Las Vegas: Say goodbye to mermaids, deep-fried Twinkies on Fremont Street


Three long-standing attractions in downtown Las Vegas -- Glitter Gulch, La Bayou and Mermaids -- are calling it quits. The down-market venues along the Fremont Street Experience are set to close June 27.

The properties have been sold to downtown developers Derek and Greg Stevens, who plan to build a new hotel-casino on the block.


Even visitors who have never ventured inside Glitter Gulch will probably remember Vegas Vickie, the neon cowgirl that adorns the exterior. Inside, the so-called Girls of Glitter Gulch are strippers who wear less clothing than the brightly-colored cowgirl-sign outside.

Specifics for the new development have yet to be announced. The Stevens brothers already operate two downtown resorts, the D Las Vegas and Golden Gate Hotel and Casino.

Mermaids, one of the free-standing, small casinos along Fremont Street, is better known for its fried foods than its slot machines. The place indulges sweet tooth cravings by battering Oreos and Twinkies and then deep-frying them.

La Bayou is one of the few remaining Vegas casinos where gamblers can still hear the real clink-clink-clink sound of coins dropping into metal trays beneath the slot machines. It never converted to the “paper in, paper out” system (putting bills into the machines and receiving a ticket of your winnings) that has become common in recent years.

The old school touch is appropriate, since La Bayou holds Nevada’s first gaming license, issued on March 20, 1931. (The casino began as the Northern Club and has also operated as the Monte Carlo Club and Coin Castle.)


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