When the thought of creating a website of the Strip's history came to my little mind (consisting only of the Aladdin and Landmark), I had one small problem - the first time I went to the Strip was in 1991, and I had no knowledge of its origins. I then decided to start collecting Aladdin and Landmark items in the hopes to learn their history.
While using Ebay, I received some pictures of the Landmark from "taradena". While e-mailing Seller Dan Kubota, I told him what I wanted to do and the lack of history I have. Dan lived and gambled in Vegas, and is a collector and historian on the Strip. He volunteered to help. I don't think there is a establishment on this site up to 1980 that doesn't have two, if not more, of his collection sitting on it. Between his knowledge and my research, the site began.
Dan did warn me that his knowledge was only up to the late 1970s, and the "old" Strip as he calls it. I realized I had to do the one thing I really didn't want to - contact the casinos themselves and ask for help. Why you ask? Censorship. I was afraid that the casinos would demand that they have control on what was said on their pages and then I would be obligated to turn this into a promotional site instead of a historical one. I e-mailed, wrote, called, and visited all the casinos asking for help explaining that good or bad, the information will be on the site and they will have no control over it. I was surprised at the response. This maybe the first (and only time), that the participating casinos are all seen in one place, giving as many facts as they could come up with, to document their history for all to see in one combined area.
I would like you to know the casinos that helped and urge you all to visit their sites after you are done with this one. The links to their sites are listed at the bottom of their pages. After all, they not only supplied me with information, but all kinds of things that you will see on this site. They threw caution to the wind and put their resorts in the hands of someone they didn't know to tell each lady's story.
All these casinos helped and they all deserve equal credit but as in any project, there are some that take that extra step. This is not taking away anything from all of them, but I think a little extra deserves a mention in any project. They are:
Larry Houck at the Imperial Palace. Larry was one of the first to respond and he has been just wonderful. Originally on this property sat the Flamingo Capri. Larry conducted research to see if he could find anything on this motel. He found a black and white picture of the parking structure when the Imperial Palace was being built doing business as the Flamingo Capri. I needed more pictures, he sent me more. I wanted different pictures, he sent me different pictures. When I wasn't sure of the facts, he then went to the page to see what I was talking about and conducted further research to clarify the facts. On top of that, he allowed me to use his name with the rest of the casinos for reference.
Stardust Resort. I had been trying to find out where the Royal Nevada went when the Stardust bought it in 1959. The Stardust lent me an aerial shot of the Stardust with the Royal Nevada depicted on the property which you will see on both the Stardust and Royal Nevada pages.
Debbie Rush and Pat Thomas of New Frontier. These ladies agreed to meet with me and discussed the history of the Frontier as well as other resorts on the Strip. Their information is scattered throughout this site. Also to Mike Nelson who via the phone gave some additional facts on the New Frontier.
MGM Grand. When asked what I wanted specifically, I said everything. They sent me just that. They also helped me pinpoint the location on the property where the original Marina still stands, and when I was having problems getting certain information on other resorts, they gave me a contact person and allowed me to use them as a reference to that person. They also put up with me wanting more information and pictures.
Excalibur. I was just under the wire to upload this site and needed some additional information. They promptly faxed me what I needed.
John Neeland at the Riviera. John has been great with supplying me with all the additional information and pictures I need to accurately document the history and future of the Riviera.
The following are the remainder of the resorts who contributed to this site. I thank them equally, and again, please visit their sites, say hi and tell them that they are great to care more about the history then promoting themselves. They didn't have to help considering some things stated on their pages, but they decided the ladies' history was more important than bad or good press. In alphabetical order they are:
I received responses from a couple of the casinos which are not listed above. They only gave me fact sheets or present history without any effort in researching their past. As I tried to tell them, this is not a "promote my casino" site, its a historical site. These are the casinos that either ignored my requests, refused to help, or sent me self-promoting materials but nothing on their history. If they wish to now contribute they can e-mail me - Bally's, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Harrah's, Las Vegas Hilton, Paris, Rio, Slots-A-Fun, Stratosphere, Venetian, and Westward Ho.
Now for all the wonderful people who shared so much. I will start with the very first two (other than Dan of course) and the remaining donators will be in alphabetical order:
Howard Klein, Las Vegas historian who was interviewed in an article for the Las Vegas Review Journal has provided me with pictures and information that you will see throughout this site. From the end of 1999 to early 2000, he generously provided his files to me.
"History turns to
dust and I'm here to collect that dust and turn it into something else - a story. If we forget the past
then there is no future to look back on." - Howard Klein
Dick Taylor has also helped me with various sections of this site. Dick was the Hacienda's on site Resident Manager who acted under the direction of the General Manager. His obligation was to handle all events/problems that developed during the night. In early 1957, Dick was appointed General Manager and was on the Hacienda Board of Directors. Dick was also appointed Managing Director of the New Frontier from 1958 to 1962.
Delores (Dee) Alwes, entertainer at the Hotel Last Frontier 1949.
Mike Christ "Photographer Mike" who worked for many of the resorts on the Strip as well as working directly with many of the major men on the Strip including Major Riddle and visionaries William Bennett and Kirk Kerkorian
Jack Pearce Daniels, son of entertainer Billy Daniels
Edward Allen DeVillier
Don at DCS Consulting, San Francisco, CA
Hall & Oates (in allowing me to take pictures of them at the LV Hilton)
Chandler Haun, son of entertainer Rouvaun Rouvaun.com
Carol Hawkins, daughter of Kermit Hawkins who created the sultan that stood on top of the Dunes
Tim Hull, grandson of Strip founder Tommy Hull
Stan Irwin, entertainer at the Club Bingo, and instrumental in the success of Sahara as well as the development of the City of Las Vegas.
Richard Katzeff, former co-owner of the Interface Group and former co-owner of the Sands Hotel
Tammy Kirby/Tom Amigone
Leo Lowenthal, nephew of Carl Cohen
Herb MacDonald, worked at Club Bingo, El Rancho Las Vegas, Sahara, and Frontier, and was instrumental in the success of Sahara as well as the development of the City of Las Vegas.
Frank Marino, star of An Evening at La Cage at the Riviera.
Sam Melchionne, entertainer who appeared at Bally's, Desert Inn, El Rancho Las Vegas, and Sahara.
John Neeland, Publicist for the Riviera Hotel and Casino who worked with the major men on the Strip including Mel Larson
Greg P form Toronto
Original Tiffany Rose
Nelson Sardelli, entertainer who appeared at Flamingo, Sahara, and Thunderbird. NelsonSardelli.com
Jay C. Sarno, son of visionary Jay Sarno, who created Caesars Palace and Circus Circus
Danou Sears (first woman casino manager in Nevada)
Pat Simms, former "Head Goddess" at Caesars Palace
Richard Strell, relative of Carl Cohen
Barry Temple, KXNT
Frank Wright who worked at the Nevada State Museum
David Wyman, nephew of Sid Wyman