The transformation of downtown Las Vegas continued Tuesday with the closing of a Greyhound bus station near the Plaza Hotel and Casino.
A Greyhound sign at the bus station announced the terminal would close Feb. 23. The new terminal is about 10 miles south of downtown, near McCarran International Airport. The airport is just east of the Las Vegas Strip at the southern end of the resort corridor.
Plaza CEO Jonathan Jossel tweeted a picture of the Greyhound sign this week. The bus station had been on Main Street for nearly 50 years.
Ciao. Bye,” Jossel tweeted. “End of an era.”
The Plaza plans to convert the 48,500-square-foot terminal into a dining, entertainment, and retail space. In a tweet late last year, Jossel said this project is “arguably one of the most important in decades” for the area.
The Plaza also is working with the city on a four-block pedestrian pathway to connect the hotel-casino to a new bridge behind the resort. The bridge, to be built by the city, will connect the pedestrian pathway to residential and commercial development at Symphony Park.
Reviving Downtown Las Vegas
These projects are a continuation of the downtown area’s redevelopment over the past several years. One key figure in the revitalization was former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. The tech guru pumped millions of dollars into reviving neglected parts of downtown near the casino district. With his death in November, an effort is underway to sell these properties. Hsieh died of complications from smoke inhalation at a fire in Connecticut. He was 46.
Also downtown, Circa Resort opened last year at the corner of Fremont and Main streets. Circa is the first hotel-casino built from the ground up in that area in 40 years. The Plaza is on Main Street, across from the adults-only Circa.
Other attractions have been added downtown over the years, including The Mob Museum. Located in the historic former federal courthouse near Fremont Street, the museum celebrated is ninth anniversary this month.
Former Mob Casinos
The Plaza is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, with giveaways and special events. Information is available on its website.
The Plaza opened in 1971 at the site of the now-demolished Union Pacific passenger train depot. Though railroad tracks still run behind the hotel-casino, Amtrak closed its train station and ticket windows inside the resort in 1997. It was the nation’s only train terminal inside a casino.
The largest resorts in Southern Nevada are on the Strip, south of downtown. However, Fremont Street, known as Glitter Gulch, has its own appeal, including for those interested in the area’s notorious past casino operators.
These include Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, a New York gangster who briefly owned the El Cortez downtown in the 1940s with other underworld figures. Siegel went on to build the Flamingo on the Strip south of downtown in late 1946. He was shot to death at his girlfriend Virginia Hill’s home in Beverly Hills in 1947. Siegel was 41. The killing has never been solved.
The Flamingo is at the same location on the Strip, though none of its original buildings remain. The El Cortez is still in operation downtown, with some of the original structures in place.
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