By Mark Waite
Security guards stretched the yellow police tape across the front doors of Terrible’s Town and Terrible’s Lakeside Casino promptly at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The beeping of the slot machines went silent until 8 a.m. Thursday at the two casinos, a strange silence after operating 24 hours per day, 365 days per year for over 10 years.
The two casinos, which opened in 1996 and 1998 respectively, reopened again under the ownership of Golden Gaming Inc., owners of the Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Casino.
The Nevada Gaming Commission Feb. 23 approved gaming licenses for Golden Gaming to take over the two Terrible’s casinos, the Terrible’s Lakeside license is for slot machines only. The Terrible’s Lakeside takeover includes the recreational vehicle park.
People with Pahrump Nugget uniforms walked around Terrible’s casinos Wednesday night, the only people inside were the workers busy making the transition. The kitchen was being scrubbed down, the bartenders were cleaning up their stations for a fresh, clean start March 1.
Jeff Rathjen, the assistant general manager for the Pahrump Nugget, who will be taking over in that position at the two Terrible’s casinos, explained the process Wednesday night.
“We started doing a physical inventory of the games. We wiped out all the progressive meters, any liabilities that are coming across from Affinity to Golden Gaming. We have a team that’s in the kitchen right now doing a fixed asset and food and beverage inventory. So there will be end of the month inventory for Affinity and the starting of the month inventory for Golden Gaming,” Rathjen said.
All the money in the slot machines was taken out and counted down, Rathgen said. There is a minimum bank pool Golden Gaming has to open with, per Nevada Gaming Control Board rules, he said.
“That money will be here. We’ll buy that money and the rest will go to Affinity,” Rathjen said.
He expressed optimism the information technology department will be able to flip over the programming and slot games to the Golden Gaming system in time for the reopening.
“Actually we have a pretty good window. This is the window when we took over the Nugget. I think we did the Nugget in seven hours,” Rathjen said.
Golden Gaming took over the Pahrump Nugget in November 2006 from Generation 2000, the company that built the casino, which opened in March 2001.
While the two Terrible’s casinos were silent, the parking lot at the Pahrump Nugget Casino was almost full as slot club members took advantage of a Golden Gaming promotion.
“We mailed fliers to all of the card members to let them know that the hours we’re going to be closed. We also allowed them free play at the Nugget tonight and a cash grab. I hired a live band so any guests that are inconvenienced we can accommodate them at the Nugget,” Rathjen said.
Early Wednesday evening a long line waited to pick up their giveaways from casino employees at a table next to Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop inside the Pahrump Nugget.
Customers enjoyed free cake and champagne at the three properties throughout the day Thursday.