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Golden Nugget opens $150 million, 500-room tower

Las Vegas Sun, November 2009 — by Amanda Finnegan

Tower is the first to open in downtown Las Vegas in two decades

The Golden Nugget celebrated a milestone Monday for downtown Las Vegas.

The hotel-casino had a grand opening celebration for its Rush Tower, the first new hotel tower to be added to the downtown area since Golden Nugget’s Carson Tower opened in 1989.

Mayor Oscar Goodman and Tilman Fertitta, president, chairman and chief executive of the Golden Nugget’s parent company, Landry’s Restaurants Inc., cut the ribbon in the Rush Tower lobby at a ceremony Monday evening while welcoming the news media, VIPs and Las Vegas notables.

Goodman praised Fertitta for investing in downtown Las Vegas and for his commitment to finishing the project, even through the economic downturn.“When Tilman came to town, the two of us met and he said, ‘Mayor, I’m going to do for you what I’ve done for other parts of the country where we have our businesses and that is help you revitalize your downtown.’” Goodman said. “A lot of folks come see me in city hall and make promises and, unfortunately, many of them are unkept, but not his promise.”

The Golden Nugget officially welcomed its first guests to the $150 million Rush Tower on Friday. The 25-story, 500-room tower includes four penthouses, 70 junior corner suites and standard rooms that are 20 percent larger than the property’s other standard rooms. Guest rooms range from 439 square feet to one-bedroom parlor suites at 1,326 square feet.

The addition of the Rush Tower brings the Golden Nugget’s room count to 2,414, making the hotel the largest in downtown Las Vegas.

The rooms are designed with a brown, gold and burgundy color scheme. Standard room features include pillow-top mattresses, feather down comforters, 42-inch plasma televisions and marble bathroom fixtures.

Rates at the Rush Tower start at $69 on weekdays through December while weekend rates are between $89 and $129. Rates for New Year’s Eve start at $229.

“Were going to do whatever we have to do to put people in the rooms right now,” Fertitta said. “We want heads in the beds.”

The Rush Tower also features the Chart House, an upscale seafood and steak restaurant owned by Landry’s Restaurants. A 75,000-gallon aquarium with more than 1,000 tropical fish will be the centerpiece of the 200-seat restaurant.

Other additions in the renovation include an expanded casino floor and pool complex, retail offerings and the Rush Tower’s porte cochere, which can be accessed at First Street and Carson Street.

The Rush Tower also brought the addition of more than 100 jobs to the Golden Nugget, Fertitta said.

Landry’s Restaurants Inc. has spent more than $300 million in renovations since the company purchased the property in 2005.

“We are just going to keep tweaking for a while and keep working on things,” Fertitta said. “We love downtown and we’re going to continue doing business down here.”