Vintage Las Vegas: Rat Pack Style

Having only seen Ocean's Eleven with George Clooney & Julia Roberts, I recently discovered this was merely a remake of the 1960 Las Vegas film of the same name starring the original Rat Pack - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.

This classic film version got me to thinking about the famous Las Vegas hotels featured within the movie plot - Dunes, Flamingo, Sahara, Riviera, Sands, Desert Inn - and as to whether or not they're still in existence today.  So let's take a look at what I found:

The Dunes Hotel

© 1983 Larry D. Moore
One of the largest casinos of its time, the Dunes Hotel was built at the then end of the Las Vegas Strip (3600 Las Vegas Boulevard) in 1955.  In 1993, the Dunes Hotel property was bought by Steve Wynn and subsequently demolished.  The Bellagio now takes it's place on The Las Vegas Strip today.

Flamingo Las Vegas Casino & Hotel

Flamingo Las Vegas
Brought to fruition by notorious mobster Bugsy Siegel, the Flamingo Las Vegas opened its doors on 3555 Las Vegas Boulevard in 1946.  Although the last of the original Flamingo was torn down in 1993, this iconic name in Vegas history still welcomes guests, gamblers and entertainment seekers today.

Sahara Hotel & Casino

mrak75 on Flickr
As the last of the 'brat pack' era establishments, the Sahara Hotel & Casino (2535 Las Vegas Boulevard) had a nice Vegas run from 1952 until just a few years ago in 2011.  But contrary to misconceptions, this famous hotel was not torn down and is currently undergoing major renovations & rebranding with a planned reopening in 2014.  How cool is that?!

Riviera Casino & Hotel

Once home to Liberace, the Riviera Casino & Hotel (2901 Las Vegas Boulevard) was built in 1955 as the first high-rise to ever grace the Las Vegas Strip.  Still in operation today, the Riviera has undergone many ownership changes (and a few bankruptcies) while still being home to the popular topless show, Crazy Girls.

Sands Hotel

PCAP © Copyright 1996
Lucky number seven on the Las Vegas Strip, the Sands Hotel (3355 Las Vegas Boulevard) was well known as the place to mix & mingle with the stars after their on-stage performances.  Can you imagine rubbing elbows with the likes of Sinatra or Martin?!  Opened in 1952, the Sands Hotel closed its doors in 1996 where today, the Venetian Las Vegas Casino, Hotel & Resort stands in its place.

Desert Inn

Camden Communications
Once owned by recluse Howard Hughes and with a cool 50 year life span, the Desert Inn was the first resort on the Las Vegas Strip (3145 Las Vegas Boulevard) to have its own 18-hole golf course.  The Desert Inn (1950 to 2000) welcomed headlining entertainers like Liberace, Sinatra, Martin and Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton.  The Desert Inn's former location is now home to the mega resort, Wynn Las Vegas.

For more information on visiting Las Vegas, check out the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority and:

And always remember,

What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas! Registered & Protected

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