South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa, owned and operated by Michael Gaughan, celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2016 as one of Las Vegas’ top hotels offering the world’s premier equestrian facility, 11 award-winning restaurants, Las Vegas’ only professional bowling tournament facility and nonstop entertainment for both locals and visitors alike.
“There have been so many changes in Las Vegas, from the opening of many exceptional establishments to the end of an era for some properties, shows and legendary icons, all which have molded Las Vegas into the remarkable city it is today,” said Ryan Growney, general manager of South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa. “We are honored that South Point continues to make an impact in the community, and we look forward to more exciting things in what we anticipate to be a long and bright future.”
Since opening, South Point has become home to some of Las Vegas’ most memorable events, dining facilities, performances and more. In preparation for its 10th anniversary, South Point highlights moments in history that have helped the property make its stamp on the Las Vegas blueprint:
- South Coast Becomes South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa
It began when Michael and Paula Gaughan had a dream to open a hotel property that would cater to the Western lifestyle group, creating a place within the bustling city of Las Vegas where cowboys and cowgirls could gather and feel at home. But where did the name come from? Gaughan claims he changed the name to South Point because he only had to change three letters from Coast to Point.
- Las Vegas’ Premier Gourmet Dining
Las Vegas’ original fine dining establishment, Michael’s Gourmet Room, originally opened at Barbary Coast Hotel and Casino in 1982. Following the opening of South Point Hotel, Gaughan opened the iconic restaurant in 2007. Not wanting to change the original atmosphere, the iconic doorframe and rose budded ceiling were installed to continue the tradition of a true vintage, intimate and gourmet setting that the restaurant is nationally renowned for. Many celebrities have made Michael’s Gourmet Room a regular place to dine but you will never know who unless you dine there yourself.
- Jerry Lewis Telethon
Good friends with Jerry Lewis, Gaughan brought the Jerry Lewis Telethon to South Point Hotel from 2006 to 2011. The telethon was hosted by actor and comedian Jerry Lewis in an effort to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
- The Division of Race and Sports Books
The race and sports book are two separate worlds in Michael Gaughan’s eyes. When opening South Point, Gaughan wanted to ensure guests would get the best of the betting world by offering a Race Book with nine windows and a separate Sports Book with 12 windows. South Point was and still remains the only Nevada property with a separate Race and Sports Book.
- Benny Binion Becomes a Resident
For the price of $1, Benny Binion’s statue moved into the South Point Hotel in 2008. Weighing in at 3,000 pounds, Gaughan had a hole carved into the side of the property to install the statue into its new home.
- Steak ‘N Shake Joins the Team
For over five years, South Point has played home to many firsts, one of the most popular being the first Steak N’ Shake on the West Coast. In addition, it is the only location in Las Vegas. Since making a home here, Steak N’ Shake has served over 2,624,160 burgers and 1,474,005 milkshakes, making it the highest earning Steak N’ Shake in the country.
- Las Vegas’ First Professional Bowling Tournament Strikes
Adding another first to the list, South Point Bowling Plaza, a $35 million bowling tournament facility, rolled into town in October 2014 introducing Las Vegas to its first professional bowling tournament facility. Gaughan secured a 12-year deal with United States Bowling Congress (USBC), Las Vegas Events (LVE) and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), which scheduled 122 days in 2015, 210 days in 2016 and 310 days of tournament operations in 2017. The facility, a spacious 90,000-square-foot facility, features 60 lanes with two parallel rows of 30 lanes, a 360-seat viewing area, a 720-unit locker room and a 350 seated squad room equipped with a team photo booth area, stub lane, ball check station and bracket room.
- First Casino to Host a Game of Blackjack for a Budweiser Clydesdale and Dalmatian
Known for hosting some of Las Vegas’ most unique events, it only seems natural to host a special game of Blackjack for some of its most unique guests. In October 2012, Gaughan, Growney sat down with the Budweiser Clydesdale and Dalmatian for an afternoon of Blackjack. Yes, it is a hotel for cowboys, but it doesn’t stop there. South Point and the Gaughan family have had a relationship with Budweiser dating back to the late Jackie Gaughan. Over the years, more than 400 Clydesdales have made reservations in the South Point Arena.
- Vegas Cowboy Central Becomes Home to Three Arenas
Already the premier equestrian facility in the world, South Point Arena grew in 2014 from one arena to three fully transitional arenas. The expansion project, dubbed the Priefert Pavilion, brought an additional 100,000 square feet to the existing space totaling more than 240,000 square feet to for arena events. Since the installation of the new arenas, South Point has booked 42 weeks of the year to events making it home to some of the most unique Equestrian events in the country including, National Cutting Horse Association events, Arabian Breeders World Cup, American Quarter Horse Association events, National Barrel Horse Association, Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association’s Western U.S. Championship, Indian National Finals Rodeo and the World Series of Team Roping
- South Point Employees Celebrating a Decade at South Point
South Point employees are as dedicated to the property as Michael Gaughan is to his employees. In addition to honoring the start of South Point’s 10th anniversary, 831 employees will also be honoring a decade of working for the hotel.
South Point Hotel will kick off its 10th anniversary with complimentary cake and champagne in the Grandview Lounge on Friday, Dec. 18 from 2 to 8 p.m. Wes Winters will also be performing throughout the party. For more information about South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa, please visit www.southpointcasino.com.