2012 was touted as the "Year of Downtown Las Vegas" by Mayor Carolyn Goodman last spring. Much attention has always been paid to The Strip, but downtown's Fremont Street and its "Experience" is a popular tourist attraction in its own right.

To mark the reemergence of downtown Las Vegas, developers Derek Stevens and Greg Stevens have remodeled not one but two Fremont Street icons. The Golden Gate, Las Vegas' first hotel & casino, reopened to the public late last month after months-long renovation, and the renamed D Las Vegas opened to the public Thursday.

The Golden Gate, which sits on land that was purchased for $1,750 at auction in 1905, has a new lobby and exterior, as well as a five-story luxury tower and extended casino floor. Though, The Golden Gate's real estate isn't the only reason it's steeped in history. After opening in 1906, the hotel became home to Vegas' first telephone in 1907 and the first neon signs in 1927, and was also one of the original hangouts of the Rat Pack. The casino got off the ground in 1955 thanks to a group of investors from San Francisco.

Meanwhile, Thursday marked the reopening of the D Las Vegas (formerly the Fitzgeralds hotel,) which sits beneath the world's largest video screen on Fremont Street. Much like the Golden Gate, the D has a new lobby, a two-level casino, 624 remodeled rooms and the first American Coney Island outside of Detroit.

Check out photos of the Golden Gate then and now below.

Photos courtesy of The Golden Gate unless otherwise noted.

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  • 1906

    The Golden Gate in the former Hotel Nevada

  • 1920s

    The Golden Gate sat in what was previously called the Hotel Nevada in the 1920s.

  • 1931

    In 1931, the Hotel Nevada was renamed the Sal Sagev (Las Vegas spelled entirely backwards).

  • 1940

    The Golden Gate sat in what was then called the Hotel Sal Sagev Photo: Manis Collection, UNLV library

  • 1940s

    Golden Gate (then Hotel Sal Sagev) and Fremont

  • 1955

    Golden Gate Casino grand opening on the first floor of then Hotel Sal Sagev

  • Late 1950s

    Golden Gate Casino inside the then Hotel Sal Sagev

  • 1960s

    Fremont Street, Golden Gate and Hotel Sal Sagev by night

  • 1965

    Redesigned Golden Gate Casino & Hotel Sal Sagev

  • 1970s

    Golden Gate Hotel & Casino

  • 1998

    Fremont Street Experience and Golden Gate Hotel & Casino

  • The refurbished exterior

  • The new lobby

  • The Golden Gate's entrance

  • A new penthouse suite

  • The Golden Gate suite

  • High Limit Room

  • Fitzgeralds Casino & Hotel

    A view of Fitzgeralds Casino & Hotel on Fremont Street before it closed to become the D Las Vegas.

  • The new D Las Vegas, which opened Thursday