Plaza Hotel & Casino

The Plaza Hotel & Casino is a casino-hotel located in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada owned by the Tamares Group and Play LV is the leaseholder and operator of the property. It currently has 1,037 rooms and suites, as well as an 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) casino and there is more than 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of event space. The Plaza also features a classic showroom, seasonal roof top swimming pool, beauty salon, and fitness center, as well as a Race & Sports Book.

The Plaza began an extensive renovation project at the end of 2010 that included brand new guestrooms and suites, an entirely remodelled casino floor and lobby, and all new restaurants, bars and entertainment options. The renovations utilize contemporary furnishings and materials purchased from the Fontainebleau resort after it suspended construction on the Las Vegas Strip. The hotel and casino are scheduled to open as soon as Sept. 1, 2011.


Opened on July 2, 1971 with the owners including local businessmen: Sam Boyd, Frank Scott, Howard Cannon and Jackie Gaughan. Its original name was Union Plaza, in reference to the Union Pacific railroad station that originally stood at the site.

Before the discontinuation of the Desert Wind train route on May 10, 1997, Amtrak made its Las Vegas, Nevada station near the Plaza. The station and ticket windows were directly connected to the hotel. It was the only train station in the United States located in a casino.

Barrick Gaming Corporation acquired the Plaza from Jackie Gaughan and in late 2005 later ceded operation to majority owner Tamares Group. On July 1, 2005 after Tamares took control of the Plaza mayor Oscar Goodman made his opinions clear in an article in the Las Vegas Press. He said If I had my druthers, I would like to have somebody in place to discuss imploding the Plaza. He was referring to his desire to see the Plaza replaced with new construction that would create a scenic entrance to Union Park.

During its ownership by Barrick Gaming Corporation, D.W. Barrick's good friend, Larry Manetti (Orville "Rick" Wright, of Magnum, P.I. fame) hosted a celebrity brunch every Sunday, featuring such guests as Pat Morita and Steve Rossi. He also owned Manetti's in The Plaza. When Barrick sold its interest in the hotel to the Tamares Group, Manetti closed his restaurant and severed his relationship with the hotel. The Plaza's famed glass-domed Center Stage Restaurant is now a second edition of the locally famed Firefly Tapas Kitchen and Lounge.

The hotel portion closed on November 11, 2010 for renovations that are estimated to last 12 months leaving just the sports & racebook, the showroom, one bar, and a portion of the casino open. The hotel closure is expected to cause the loss of 400 jobs in the hotel.

As of March 2011, the south tower has been fully renovated including all new furniture purchased from the postponed Foutainebleu project. The casino is slated to finish renovations and hold a grand re-opening in late August 2011, with the hotel re-opening on September 1, 2011.

Las Vegas Union Pacific Station

Prior to the construction of the casino, part of the site was used for a Streamline Moderne train station. Constructed in 1940 the station was upgraded with neon lights in 1946. This station existed until the 1960s when it was demolished and replaced by the Union Plaza Hotel which included a new station.

Film history
  • In the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, the construction of the Union Plaza is visible as Bond evades the attention of the police department.
  • In the 1989 film Back to the Future Part II, a model of the Plaza serves as the hotel tower.
  • The Union Plaza played a major role in the 1992 movie Cool World.
  • The Plaza is visible as giant baby Adam walks through downtown Las Vegas in 1993 movie "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid"
  • In the 1994 movie version of The Stand, the Union Plaza played a key role as the headquarters of Randal Flagg.
  • In the 1995 movie Casino, a scene starring Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone plays inside the Center Stage Restaurant, where Ginger (played by Sharon Stone) and Sam (played by Robert De Niro) argue over missing money.
  • In the 2000 movie Pay It Forward, a scene starring Kevin Spacey plays inside the Center Stage Restaurant.
  • In the 2001 movie The Mexican, Samantha and Winston stay at the Plaza, and Frank is killed by being thrown from one of its balconies.
  • In the 2003 movie Looney Tunes: Back in Action, the Plaza serves as the hotel tower for "Yosemite Sam's Wooden Nickel" casino
  • In The Girl Next Door, desperate to win her back, Matt (Emile Hirsch) and his friends follow Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert) to Las Vegas and find her performing at a convention, which appears to be taking place at The Plaza.
  • In the 2008 film The Grand, the Plaza serves as the hotel tower for "The Rabbit's Foot".
  • In the 2010 film Kites, father of one of the actress own the Plaza.
Television production

The syndicated Ultimate Poker Challenge has been taped at the Plaza as well as the currently-running National Wrestling Alliance program NWA Wrestling Showcase, airing on Colours TV.

CBS finished production early in 2010 of a show called The Odds that will take place at the Plaza Hotel as well as along the Fremont Street Experience starring Donald Faison.

Music videos
  • Featured prominently in Mase's "Feels So Good" video.
  • Mase's video was parodied by Monster Magnet, which was filmed in front of the hotel as well.
  • The Plaza is featured in many scenes of the video "We Built This City" by Starship, despite the fact that the song refers to an early-70s Los Angeles, not Las Vegas.


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Building Activity

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