Smith Center for the Performing Arts
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is located in Downtown Las Vegas's 61-acre Symphony Park and is a five-acre performing arts center consisting of three theaters in two buildings. The Neo Art Deco design style was chosen by David M. Schwarz to echo the design elements of the Hoover Dam, just 30 miles to the southeast, it shares design features with the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. The center features a 17-story carillon tower containing 47 bells and is the first performing arts center in the nation to be Gold LEED certified, it opened on March 10, 2012. The Smith Center features international music, dance companies and is the home of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Nevada Ballet Theatre; the Center is under the leadership of CEO Myron Martin. Prior to The Smith Center opening, Las Vegas was one of the largest cities in the country without a performing arts center; some customized production shows and venues have long existed at various resorts on the Las Vegas Strip but none were geared towards the variety of performances that a stand-alone center would provide, such as that required for touring Broadway productions or major symphony orchestras.
A smaller performing arts venue at the University of Nevada Las Vegas was inadequate for these purposes. Plans were conceived for a new center around 1994; the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation made a donation of $150 million in 2005, the second largest donation to performing arts in United States history. A car rental fee was initiated by Clark County and the State of Nevada to repay bonds of $105 million; these two factors together moved the public-private project towards construction. The building was named after Fred and Mary Smith, the chairman of the Reynolds Foundation and his wife, as the largest benefactors; the City of Las Vegas began separate plans around 2000 to build a downtown urban district called Symphony Park, selected as the site for the Center. In 2010, it was announced that the Lied Discovery Children's Museum would move to the Smith Center, replacing an proposed 600-seat theater, scrapped from the plans in 2008; the reasoning was that the city had numerous sized venues in the various hotel resorts.
A partnership with the Kennedy Center and some classrooms onsite provide educational opportunities for local youth. The planners expect the center to foster arts awareness and help to revitalize the downtown area with the Center's opening in 2012; the Smith Center Board wanted a timeless and elegant design, selecting architect David M. Schwarz to design the center, using inspiration from the Hoover Dam's Art Deco style as a major and lasting historical influence in the Las Vegas area; the building is a reinterpretation of Bertram Goodhue's 1922 design for the Nebraska State Capitol at Lincoln, John & Donald Parkinson's 1929 Bullocks Wilshire in Los Angeles. White Indiana limestone for the facade, as well as numerous detail elements based on the Hoover Dam and 1920's motifs feature throughout the facility, including a winged sculpture in the Center lobby modeled after the dam's famous Winged Figures of the Republic statues. A prominent flower theme was added in select places since Mary Smith's favorite flower is the Blue Iris.
In addition, artwork by local artists from the Las Vegas Art Museum have been loaned to the center to be displayed. A large concert hall and two smaller theaters were designed as the main venues. At the corner is a 17-story tower featuring 47 bells and providing a new focal point for the downtown skyline, as well as the Center. Audio design firm Akustiks worked with Schwarz to ensure optimum sound quality in all the venues, installing high tech sound enhancing features like retractable drapery and auto closing doors to reflect or absorb sounds based on the performance type; the main hall is double soundproofed against outside noises. An outdoor park plaza was built, serving as an additional outdoor concert venue if needed, it features an artwork by Tim Bavington, representing Aaron Copland’s "Fanfare for the Common Man". The three main venues at the Smith Center are the Reynolds Hall, Myron's Cabaret Jazz, the Troesh Studio Theater, the first of, located in its namesake building and the latter two in the Boman Pavilion.
