Town Celebrates 25th Anniversary
As reported by the Las Vegas Gaming Wire
VEGAS -- The locals market in Las Vegas is so hot today,
it's sometimes hard to remember the pioneers who got that segment
of the gaming industry started.
it opened a quarter of a century ago, Sam's
Town was a pioneer out on what was then the dusty edge of
Las Vegas but on the cutting edge of the gaming industry.
idea of a locals casino off-Strip unassociated with downtown
Las Vegas or Henderson was a gargantuan leap at the time,"
University of Nevada, Las Vegas History Department Chairman
Hal Rothman said. "Others said it was an idea whose time
had not come, but they were all proved wrong."
Gaming Corp. Chairman Bill Boyd said the Boulder Strip landmark
was built on 13 acres of desert out in the middle of nowhere,
the intersection of Boulder Highway and Nellis Boulevard, when
it opened and his friends asked if he'd lost his marbles.
Boyd said Sam's
Town was well received by residents who lived in the area
from its opening day, very much unlike the opening of some locals
casinos today which often draw protests and demonstrations.
its hotel complex on top of the casino and other attractions,
Boyd said Sam's Town has also always succeeded in drawing drive-in
visitors, especially from California, many of whom return year
While the spirit has stayed the same, the technology and amenities
have changed with the times.
said Sam's Town and its owner, Boyd Gaming Corp., have made
innovation their creed in the intervening 25 years, and helped
define the locals gaming market.
the dream of the father-and-son team of Sam and Bill Boyd that
founded Boyd Gaming, opened at a time when hotels just were
not being built, especially out in the desert, he said.
innovation, then and now, is understanding the changing market.
(Sam's Town is not) for a downscale gamblers market, but a premier
place featuring country music, NASCAR culture and down-home
pioneered in a lot of ways, and that is an indication of the
vision of the owners, top managers and staff," Rothman
Boyd, a bingo operator in California and Hawaii, came to Las
Vegas in 1941 and worked his way from dealer to investor in
Nevada casinos, eventually purchasing shares in the Sahara and
invested in the Plaza downtown. He built the California Hotel
downtown and the Eldorado in Henderson. But Sam and his son,
Bill, who spent 15 years as a Las Vegas attorney, wanted a second
property to bear their family name, revolutionize the industry
and create a third major gaming area on the Boulder Strip.
result was Sam's
Town, which today has more than 3,000 slot and video games,
more than 70 table games, a race and sports book with 60 big
screen televisions and daily bingo in an 111,641-square-foot
hotel has 650 rooms and suites, each decorated in a 19th century,
Southwestern theme, 1,000 valet parking spaces, and three self-park
garages with more than 2,500 parking spaces.
hotel-casino features Sam's
Town Live, a 1,100-seat theater, Century 18 Sam's Town movie
multiplex, Roxy's Lounge, a 56-lane bowling alley and an amusement
Gaming completed an $86 million, 200,000-square-foot expansion
and casino remodeling in 2000.