Lady Luck closes for makeover

Feb 14, 2006 4:41 AM

The Lady Luck Casino Hotel shut down its operations at midnight last Saturday in order to undertake a massive renovation project, which could take up to 12 months.

The owners of the Lady Luck, the Henry Brent Company, said plans for the casino hotel will be unveiled within the next few weeks, but GamingToday has learned that the hotel units could be converted to condominiums.

Even though the hotel, casino and restaurants are closed, the retail businesses located on the southwest portion of the property — Hogs & Heifers nightclub, Triple George Grill, sidebar and Celebrity Nightclub and Theater — will remain open for business, as well as the hotel’s parking garage.

The renovation of the Lady Luck will be the first major refurbishment for the hotel in about 20 years.

Since announcing the closure late last year, the Lady Luck has worked with various employment agencies and other local hotels to place as many of the property’s 689 employees in new positions as possible.

According to vice president/general manager Virginia Perkins, the placement program has been a tremendous success.

"One of our main priorities over the past two months has been to find new positions for our team members," Perkins said. "We have hosted two job fairs with over 25 employers participating in each. We have also helped team members contact other community resources, such as Nevada Job Connect, and provided one-to-one counseling when needed. As of today, about 90 percent of our team members have found new positions."

The Lady Luck first opened in 1954 as Honest John’s, a newsstand and smoke shop with five employees, five pinball machines, 20 slot machines and about 2,000 square feet of space.

Located on the corner of Third Street and Ogden Avenue, owner Andy Tompkins changed the property’s name to Lady Luck in 1968.

In March 1972, the lady Luck expanded, taking over an entire block and introducing live gaming to the casino with a Big Six wheel and two blackjack tables.

In 1982, two Nevada Power buildings were purchased to the east of the property, providing space for what became 108 garden rooms and a pool area in 1983.

In 1985, a $20 million expansion and remodeling project added a 16-story tower (east) with 297 rooms, two new restaurants, valet parking and a revamped casino floor.

Construction on the second tower (west) began in 1988, adding 387 guest rooms by 1989.

In 2000, the property was sold to Isle of Capri, then sold again in 2003 to Steadfast Companies of Orange County, who operated the hotel as the Park Plaza Las Vegas.

In April 2005, the entire property was purchased by the Henry Brent Company, the current owners of the hotel and other commercial establishments along Third Street.