February 25, 2007
Name Change to Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall Makes Me Deeppresso
On Tuesday, the romantically named Barbary Coast casino, one of the older names on the Vegas Strip, is going to disappear and open up on Friday as Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon.
While The Barbary Coast is not one of the truly classic old names in Vegas like the Stardust, which will be imploded in March, it’s been around since 1979. In Vegas years that makes it an old dog indeed, and its naming is reminiscent of the romance of the "Old Vegas" of the fifties and early sixties, when names like The Sands, The Palms, The Stardust, and Caesar's Palace marked a trend of larger than life naming mythology.
The name change comes as ownership of The Barbary Coast is transferred from Boyd Gaming Corp. to Harrah’s for a swatch of 24 acres next to the soon to be demolished Stardust (land which includes the site of the long gone Westward Ho). The name is a tribute to Harrah’s founder Bill Harrah, not Bill Gates, but I consider it a poor choice, as does VegasRex and the responders at Two Way Hard Three.
Vegas names are supposed to conjure up a mythical world of wealth, hope and decadence (think Bellagio). I am not really convinced that a casino name should include truncated words like "Gamblin'" in a world where half of the visitors will be booking their tickets online and may be erroneously typing "Gambling Hall" into Yahoo Travel. I just can’t see anyone getting excited to fly to Vegas and stay at a place called "Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon."
This is not the week's least appropriate name, however. That award goes to a deep roasted espresso coffee brand name in Japan. The name? Deeppresso. This name just can’t help but make you sad.
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