2,050-seat Reynolds Hall is designed to keep the seats close to the stage, seating is on 5 levels 240-seat Myron's Cabaret Jazz is designed for more intimate performances. 250-seat Troesh Studio Theater rehearsal theater The 2-acre Donald W. Reynolds Symphony Park lawn for outdoor performances 47 bell carillon; the carillon was planned as a 36 bell instrument with a 3 octave range. Elaine Wynn Studio for Arts Education Grand Lobby Founder's Room and Mezzanine Lounge Best of music and Broadway from around the world. Broadway productions include blockbusters such as Book of Mormon, The Lion King and Hamilton Las Vegas Philharmonic Nevada Ballet Theatre Part of the Smith Center campus includes the new home of the Lied Discovery Children's Museum, to be renamed the Discovery Children's Museum. Official website of the Smith Center David M. Schwarz Architect's website about the Smith Center
Planet Hollywood Las Vegas
Planet Hollywood Las Vegas is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. It is operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation. Toy manufacturer Edwin S. Lowe opened the 450-room Tally Ho hotel on the property in 1963; the Tally Ho was the only major hotel in Nevada to not include a casino. The company added a casino and showroom but plans to open the casino were halted when the Nevada Gaming Control Board declined to issue a gambling license because of concerns about the resort being inadequately financed. Milton Prell purchased the hotel in January 1966 and began an extensive $3 million renovation of the property before reopening it as the Aladdin on April 1, 1966. A 19-story hotel tower was added in 1972. After various ownership changes, the Aladdin was closed in 1997 and demolished the following year to make room for a new resort that would be named Aladdin; the new Aladdin resort opened in August 2000, but suffered financial difficulties and was purchased in 2003 by a partnership of Planet Hollywood and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, which renamed it as Planet Hollywood in 2007.
Hilton Grand Vacations operates the timeshare portion of the property, known as Elara. In April 2010, Total Rewards replaced; the English Tudor-styled Tally Ho hotel was conceived by owner Edwin S. Lowe, a New York toy manufacturer who served as the president of the hotel. Lowe, who believed that there were some Las Vegas tourists who were not interested in gambling, chose not to add a casino to the Tally Ho; the hotel was built across the street from the Dunes resort. Construction of the Tally Ho was underway with an opening planned for July. In May 1962, the Clark County Ground Water Board denied an application for a water well that would be used for a nine-hole pitch and putt golf course, which Lowe planned to construct at the rear of the property. A nine-hole golf course was added to the final plans. In June 1962, the hotel's opening was delayed until October 1, 1962. County officials discovered that the three-story stucco hotel may be in violation of fire codes. A request was made for the owner to propose plans to fireproof attic.
County officials suggested the installation of either a sprinkler system or sheet rock in the attic, as well as the addition of fire-proof materials on the roof of the hotel structures. In November 1962, key positions in the resort were being named while an opening date of Christmas week was being planned; the Tallyho Hotel and Country Club was completed in December 1962, at a cost of $12 million, was opened in February 1963. It was the only major resort in Nevada to not include a casino; the hotel featured 450 rooms, 32 villas, six restaurants and bicycle-riding facilities, a helicopter service to take guests to nearby attractions such as Mount Charleston and Lake Mead. Despite the lack of a casino, the business was operating at the time of its opening. However, the Tally Ho closed on October 10, 1963, because of low revenue caused by the lack of a casino; the closure affected 100 employees, Lowe conceded that it was a mistake to not open the hotel with an adjoining casino. Kings Crown Inns of America, Incorporated, a chain of hotels, purchased the Tally Ho at a cost of $7 million, reopened it as the King's Crown Tally Ho on November 5, 1963.
Kings Crown planned to add a showroom as soon as possible. The Tally Ho was Kings Crown's first hotel in the western United States. Lighting and sound system details for the showroom were being finalized in March 1964, while Kings Crown planned to have the showroom opened in the summer. Sound men who designed the showroom consulted with sound engineers at the University of California, Los Angeles. Film producer Steve Parker, husband of actress Shirley MacLaine, was named as the head of the hotel's showroom, to be named the Crown Room Theater-Restaurant. In addition, Parker was named as a part owner in the resort. In April 1964, a fire started in one of the hotel rooms and caused smoke damage to part of the hotel; the fire was believed to have been started by a cigarette. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the casino and showroom were scheduled for the weekend of April 11-12, 1964. Celebrities, including MacLaine, were expected to attend the ceremonies. Other additions in the $3 million expansion project would include a convention hall and another restaurant.
