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Derek Stevens tries to bring a bit of Detroit downtown with the D – VEGAS INC

Just as people from Hawaii view the California casino as “the ninth island,” Derek Stevens wants people in Detroit to look at the D in downtown Las Vegas— like a second home.

He is advertising throughout the Great Lakes region to attract customers from Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. He has brought a beloved Detroit eatery, American Coney Island, to his Fremont Street casino. Even the name “the D” is a nickname among Detroit residents for their city.

It’s also the hometown of Stevens and his brother Greg, who came to Las Vegas when the automotive industry began to crumble during the recession. After making it big selling nuts and bolts for cars, they bought the old Fitzgerald’s last year and began to rebuild it from the inside out.

The Stevens brothers also are part owners in the Golden Gate, which unveiled its own renovation last month.

This weekend, the Stevens debut the new D.

The brothers rebuilt the casino to fit in with changes taking place on Fremont Street, which over the past few years has been reincarnated as a new hipster place to party. Other casinos that have undergone recent face lifts include the El Cortez, Golden Nugget and Plaza. Even Neonopolis, on the verge of emptiness a year ago, is coming back to life with new tenants.

Stevens gave VEGAS INC the first look at the culmination of a year of construction and explained how he’s bringing hints of the Midwest downtown:

via Derek Stevens tries to bring a bit of Detroit downtown with the D – VEGAS INC.

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