Frontier

Because of these allegations, coupled with lackluster management, New Frontier was about to go under. State authorities were gung-ho on ridding the mob reputation from the Strip and therefore contacted Howard Hughes, who was in the process of declaring his own war on the mob, regarding a possible purchase. On September 22, 1967, Hughes bought his beloved resort for $14 million from all owners and shortened the name to "The Frontier". Almost immediately after the purchase, The Frontier started turning a profit.

Howard Hughes
Howard Hughes

During this time Frontier Hotel advertised 600 luxurious rooms and suites, coffee shop, Frontier Steak House, Cabaret Gourmet Dining Room, Olympic size swimming pool, six day and night tennis courts, putting green, six speciality shops, superb convention facilities, and an elegant casino.

Pool

To date, I can find no records of what entertainers, if any, appeared at the Frontier in 1966 through August of 1967. I have Fabulous Las Vegas magazines for those years and the Frontier did not advertise any shows. It appears artists were showcased almost immediately after Hughes' purchase.

Venus Room showcased in the latter part of 1967 Al Alvarez Orchestra; Ed Ames; Ballet America; Black Theatre of Prague; Europa '68 w/Karel Gott; Eddie Fisher/Abbe Lane; Mickie Finn Show w/Fred & Mickie Finn & featuring The Dapper Four; Joey Forman; Kids Next Door; Henry Levine Orchestra; National Folk Lore Dance Company of Czechoslovakia; and Yonely. Present during Fisher and pregnant Lane's opening night was Ernest Borgnine.

Post Time Theatre showcased Kook's Tour w/Ben Blue/Barbara Heller/ Beverlee & The Sneakers/ Tony Bruno/ Gogi Grant; It's Hell Revue starring Jerry Lester/Phyllis/Bobby Sherwood; Jack E. Leonard; The Karel Gott Quintet; Jimmy Cavallo Quartet w/Terry Marell & Mario Betolino; and Frank Sinatra, Jr.

During one of the shows, Leonard said he was noticing how the men were growing long sideburns. He raised many laughs when he began calling them "Lice Ladders." It was also noted that during Beverlee & The Sneakers last show, a long standing ovation occurred with Doug McClure of The Virginian sitting in the audience.

Ed Ames

In 1967, Richard Hubert and Nick Kelly were Managers of the Venus Room, Les Boder managed the men's shop, Tommy Clare was the host, Olin Askew was Pit Manager, and Keith Fletchell was a dealer.

In February 1968, Hughes established the first Vegas computerized room reservations system at the Frontier. It was noted that Department Manager Charlotte Ellsworth was learning the system night and day.

Apparently in October of 1968, the Frontier advertised its Americana Room which was the convention center. One celebrity showcased there was Eric London.

In October of 1968, Frontier advertised that the 'New' Frontier Hotel costing $25 million opened its new resort just a few years ago. It was located on a 45 acre site - where the second hotel on the Strip was located. The horseshoe design encompasses the largest pool and patio area in the world covering ten acres of ground. Parking was available for 2,500 cars at a time. The convention facilities were able to handle up to 2,200 people. The Venus Showroom showroom sat 800. The Post Time theatre lounge sat 400.

In December of 1968, employees listed included Olin Askew - Casino.

In 1968, Venus Room showcased Al Alvarez Orchestra; The Sid Caesar-Imogene Coca Show with the Larry Bertholet Dancers; George Carlin; Bill Cosby; Bobby Darin/Irwin C. Watson; Jimmy Durante/Sonny King/Eddie Jackson; Jimmy Durante/Barbara McNair; Barbara Eden; Eddie Fisher; Phil Harris/Doodletown Pipers; Jackie Kahane; Kids Next Door; Abbe Lane/Eddie Jackson/Sonny King; George Kirby; Peggy Lee; Henry Mancini; Guy Marks; Scoey Mitchell; Barbara McNair; Jim Nabors; Peter Nero; Wayne Newton w/Jerry Newton (Tommy Amato, Musical Conductor); Osmond Brothers; Pair Extraordinaire; Pearce Sisters; Diana Ross & The Supremes; Ronnie Schell; La Vaughn; Jerry Vale; Joe Venuti; Irwin C. Watson; Flip Wilson; and Stanley Wrightsman. The Maitre d' was Jerry Scheutz.

