In April of 2013, the Tony Hsieh-backed Downtown Project bought and renovated the old Gold Spike, previously known for cheap drinks and hotel rooms but mostly for its slot machines. After just a few weeks of work, the Gold Spike reopened with an updated bar and hangout spot—and without a single slot machine.
In a highly unlikely transformation, a struggling Downtown Las Vegas casino was flipped into a hip 24-hour hot spot, seemingly overnight. The move away from gaming was addition by subtraction.
“The vision for when we purchased the Gold Spike was to have a co-working environment,” says assistant general manager Kristine Reynolds. With multiple bars, a casual eatery, free Wi-Fi, DJs spinning nightly, traditional games like billiards in the “living room” and oversized games like beer pong and Jenga in the breezy-cool backyard space, the Gold Spike doubles as a casual hang for the laptop set by day and a magnetic party spot at night. “Our thing is to be either first, unique or best. There are other bars here, but what we offer is something beyond having just a dance party and a bar,” Reynolds says.
Since the Gold Spike has attracted the college-age crowd to Downtown Vegas, it was a natural fit when MTV went hunting for sites to film the 31st season of The Real World, which debuts on March 17. After the hotel’s top floor was renovated as a stylish penthouse suite, the latest crew of strangers moved in for a 70-day shoot between October and December. “They’ve filmed a couple times in Vegas, and it’s always been at unique venues,” Reynolds says. While she can’t share exactly what she saw during filming, she’ll admit it was a fun time. “You’ll see when you start watching.” Gold Spike, 217 Las Vegas Blvd. N., 702-476-1082, 24/7.