Category: Vegas

On This Date: April 23, 1956, Elvis Presley’s Historical first Appearance in Las Vegas.

April 23, 2017
Elvis Presley at the new frontier hotel in Las Vegas 1956

Elvis Presley at the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas 1956

Elvis performs for the first time in  Las Vegas at at the New Frontier Hotel on April 23, 1956.

Elvis signed a contract on the 16th April 1956, the engagement was at the New Frontier Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada. This was Elvis first appearance in Las Vegas. His two weeks of show commenced on April 23, 1956. His hours of employment, seven days a week, fifteen shows per week for a total of 30 shows. Elvis was paid 7,500 dollars per week, $15,000 in total.

In addition to the compensation Elvis receive one complimentary small suite and one twin bedroom. He also receive extra added attraction billing in 100% size type in all advertising, publicity, programs, displays, and lights.

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On This Date: April 21, 1958, United Airlines Flight 736 Mid-Air Collision near Las Vegas

April 21, 2017
United Airlines Flight 736 DC-7

United Airlines Flight 736 DC-7Mid-Air Collision near Las Vegas,  49 Fatalities on April 21, 1958

United Airlines Flight 736 was a daily U.S. transcontinental passenger flight operated by United Airlines that crashed on April 21, 1958, following a mid-air collision. The aircraft assigned to Flight 736, a Douglas DC-7 airliner carrying 47 persons, was flying at cruise altitude above  9 miles south of Las Vegas to a stopover at Denver, Colorado, when it was struck by a United States Air Force fighter jet crewed by two pilots. The collision occurred at 8:30 a.m. in clear weather within a major commercial airway; both aircraft fell out of control from 21,000 feet and crashed into the desert southwest of Las Vegas, Nevada.

There were no survivors from either aircraft, and with 49 fatalities it remains the deadliest crash in the history of the Las Vegas Valley. Among the victims were a group of military personnel and civilian contractors involved with sensitive Department of Defense weapons systems. The loss of the group triggered new rules prohibiting similar groups engaged in critical projects from flying aboard the same aircraft.

The official investigation stated that cockpit visibility limitations played a role in the accident, but also faulted military and civilian aviation authorities for not taking measures to reduce well-known collision risks that had existed for over a year within the confines of airways, despite numerous complaints from airline crews. The loss of United Airlines Flight 736—part of a series of 1950s mid-air collisions in American skies, including the well-publicized 1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision—helped usher in widespread improvements in air traffic control within the United States.

The Crash Site location is 35°59’59″N 115°12’20″W, near Southern Highlands Golf Club,near the corner of West Cactus Ave and South Decatur Blvd, currently there is a strip-mall and houses built on/near the impact site.

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Legendary Poker Rooms and Hands at Las Vegas Casinos

Vegas-Binionstable-WSOPWhen you think about the history of poker, an image of the Wild West and the river boats of the Mississippi might come to mind, not to mention Las Vegas’ most famous casinos!

We could say that most of the best hands of poker have been played at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino since it became the official venue of the World Series of Poker in 2005. Among these, the most memorable hand might be when Jonathan Duhamel collected close to nine million dollars at the Main Event after beating John Racener. However, other legendary casinos of Las Vegas have also seen great players at their tables make poker history.

The Bellagio, which is frequently visited by stars like Johnny Chan, Ted Forrest or Daniel Negreanu, who was even awarded the title of Greatest Ever Poker Hand in 2013, has hosted some memorable games and is often nicknamed “the office or home base” by the world’s top players who spend much of their time there when they visit Las Vegas.

Some of the city’s highest stakes are played during the Big Game, which is held at the renowned Bellagio’s Bobby’s Room, named after Bobby Baldwin. World Poker Tour events have also been hosted here and perhaps the most famous of these was when Tom Marchese won the $100k High Roller for $1.3 million in 2012. In fact, this New Jersey player has earned close to $12 million playing this game in Las Vegas. Carlos Mortensen has also played some legendary hands at this emblematic hotel on the strip during WPT editions. The Bellagio also welcomes amateur players, so if you visit it and feel like playing make sure you know the poker rules first and check out its website, where you will find a guide explaining all you need to know about its casino.

Of course that the former Binion’s Horseshoe, the Binion’s Gambling Hall & Hotel has to be included among legendary rooms and poker games. Formerly run by the unforgettable Benny Binion, it is the place where the first World Series of Poker was ever played almost half a century ago, with Carl Cannon, Crandell Addington, “Amarillo Slim” Preston, Doyle Brunson, Sailor Roberts, Puggy Pearson and Johnny Moss making it to the final table. This event alone makes the Binion’s poker room noteworthy so make sure that if you’re around Vegas you pay a visit to this spot. Although little is left of the original room, you can still take your picture with the famous 1 million dollar display that the Binion’s is also known for.

The Aria Poker Room is another more recent yet well-known spot that is often visited by top players. It has an exclusive space inspired by Phil Ivey – it is called the Ivey – which hosts $300/$600 mixed games. In spite of not being as historic as other casinos in the city, it currently hosts some of the most emblematic daily poker tournaments in Vegas, some of which will probably be remembered in the future as the best poker hands of this decade.

In addition these legendary venues, The Wynn, whose room opened with Negreanu as its poker ambassador, Caesar’s Palace, Venetian – which offers an ample selection of low limit games – and The Mirage are also among the venues that have hosted great poker games throughout their history and that are well worth a visit.

Photo Source: Wikimedia

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On This Date: March 31, 2014 the Largest Ferris Wheel opened in Las Vegas – The High Roller

March 31, 2017

The High Roller Observation Wheel Largest in the World with a 520 Foot Diameter

High Roller is a 550-foot tall  520-foot  diameter giant Ferris wheel on the Las Vegas Strip. It is the world’s tallest observation wheel, 9 ft  taller than the 541-foot Singapore Flyer, which held the record for the world’s tallest observation wheel from 2008 until 2014. After nearly three years of planning and construction it opened to the public on March 31, 2014.

High Roller Facts:

  • The High Roller tops out at 550 feet making it the largest observation wheel in the world.
  • In addition to its great height, the High Roller offers an immersive pre-ride experience for its passengers on their journey from ticketing through the wheel house complete with a lounge, to the wheel ride which features unparalleled views of the Las Vegas Strip.
  • The wheel structure boasts 7.2 million pounds of steel and 112 cables. Each cable measures approximately 225 feet, for a combined total of 25,256 feet.
  • The High Roller features 28 spherical cabins that hold 40 guests.
  • Each cabin weighs approximately 44,000 pounds and includes 300 square feet of glass.
  • The cabin windows are doubly curved and fabricated from four sheets of laminated glass.
  • Fabrication of the wheel began in late 2011 and took place in several locations across the globe including China, Japan, France, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Colorado, California and Las Vegas.
  • The High Roller travels at one foot per second and take roughly 30 minutes to make one full revolution.
  • The wheel is lit with more than 2,000 LED lights.

Photo By: Wikipedia Creative Commons

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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 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

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