The original owners of the Flamingo Hotel & Casino are Billy Wilkerson and Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel. Gus Greenbaum takes over after Siegel is murdered.
Las Vegas, Nevada
The original idea for the Flamingo Hotel which opened in 1947 was Hollywood nightclub owner Billy Wilkerson’s, but will ever be associated with his partner/financier, Hollywood gangster, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel. Unlike the earlier western-themed El Rancho and Last Frontier resorts, the Flamingo was themed California Modern to appeal to the glamorous Hollywood-types they sought to attract, including Howard Hughes.
After a series of owners and renovations, Kirk Kerkorian purchased the Flamingo in 1967 and had Martin Stern design a new facade which required the demolition of the famous champagne tower. Kerkorian used the Flamingo to train the staff for his new International Hotel, then sold them both to Barron Hilton. Martin Stern did later remodels of the original buildings. Although the original building plans have not survived, Homer Rissman created a set of drawings from an on-site survey of the buildings included here, when Hilton considered incorporating the original buildings into a later high rise tower phase as a Bugsy Siegel “museum.” The idea was scrapped and the buildings were demolished. The modern high rise towers built in six phases from 1976 to1993 are Rissman’s signature on the Strip skyline. The Flamingo signs have been persistent Strip icons.
Location of Project
The Fabulous Flamingo Hotel opens
The Fabulous Flamingo is purchased by local investors led by Tommy Hull of the El Rancho and Al Parvin
The Fabulous Flamingo is purchased by Morris Lansburgh and Sam Cohen of Miami
The Fabulous Flamingo is purchased by Kirk Kerkorian who renovates in 1968; Martin Stern is his architect
The Champagne Tower is demolished
Kerkorian uses the Flamingo to train the staff for his new International Hotel, which opens in 1969
Kerkorian sells the Fabulous Flamingo to Barron Hilton of the Hilton Corp.
The Fabulous Flamingo is renamed the Flamingo Hilton
Four towers are added in the 1980s
The Flamingo Hilton becomes part of Park Place Entertainment
The Flamingo Hilton becomes the Flamingo Las Vegas
Park Place Entertainment becomes Caesars Entertainment, which merges with Harrah's Entertainment
- Photograph of a rendering of the International Hotel (Las Vegas), circa 1968:
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- Photograph of men playing faro in a Fremont Street casino (Las Vegas), circa 1930:
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- Film transparency of the swimming pool and patio of the Thunderbird Hotel (Las Vegas), circa 1950s:
- The 1950'S images are great! Do you have more like this and how can I order reproductions?