Golden demolition

The remaining remnant of the Golden Road—forerunner of the Atlantis—has been torn down.

Originally called the Golden Door, which opened in 1970, the property was a simple motel until it became the Golden Road under new owner John Farahi in 1972. The next year, Bally Distributing leased space for 20 slot machines. By 1975, the number of slots was up to 25, operated by Kathy Tripp, again on a lease. It had a restaurant called the Copper Kettle, later the Purple Parrot.

The Golden Road had a rotating sign in front and on one occasion, a worker was inside it changing light bulbs when a Washoe zephyr came up, spinning the sign around and trapping the worker inside. Fire rescue crews freed him.

Some news coverage of the demolition indicated that the site was well out of town when it was built. In fact, many community fixtures, such as the Elks Club, the Centennial Coliseum convention center, the Liberty Belle Saloon and numerous shopping areas, were already farther south when the motel was built.

Eventually, the entire motel was raised up and moved to the northeast corner of the enlarged property, which in 1990 became the site of a high rise casino hotel called the Clarion. One feature of the Clarion was an Atlantis Seafood Steakhouse. The whole facility became the Atlantis in 1996, with the motel still supplementing the hotel.