Entertainment

Nevada’s oldest casino turns 90

ailroad Pass casino sits on the outskirts of Henderson, not far from Boulder City, the only incorporated Nevada town where gambling is illegal.

It’s a small, unassuming property — nothing like the swanky, upscale resorts that line the Las Vegas Strip. But it’s proved resilient, carving its place in history and holding on tight.

The state’s oldest operating casino turned 90 on Sunday. It’s a milestone worth celebrating, historians say, given its origins and role in the earliest days of Nevada gaming.

And while mindful of the hotel-casino’s venerable benchmark in Silver State history, owner Joe DeSimone is also making improvements with an eye toward the future.

He is pumping money into renovations and new projects, including an additional hotel tower he hopes to complete within a year. His message is clear: “We’re not going anywhere.”

Some of Railroad Pass’ biggest changes in its 90 years have come in the last six.

DeSimone bought Railroad Pass from MGM Resorts International in 2015. In his time as owner, he has removed the museum and hung its black-and-white photos throughout the casino, added 150 new slot machines, developed a Chevron gas station travel center to entice truckers, updated the hotel rooms, extended the casino bar and modernized the property.

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