It was noted that Wayne Newton signed a two-year pact at the resort for $50,000 a week. In addition, Frank Sinatra, Sr. fans noted that the man who gave him his start, Harry James, was now playing the Frontier with Frank Sinatra, Jr.

The Post Time Theatre showcased Akropols of Greece; Arirang Korean Dancers; Beverlee & The Sneakers; Vic Damone; Doodletown Pipers; Rusty Draper; Carey Garfin Four; Harry James; In Vogue w/Liliane Montevecchi/Nick Navarro; Jack & Sally Jenkins; Korean Palace Dancers; Jack E. Leonard; Barbara McNair; Pow '68; Phyllis & Bobby Sherwood; Frank Sinatra, Jr.; Three Cheers; Tony Thomas/The Tartars; and Lovelace Watkins.

The Circle F Theatre showcased Dave Burton; Harry James; Beverlee & The Sneakers; Jack & Sally Jenkins; and Korean Palace Dancers. The Cabaret showcased Dave Burton.

Wayne NewtonBobby DarinEric London

Gilbert A. Pierrel

The Executive Chef during this time was Gilbert A. Pierrel who was born in the Southern part of France. His family, on his mother's side, owned a food and beverage business. He was schooled in the pre-naval Academy. After 1940, all Military Academies were closed, so Pierrel went to the University of Aix en Provence. He worked in the kitchen in the same town for extra spending money. Then he joined the Free French Forces, Croix de Guerre, and was then transferred to the OSS and G2 SSS Combat Team of the 45th Division, 7th Army. Pierrel received the Medal of Freedom. After the war, Pierrel received his degree in law. In 1949, he immigrated to the U.S. Due to his lack of knowledge in English, he went back to the kitchen, and has been there ever since. In Florida he worked at the Palm Beach Sailfish Club as chef, Fort Lauderdale Escape Hotel as chef, and Hollywood Diplomate as Chef de Partie. In Colorado he worked at Cherry Hills Country Club, Denver as chef, and Garden of the Gods Club, Colorado Springs as chef. In California he worked 5 years at the Racquet Club, in Palm Springs as chef, and in Nevada at the Dunes Hotel for 2 years as chef. His favorite recipe was Supremes of Capon au Citron. Choose 4 nice breast of capon, skin them and bone them, except for the first joint. Pound them, season, and flour them slightly. In a skillet, heat three ounces of butter until hot. Cook supremes until golden brown on both sides. Pour out the unnecessary butter, add the juice of a large lemon, half a glass of dry white vermouth, cover and let simmer 10 to 12 minutes until supremes are cooked. Arrange them on the serving platter (or plates). Add chopped fresh parsley and chives to the cooking liquor and pour over the supremes. Serve with rice or noodles. (Pierrel's picture, bio, and recipe donated by Dan Kubota).

During his tenure at the Frontier in 1968, Jimmy Durante was asked the truth behind "Goodnight Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are." Durante stated that his first wife fell in love with a small town named Calabash, just west of Chicago. At the time, Durante promised his bride he would buy the town for her when fortune smiled on him. It was just after his first wife passed away in 1943, that he began using his famous sign-off. In 1968, it was reported that the town of Calabash had either bowed to progress or was too small to be listed on the map as no one could locate it after Durante confessed the statement's origins.

It was noted during the Three Cheers tenure at the Frontier that their clothes were very much different than their last stay. They stated the stage clothes worn before burned in a fire at The Embers in Nashville, and the troupe had to quickly pick another set before arriving at the Frontier.

