On This Date: April 3, 1941 The First Resort on the Las Vegas Strip Opened

April 3, 2017
El Rancho Vegas

El Rancho Vegas The First Hotel on the what would become the Las Vegas Strip

El Rancho - first resort on the Las Vegas Strip

Aerial shot of the El Rancho Vegas - Notice the Union Pacific Railroad line in the background

The El Rancho Vegas was the first resort on the what would become the Las Vegas Strip and open on April 3, 1941. The hotel was located on the corner of Highway 91 and San Francisco Ave, now know as Las Vegas Blvd. and Sahara Ave..  It was the largest hotel in Las Vegas with 110 rooms in 1941. When it opened, El Rancho Vegas’s dining room was the largest in Las Vegas. The casino consisted of four table games—two blackjack tables, one roulette table, and one craps table—and seventy slot machines. The hotel gained much of its fame from the gourmet buffet that it offered.

On July 17, 1960, the hotel was destroyed by fire. In 1982, the former Thunderbird Hotel located across the street was re-branded as the El Rancho Casino, creating some confusion. In 1970, billionaire Howard Hughes purchased 60 acres of the land. In 1978, the remnants of the old resort were demolished. The Hilton Grand Vacation Club now occupies a portion of the land. but the rest of the property for over 50years still remains a dirt lot on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd, aka “The Strip” and Sahara Ave.


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