A fabulous celebration occurred Thursday, May 9th in front of the El Cortez Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. It was in honor of the property’s listing in the National Register of Historic Places for its role in the development of downtown Fremont Street in the 1940s when the area was the center of entertainment and gambling in Las Vegas.
The hotel’s juiciest bit of history is its brief ownership by mobsters Moe Sedway, Gus Greenbaum, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, and Meyer Lansky in 1945 and 1946.
The hotel was erected in 1941 and remodeled in 1952. It’s exterior has barely changed since then. It remains the oldest casino under the same name in Las Vegas and the only operating casino on the National Register in the United States. (See the Then & Now photos below)
Here’s a short snippet of the ceremony from the Las Vegas Review Journal: http://www.reviewjournal.com/life/las-vegas-history/video-place-honor-el-cortez
I had the honor of writing the National Register nomination but it was the current owners, the Epstein family, who fully supported the idea of recognizing their property for its amazing history.