Hank KovellPaula Hanisch

In 1969, Frontier was celebrating the success of their first newsletter "The Frontiersman." Due to its great success, a second issue was mailed out in the summer. The editor was Hank Kovell and Paula Hanisch. Kovell was a 13 year resident of Vegas. He was the Public Relations Director of the resort and was also President of his own advertising firm, Kovell, Inc. A native of San Francisco, CA, he did free lance radio and TV writing. He was a 47 year old bachelor, but has an adopted son. Hanisch was working in the Publicity Department just four days after coming to Vegas. A native of Seattle, WA, she was an avid skier, and enjoyed travelling.

Richard Danner

The resort's Managing Director, Henry Schwind, was given another assignment in the Hughes Corporation which sent him to the East Coast. Richard Danner was appointed his successor. A native of Elnora, Indiana, his early years were spent in Steubenville, Ohio. He was affiliated with the FBI for ten years, following which he joined the City of MIami as City Manager and Safety Director. He then began as association with the Lincoln-Mercury Division of Ford. Later he managed the successful political campaign of George Smathers for U.S. Senate. Danner was married with three grown children. Daughter Jeanne was a model and fashion coordinator at Neiman-Marcus in Dallas, Texas, son Richard, Jr., was a lawyer in Dallas, and son Robert Thomas was attending college in Georgia.

Harry Goodheart

The resort also had a new Casino Manager, Harry Goodheart. He was with the Desert Inn for eight years. For 23 years, he was associated with the Beverly Hills Country Club in Southgate, Kentucky. Originally from Kansas City, MO, he and his wife Margaret had two children, a son Michael who was a law student at UCLA, and son Gary, a student of the University of Santa Barbara.

Tennis

The tennis courts saw Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt, and the Newport Harbor Tennis Club from Newport Beach, CA.

Tennis Court

Notice the International (LV Hilton), Landmark, and the signs for Desert Inn and Castaways in the background.

Visitors

Some visitors from this year including Mr. & Mrs. Ljubormir Ljubic, Consul General of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in San Francisco with Richard Danner, Count De Vogue from France who owned the Moet Winery in Shandon with Head Chef Gilbert Pierrel who was also from France, Minnesota Governor Harold LeVander with Hank Kovell, and O.J. Simpson with Credit Manager Milton Frank and Harry Goodheart.

Film Crew

Also during this time a film crew from Japan taped some TV commercials. Produced by the Yashica Camera Company, segments included players engaged in the various games of chance.

Patricia Eaves

Frontier hosted its Miss Rodeo America. Patricia Eaves won the state title of Miss Rodeo New Mexico, and then became Miss Rodeo America for 1969.

New Sign

Frontier erected a new sign containing a marquee. It cost $1.5 million to fabricate, and used enough power to supply 2,000 average homes. Constructed by Ad Art, it was 189 feet tall, or about the height of a 20 story building. It contained more than a mile of florescent tubing, 1-1/2 miles of neon and more than 23,000 light bulbs. One of the largest revolving mechanisms ever designed rotated the center pylon and the huge letter "F" at the top. That letter alone was 30 feet tall. An enormous caisson was embedded in the ground to prevent the sign from toppling. There were 500 tons of concrete which formed the base.

Prairie Room

In the fall of 1969 it was announced that the Frontier opened her Prairie Room, featuring simulated Kerosene lamps, and covered wagon booths in one section.

Lamb, Ong, Lamb

Rosalind Ong, Miss Singapura won a beauty contest in Singapore, Malaysia decided to try the new Prairie room during her stay at the Frontier. She was the eldest (age 22) of nine children, and was employed in a bank. Joining her for dinner were brothers County Commissioner Darwin Lamb and State Senator Floyd Lamb.

Employee room

Another addition to the resort was a new employees dining room which featured tables, booths, a modern kitchen and serving area. Danner was surprised when he received a letter from the employees stating: "This is submitted to express our appreciation of the beautiful dining room facility you have made available for us. There is nothing to compare with it at any other hotel. Having such a wonderful facility makes us all proud to be a member of this organization. It was well worth waiting for! Again our sincere thanks."

Goodheart, Stafford, Maheu, Cerman

In conjunction with the opening of the Landmark Hotel, two prominent astronauts were guests of the Frontier during their visit. Shown in the Frontier's Cabaret area from left: Casino Manager Harry Goodheart; Astronaut Thomas Satfford; Peter R. Maheu, Administrative Assistant to the Chief Executive of Hughes Nevada Operations, and Astronaut Gene Cernan.

