Category: The Strip

On This Date: October 7, 1952, The Sahara Hotel & Casino Opened

October 7, 2014
Sahara Hotel & Casino

Sahara Hotel & Casino Opened on October 7, 1952

On October 7, 1952 The Sahara Hotel & Casino opened and was anchored on the north end of the Las Vegas Blvd. and Sahara Ave. It was the sixth resort to open on the “Strip”.  The Sahara remained in operation until May 16, 2011.  On May 16, 2011 the Sahara Hotel and Casino closed and reopened on August 23, 2014 as SLS Hotel

In late 1954, the hotel hired jazz musician Louis Prima to be their late night lounge act, one of the earliest ones on the Las Vegas Strip. A long list of headliners followed: included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, Jack Benny, Paul Anka, and George Carlin to mention a few. The resort was the site of the annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon for many years, mostly in the 1970s, and for a brief time in the 1990s.

The hotel had 1,720 guestrooms and suites with a casino covering more than 85,000 sq. ft. after the SLS renovation there are now 1,600 rooms.

Photo By: Wikimedia Commons

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Here is a Food that Represents Nevada- Let Them Eat Shrimp!

September 24, 2014

An article appeared in Deadspin online magazine featuring signature foods from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, ranking them in order. There where the notable No. 1. Chicago-style deep-dish pizza (Illinois), No. 4 Crab cake (Maryland), No. 7 Key lime pie (Florida) and the rest. But Nevada came in 49th place with ” Nothing” beating the horrid sounding, No. 50  Steamed  cheeseburger (Connecticut) and No. 51. Cincinnati chili (Ohio). Nevada was the only state listed as not having a food that represents itself.

   N0. 49  “Nothing”  “Not having any authentic local culture to speak of (Nevada)” – Deadspin

As a long time resident of Nevada and Las Vegas for over 40 years. I propose that we submit to DeadSpin and to our own legislator body of Nevada to make the “Shrimp Cocktail” the official food for Nevada. Now this might sound a bit strange for a land locked state being 200 miles from the nearest ocean. The shrimp cocktail is cool and spicy, reminds me of the classic Las Vegas, with the Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. serve in a glass from a by gone era.

-Update- The Cooking Channel featured an article as Nevada’s state food as the “Buffet” which did include the Shrimp Cocktail, its like saying, Nevada your state food is “Food”. Let’s narrow it down to the quintessential Shrimp Cocktail.

On a per capita basis, Las Vegas alone consumes more than 22 million pounds of shrimp annually, more than anywhere else in the world and that is not even counting other popular areas like Lake Tahoe and Reno. Las Vegas now has local shrimp farming in warehouses to keep up with the Vegas’ 60,000 pounds daily need.

Shrimp Cocktail proposed State food for Nevada?

Shrimp Cocktail proposed State food for Nevada?

The history of the shrimp cocktail dates back to the end of the 1800s and the early 1900s and it came out of San Francisco. During the late 1920′s, “cocktail appetizers” like shrimp cocktail became popular during the prohibition era. It was a popular way to reuse the stemware that were at all the bars during those times. The shrimp cocktail was brought to Las Vegas in 1959 when the Golden Gate Hotel was purchased by a group of Italian-Americans from San Francisco. They set their cost of their shrimp cocktail price at 50 cents until 1991, at present it is $2.99. The Golden Gate continues to serve Shrimp Cocktails today.

Spread the word! Contact your you state legislators! Send the tweets! Don’t let Nevada be the “Nothing” state when it come to having a signature food. lets Make the Shrimp Cocktail Nevada’s State Food.

The full list of state foods can be found at Deadspin.

Photo By: at the Golden Gate Casino


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On This Date: September 2, 1948, The Thunderbird Hotel Opened on the Las Vegas Strip

September 2, 2014
Thunderbird Las Vegas

Thunderbird Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip (1950′s)

On September 2, 1948, the Thunderbird Hotel (1948-1976) was the fourth resort to open on the Las Vegas Strip. The resort had a Native American theme and featured portraits, a Navajo-based restaurant, the only bowling alley ever on the Strip, and a showroom.

The Thunderbird has the distinction of being the resort where singer Rosemary Clooney made her first appearance in Las Vegas in 1951, and where Judy Garland made her final Vegas appearance in 1965.

The Silverbird (1977-1981) opened on January 1, 1977. Four years later, Major Riddle sold the resort to Ed Torres, who also owned the Aladdin Hotel and Casino. Torres renamed the Silverbird to the El Rancho, named after the nearby El Rancho Vegas, which burnt down in 1960.

On August 31, 1982, the El Rancho Casino opened its doors.  Rodney Dangerfield opened the “Rodney’s Place” comedy club inside the El Rancho in 1982.

The El Rancho Casino closed on July 6, 1992 and on October 3, 2000, the old resort was imploded.

El Rancho

El Rancho once was the Thunderbird then the Silverbird

Photo by (Thunderbird):,2171

Photo by (El Rancho):

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On This Date: September 2, 2014, The Delano Las Vegas Opens

TheHotel Delano

TheHotel is now the  Delano Hotel as of September 2, 2014

The Delano Las Vegas, formerly Thehotel at Mandalay Bay, is a 42-story 1,117 room luxury suite hotel owned and operated by MGM Resorts International, located at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip within the Mandalay Bay complex. It was renovated and re-branded as the Delano Las Vegas on September 2, 2014. The property originally opened on December 17, 2003 as Thehotel. The lettering  was identical to the “Mandalay Bay” letters at the top of the original tower. In 2006, the font and letting were changed to “THEhotel” to distinguish the property. Due note, the building for the hotel has the same white and gold look as them main Mandalay Bay property.

With the opening of the Delano Las Vegas, all of the 1,100 suites at the hotel were redesigned. There are new bars, lounges, restaurants and nightclubs.

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On This Date: August 29, 1993 The Stratosphere Tower Caught Fire

August 29, 2014
Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas

Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas caught fire during construction on August 29, 1993

On August 29, 1993, the Stratosphere Tower caught fire while still under construction. No one was injured, but the fire forced repairs and rebuilding that led to numerous delays in the construction of the tower. The tower suffered no structural damage. Although a container of plastic material appeared to be at the flashpoint of the fire, the cause of the blaze remained unknown.

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On This Date: August 28, 2000 The Desert Inn Closes

August 28, 2014
Desert Inn Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

Desert Inn Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Closed on August 28, 2000

The Desert Inn was a hotel/casino that operated from April 24, 1950, to August 28, 2000. It was the fifth resort to open on the Las Vegas Strip. The property included an 18-hole golf course. Locals nicknamed the resort “The D.I.” or just “D.I.”.

The Desert Inn’s most famous guest, businessman Howard Hughes, arrived on Thanksgiving Day in 1966, renting the hotel’s entire top two floors and then later bought the resort when asked to vacate.

The Desert Inn has appeared in many movies including: The 1960 film version of Ocean’s 11 and last use in the film Rush Hour 2. The hotel served as the primary backdrop for the TV show Vegas which aired on ABC from 1978 to 1981. The lead character, Dan Tanna, was portrayed by Robert Urich.

The D.I. Was imploded on November 16, 2004. to make way for the Wynn and Encore resorts.

Photo by: Wikimedia Commons

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