Say goodbye to Vegas Vickie, the bright and scantily clad cowgirl sign welcoming visitors to the Girls of Glitter Gulch gentleman’s club on Freemont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. Visitors can also bid adieu to the stand-alone Mermaids casino and La Bayou, the last fully coin operated slot casino in Las Vegas when all three venues close on Monday June 27. However, Vickie may return with some of the other vintage signage according to a Saturday update from Derek Stevens.
Derek and Greg Stevens, owners of the modern D Las Vegas (formerly Fitzgerald’s) bought up the property next to their recently acquired Las Vegas Club at the end of The Freemont Street Experience in separate transactions over the last year. The Stevens brothers plan to build a new casino hotel to add to their growing inventory and influence in the once struggling district. They also own the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center and Golden Gate Casino.
La Bayou not only offered visitors a taste of the past with clinking coins in buckets, never opting for printed tickets, they also hold the oldest gambling license in the state, tendered way back in 1931. The venue had variously been known as La Bayou, Northern Club, Monte Carlo, and Coin Castle (pictured 1986).
Mermaids was most famous for their deep fried sugary treats like battered Oreos, deep-fried Twinkies and PBJ sandwiches.
The Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch leaves nothing to the imagination in their name. Here, hundreds if not thousands of women have plied their trade over the years for extra money or even to put themselves through college, according to an opinion piece in the Las Vegas Review Journal that speaks to the self-described “Unofficial Mayor of Downtown” ending his tenure at the gentlemen’s club.
On Saturday, Derek Stevens held a farewell party at Mermaids according to local broadcaster and news outlet, ktnv.com. He spoke to the press about the future while letting locals and others know that the brothers have respect for Las Vegas’ past.
“My brother and I are always respectful of Las Vegas history and I love Las Vegas history,” said Stevens. “I know there’s going to be a design element where some of the great signage and stuff like that can be incorporated in the new project.”
“I think downtown continues to evolve just like all of Las Vegas does and that’s one of the greatest things about this city,” said Stevens.
Vickie came to the downtown scene in 1980 (under the name Sassy Sally). Another icon, Vegas Vic first appeared in 1951 above the Pioneer Club. Vic and Vickie were “married” in a 1994 ceremony during construction of the Fremont Street Experience.