Category: The Strip

On This Date: November 21, 1980 The MGM Grand’s Fire Disaster

November 21, 2014
MGM Grand Fire November 21,1980

MGM Grand Fire November 21, 1980

The MGM Grand fire occurred on November 21, 1980 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino (now Bally’s Las Vegas) in Las Vegas, located on the corner of Flamingo Road and the Las Vegas Blvd. The fire killed 85 people, mostly through smoke inhalation. The tragedy remains the worst disaster in Nevada history, and the third-worst hotel fire in modern U.S. history. The fire was caused by an electrical ground fault inside a wall from a restaurant call “The Deli” located on the the south end of the casino.

MGM Grand ( now Bally's) Worst Fire Disaster in Nevada's History on Nov. 21, 1980

MGM Grand (now Bally’s) Worst Fire Disaster in Nevada’s History on Nov. 21, 1980

Fire spread across the areas of the casino in which no fire sprinklers were installed. Smoke spread into the hotel tower. A total of 85 people were killed and 650 injured, including guests, employees and 14 firefighters. While the fire primarily damaged the second floor casino and adjacent restaurants, most of the deaths were on the upper floors of the hotel, and were caused by smoke inhalation. Openings in vertical shafts (elevators and stairwells) and seismic joints allowed toxic smoke to spread to the top floor.

The fire at the MGM lead to new strict fire regulations for all hotels and commercial buildings in Nevada and are consider the most

Photo by: Wikipedia.org

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On This Date: November 13, 2007 the New Frontier Hotel was Imploded

November 13, 2014
The New Frontier was a hotel and casino

The New Frontier Hotel and Casino imploded on November 13, 2007

On this date, November 13, 2007 the New Frontier Hotel and Casino was imploded on the Las Vegas Strip. Originally, the property started as a nightclub called Pair-O-Dice that opened in 1930, then The Ambassador Night Club in 1936 and was renamed the 91 Club in 1939 for its location on US 91. It was subsequently rebuilt and renamed the “Hotel Last Frontier” in 1942. On April 4, 1955, it was renamed the New Frontier, following a modernization of the resort.

The Last Frontier Hotel & Casino, (later renamed the New Frontier) was the second resort that opened on the Las Vegas Strip and operated continuously from October 30, 1942 until it closed its doors for good at 12:00 A.M. on July 16, 2007.

The resort had the distinction of hosting Elvis Presley’s first Vegas appearance in 1956, and the final performance of Diana Ross and The Supremes on January 14, 1970. The New Frontier was also the starting place for Vegas headliners, Siegfried & Roy before they Moved to the Mirage.

The building was demolished on November 13, 2007. In 2007, A new hotel casino, tentatively titled the Las Vegas Plaza, was proposed to be built in its place but those plan were scuttled in 2011.

Photo By: Wikipedia.org

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On This Date: November 13, 1982 “Boom Boom” Ray Mancini Defeats Duk Koo Kim Ends in Tragedy

Boom Boom Ray Mancini

Boom Boom Ray Mancini boxing Duk Koo Kim on November 13, 1982

On this date: November 13, 1982, a 21-year-old “Boom Boom” Ray Mancini met 23-year-old South Korean challenger Duk Koo Kim. The title bout, was at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, it was also  televised live on CBS Sports. It was a fight filled with action, but Mancini had an easy time hitting Kim during the 14 rounds the fight lasted. Kim suffered brain injuries during the fight that led to his death four days later. The week after his death, the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine showed Mancini and Kim battling, under the title “Tragedy in the Ring”.

Mancini went to the funeral in South Korea and he fell into a deep depression afterwards. He has said that the hardest moments came when people approached him and asked if he was the boxer who “killed” Duk Koo Kim. Mancini went through a period of reflection, as he blamed himself for Kim’s death.

Photo: Cover of Sports Illustrated, November 22, 1982

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On This Date: November 7, 1995 The Landmark Hotel was Imploded in Las Vegas

November 7, 2014
The Landmark Hotel and Casino

The Landmark Hotel and Casino was imploded on November 7, 1995

The Landmark Hotel and casino opened on July 1, 1969. It took more than 8 years to complete and was bought up by Howard Hugues 6 months before its completion.

The Landmark Tower was a 525 rooms hotel/casino located at 364 Convention Center Drive on the corner of Paradise Rd. and Convention Center Drive. The Landmark opened on July 1, 1969 and closed on August 8, 1990.

The Landmark played host to famous celebrities such as Danny Thomas, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Freddy Fender’s first appearance. The Landmark was one of the few hotel properties not located on the Strip or in downtown Las Vegas but across the street from the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The Landmark was closed on August 8, 1990. and on November 7, 1995, it was imploded. The demolition was filmed and used in the movie Tim Burton, “Mars Attack”. The Landmark was also featured in such movies like Viva Las Vegas, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino, and The Cooler. Also seen in TV Shows like Vegas and Crime Story.

Photo By: University of Nevada, Las Vegas University Libraries

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On This Date: October 27, 1993, The Dunes Hotel was Imploded

October 27, 2014
The Dunes Hotel and Casino

The Dunes Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip

On October 27, 1993 the Dunes Hotel and Casino on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Flamingo Road was imploded to make way for the Steve Wynn’s new project, the Bellagio Resort.  The Dunes opened on May 23, 1955 and remained open until it closed on January 26, 1993.

The Dunes was demolished in a grand ceremony that involved major fireworks displays and the use of several “cannon blasts” from the English ship ‘HMS Britannia’ of Treasure Island Hotel and Casino.

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On This Date: October 17, 1956 The Hacienda Hotel Opened on the Las Vegas Strip

October 17, 2014
Hacienda Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip

Hacienda Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip

The Hacienda was a hotel/casino that operated on the Las Vegas Strip from 1956 to 1996. The Hotel was closed on December 10, 1996 and later was imploded on New Year’s Eve in 1999.

The Hacienda, while being designed, was called  the Lady Luck (not to be confused with the downtown’s Lady Luck), but before it was finished it was sold and eventually opened as the Hacienda in 1956. The Hacienda resort initially opened in 1954 without a casino. The hotel owned its own fleet of airliners for its ambitious air travel promotions, it was located directly across from McCarran Air Field.  The Hacienda was also one of the first Strip hotels to market to families and budget travelers. After the implosion, the Mandalay Bay Resort and Hotel was built on the old Hacienda site.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas University Libraries – See more at: http://digital.library.unlv.edu/objects/sky/1759#sthash.SFei5Q9I.dpuf
University of Nevada, Las Vegas University Libraries – See more at: http://digital.library.unlv.edu/objects/sky/1759#sthash.SFei5Q9I.dpuf
Hacienda Hotel neon sign

Hacienda Neon Horse from the original hotel now stands in Downtown Las Vegas (restored)

B & W Photo By: University of Nevada, Las Vegas University Libraries
Photo: Neon Horse – LasVegas360.com

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