Pop quiz: What was the original name of the Hooters hotel? Where was Castaways?

Ethan Miller / Las Vegas Sun / Sun File Photo

The 31-year-old Aladdin crumbles to the ground on April 27, 1998, while the under construction Bellagio hotel looms in the background. The hotel’s implosion cleared the way for the $1.3 billion Aladdin Project. However financial troubles caused the Aladdin to close. The property reopened in November 2007 as the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.

Las Vegas is constantly evolving: hotels and casinos are built and torn down, money flows in and out, tourists and residents come and go.

The names of local resorts are no different. They have transformed over the years, too.

Some have simplified their names (a few, in fact, so much so that they now resemble spoonfuls of alphabet soup). Others have been recast to fit a new owner's image. A few reflect a property’s theme.

Remember when the Venetian was the Sands? Here’s a look at several other name changes Las Vegas resorts have undergone:

    • Lady Luck to Downtown Grand

      The Lady Luck, which closed its doors in 2006, will reopen this year as the Downtown Grand. The resort previously had been called Honest John's and the Park Plaza Lady Luck.

      Seth Schorr, CEO of owner Fifth Street Gaming, said choosing a new name for the property was difficult.

      "We went through quite an extensive naming process,” he said. “We thought that, first and foremost, it was important for us to identify the location of the property."

      Schorr said the process took about six months.

      "Downtown Grand is a very classic, traditional name that conveys a sense of grandeur," he said.

      The Brixton was considered as a potential moniker, but executives ultimately chose a name that had an association with downtown.

      "We are champions of downtown Las Vegas,” Schorr said. “We think that, today, downtown means authenticity, and it means heart and soul and boutique."

      The Downtown Grand will start taking online reservations June 15 and is slated to open in the fall.

    • Barbary Coast, on the Northeast corner of Flamingo and the Strip, 1984. In 2007, the hotel and casino was renamed Bills Gamblin' Hall & Saloon.  SUN ARCHIVES

      Barbary Coast to Bill's Gamblin' Hall and Saloon to the Gansevoort Las Vegas

      The Barbary Coast became Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall to honor its owner's namesake, Bill Harrah, founder of Harrah's Entertainment, now known as Caesars Entertainment.

      More recently, the casino closed Feb. 5 to undergo major renovations. It is scheduled to reopen in 2014 with a new look and a new name: the Gansevoort Las Vegas.

      Owned by the Gansevoort Hotel Group, the property will join the hotel chain’s three existing locations: Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC, Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC and Gansevoort Turks & Caicos.

    • Fitzgeralds to the D Las Vegas

      Fitzgeralds switched its name to a single letter — the D — when owner Derek Stevens acquired it in October 2011.

      Stevens renamed the resort after himself and Detroit, his hometown.

    • Dust to dust: The Aladdin’s 1998 implosion.

      Aladdin to Planet Hollywood

      In 2003, the Aladdin traded its magic carpet for a red carpet.

      Planet Hollywood co-founder Robert Earl, who bought the property with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. and financier Bay Harbour Management LC, changed the resort’s name to reflect his worldwide brand.

    • Las Vegas Hilton to LVH - Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

      Elvis Presley's old haunt changed its name to the LVH - Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in early 2012 after the Las Vegas Hilton lost its rights to the Hilton brand name.

      It wasn’t the property’s first name change. The resort originally was known as the International Hotel when it opened in 1969.

    • Hotel San Remo to Hooters

      In 2004, the Hotel San Remo signed a management deal with Hooters. The restaurant chain rebranded the casino — complete with new, recognizable uniforms — and renamed it Hooters.

    • Le Reve to Wynn

      Steve Wynn announced in October 2001 that he was going to build a resort called Le Reve, the French word for "dream."

      But that name was scrapped before the resort opened. Wynn kept it simple and named the luxury resort after himself.

      Le Reve instead was used as the name for the resort’s resident acrobatics show.

    • Sahara to SLS

      The Sahara, one of Las Vegas’ oldest casinos and the site of the original “Ocean's 11” film, closed its doors in 2011.

      SLS Las Vegas will rise in its place next year.

      Owner Sam Nazarian has said that the letters SLS don't stand for anything in particular, but the hotel’s website notes that SLS Las Vegas is "something lovely starting" in fall 2014.

    • Terrible's to Silver Sevens

      Next month, the property formerly known as Terrible's will install a “Silver Sevens” sign to its building to replace a neon cowboy taken down May 20.

      Owner Affinity Gaming spent $7 million to renovate the hotel over the past 18 months. The final stage is the name change.

      The property's general manager, David Nolan, said executives chose the name Silver Sevens because it had a vintage feel.

      The resort was known as the Continental before it became Terrible’s in 2000.

    • Nevada Palace to Eastside Cannery

      Before the Eastside Cannery lit up Las Vegas' east side, the property was known as Nevada Palace.

      The palace walls came down when Cannery Casino Resorts, the company that owns North Las Vegas’ Cannery Casino, bought the property.

      The Eastside Cannery opened in August 2008. In homage to its roots, owners kept some of Nevada Palace’s original coin slot machines in operation.

    • Cars line the Las Vegas Strip in front of the Sand Casino in this 1950s photo. The Sands opened on Dec. 15, 1952 and was the seventh casino to open on the Strip. The Sands was most famous as the home of the Rat Pack, and its Copa Room hosted many legendary performances. The hotel was imploded on Nov. 16, 1996 to make way for the Venetian Hotel.

      Sands to the Venetian

      The Sands was imploded in 1996, so it isn’t quite a name change, but the land that housed the historic resort now sits under the Venetian.

      The Venetian, owned by Sheldon Adelson, opened in May 1999.

    • Culinary Union 226 members protest outside the Showboat Casino,1999.

      Las Vegas Showboat to Castaways

      The Showboat on East Fremont Street operated under its original name until 2000, when it became Castaways.

      The property had been sold to VSS Enterprises LLC in 1999.

      Its new name referenced an old Strip casino, the Castaways, once owned by Howard Hughes.

      The new Castaways closed in 2004 and was demolished in 2006.

    • Royal Nevada to the Stardust to the Echelon to Resorts World Las Vegas

      The Royal Nevada opened in April 1955 but suffered financial trouble from the start. In 1959, it was refashioned as a convention center for the Stardust.

      The Stardust closed in 2006 and was demolished a year later. Boyd Gaming hoped to build a new property, the Echelon, on the site. But construction stalled during the recession.

      In March, Asian gaming powerhouse the Genting Group bought the land. The company plans to build a 3,500-room Chinese-themed resort with a 175,000-square-foot casino scheduled to open in 2016.

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