Bought in 1972 by John Woodrum and his son, The Klondike Hotel and Casino featured 153 rooms and over 7,700 square feet of casino space. The hotel was most well-known for its excellent location across the road from the welcome to Las Vegas sign and the McCarran international airport. After the passing of John Woodrum, the casino and 6 acre property was sold for redevelopment.
The Klondike Meant Great Value
The Klondike was most well known for its great value. The tables had a $2 limit and there was a pair of 10c a spin roulette wheels. The Klondike included a 24 hour café that sold a 99c breakfast until the Klondike’s closure in 2006. The 6 acre lot was sold for a reported $48 million to Royal Palm Communities for redevelopment.
The Klondike, with its location on the Las Vegas strip is also well known in popular culture, featuring in many movies and as an inspiration for many songs and stories. In 1997 the motel, unnamed, appeared in the Chevy Chase movie, Vegas Vacation. It also features in Miss Congeniality 2, the 2005 film starring Sandra Bullock and William Shatner. The American Metal Band, avenged sevenfold, also features the rooms of the Klondike in their music video for the song Bat Country, that went on to win the MTV music video award for best video.
The Klondike’s Humble Beginnings
The Klondike was originally known as the Kona Kai Motel and did not feature a casino area. It featured a hotel and adjacent cocktail bar for guests. It wasn’t until John Woodrum came along in 1975 and teamed up with a new business partner, Katsumi Kazama to purchase the motel. The motel was renamed the Klondike and the infamous casino area was introduced to generate business through its promotional use of great value on the machines as well as great value in the hotel and amenities.
New Beginnings and the End of the Road
The Casino was renamed the Klondike hotel and Casino in 1982 after Woodrum had bought Kazama’s share of the premises. Since 2004 the casino was expanded to include Leroy’s Horse and Sports place, a sports book at the casino that takes wagers on sporting events. This sports book only operated on the premises for two years, until the venue’s closure in 2006. Shortly after the Klondike’s closure in 2006, the site was used to train the K9 unit for the Las Vegas Metro police. By 2007, vagrancy in the abandoned motel resulted in the city ordering the hotel to be repaired or be demolished. The motel was boarded up and razed, the land eventually being sold in 2013 and plans for a Harley Davidson dealership was announced, to be built on the vacant lot. The premises was eventually sold for $18 000 000 per acre, a far cry from the $23 million for 6 acres that Woodrum received a few years earlier. Initially after the original sale there were plans for a new luxury hotel and Casino. It was to be named the Paramount Las Vegas. It was going to feature over 1800 rooms and an 80 000 Square feet Casino space. Plans were approved by Clark County but after the financial crisis of 2007 the plans were shelved indefinitely before the land was eventually sold.