What Happened to the Lady Luck Casino?

The iconic Lady Luck Casino opened in downtown Las Vegas in 1964 as Honest John’s casino. At the time of its opening, other historic Vegas Casinos MMC33 like the Tropicana and Circus Circus were opening their doors on the Vegas Strip. In 1983, the property was renamed Lady Luck and was at the height of its popularity. Between 1986 and 1989 a 17-story tower and another 25-story tower were added.

Lady Luck Closes

The 743-room Lady Luck closed in February 2006, but in the time between 1964 and 2006 the Lady Luck was one of the premier casinos in all of Las Vegas. When the Lady Luck closed it was downtown’s third-largest casino, sitting on 6.27 acres of land. The closure meant the loss of 684 jobs. The original plan was to close the hotel/casino for one year for major renovations, but those plans never came to fruition and the building was sold again in 2007 to the CIM Group, a California development company. Despite the purchase, the company has allowed the property to continue sitting dark. The interior spaces of the hotel were largely demolished in preparation for renovations, but no further action has taken place.

Future Plans

In July of 2009 CIM did begin tearing down a building skeleton at the corner of Fourth Street and Stewart Avenue, but nothing of note has happened since. Part of a 2008 deal that CIM reached with Las Vegas City Council states that renovations to the casino must be started by December of 2009, however that deadline could be extended. It is not clear if the deadline will be extended, but it is clear that city officials are not happy with the large amounts of debris and garbage that have piled up on the property.

CIM claims current economic conditions as the reason for the stall in renovation plans. They say they do plan on forging ahead with renovation plans once the economy turns around. At this point the empty building seems to have little chance of returning to its former iconic status. The best bet for this historic building is a wrecking ball, as has been the case with so many hotels and casinos that made Las Vegas famous.