Conventions this year included National Association of Retail Druggists, and National Sporting Goods Association (5,000 delegates each); Mobil Oil Dealers (3,000 delegates); and American Federation of Information Processing Societies (15,000 delegates). Yamaha had their convention at the resort.

Spafford, Moorhead, Danner, Lewis

Actress Agnes Moorehead (Bewitched) addressed the Associated Credit Bureau convention. Pictured from left: John Spafford, Executive VP of the Associate Credit Bureaus; Moorehead; Richard Danner; actor Robert Q. Lewis (An Affair to Remember).

Softball team

The Frontier sponsored a softball team in the City of Las Vegas Slow Pitch Softball League. Players are front row from left Bob Gardner, Walter Baldwin, Louis Cardinal and Billy Wagner; (second row) George Benson, Billy Petrellis, Leroy Lynch, Monte Montecino and Jerry Compton; (third row) Jim Roberts, Don Bananto, Ron Bananto and George Wagner. Players not shown were Harry Teifer, Trini Perez, Gary Serna, Willie Juniel, Mickey McGuie and John Migliazzo.

employees

Pictured are Assistant National Sales Manager Terry Tiernan with wife Barbara and model Tina Gordon in H.B. Burnett Ladies' Apparel Shop; Colorado Springs dealer Jerry Manka with wife at the resort's Gifts Galore shop; and, Colorado Springs delegate Paul B. Brokow with wife Anne, with salesman Sal Gaamboa of Monte Factor/Jerry Rothschild men's wear. The Aerospace Systems Safety Conference was also held at the resort with Brig. Gen. Benjamin H. King, Air Force Director, speaking with convention coordinator Steve Waldman.

 King/Waldman

Lollobrigida/Newton

Gina Lollobrigida stayed at the resort while appearing in the Ed Sullivan show filmed in Vegas. She met with Wayne Newton at the Cabaret Room.

Ouch

Before the age of sexual harassment, politically correct and the like, as well as people just getting too sensitive and lawsuit crazy, people had fun. This picture was in the Frontier's newsletter and it just cracked me up.

In October of 1969, Robert Goulet joined International star Don Ho in a friendly card game. A man of honor, Goulet had David Leland deliver payment of his losses to Ho. Ho broke up when Leland poured a bucket full of nickels on the dresser, explaining the Frontier wanted the container back right away.

Ogiela, Hanna, Glenney

Phil Ogiela, a senior a Valley High School in Las Vegas, was a member of the Frontier Tennis Club and in the recent Frontier Open Tournament he was first place winner in the Men's Singles. Shown with him at the trophy presentation are Keith Hanna, Frontier's Administrative Director, and Garnet Glenney, Tennis Pro.

Service Award

A unique system of service awards had been initiated by Hughes Nevada Operations for the Hughes Resort Hotels in Las Vegas which included the Castaways, Desert Inn, Frontier, Landmark, Sands and Silver Slipper. Employees who worked in these facilities received credit for time in service in nay of these entities prior to their acquisition by Howard Hughes. Awards were made by Richard G. Danner to Frontier employees (from left) Dale Monroe, Jerry Seible, Sam Hogan, Wanda Mathews, Danner, Cathy Sager, Harry Goodheart and Erich Lah.

Sanders family

Questions were often asked about the people who actually live in Las Vegas. Frontier decided to profile the family of Frontier's culinary worker Dolores Sanders. Sanders worked at the Frontier since its opening. She and husband Willie came to Las Vegas from Alexandria, VA, and were married for 10 years. Their five children were well adjusted, happy kids, and love their rambling 9 room (four bedroom) home. Husband Willie holds two jobs, custodian at the University of Nevada, and Plant Supervisor for the Pepsi Cola Co. A talented spiritual singer, he was a tenor soloist at the Pentecostal Church. He had numerous offers to become a professional singer, but declined since it would require travel and he does not wish to leave his family.

