Hoover Dam Lodge; 58 Years of Gaming
Boulder City near Lake Mead in the USA is one of only two locations in the state of Nevada where gambling is illegal. This makes Hoover Dam Lodge, a hotel and casino complex on a small parcel of privately owned land that was omitted from government reclamation during the construction of the Hoover Dam, but which is outside the city limits, popular among those Boulder City residents who enjoy casino gaming despite the local ordinance.
A gaming establishment has existed on this site since 1958, when the heirs to a gold and turquoise prospector who had acquired the land as a claim abandoned the unsuccessful mining operation and opened the Gold Strike Inn instead. This operation consisted of a gas station, snack bar and gift shop, along with a cocktail lounge containing six slot machines.
Expansion, Destruction, Rebuilding and Renaming
The Gold Strike Inn expanded to include an 80-room hotel in 1982, and another 80 rooms were added in 1986. In 1994, a 16-storey hotel tower was built adjacent to the casino. An accidental fire in 1998 destroyed the casino, but left most of the hotel tower intact.
After a $30-million rebuild, the casino was re-opened in 1999 as the Hacienda Hotel and Casino. A new management took over in 2013, and after renovations that included a new convenience store and gas station, the operation was renamed the Hoover Dam Lodge. It is decorated in a rustic lodge theme, and has 372 rooms, along with four restaurants and a lounge bar.
Small, Intimate Casino Operation
Unlike some of the massive casinos with 3,000 machines or more in Las Vegas, Hoover Dam Lodge reamins a fairly small operation, drawing about half of its players from Boulder City and the nearby town of Henderson, and the other half from tourism. The casino features only 300 slot machines, with table games added into the mix as traffic warrants them since 2015.
Unlike most casinos, Hoover Dam Lodge is flooded with natural light wherever possible, and the casino seeks to project a family atmosphere. Although it is fully licensed, the top beverage sales are in coffee and bottled water, so it’s a quiet country operation rather than a haunt for party animals.
Plenty of Local Attractions
While the casino may be a major attraction for residents of Boulder City, who are still forbidden to gamble within the city limits, tourists also enjoy Hoover Dam Lodge because of the many places of interest available locally. Lake Mead was formed following the construction of the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, and it is a popular location for all types of aquatic sports. The dam wall itself is one of the USA’s technological wonders, and receives thousands of visitors per year.
Tourists can also explore the area via helicopter, airplane, bicycle or quad bike tours, and go kayaking on the Colorado River. Nature lovers will enjoy hiking amongst the flora and fauna of southern Nevada, and athletic pastimes like golf, skydiving and ziplining are also easily accessible in the Hoover Dam Lodge area.
A First for Dolly’s
Since 2013, Hoover Dam Lodge has been owned by Nevada Restaurant Services, the parent company of the widespread Dotty’s chain of slots parlours. Hoover Dam Lodge is the first casino featuring both table games and slots in the Dotty’s stable.