Diamond Tooth Gertie's Gambling Hall
1001 Fourth Avenue, Dawson, YT Y0B 1G0, Canada
Sun - Sat 7pm - 2am
Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling HallTo say I was reluctant to enter a place whose name promised an experience as authentic as one in a themed restaurant at a mall is an understatement. My local hosts, however, were insistent so I dutifully finished my drink, walked down the street (unpaved and still lit by the summer sun at 11:45 p.m.) and took in the midnight show. Gertie’s is a casino, Canada’s oldest, and it’s run by the local tourism office so all the proceeds go back into the city. The 1901 building was constructed as the Arctic Brotherhood Hall and is now filled with slot machines and blackjack tables around a open central area with tables facing an elevated stage. Three times nightly from May to September, a vaudeville show is performed on the stage, accompanied by an accomplished two-man band. Each successive show gets more bawdy and modern through the evening, starting from a chaste, old-timey version at 8:30, ratcheting up to something a little more naughty at 10, and then the midnight version, which I saw. It was a little risqué and a little ridiculous and a whole lot of fun. Sit up front if you like audience participation. Holler and laugh and sing along if you want to fit in with the crowd of locals. But I’m with the locals, go to Gertie’s if you get a chance.
Ann Shields traveled to Alaska and the Yukon with Holland America Line as part of AFAR’s partnership with the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), whose members provide travelers with unparalleled access, insider knowledge, and peace-of-mind to destinations across the globe. For more on Ann’s journey, visit the USTOA blog.