Overland Hotel
238 North Center Street
1931 - 1977
Overland Hotel
Photo from the Mark Englebretson Collection




Louie Eliopoulos
Grade 2

Louie Eliopoulos
Grade 2

Don Boyer
Grade 1

Don Boyer
Grade 1

Don Boyer
Grade 1

The Overland Hotel was built in 1916 by the Dromiack family and remained in their possession until it was purchased by Pick Hobson in 1959. Gaming was licensed for three months by W. D. McKnight in 1931, then no one was licensed in the Overland until Pick Hobson was licensed in 1960. However, there was gaming for a time in the bar area.

When Hobson purchased the Overland, he remodeled the period hotel, refurbished the rooms, and added air conditioning. He opened the entire street floor to his gaming operation and introduced an early-Comstock décor. There was red-plush wallpaper, walnut paneling, and huge chandeliers. More than twenty life-size oil portraits of early western outlaws and gunfighters, including Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok, Wes Hardin, and others, adorned the walls. Pick titled his collection of paintings "Gunfighters of the Old West." The original marble staircase remained in the lobby and led overnight guests to the upstairs rooms.

Hobson was first licensed for seven 21 games, a craps game, a roulette game, a keno game, and slots. In 1970 he acquired the adjoining Cosmo Club. In 1975 the Cosmo Club was closed to make room for a possible Overland expansion.

Also in 1975 Hobson put together a management team for the Overland Hotel, the Gold Club, and the Topaz Lodge (all properties that he owned). The following were the members of the management team: Craig Soper, Anthony Gabriel, Steve Gurasevich, Robert Hawkins, J. J. Page Jr., Richard Sturdivant, and George Miller.

On March 30, 1977, newspapers announced that Harrah's had leased the Overland. The Overland was scheduled to close on May 1. The 140-room hotel had 480 people on the payroll. The Overland closed the very next day in the early morning hours. The closure came as a surprise to most of the employees. General manager Craig Soper said there was no choice but to close the hotel-casino after the article in the previous day's paper.

In June 1977 demolition of the property began in preparation for construction of Harrah's 450-space off-street parking facility. In March 1978, Harrah's purchased the Riverside Hotel from Jessie Beck and traded it to Hobson for the Overland Hotel. It was a good arrangement for all parties, because Jessie Beck wanted to get out of the gaming business, Pick Hobson wanted to get back into gaming, and Bill Harrah was able to acquire the key piece of property that he needed in order to build an off-street parking facility for his Center Street expansion.

The former location of the Overland Hotel is now part of Harrah's parking facility on North Center Street.

According to Dwayne Kling