Future plans included the addition of a 15-story hotel structure with 500 rooms. Construction of the casino and showroom was underway in May 1964, while Parker was planning a show that would feature non-topless showgirls, a concept, not present in other showgirl shows in Las Vegas. By the end of 1964, a partnership of six corporations, with a total of 17 stockholders, was seeking a gambling license to open the casino as part of a $500,000 investment. On December 22, 1964, the Nevada Gaming Control Board deferred action on the approval of a gambling license until the following month to allow time for an investigation of the partnership's finances. A New Year's Eve opening date had been planned for the casino, while the possibility remained for a showroom lounge and two new restaurants to open at that time, although they did not. A total of 500 people were expected to be employed at the resort's new facilities. In January 1965, the Gaming Board considered the request for a gambling license, but agreed to the hotel's request to delay action for another 30 days so financial agreements could be worked out between people
Las Vegas the City of Las Vegas and known as Vegas, is the 28th-most populated city in the United States, the most populated city in the state of Nevada, the county seat of Clark County. The city anchors the Las Vegas Valley metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater Mojave Desert. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known for its gambling, fine dining and nightlife; the Las Vegas Valley as a whole serves as the leading financial and cultural center for Nevada. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, is famous for its mega casino–hotels and associated activities, it is a top three destination in the United States for business conventions and a global leader in the hospitality industry, claiming more AAA Five Diamond hotels than any other city in the world. Today, Las Vegas annually ranks as one of the world's most visited tourist destinations; the city's tolerance for numerous forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, has made Las Vegas a popular setting for literature, television programs, music videos.
Las Vegas was settled in 1905 and incorporated in 1911. At the close of the 20th century, it was the most populated American city founded within that century. Population growth has accelerated since the 1960s, between 1990 and 2000 the population nearly doubled, increasing by 85.2%. Rapid growth has continued into the 21st century, according to a 2018 estimate, the population is 648,224 with a regional population of 2,227,053; as with most major metropolitan areas, the name of the primary city is used to describe areas beyond official city limits. In the case of Las Vegas, this applies to the areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip, located within the unincorporated communities of Paradise and Winchester; the earliest visitors to the Las Vegas area were nomadic Paleo-Indians, who traveled there 10,000 years ago, leaving behind petroglyphs. Anasazi and Paiute tribes followed at least 2,000 years ago. A young Mexican scout named Rafael Rivera is credited as the first non-Native American to encounter the valley, in 1829.
Trader Antonio Armijo led a 60-man party along the Spanish Trail to Los Angeles, California in 1829. The area was named Las Vegas, Spanish for "the meadows," as it featured abundant wild grasses, as well as the desert spring waters needed by westward travelers; the year 1844 marked the arrival of John C. Frémont, whose writings helped lure pioneers to the area. Downtown Las Vegas's Fremont Street is named after him. Eleven years members of the LDS Church chose Las Vegas as the site to build a fort halfway between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, where they would travel to gather supplies; the fort was abandoned several years afterward. The remainder of this Old Mormon Fort can still be seen at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Washington Avenue. Las Vegas was founded as a city in 1905, when 110 acres of land adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks were auctioned in what would become the downtown area. In 1911, Las Vegas was incorporated as a city. 1931 was a pivotal year for Las Vegas.
At that time, Nevada legalized casino gambling and reduced residency requirements for divorce to six weeks. This year witnessed the beginning of construction on nearby Hoover Dam; the influx of construction workers and their families helped Las Vegas avoid economic calamity during the Great Depression. The construction work was completed in 1935. In 1941, the Las Vegas Army Air Corps Gunnery School was established. Known as Nellis Air Force Base, it is home to the aerobatic team called the Thunderbirds. Following World War II, lavishly decorated hotels, gambling casinos, big-name entertainment became synonymous with Las Vegas. In the 1950s the Moulin Rouge opened and became the first racially integrated casino-hotel in Las Vegas. In 1951, nuclear weapons testing began at the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. During this time the city was nicknamed the "Atomic City". Residents and visitors were able to witness the mushroom clouds until 1963, when the limited Test Ban Treaty required that nuclear tests be moved underground.
The iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, never located within municipal limits, was created in 1959 by Betty Willis. During the 1960s, corporations and business powerhouses such as Howard Hughes were building and buying hotel-casino properties. Gambling was referred to as "gaming"; the year 1995 marked the opening of the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas's downtown area. This canopied five-block area features 12.5 million LED lights and 550,000 watts of sound from dusk until midnight during shows held on the top of each hour. Due to the realization of many revitalization efforts, 2012 was dubbed "The Year of Downtown." Hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of projects made their debut at this time. They included The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and DISCOVERY Children's Museum, Mob Museum, Neon Museum, a new City Hall complex and renovations for a new Zappos.com corporate headquarters in the old City Hall building. Las Vegas is situated within Clark County in a basin on the floor of the Mojave Desert and is surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides.
