Rare Memorabilia from Gilley’s Las Vegas
The original Gilley’s Las Vegas, at the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, opened in December of 1998 and closed on July 17, 2007 when the classic Las Vegas, Nevada hotel was shuttered forever. Below is a local television news video of the implosion that took place on November 13, 2007. It was quite an extravaganza. I know. I was one of many who stood in the cold night air on Las Vegas Blvd. that night and watched it happen, up close and personal. I figured that since I was literally one of the last people to leave Gilley’s at around 5 am on closing day, after listening to Larry, the club manager, thank everyone for all the years of fun we had there I owed it to myself to witness the end of an era. Enjoy.
Finally, pictures of some of our most rare pieces from the old Gilley’s at the Frontier Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. I think you’re going to love these.
This first piece came off the front entrance to the club. There were two swinging doors, each with one of these signs, on each side, showing a sampling of the food available in Gilley’s restaurant. As seen in the picture below, the sign is still in the oak frame with plexiglass front it was originally displayed in on the door. This one came off the lower front of the left door as you face the club from the outside. It measures approximately 2 feet wide by 2 1/2 feet high, including the frame, and is in perfect condition.
To go along with the food sign above, we have an original menu from the Gilley’s restaurant. It measures 8 1/2 x 11 and contains 4 pages, including front and back. As you can see, it promotes the always popular mud wrestling.
If you’re going to eat, or even if you’re not, you have to have beer. And to get beer, you need a tap handle. So here is an original Gilley’s Beer tap handle from behind one of the bars. There seems to be some disagreement as to how many of these handles existed, but my guess is that there were probably two, although this is the only one we know of for sure. The entire handle measures about 10 1/2 inches tall and is quite heavy.
And here is a close up of the medallion on the tap handle. In the middle it reads Gilley’s Beer and says Las Vegas right above. The small print along the black ring at the bottom reads “Pacific Ridge Ale Red Rock Brewing Co.” So if you ever wondered who made all that Gilley’s Beer you drank, now you know.
When you order your Gilley’s Beer it would have likely come in a Gilley’s The New Frontier Las Vegas 5 5/8″ tall beer mug or possibly in a tall (6 1/4″) Gilley’s The New Frontier Las Vegas glass. Both were photographed with white paper inside and have the same logo on each side.
Here is a picture of this very hard to find beer mug.
And here is the tall Gilley’s New Frontier drink glass.
Okay, since we’re on the subject of alcohol, here’s another great piece. On July 7, 2007 (07-07-07), which happened to be the official closing weekend at Gilley’s (although they didn’t actually close until the following weekend) Jack Daniel’s made up a special one time poster to commemorate their “N0. 7″ brand.
Four of these posters were hung at Gilley’s Las Vegas that night. I was told by the Jack Daniel’s rep that they were to be destroyed after the club closed but that I could have one if I waited until 5 AM closing time. I not only got the poster, but I also got a tag that was taped to the back indicating that the poster was assigned and delivered to Gilley’s by Jack Daniel’s company. That tag is the yellow tag shown at the bottom middle of the frame. At either side of the tag are wrist bands from that weekend. In the bottom right corner of the poster is a matching 2-sided picture that says “Gilley’s & Jack Daniel’s” on it. The poster measures about 3 feet by 5 feet and is printed on a canvas-like material that feels like it has a rubber coating. It’s a real beauty and a valued part of the GilleysMuseum.com collection.
If you order your Jack mixed, expect to get it in a rocks glass. Here is our very hard to find Gilley’s New Frontier Las Vegas rocks glass.
So now that we know our club has beer and whiskey, how are we going to get some? Why our beautiful Gilley’s Girl will bring it to us, that’s how. Below is a picture of an original New Frontier Las Vegas Gilley’s Girl outfit, including shorts, bra top, vest (both summer and winter versions) and swede chaps with red fringe. It is a prize piece of the GilleysMuseum.com collection.
Since this outfit clearly looks better on the Gilley’s Girls than it does on a hanger, here is a picture of Angel, one of the New Frontier Las Vegas Gilley’s girls. She is also pictured in the same outfit on the inside right page of the Gilley’s menu pictured above.
Alright, 1 or 2 of you guys might have had one too many, and you know what that means. We need a security guard to calm things down. Below is an original Gilley’s Security Guard shirt, employee ID badge, handcuffs (hanging around the neckline) actually used to make arrests at Gilley’s, and key on a vintage Gilley’s Pasadena key ring. I got everything after the club closed, besides the keyring, from my old security guard buddy Dave. Thanks, Dave. He was forced to use them in a number of situations where patrons needed to be detained. Hope you never experienced wearing these cuffs. This outfit is part of the GilleysMuseum.com collection.
Whether you needed the alcohol to get up your nerve to dance or not, Gilley’s always offered free dance lessons, as indicated by this large sign that hung in one of their front windows for years. With the permission of the manager, I got it at 5 AM on closing day. It is the only one in existence, and measures about 6 feet by 3 feet. It’s the same on both sides so it could be seen by people both inside and outside of the club, and is plastic coated so it could be easily cleaned. This sign is part of the GilleysMuseum.com collection.
One of the popular weekly events at Gilley’s in the New Frontier Hotel and Casino was Mud Wrestling. Here’s a picture of the hotel’s main sign in front of the casino promoting Gilley’s and mud wrestling.
Here is a picture of the large sign in one of the front windows of Gilley’s promoting Dirty Girls and Cold Beer and cash prizes for Mud Wrestling on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. It’s the same size and construction as the Free Dance Lessons sign above, and as of 4-3-14 we are very happy to say that this original Gilley’s Mud Wrestling sign is now a part of the GilleysMuseum.com collection. (Now if we can just find the matching “Bikini Bull Riding” sign we could complete the set. Please let us know if you know where it is. Thanks.)
For a time, contestants were given tank style shirts to wear over their bikinis as they came from the dressing room. These shirts are very rare. Here is a picture of one of these shirts from the GilleysMuseum.com collection.
If you’re running a big club like this, and you want to make your documents look official, I guess a rubber stamp with the Gilley’s logo would be a great way to do it. This rubber stamp came from the old Gilley’s Las Vegas back office and probably ordered up more beer and hard liquor than you can count. And it still works!
There you go. Another sampling of the cool memorabilia from the original Gilley’s Las Vegas at the now closed Frontier Hotel & Casino. We’d love to hear your comments, memories, or questions, so don’t hesitate to post below.
There’s much more to come, so keep checking back.