Flamingo Las Vegas Location: 3555 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Historical Relevance: Opened in 1946, the Flamingo Las Vegas is one of the city’s oldest and most storied hotels. It was developed by mobster Bugsy Siegel and his partners, who envisioned a luxurious resort that would cater to the tastes and preferences of high-rolling gamblers. The Flamingo’s Art Deco-inspired design, lush gardens, and extravagant amenities helped to set the standard for the modern Las Vegas resort experience. Over the years, the hotel has undergone numerous renovations and expansions, but its iconic neon signage and tropical theme remain as a testament to the city’s early days as a gambling and entertainment mecca.
Sahara Las Vegas Location: 2535 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Historical Relevance: Opened in 1952, the Sahara Las Vegas was once the epitome of glamour and sophistication on the Las Vegas Strip. The hotel’s Moroccan-themed design and star-studded entertainment lineup attracted some of the biggest names in show business, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. The Sahara’s original 240-room hotel tower was the tallest building in Nevada at the time of its construction, and its iconic sign became a symbol of the city’s mid-century heyday. Although the hotel has undergone significant changes over the years, including a brief closure and rebranding as the SLS Las Vegas, the Sahara remains a landmark destination with a rich history.
Tropicana Las Vegas Location: 3801 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Historical Relevance: Opened in 1957, the Tropicana Las Vegas is one of the last remaining examples of classic Las Vegas architecture and design. The hotel’s lush landscaping, tiki-themed decor, and luxurious amenities helped to establish its reputation as a tropical paradise in the heart of the desert. Over the years, the Tropicana has been home to some of the city’s most iconic entertainment acts, including the Folies Bergère, which ran for nearly 50 years before closing in 2009. Today, the hotel continues to offer a taste of vintage Las Vegas glamour, with its distinctive architecture and historic showrooms providing a window into the city’s past.
Caesars Palace Location: 3570 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Historical Relevance: Opened in 1966, Caesars Palace is one of the most recognizable and enduring symbols of Las Vegas luxury. The hotel’s opulent Roman-inspired design, complete with marble columns, lavish fountains, and elaborate statues, set a new standard for extravagance on the Las Vegas Strip. Caesars Palace has been the site of numerous high-profile events and performances over the years, including championship boxing matches, headlining concerts, and the legendary “evil Knievel” motorcycle jump. The hotel’s iconic architecture, world-class amenities, and storied history make it an essential destination for visitors seeking a taste of classic Las Vegas glamour.
Circus Circus Las Vegas Location: 2880 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Historical Relevance: Opened in 1968, Circus Circus Las Vegas was the first family-oriented hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The property’s distinctive circus tent-inspired design and carnival-themed attractions, including live circus acts,
an indoor amusement park, and an array of midway games, helped to redefine the city’s entertainment offerings and broaden its appeal to a wider audience. Over the years, Circus Circus has continued to expand and evolve, adding additional hotel towers, dining options, and attractions to cater to the changing tastes and preferences of Las Vegas visitors. The hotel’s unique theme, colorful history, and enduring popularity make it a must-see destination for those seeking a glimpse of the city’s more whimsical side.
In summary, these five hotels represent some of the most iconic and historically significant properties built in Las Vegas prior to 1970. Each has its own unique character, architectural style, and place in the city’s history, reflecting the rapid growth and development of the Las Vegas Strip during its mid-century heyday. As Las Vegas continues to evolve and reinvent itself, these hotels stand as enduring symbols of the city’s past and its enduring appeal as a destination for gambling, entertainment, and luxury.
The Sands Hotel and Casino (Demolished) Location: Formerly located at 3355 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Historical Relevance: Opened in 1952, The Sands Hotel and Casino was a legendary property that played a significant role in shaping the Las Vegas Strip’s reputation as a premier entertainment destination. The Sands was a favorite hangout for the Rat Pack, which included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop, who frequently performed at the hotel’s iconic Copa Room. The hotel’s luxurious amenities, combined with its association with top celebrities, helped to cement its status as a symbol of Las Vegas glamour. The Sands was demolished in 1996 to make way for The Venetian, but its storied history and enduring impact on the city’s entertainment scene live on in the memories of countless Las Vegas visitors.
The Riviera Hotel and Casino (Demolished) Location: Formerly located at 2901 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Historical Relevance: Opened in 1955, The Riviera Hotel and Casino was one of the longest-running hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. Known for its distinctive architecture, including a nine-story glass façade and a signature neon sign, the Riviera was a fixture of the city’s skyline for over six decades. The hotel’s entertainment offerings, which included top-tier performers such as Liberace, Barbra Streisand, and Elvis Presley, helped to establish its reputation as a premier destination for gambling and live shows. The Riviera was demolished in 2015, making way for the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion, but its iconic design and place in the city’s history ensure that it will not be forgotten.
The Dunes Hotel and Casino (Demolished) Location: Formerly located at 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Historical Relevance: Opened in 1955, The Dunes Hotel and Casino was a notable property on the Las Vegas Strip, featuring a distinctive Arabian Nights-inspired theme and a dramatic, 35-foot-tall fiberglass sultan statue that adorned the hotel’s entrance. The Dunes was renowned for its entertainment offerings, including the famed Casino de Paris production show, which brought a taste of European glamour to the Las Vegas desert. The hotel was demolished in 1993 to make way for the Bellagio, but its unique architecture and role in shaping the city’s entertainment industry remain an important part of Las Vegas history.
These additional three hotels, along with the five previously mentioned, showcase the dynamic and ever-changing landscape of the Las Vegas Strip. Each property played a crucial role in the city’s growth and development, helping to create the vibrant, world-renowned destination that Las Vegas is today. As new properties continue to emerge and reshape the city’s skyline, the stories and memories of these iconic hotels serve as a reminder of the rich history that has shaped Las Vegas into the entertainment capital of the world.