El Cortez in Vegas Getting $20M Remodel

Estimated read time 2 min read

The oldest continuously operating casino in Las Vegas is getting a facelift.

El Cortez received a well-deserved place on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. (Image: thevendry.com)

El Cortez is renovating 10,000 square feet of its historic casino floor and adding another 5,000 square feet to it.

The $20 million refresh will result in a brand new high-limit lounge and two new bars that will be in keeping with its pre-WWII time-machine vibe.

We sure hope you didn’t like Ike’s Bar too much. (Image: El Cortez)

One bar is described by a news release as a “roulette” bar, the other a “show” bar with a 10-by-20-foot screen tuned to black-and-white films and live sports. One of the bars will replace Ike’s, which opened in 2017.

Two other additions — the restaurant Hot Noods by Chinglish and a plain old Starbucks — represent a nod to modernity and the Millennials and Gen-Zers the resort has so far done a bang-up job of attracting.

The renovations will follow a recent $30 million upgrade of the hotel’s original 47 rooms, Tower Premium rooms, and casino restrooms.

“We are thrilled to unveil our latest expansion project, which represents a significant milestone for El Cortez and the community of downtown Vegas,” El Cortez CEO and chair Kenny Epstein said in the release. “These enhancements arrive at a pivotal moment of heightened demand from both locals and visitors to Fremont Street.”

Construction is expected to begin this summer and wrap early next year.

El Cortez opened on Nov. 7, 1941 where it still stands — on half a Fremont Street block between Sixth and Seventh streets — before Fremont was even paved that far.

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