By David Stratton | The first phase of the Gold Spikes metamorphosis in downtown Las Vegas is complete, and slot players especially will like the "new look" of the casino.
After a closure to repopulate the slot floor, the Gold Spike re-opened last week with a nice mix of video and reel machines, hand-picked for the discriminating player.
Las Vegas locals have made video poker, along with video keno, the games of choice, and the Gold Spike features all the popular varieties and denominations: Bonus, Double Bonus, Double Double Bonus, Deuces Bonus, ACE$ and Four Card Keno, to name a few.
Penny slot players can feed their fetishes with popular games such as Sea Monkeys, Davinci Diamonds, Wedding Party, Coyote Moon and Wild Wolf, and the life-altering wide area progressives, such as Megabucks and Wheel of Fortune are well-represented.
Adding flavor to the menu of popular games is a number of exciting promotions for players.
"We are currently offering our slot players free pizza from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., as well as free Gold Spike logo T-shirts, 24 hours a day," said General Manager Steve Driscoll.
Driscoll added that slot players who catch a minimum payout of $25 or more earn a spin on a giant wheel, from which they can receive free slot play from $2 to over $100.
With such a low threshold ($25), astute players can expect a significant return in free slot play over the course of a session.
Unique to the Gold Spike is how cash is paid out. All the former coin machines have been replaced, of course, but rather than dispensing tickets that must be cashed through a kiosk or cashier, players are paid directly from the floor attendant.
"We think its a nice touch, having the personable floor attendant deliver the cash directly to the customer," Driscoll said.
The way it works is when a player pushes the "cash out" button or hits a hand-pay jackpot, a signal is transmitted to the slot station, where the attendant notes the award and delivers the money to the player.
As noted, the new slot floor is part of the Gold Spikes first phase of renovation. Also just opened is a new pizza and lounge area adjacent to the check-in desk.
Within the next month or two, live blackjack and roulette will be added to the casino, along with a Leroys sports book, full restaurant and casino bar.
The Gold Spike, along with the adjoining Travel Inn, was purchased by The Siegel Group, which owns and operates Extended Stay apartments in Las Vegas and Reno.
"We love whats happening in downtown Las Vegas and believe we can create an exciting property for locals and visitors alike," said Michael Crandall, The Siegel Groups director of business affairs.
Renovations to the aging hotel/casino located at the corner of Fourth Street and Ogden Avenue also include remodeling of the hotel rooms, with top floor suites featuring balconies and views of the downtown area.
Long-term plans include re-opening the Travel Inn and connecting it to the Gold Spike. It also plans to convert the motels parking lot into a pool area, and eventually build a hotel tower at the north end of the property, which extends to City Halls parking garage.
For now, Crandall said the immediate goal is to create a casino where locals as well as visitors can come for "good food, good gambling and a fun, safe experience."