Trip Review: PointsAway In Las Vegas
Part 1: Exploring Denver International
Part 2: Coworking Paradise: The New Gold Spike Las Vegas
Part 3: McCarran’s Best Secret: The American Express Centurion Lounge at LAS
Part 4: Flying Frontier: Cheapest Award to Vegas?
Casino No More
The Gold Spike is located a block from the Freemont Street Experience, home of Old Vegas legends like Binion’s and the Golden Nugget. Once a casino of the old era itself, the Gold Spike has been transformed into something totally new and different at the hands of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.
The ground floor, once home to hundreds of slot machines, has been entirely gutted and replaced with what its staff refer to, quite accurately, as the Living Room.
The description is apt given the layout of the space. Comfortable chairs, bean bags, lines of high-top desks with stools and even a bed adorn this largest portion of the new Gold Spike.The objective? To simply give people a cool place to hang out, 24 hours a day. Aside from comfortable seating, the area also hosts an oversize cornhole set and a couple pool tables, as well as a library of board games from which guests can choose.
While the party apparently revs up at night as DJs emerge and the hipster scene descends on the Gold Spike, we spent hours there midday on a recent Wednesday and found it to be a coworker’s paradise. This was obviously the choice meeting spot for the Las Vegas startup crowd and for any other small groups to catch up on projects, and plenty of individuals working took advantage of the copious power outlets around the perimeter of the Living Room in order to type away on their laptops.
What’s the Catch?
Here’s the thing about Gold Spike: unlike a more traditional coworking environment, insofar as one exists, there’s no membership, no day pass, no cover charge. The entire operation is funded by the money made by the trendy bar area and small café on premises (and presumably subsidized by its wealthy benefactor, at least for now). Not so far removed from the Starbucks model, the thinking is that the longer guests stay, the more they’re liable to spend on food and beverages.
The bar area itself features power outlets at every stool and a variety of beers on tap, along with a few dart boards and an arcade golf game for good measure. The café serves breakfast 24 hours a day, and more lunch and dinner appropriate fare for much of the day.
I had a sampler platter of cheese sticks, “onion spikes” – akin in form to a bloomin’ onion that had been chopped up – chicken fingers and kobe sliders. If you walk into Gold Spike expecting a fine meal, you’ll likely be disappointed, but the sampler easily bested similar options from fast casual chains like Chili’s.
Speaking of walking into Gold Spike, if your experience is anything like mine, prepare to chuckle at the number of older folks who come stumbling in the doors expecting their favorite old casino to be there, only to adopt a look somewhere between suspicious and dumbfounded.
While it was fairly chilly outside during my visit, the backyard at Gold Spike is built to evoke an idealized barbecue of old, complete with an old, aluminum Gulfstream trailer and various patio furniture. For the time being, the upper floors of the Gold Spike aren’t being utilized, but this old hotel space is currently undergoing renovations for future plans.
As one of the cornerstones of a local initiative to make Downtown Las Vegas about much more than gaming, Gold Spike certainly stands out and is a model I’d love to see adopted in other cities.