Much of the landscape is arid with desert vegetation and wildlife. It can be subjected to torrential flash floods, although much has been done to mitigate the effects of flash floods through improved drainage systems; the peaks surrounding Las Vegas reach elevations of o
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is a luxury resort casino and hotel on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. The resort opened on December 15, 2010, is located just south of the Bellagio on the west side of Las Vegas Boulevard, it consists of two highrise towers, the Boulevard Tower and the Chelsea Tower, both of which are 184 meters tall. The $3.9 billion project features 3,027 rooms, a 110,000 sq ft casino, 300,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space, a 40,000 sq ft spa and fitness facility, a 3,200-seat theater, 150,000 sq ft of meeting and convention space. In 2013, the hotel was rated "The Best Hotel in the World" by Gogobot. In 2015, the resort was named to the Condé Nast Traveller Gold List as one of the "Top Hotels in the World". Cosmopolitan features 3,027 hotel rooms; the Cosmopolitan's 100,000 sq ft casino features views of the Las Vegas Strip. The Pools at the Cosmopolitan features three different types: a relaxing pool, day club pool and nightclub pool; the Cosmopolitan is home to the Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub, the top grossing nightclub in the United States in 2012.
In January 2014, the Cosmopolitan added Rose. Rabbit. Lie. Plans for the property were first announced in April 2004; the developer, 3700 Associates, was a joint venture formed by David Friedman, Ian Bruce Eichner, Soros Fund Management. The developers purchased the site, an 8.5-acre U-shaped parcel surrounding the Jockey Club timeshare building, for $90 million from a company controlled by New Frontier owner Margaret Elardi. Further details about the project, including the Cosmopolitan name, were released in November 2004; the Cosmopolitan's design team was led by Friedmutter Group as executive architect, with Arquitectonica as the design architect for the building's themed exterior. The building was engineered by DeSimone Consulting Engineers; the interior design team included Digital Kitchen, the Friedmutter Group, The Rockwell Group, Jeffrey Beers, Adam Tihany, Bentel & Bentel. The resort was built on; because the Cosmopolitan occupies much of the parking lot, it was agreed that the Club residents could use part of the Cosmopolitan's parking garage.
The Cosmopolitan was the second Las Vegas hotel, after The Palazzo, to feature an underground parking garage underneath the hotel. As a result, the parking garage was built first. In December 2007, work finished on the 70-foot hole for the parking structure, while other foundation work remained in progress; the hotel was planned to open and be operated by Hyatt as the Grand Hyatt Las Vegas. Original plans called for the casino to be on the second floor, but this was changed and the casino was built on ground level, like most other Las Vegas hotel-casinos. Planned condo units were replaced with studios and other hotel rooms. In January 2008, it was reported that the $3.9 billion project faced financial complications, as Eichner's company defaulted on a $760 million construction loan from Deutsche Bank when the developer missed a payment after failing to secure refinancing for the project. Construction moved forward. In late February 2008, Global Hyatt Corporation and New York-based Marathon Asset Management agreed to recapitalize the condominium-hotel project.
However, one month the developer said Deutsche Bank AG would begin foreclosure proceedings. They bought the hotel for $1 billion during the summer and hired The Related Cos. developers of Time Warner Center in New York, to re-position the asset, manage the development process and assist in leasing the retail and restaurant collection. Related recommended many revisions, including bringing the casino entrance onto the strip. In June 2008, Hearst Corp filed a trademark suit against the owners of the casino. Hearst owns the trademark to Cosmopolitan magazine. In March 2010, the suit was settled, the resort was renamed Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. In August 2008, it was announced that MGM Mirage, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Hilton were in talks to acquire the property, it was speculated that MGM Mirage would integrate the project into CityCenter. In April 2009, the Sun reported that the hotel would be managed by Hilton and would become the Hilton's first in their new Denizen hotel line; that month, those plans changed.
