Grand letter day in downtown Vegas: D Hotel opens

Oct 16, 2012 3:01 AM

The Goodmans were toasting, “Prince” was boasting and Coney dogs were roasting.

Welcome to the D.

“We definitely brought a bit of Detroit to Las Vegas,” said Derek Stevens, who along with his brother Greg co-own the new D Las Vegas that officially launched last week from what had been the former Fitzgerald’s.

“Fitzgerald’s was the perfect site for us downtown,” Derek said, sitting in one of 14 new suites (along with 624 renovated rooms) that have a similar gaming and “old Vegas” theme that another of his reclamation projects, Golden Gate, now enjoys.

“It’s 34 stories high, the tallest building in downtown Las Vegas,” Derek said. “The Fitz had fallen into a decline. We have created a new atmosphere. There’s a lot of Detroit here, while incorporating the very best of Las Vegas past and present.”

The D name itself, was created out of Detroit, downtown Vegas and Derek. Hey, if the owner spends $18 million he can name it anything he wants.

“The early feedback we’ve gotten has just about been all positive,” Derek said. “It took a whole year of renovation, but we never shut down to the public. I’m so happy everything is now done and everyone can experience the D at its best 24/7.”

And its best centers around the signature LONGBAR on the first floor, which is everything the name says. There’s a totally refurbished valet parking that’s easy and convenient, a Party Pit full of eye-candy lady dealers and high energy music on the ground floor. Upstairs is a more traditional Vegas with an upgraded William Hill sports book, the Sigma Derby horse racing game (recently featured in GT), a showroom and the classy D Bar that overlooks Fremont Street.

Last Wednesday’s grand opening also debuted the adjacent Detroit-based American Coney Island restaurant, the first-ever location outside of Michigan.

“Derek approached us with the idea of bringing a Detroit institution to Las Vegas,” said Grace Keros, co-owner of American Coney Island along with her brother Chris Sotiropoulos. “We felt it was a perfect marriage. We’re a destination spot. Bringing a part of Detroit here is great.”

The other neat part to D is the outside signage, which features content broadcast across hundreds of feet, and 40 giant flat screen televisions.

Mark Mayer has over 35 years covering sports events and is the sports editor at GT. Reach him at [email protected].

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