Pioneer Hotel Headquarters


Pioneer Hotel, Elko Nevada

The Pioneer Building, located at 501 Railroad Street in Elko, Nevada, is now the headquarters of the Western Folklife Center, but it started as a tent called the Pioneer Saloon in 1868, and was likely the first bar in Elko. Completed in 1912-1913, the current building was the largest retail and office building in Elko at that time.


 Pioneer Saloon with Brunswick back bar now

Typical for Nevada towns in that era, the Pioneer Building and Pioneer Saloon ~ with its impressive, 40-foot 1890 Brunswick back bar constructed of mahogany and cherry wood inlaid with mother-of-pearl ~ served as a social center. Additional space in the building was used for shops and business offices, with housing upstairs.

The Pioneer Bar in the early 1900s

Throughout its life, the Pioneer had various owners. Converted from an office building to a hotel and casino, then to a restaurant, bar and lounge, the building was vacant when the Western Folklife Center purchased it in 1992 thanks to a donation from the late George Gund III, a local rancher and Western Folklife Center Board Member.

G Three Bar Theater

Both a local and a regional cultural center with an exhibit gallery, 300-seat theater, 20-seat Black Box theater, saloon and gift shop, the Western Folklife Center has implemented many renovations to the Pioneer Building since 1992, to bring you one of the best in exhibit galleries - our Wiegand Gallery, including the updated Black Box Theater - as well as many upgrades to the Pioneer Saloon with its adjacent fireplace nook, and the beautiful G Three Bar Theater. These facilities are available for rent.

Click here for rental information.

Click here for directions to the Western Folklife Center and Pioneer Hotel Headquarters.