Category: On This Date

On This Date: March 21, 1961 Honest John’s Casino Opened in Downtown Las Vegas

March 21, 2017
honest-john-downtown

Honest John’s in Downtown Las Vegas

March 21, 1961 Honest John’s Casino opens at 304 Ogden Street in downtown Las Vegas. This was small place was a slots only casino.

This was the Honest John’s located downtown and not the other one located on Las Vegas Blvd. and Sahara Ave. But, in 1968 it was renamed Lady Luck. In 1972, it expanded from its small beginnings to engulf the whole block as a full-fledged casino with restaurants and shops.

Currently the Downtown Grand resides at this location.

The photo above is the only photo of the downtown location we have.

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On This Date : March 20, 1931 The first gaming license issued in Las Vegas

March 20, 2017
The Northern Club on Fremont St. was the first establishment to be issued a gaming license in Clark County

The Northern Club on Fremont St. was the first establishment to be issued a gaming license in Clark County in 1931.

After the legalization of gaming in Nevada, the Northern Club received received the first gaming license in Las Vegas on March 20, 1931.  The Northern Club was located in downtown Las Vegas on 15 East Fremont Street. The license was issued by Clark County and was the first gaming license issued to a woman, Mayme Stocker.

Originally opened in the 1900’s as the Las Vegas Coffee House, Mayme Stocker renamed it the Northern Club in 1920 offering liquor and gaming while both were illegal.

The Northern Club casino was renamed in 1945 as the Monte Carlo Club by Wilbur Clark. In The Late 1970’s it was again renamed to the Coin Castle which later became the La Bayou Casino and is still in operation today.

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On this Date: March 17, 1989, Famous Las Vegas Artist Montyne passed away

March 17, 2017
Montyne

Montyne Sculpture in Front of Circus in 1999

Born Sherman LaMont Sudbury, known as Montyne (November 23, 1916 – March 17, 1989) was an American artist and stage performer. He was best known for his sculptures that once stood in front of Circus Circus Las Vegas and for his View-Master scenes of Tarzan of the Apes.

Montyne moved to Las Vegas in 1968 to sculpt the statues in front of Circus Circus. The first, The Balancer, was a self-portrait, depicting him as an acrobat. This heroic-size statue in 1978 was featured on the front cover of 35mm Photography. The work at one time was one of the most-photographed sculptures in the world. Over the next three years, he created four more statues: the Lion, the Clown, Gargantua the gorilla, and his wife China who was featured balancing on a rolo-board. In the photo above you can see the clown and the lion on the sidewalk in from of Circus Circus on Las Vegas Blvd. (The Strip).

While working on the statues at Circus Circus, Montyne also was commissioned to create the wall murals in the convention hall at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on Flamingo Road (1973). The casino was longer than a football field, and on the 15 ceiling arches were Montyne’s murals. The murals were destroyed in the 1980 MGM Grand fire.

Montyne passed away at the age of 72 and is buried in Las Vegas.

Clown Circus Circus

The last standing Montyne sculpture in front on Circus Circus – 2015

Photo by: LasVegas360.com

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On This Date: March 12, 2014, Jackie Gaughan Sr. Past Away

March 12, 2017
Jackie Gaughan in front of his El Cortez Hotel/Casino 1965

Jackie Gaughan in front of his El Cortez Hotel/Casino 1965

John D. “Jackie” Gaughan Sr.(October 24, 1920 – March 12, 2014) was a casino owner and operator from the early 1950s in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gaughan had an ownership stake in many casinos throughout his career, but he is best known for his ownership of the El Cortez, where he resided until his death on March 12, 2014.  Gaughan at one time owned more than 25 percent of available real estate in Downtown Las Vegas.

Photo By: The Las Vegas News Bureau
Date Taken : March 22, 1965

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On This Date March 10, 2011, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts Opened

March 10, 2017
Smith Center bell tower

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts opened on March 10, 2011

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is a public/private partnership that is the centerpiece of cultural life in Las Vegas offering a blend of performances by resident companies as well as first-run touring attractions. The 4.75-acre cultural complex features inviting lobbies with beautiful balconies, refined acoustics and a tastefully landscaped plaza in downtown’s 61-acre urban development, Symphony Park. Home to the 2,050-seat Reynolds Hall and the Boman Pavilion, The Smith Center is a living room for Las Vegas; a place that educates, entertain and excite the citizens of our great community. The Smith Center broke ground in May of 2009 with a ceremonial carillon bell casting and ringing. In February 2010, it celebrated its “Topping Out” with the raising of 50 tons of steel and open on February 10, 2011.

Symphony Park

Symphony Park

Next door the the Smith Center is the new home for the children’s museum, a state-of-the-art building to be named the Donald W. Reynolds Discovery Center.

Next to the Smith Center, is a small park called, Symphony Park, it is a two-acre open space within the heart of Symphony Park a is used for special cultural events.

Construction Photos

Photo gallery prior to opening

The Smith Center for the Performing Art- Panoramas

Interior Photos of the Smith Center for Performing Arts

Photos by: LasVegas360.com

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On This Date: March 10, 1995, The First Hard Rock Hotel Opens in Las Vegas

Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas

Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas With its Signature Guitar over the Main Entrance

On March 10, 1995, the The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino opened in Las Vegas. It was the first Hard Rock Hotel to open and was built by Peter Morton, co-founder of the Hard Rock Cafe. It was expanded in 1999, and began another expansion in 2007. Features of the property include the hotel tower, a 30,000-square-foot casino, Tahitian-style beach and swimming pool, a nightclub, six restaurants, three cocktail lounges, several retail stores, a spa, a poker room, and “The Joint”, a music venue. In June 2002 influential rock bassist John Entwistle of The Who died in one of the hotel’s rooms.

Photo by: Wikipedia.org

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