In June 2009, 400 homeowners filed a lawsuit against the developers, claiming breach of contract and seeking refunds for their deposits. They believed that the projected finish date of June 2010 was unrealistic and expressed fear that the developers might turn the condo rooms into hotel rooms only or "finish the building as a shell and not do any interior work."In April 2010, it was announced that the Cosmopolitan would open in stages, beginning in December and ending in July 2011. It was the only hotel-casino to open on the Strip in 2010; the project opened on December 15, 2010, became part of Marriott International's Autograph Collection, a collection of independent hotels with access to Marriott's reservation and rewards system. In January 2014, the
Caesars Palace is a luxury hotel and casino in Paradise, United States. The hotel is situated on the west side of the Las Vegas Strip between The Mirage, it is one of Las Vegas's best known landmarks. Caesars Palace was established in 1966 by Jay Sarno, who sought to create an opulent facility that gave guests a sense of life during the Roman Empire, it contains many statues and iconography typical of Hollywood Roman period productions including a 20-foot statue of Augustus Caesar near the entrance. Caesars Palace is now operated by Caesars Entertainment; as of July 2016, the hotel has 3,976 rooms and suites in six towers and a convention facility of over 300,000 square feet. The hotel has a large range of restaurants. Among them are several which serve authentic Chinese cuisine to cater to wealthy East Asian gamblers. From the outset, Caesars Palace has been oriented towards attracting high rollers; the modern casino facilities include table games such as blackjack, roulette, Spanish 21, mini-baccarat, Pai Gow, Pai Gow poker.
The casino features a 4,500-square-foot 24-hour poker room. The hotel has operated as a host venue for live music and sports entertainment. In addition to holding boxing matches since the late 1970s, Caesars hosted the Caesars Palace Grand Prix from 1981 to 1982. Notable entertainers who have performed at Caesars Palace include Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. Dean Martin, Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Bette Midler, Elton John, Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli, Julio Iglesias, Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, Judy Garland, Tony Bennett, Gloria Estefan, Mariah Carey, Matt Goss, Deana Martin; the main performance venue is The Colosseum. The theatre contains a 22,450-square-foot stage; the stage was a special construction for Celine Dion's show, A New Day... in 2003. After departing in 2007, Dion returned to the Colosseum with her new show entitled "Celine" on March 15, 2011, under contract through June 9, 2018 for 65 shows per year. In 1962, cabana motel owners Jay Sarno and Stanley Mallin applied for a $10.6 million loan from the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund.
He began plans to build a hotel on land owned by Kirk Kerkorian. Sarno would act as designer of the hotel he planned to construct, his vision was to emulate life under the Roman Empire. The objective of the palace was to ensure an atmosphere in which everybody staying at the hotel would feel like a Caesar. Caesars Palace was instrumental in beginning a new era of lavish casinos from the late 1960s onward. Architectural writer, Alan Hess, stated: "Caesars Palace needed only a sumptuous array of Classical statuary and a host of marble-white columns to establish its theme; the visitor's imagination, in league with well-placed publicity, filled in the opulence". Jefferson Graham wrote that the result was "the gaudiest, most elaborate, most talked about resort Vegas had seen. Emblem was a chesty female dipping grapes into the waiting mouth of a recumbent Roman, fitted out in toga, laurel wreath, phallic dagger"; the inauguration ceremony was held on August 5, 1966. Sarno and his partner, Nate Jacobsen, spent one million dollars on the event.
The cost included "the largest order of Ukrainian caviar placed by a private organization", two tons of filet mignon, 300 pounds of Maryland crabmeat and 50,000 glasses of champagne. Cocktail waitresses in Greco-Roman wigs would greet guests and say "Welcome to Caesars Palace, I am your slave". Among the performers at the opening were Andy Williams and Phil Richards. According to author Ovid Demaris, Caesars Palace was "a mob-controlled casino from the day it opened its doors". By the time it opened, the significant publicity of the new hotel had generated $42 million in advanced bookings. On December 31, 1967, stunt performer Evel Knievel arrived at the hotel to watch a boxing match and convinced Sarno that he could jump over the distance of 140 feet over the fountains. ABC came in to film the jump, in which Knievel hit the top of the safety ramp after the jump and flew over his handlebars into the parking lot of neighbouring Dunes. Fracturing his pelvis, several bones and suffering a concussion, he lay in a hospital unconscious for 29 days in a coma before recovering.
