Railroad Pass to be Updated, but Only Physically

The 83-year old Railroad Pass casino in Henderson, Nevada has a new owner, and will soon have some other new features, but not a new identity.

To present an accurate idea of how worn down the 83-year old Railroad Pass casino is, employees have had to use buckets to catch rain which seeps through the aging roof cracks. This has been euphemistically referred to as “bucket patrol” by workers, who have also had to shut down slot machines and cover them with plastic as well.

The casino’s new owner, Joe DeSimone, has promised to replace the roof, in addition to making other much needed upgrades. The casino had been owned by MGM Resorts International ever since it acquired Mandalay Resort Group in 2005. Janine Thompson, who has worked on the casino floor for two decades, said, “They were just slowly ruining the morale of Railroad pass, because we’re all just a number.”

While DeSimone plans to invest in improvements to the property, he does not want to change the property’s character. “Most of the changes we’re going to do are physical changes … we want the experience to maintain itself for the existing customers, so they don’t feel like there’s anything different going on, “ he said.

One aspect which won’t change are the casino’s coin-operated slot machines. While ticket in, ticket out machines have dominated since its introduction, Railroad Pass is among the few casinos which still feature some that accept coins.