The Humboldt Lodging House, built in 1869, was renamed as the Commercial Casino a decade after Nevada legalized gambling in 1931. Much folklore and ghost-lore enliven this grand dame of Elko. In the 1800’s it was where “Handsome Harry” and his lady-of-the-evening mistress were shot to death by her husband. Those who believe in such things maintain that Handsome Harry still wanders the shuttered second floor rooms of the property.
The Commercial is also the home of what may be the world’s largest dead polar bear, an amazing 10 feet and 4 inches tall and weighing 2,200 lbs. The giant bear, known as “White King,” was bagged by an Alaskan Eskimo hunter around 1957 and now calls the Commercial’s coffee shop his home. White King was immortalized in Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing In Elko, a 1992 Rolling Stone cover story.