History of Las Vegas Hotels – Down the Memory Lane

Prior to becoming an international vacation destination, Las Vegas fell short of hotels. But it isn’t the same nowadays as everything has been denatured and this also happened in a hammy fashion. The competition is fierce today and each one has something very best to offer. So it is advised that you must check different avenues before zeroing down on one. Let us take you to the history pages of the Las Vegas’ hotels.

During 1900’s Las Vegas became so famous that it attracted a huge number of vacationers. And this was all due to the reason of numbers of hotels in Las Vegas. Actually it was not just the numbers, it was something else. The city had the charm, glace and fervor that once you arrived here means you always want to be its guest. There is entertainment; there is gambling and everything you want to do.

It was way back in 1930’s and 40’s when Vegas picked the pace to get the recognition of international tourists. And it was then when Vegas got filled with some exuberant and state of the art accommodation in the form of hotels.

As always Las Vegas is renowned as Mecca of gambling, though at that time casino resorts like El Rancho and Dunes were the most famous amongst the others. There were certain hangouts like Flamingo, Sahara and Frank Sinatra’s too.

Due to World War II the resort growth in Las Vegas was halted. But expansion continued in 1941 when hotelman Tommy Hull built the El Rancho Vegas Hotel-Casino. But today it lies as a vacant land.

Oasis Revealed

The first non-Indian to expose the oasis like Lag Vegas Valley was Rafael Rivera. Fourteen years after this in 1844, John C. Fremont started an overland expedition and camped at Las Vegas. Fremont is today remembered in neon, museums and in some history books. There is also a Hotel-Casino on his name and a street named Fremont which passes through the heart of casino lines.


The first state where gambling was legalized is Nevada with a casino style. But with the dawn of the 20th century, the hammer of the law that came tumbling over the gambling. A strict anti-gambling law was introduced on Oct. 1, 1910 and it became effective in Nevada.

The law resulted in many gamblers using the illegal methods to earn money and this scenario continued till 1931. After that a legalized gambling bill was passed by Nevada Legislature. The bill was passed with a view that it will help in raising the taxes for the public schools. It must be astonishing to hear that the 43% of the state general fund is fed by gambling tax revenue and more than 34 percent of the state’s general fund is pumped into public education.


After gambling, if there was something that can pull the crowd, it was entertainment. It built the reputation for Las Vegas as the play-land gateway of the world.

In 1941, El Rancho stood as the only resort on the Las Vegas strip and it was also the only platform to the singer, comedians, strippers, instrumentalists, dancers and a wide variety performers. They were booked to entertain hotel guests in the resort’s small and intimate showrooms. The other hotel-casinos also followed the same track and copied the successful star format for a number of years.

The Stardust was the first hotel to break the jinx of the monotonous policy and debuted by adding performance cameo as its main entertainment feature. The resort imported the Lido de Paris from France. This version was backed by many critics as they acclaimed it to be much better than the Paris original. The Lido had 31 years of smooth running at the Stardust Hotel. It was then in 1991 with the current new spectacular titled ‘Enter the Night’.

The success story of Lido encouraged other resorts to adopt a production show policy.

The Dunes once engaged Minsky’s Follies in 1957 by showcasing the topless bar dancers and it was the first time to happen so in Vegas. Later it disappeared from the skyline in a fiery, dusty staged implosion in 1993.

The period of 50s and 60s saw casino lounges not covering the charges of entertainment from the customer’s, in fact they only charged for the drink and rest everything was at no charge from dusk to dawn. The lounges were the main attraction of entertainment in a more stylish way, produced the names of Buddy Hackett, Don Rickles, Alan King, Keely Smith, Louis Prima, Shecky Greene, the Mary Kaye Trio and lots more.

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