Sanders familySanders, daughter

Dolores is quite the homemaker. She made clothes for herself and her children, loved to cook, kept an immaculate home, liked flower arranging (especially on hats), and gets special pleasure in sitting on the banks of Lake Mead fishing. She was quite proud of her home, especially a dining room set which was quite expensive and the purchase of which, she said, aroused her otherwise patient and indulgent husband's ire.

Sanders/DaughterSanders

The Sander's children pose the usual childhood problems but the attentive parents are not permissive, and father rules the roost. The kids are Gloria Jean 9, Willie 7, Tommy 6, Marlin 5, and Victoria 3.

Jerry Wilder

Frontier employee Jerry Wilder was involved in a serious car accident while in California. Severely injured, she was returned to Las Vegas from a hospital in California by one of the Hughes Tool Company aircraft. Employed in the Frontier's Pioneer Room restaurant, she is the sole support of two children, and was grateful upon her return to learn that her co-workers in all departments had spontaneously contributed hundred of dollars to a fund which was started to help with her hospitalization costs. It was noted with happiness that Jerry had been removed from a Vegas hospital to her home and was recovering nicely.

Sinatra, Jr.

As part of a TV special in which he performed, Frank Sinatra, Jr., had this Dune Buggy especially constructed. The builder, Lee Parsons was an employee of the Frontier, and also had his own firm, Nevada desert Buggies. Shown with Sinatra is Derney King who directed the TV special.

Sonny, Cher

Sonny and Cher who were performing at the Flamingo, took time out to attend Ray Charles' show at the Frontier.

Jim Seagrave, ray Charles, Dick Kanelis

Ray Charles played host in his backstage dressing room to two Public Relations people - Flamingo's Jim Seagrave on the left and Tropicana's Dick Kanellis on the right.

Danner/Durante/Sennes

This picture was taken of Jimmy Durante signing a new long-term contract with the Frontier. Witnessing the signing was Richard DAnner and Frank Sennes.

Warren, Vale, Sullivan

Jerry Vale was joined backstage at the Frontier on opening night for a champagne toast by Rusty Warren and Ed Sullivan.

Bennett, Jimmy Dean

The winners of the Honeymoon Contest from Fontana, California, visit backstage with Jimmy Dean during his appearance at the resort. The couple, Stanley and Donna Bennett were presented with a supply of Jimmy Dean record albums.

The Frontier received a letter that they thought was quite unique and decided to share it in their news letter. I as well thinks its a one-of-a-kind and thought you would enjoy it.

Dear Sir: I have been trying to get to Las Vegas for 12 years. Some friends of mine just came back from a stay at your hotel and told me they had the greatest time they had ever had. We've had a lot of illness and two of my children need allergy shots (cost at least $600 every year), and now my wife has just informed me of a home project costing about $2,500. I would like to have something pleasant to look forward to. Considering the age of my children, medical problems and educational problems, I project I can make it there for my birthday June 18, 1985. Please accept the enclosed dollar and make a reservation for me for the evening of June 18, 1985. Please confirm and return receipt. It will provide me with a great deal to look forward to. Thank you. Yours truly, Mr. Charles E. Cohen.

The Frontier stated: "The $1.00 remitted by Mr. Cohen has been placed on deposit for his room reservation, and it has been confirmed by the Frontier Reservation Office for accommodations 16 years hence. We have extended an invitation to Mr. Cohen to be our guest at a dinner show in the Frontier's Music Hall at that time, albeit our Entertainment Director, Mr. Frank Sennes, has not been able to confirm to us what the star attraction will be at that time." [I wonder if Mr. Cohen ever did get his chance to stay at the Frontier. - Deanna]

