rooms, which guests could sleep in for $1 a night, complete with electricity and those wishing to try their luck could do so with various games of chance. The following year Miller installed Vegas’ first ever telephone with the easy to remember phone number of 1.

The gambling aspect didn’t last long, as it was outlawed in 1910, but that didn’t stop Las Vegas from growing. In 1925 Fremont Street was paved, and in 1927 the hotel got its first outdoor electric sign. When gambling became legal once again in 1931, the hotel also experienced a name change, becoming Sal Sagev, no that isn’t someone’s name, it’s just Las Vegas backwards.

Soon Las Vegas was becoming a hot spot, and by 1955 the hotel experienced its third name change, becoming what it is today, the Golden Gate, thanks to new ownership from some Bay Area boys. The fellas also brought with them the Shrimp Cocktail, introducing it to Las Vegas for the first time in 1959.

Fast forward to 2012, and Las Vegas has changed quite a bit, but the latest owners take pride in the hotel’s unique history, doing an extensive renovation and expansion. The lobby features artifacts from the hotel’s history, including ledger’s from the hotel’s earliest years and highlights its first ten rooms as a unique piece of Las Vegas history, one of which we just had to stay in.

As mentioned earlier, the hotel’s address is 1 Fremont Street which places it at the beginning (or the end, depending on which way you’re walking) of The Fremont Street Experience, the historic downtown core of Las Vegas that is closed to car traffic and covered, and offers live entertainment on multiple stages and a zip-line. Our room was small, but charming and overlooked the end of the zip-line and one of the stages.

Exterior view of the hotel at night.

View of the lobby with a round couch for guests and a check in counter. On the wall hangs letters reading "hotel"

Mural of the hotel with vintage cars out front.

Interior of a hotel ledger from 1907 with names written in cursive.

An old room key with a brass fob that features an image of the hotel and reads "Sal Segav"

Close-up of a vintage slot machine that has an image of the Golden Gate Bridge on it.

Photo collage of vintage images of the hotel over the years.

Hand towel with an image of the hotel and reads "Sal Sagev Las Vegas, Nevada"

Vintage slot machine that has an intricate design of a bird on it.

Various poker chips.

Myself, wearing a pink and purple floral peasant top and jean shorts, leaning against a wall with card tables in the distance.

Yellow neon reads "High Limit"

On the left a yellow vest embroidered with an image of the Golden Gate bridge, curved in blue thread reads "Golden Gate Casino" and below the bridge in red-orange thread reads "Change" on the right is a black tie with an image of the Golden Gate Bridge and text reading "Golden Gate" all in yellow.

The cashier cage of the casino which features a large photograph of the neon sign out front and text above the cage window reads "Cashier"

Various coin operated slot machines.

A line down the wall divides it. On one side reads "Now" and "1906" on the other. A plaque reads "This is where our history begins. That ridge in the floor is the boundary between the original 10 rooms and everything that came after. This hallway has been here since 1906. And now you're officially a time traveler."

A large bed takes up most of the room with a chair along one wall with my cream train case on it, hanging on the wall is a vintage photograph of the hotel from 1906.

Room number and history plaque outside our room reading "219 Officially original. This right here is one of the first 10 rooms in all of Las Vegas. Built by rancher John F. Miller, this establishment opened in 106 and has never closed. If these walls could talk, you'd be in for a long, interesting story. And now you're part of it."

A vintage black and white photograph of the hotel from 1906 with text below reading "You could see the future from here. This photo from 1906 shows Hotel Nevada owner J.F. Miller in the carriage. That lovely lady in the window was his wife Rosa, gazing out over the desert that would become Las Vegas."

Various postcards, note cards, and room keys using vintage images highlighting the hotel's history.

View of the lobby with a round couch and a photo collage of vintage photos of the hotel through the years.

Close-up of the Golden Gate bridge neon.

Myself, wearing a pink and purple floral peasant top and jean shorts, leaning against a row of vintage vending machines.

Close-up of a large neon and bulb combo sign that reads "Casino"

View looking up at the towering neon sign that reads "Golden Gate Casino Hotel" in yellow and white neon and a red neon version of the Golden Gate bridge.

Step back in time at the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino at 1 Fremont Street in Las Vegas. Book your stay in one of the ten original rooms (or a larger, newer suite if you prefer!) on their website.

It’s important to note that Las Vegas is pretty much a 24/7 town, and the old walls and windows do not provide much soundproofing. The live entertainment on the stage outside our window went until about two o’clock or so in the morning. So if you’re not a late night party person and prefer a quieter night, one of the original ten rooms might not be for you.

Other Las Vegas Destinations

Burlesque Hall of Fame

Diamonds are Forever Filming Locations

The National Atomic Testing Museum

The Neon Museum

Twilight Zone Mini Golf

Lochhead, Colton. “Golden Gate still shines 116 years after opening in downtown Las Vegas.” Las Vegas Review-Journal, 13 January 2022.
Our Story.” Golden Gate Hotel & Casino.

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