flamingo

Author David G. Schwartz summarizes chapter 10, “A Place…

Author David G. Schwartz summarizes chapter 10, “A Place in the Sun: The Las Vegas Strip is Born,” of Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling (Casino Edition).

This chapter covers the development of the Strip from the 1941 opening of the El Rancho Vegas into the 1960s. It discusses pioneers like Thomas Hull, Bill Moore, and Billy Wilkerson, and the infamous Bugsy Siegel who muscled Wilkerson out of the Flamingo casino.

It also explains the three factors that gave mob-connected casinos an advantage (for a time) in Las Vegas, discusses syndicate ownership as exemplified by the Desert Inn, and takes on topics as varied as the Rat Pack, the development of skill play and card-counting, and the desegregation of the Strip and Downtown.

If you don’t see a video, go here: http://youtu.be/5PwpS528RLc 

LV Strip’s 1st Gourmet Casino Dining

For the first 20 or so years, Las Vegas Strip casino restaurants were strictly loss leaders, with the fare passable but nothing to write home about.

Chester Simms, general manager of the Flamingo, changed that when he opened the Candlelight Room, the Strip’s first real gourmet restaurants, in 1961. Today we’re used to casinos sourcing seafood from all over the world, but flying in fresh Maine lobsters daily was innovative fifty years ago.

You can read much more about the Flamingo and other casinos, in Las Vegas and around the world, in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

Go here to read an excerpt from the book, or learn where to buy your copy.

The great link?

Harrah’s had announced–in very unspecific terms–what it plans to do with its fantastic assortment of Strip acreage. From the LV Sun: They didn’t announce their intentions at the time. The economy was still humming, and with tourism booming and new resort construction expected by consumers and demanded by investors, the decision was something of a …

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Vogon humor

I’m in the middle of the website update, and in answering a question about the Flamingo I found out that they have a restaurant named “Voga.” It’s the ultimate evolution of taste, according to the folks who wrote the copy for the website. It’s apparently the name of an Italian wine, but it makes me …

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