On April 14, 1989, Knievel's son Robbie completed the jump. The first casino at the hotel was named Circus Circus, it was intended to be the world's liveliest and most expensive casino, attracting elite gamblers from around the world. In 1969, a Federal Organized Crime Task Force accused the casino's financial manager, Jerome Zarowitz, of having ties with organized-crime figures in New York and New England. Although Zarowitz was never tried, the task force pressured Sarno and his other investors to sell the casino, which led to it being acquired by Lum's restaurant chain owners Stuart and Clifford S. Perlman for $60 million; the company soon changed its name to Caesars World. On July 15 of that year, executives lay ground on an expansion area of the hotel, they buried a time capsule in the area. Frank Sinatra began performing at Caesars Palace in 1967, after a fallout with Howard Hughes and Carl Cohen at The Sands, he signed a three-year contract. In the early morning hours of September 6, 1970, Sinatra was playing a high stakes baccarat at the casino, where he was performing at the time.
Normal limits for the game are US$2,000 per hand.
The Signature at MGM Grand
The Signature at MGM Grand is a condo-hotel at the MGM Grand Las Vegas resort, in Paradise. It was built by a partnership between MGM Mirage and Turnberry Associates on the location of the former MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park, though it holds an off-strip address of 145 East Harmon Avenue, it features three identical 38-story towers, each consisting of 576 furnished units. Most of the condo units were to be owned. If a unit owner chooses, he or she may join the “rental program”, placing their units into the hotel's room inventory to be offered as luxury suites by The Signature when they are not occupied by the owner; the owner, minus fees for hotel maintenance and upkeep, receives a split of the rental rate of the owner's unit. Developer Turnberry/MGM Grand Towers filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy following the 2008 Great Recession. Owners of 545 condo units in turn sued the developer for fraud, alleging units were rented out at less than luxury rates. On December 20, 2003, MGM Resorts International and Turnberry Associates announced the formation of a partnership to build the luxury condo hotel, stating that they would build up to six towers each rising up to 40 stories.
The first phase of this project involved the sales of condo units to investors. During this phase, the project was referred to as The Residences, The Residences at MGM Grand and/or The Residences: A Condo Hotel by Turnberry; the first tower sold out within 90 days. The second tower was 50% sold by the time construction began in late 2004. In October 2004, The Residences celebrated its ground-breaking, making it the first high-rise condo-hotel project overlooking the strip to begin construction. Other ventures of this type have begun since in Las Vegas, with many of them failing to obtain necessary financing and/or support. On May 12, 2006, the first tower opened for occupancy; the successful opening of The Signature at MGM Grand appears to be aided by its connection to the resources and amenities of The MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. Each tower has a private pool with a hot tub. Tower 1 has a cocktail lounge. Towers 1 and 3 have a workout room for the guests of all three towers. Starbucks is available at Tower 1.
Signature guests have full access to all MGM Grand amenities as well. The Signature is connected to the main MGM Grand Casino via several moving walkways that traverse through two of the 3 towers. Tower 3 is accessible via a hallway between tower 2 and 3. Time to the main casino to the furthest tower is about 8 minutes for the average walker. There is no self parking on the Signature property, all parking is by valet; each tower has valet parking on the ground level. The Signature at MGM Grand official website
Flamingo Las Vegas
Flamingo Las Vegas is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. It is operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation; the property includes a 72,300 square-foot casino along with 3,626 hotel rooms. The architectural theme is reminiscent of the Art Deco and Streamline Moderne style of Miami and South Beach. Staying true to its theme, the hotel includes a garden courtyard which serves as a wildlife habitat for flamingos; the hotel was the third resort to open on the Strip and remains the oldest resort on the Strip in operation today. The Flamingo has a Las Vegas Monorail station called the Flamingo & Caesars Palace station at the rear of the property. After opening in 1946, it has undergone a number of ownership changes; the Flamingo site occupies 40 acres owned by one of Las Vegas' first settlers, Charles "Pops" Squires. Squires paid $8.75 an acre for the land. In 1944, Margaret Folsom bought the tract for $7,500 from Squires, she later sold it to Billy Wilkerson. Wilkerson was the owner of The Hollywood Reporter as well as some popular nightclubs in the Sunset Strip: Cafe Trocadero, Ciro's and La Rue's.
