One of the many obstacles the GLOW wrestlers face in Season 3 is having to be far away from their loved ones during their extended stay in Las Vegas. On top of that, they're also putting on a live show almost every night, which means the majority of their spare time is spent hanging out in the confines of the casino they're residing in. But is the Fan-Tan Hotel from GLOW based on a real place? The name itself may be a complete work of fiction, but it is inspired by a place you were once able to go visit, once upon a time, if you ever happened to find yourself in the heart of Sin City.
The Netflix series may focus on fictional characters, but back in the '80s the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling was a very real TV show that ran from 1986 through 1990. In fact, the original series was actually filmed right in Las Vegas, and according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, production took place at the Riviera Hotel, which is where the cast lived for the first two years the show was on the air. So it stems to reason that the Fan-Tan Hotel is meant to serve as a direct representation of that former establishment.
Unfortunately, if you were hoping to book a room at the Riviera to fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere the GLOW ladies surrounded themselves with, be prepared for disappointment. The Riviera Hotel closed down in 2015 after it was bought by The Las Vegas Convention and visitors Authority only to be demolished shortly thereafter to house the new convention center. But prior to that, it served as one of the oldest and well-known casino resorts on the Strip since its opening in 1955 and became a home away from home for the members of GLOW during the show's heyday.
The 2012 documentary GLOW: The Story Of The Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling chronicled the wrestlers' time within the hotel, providing a behind-the-scenes look at their daily lives. The doc also revealed how most members ended up eventually moving out of the hotel and into apartments close by.
The Netflix iteration only shows the wrestlers staying at the Fan-Tan Hotel for a year, so it's unclear whether the casino will ever appear on the series again, should GLOW get renewed for a fourth season. Their time in Vegas appears to have drawn to a close, but if the Fan-Tan really is inspired by the Riviera Hotel, does that means fans should assume it befalls the same fate as its real-life counterpart? Since that would mean both Geena Davis' Sandy Devereaux St. Clair and Kevin Cahoons' Bobby Barnes would be out of a job, let's hope that doesn't end up being the case.
Much like the fate of the show itself, it's hard to predict the Fan-Tan's future. But even though you can't experience the glitz and glamour firsthand, Season 3 will make you feel as though you've been living inside the casino right alongside these ladies.