In 1969, Frontier's Music Hall showcased Al Alvarez Orchestra; Glen Ash; George Burns; Marty Brill; John Byner; George Carlin; Ray Charles w/Billy Wallace/The Raeletts/Don Lon Fontaine Dancers/Ray Charles Orchestra; Jimmy Dean; Diana & George; Jimmy Durante; Barbara Eden; Eddie Fisher; Folklorika (afternoons); Robert Goulet; Phil Harris; Harry James; The Imperials; Kids Next Door; The King Cousins; George Kirby; Korean Palace Dancers; Abbe Lane; Guy Marks; Mexican Dance Festival; Wayne Newton; Wayne Newton/Jerry Newton/Tommy Amato; Bob Newhart & Kim Sisters; Dick Shawn; The Supremes & Diana Ross; Willie Tyler; Unusual We; Jerry Vale; Cherry Wainer. George Carlin was fired for using the word "ass" at one of his shows for the Hughes Invitational Tournament. The Maitre d' was Jerry Schutz.

The Circle F Theatre showcased Beverlee & The Sneakers; Vic Damone; Deedy & Bill; Doodletown Pipers; Loree Frazier; Carey Garfin Four; Bob Fletcher/Vicky Lano; Jack & Sally Jenkins; Harry James; Jack E. Leonard; Let's Make Love Revue; Laura Lys; Frank Sinatra, Jr.; The Swing Set; Three Cheers; Tokyo Happy Coats; Cherry Wainer. During this year Doodletown Pipers was signed for five more TV syndication specials by Triangle Productions, and Warner & Arts Records rep went to see Beverlee & The Sneakers with the hopes of signing the group on with his label.

Charles/Dean/Vale/Durante/LaneMexican dancersNewhart/KimSupremes

The Doodletown Pipers had their picture taken while on location near Vegas for a series of TV specials.

Doodletown Pipers

When Frank Sinatra, Jr., appeared at the Circle F in September, 1969, the audience included Sammy Davis, Jr., Dick Shawn, Carol Channing, Abbe Lane, Lainie Kazan, Mike Romanoff, Richard Conte, Nancy Sinatra, Sr., Nancy Sinatra, Jr., and pop Frank.

Al Alvarez (left) had his picture taken with Marco Valenti and Frank Sennes, Jr.

Alvarez/Valenti/Sennes

The Cabaret showcased Buddy Bohn, Dave Burton, Mariano, and Bob Sims.

In October of 1969, Ray Anthony signed a $1/2 million contract with Frontier to appear at the resort 20 weeks in 1970, and 20 more in 1971.

The Cabaret Room restaurant offered a lengthy continental menu. A patron can choose their own wine from the Frontier's own wine room. All dishes were a la carte and served from 6:00pm to 5:00am. From 11:00pm on there was entertainment and dancing. Showcased during this year was Dave Burton, and Bob Sims.

Also during this year, a poll was taken at the Frontier which discovered that one dealer was from France and several were Cuban nationals. Married men outnumbered bachelors three to one. Of those who were married, the average was slightly over 12 years, topped by one man who was married for 33 years. These men averaged slightly less than two children each, the most having five children. Ages of the dealers ranged from 25 to 69. One dealer lived in Las Vegas less than two years and another almost a quarter of a century. Average length of residence was just over eight years. Experience varied up to 47 years for one man. The average of the Frontier dealers was just over 13 years.

During this poll, it was discovered that only about one-third claimed any education beyond high school, although almost all had completed high school. Several had college degrees. A few were taking courses in flying, real estate, English, and computer programming. When asked about previous jobs, the dealers stated Deputy Collector of the Internal Revenue Serve, beautician, stunt worker, lawyer, musician, carpenter, salesmen and owners of small businesses. Exactly one-half of the dealers owned or were buying their own homes, while the other half were apartment or mobile home dwellers. When polled about their off-work activities, they stated fishing, hunting, water skiing, swimming, golf, boating, bowling, gardening, raising chinchillas, do-it-yourself projects, reading, stamp collecting, softball, tennis, art and skeet and trap-shooting.

The poll stated that more than half of the dealers belonged to civic, social or fraternal organizations. The Elks, Masons, Optimists, Knights of Columbus, VFW, Moose, Lions and Eagles were among those mentioned. Church work, scouting, and ethnic participation were also included.

Copyright1999 - , Deanna DeMatteo - All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced, translated, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without express written permission of the owner! Printed into a book August 2002