After a 10-year absence of hotel rooms, Binion's Gambling Hall in downtown Las Vegas opened the 81-room Hotel Apache on July 29.
Vintage-style furnishings reminiscent of the original Hotel Apache that opened in 1932 captures the property's storied past. Guests check in at the original registration desk on the casino floor and take the city's first electronic elevator to their room. Those rooms feature hardwood floors and antique rotary-dial phones.
"You can't buy our history," general manager Tim Lager said. The Silvagni family, who came to Las Vegas as a cement contractor for the Hoover Dam project, opened the Hotel Apache as a place for workers to stay while completing the dam. In 1951, iconic gambler and innovative hospitality operator Benny Binion acquired the hotel, and Hollywood stars such as Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart and Lucille Ball were among those who checked in. TLC Casino Enterprises, which also owns the Four Queens and Skinny Dugans Casino & Lounge in Las Vegas, purchased the property in 2008 and soon closed the hotel.
Reports of spirited guests over the decades have given the property a ghostly reputation, and it was recently featured in "Ghost Adventures" on the Travel Channel.
Whiskey Licker Up, a saloon, restaurant and nightspot overlooking the Fremont Street Experience and its First Street Stage, is tentatively planned to open by September at Binion's.
Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman helped the property celebrate the opening of the hotel.
"There is so much happening in downtown Las Vegas, and I'm thrilled that Binion's is offering the new Hotel Apache experience," Goodman said. "Downtown has always been the place in our city for history and the vintage Vegas vibe, so this concept is a perfect fit."