In 1945, Wilkerson purchased 33 acres on the east side of U. S. Route 91, or about a mile south of the Hotel Last Frontier, in preparation for his vision. Wilkerson hired George Vernon Russell to design a hotel influenced by European style. Wilkerson requested that the hotel be different than the "sawdust joints" on Fremont Street, he planned a hotel with luxurious rooms, a spa, a health club, a showroom, a golf course, a nightclub, an upscale restaurant and a French style casino. Because of high wartime material costs, Wilkerson ran into financial problems at once, finding himself $400,000 short and hunting for new financing. In late 1945, mobster Bugsy Siegel and his partners came to Las Vegas. Vegas piqued Siegel and his mob's interest because of its legalized gambling and off-track betting. At the time, Siegel held a large interest in a racing publication. Siegel began by purchasing El Cortez on Fremont Street for $600,000, his expansion plans were hampered by unfriendly city officials aware of his criminal background, so Siegel began looking for a site outside the city limits.
Hearing that Wilkerson was seeking extra funding and his partners posed as businessmen and directly bought a two-thirds stake in the project. Siegel took over the final phases of construction and convinced more of his underworld associates, such as Meyer Lansky to invest in the project. Siegel lost patience with the project's rising costs, he once mentioned to his builder, Del Webb, that he had killed 16 men; when Webb appeared scared upon hearing that, Siegel reassured him, "Don't worry – we only kill each other."Siegel had built a secret ladder in the "Presidential Suite" to escape if necessary. The ladder led down to an underground garage where a chauffeured limo was waiting. Siegel opened The Flamingo Hotel & Casino on December 26, 1946, at a total cost of $6 million. Billed as "The West's Greatest Resort Hotel", the 105-room property – and first luxury hotel on the Strip – was built 4 miles from Downtown Las Vegas. During construction, a large sign announced the hotel as a William R. Wilkerson project.
The sign read Del Webb Construction as the hotel's primary contractor and Richard R. Stadelman as the building architect. Siegel named the resort after his girlfriend, Virginia Hill, who loved to gamble and was nicknamed "Flamingo", it is reported that Siegel called her this because of her skinny legs. Organized crime king, Lucky Luciano, wrote in his memoir that Siegel once owned an interest in the Hialeah Park Race Track and viewed the flamingos who populated nearby as a good omen; the "Flamingo" name is reported to have been given to the project at its inception by Wilkerson. Siegel's trouble with the Flamingo began when, a year after its official groundbreaking, the resort had produced no revenue and drained the resources of its mob investors. Meyer Lansky charged – at a major mob conference in Cuba – that either Siegel or Hill was skimming from the resort's building budget; this charge was amplified at a time when Hill was revealed to have taken $2.5 million and had gone to Switzerland, where the skimmed money was believed to be going.
"There was no doubt in Meyer's mind," Luciano recalled in his memoir, "that Bugsy had skimmed this dough from his building budget, he was sure that Siegel was preparing to skip as well as skim, in case the roof was gonna fall in on him." Luciano and the other mob leaders in Cuba asked Lansky. Torn because of long ties to Siegel, whom he considered like a brother, Lansky agreed that someone stealing from his friends had to die. At first, Lansky persuaded the others to wait for the Flamingo's casino opening: if it was a success, Siegel could be persuaded in other ways to repay. Luciano persuaded the others to agree; the splashy opening – stars present included Spanish band leader Xavier Cugat, George Jessel, George Raft, Rose Marie, Jimmy Durante as entertainment, with guests including Clark Gable, Lana Turner, Cesar Romero, Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, others – was a flop. Lansky managed to persuade the mob chiefs to reprieve Siegel once more and allow the Flamingo more time, but by January 1947 Siegel had to order.
The Flamingo re-opened in March despite the hotel not being complete, this time, the results proved different. By May, the resort reported a $250,000 profit, allowing Lansky to point out that Siege