Artist's rendering of the International Hotel, Las Vegas, circa 1969

International (Las Vegas Hilton, now Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, or LVH)

Las Vegas, Nevada

The International Hotel was the first true mega-resort and the first utilizing Martin Stern Jr.’s distinctive tri-form, with room wings radiating from a central service core.  

 
It was also known for its mammoth showroom and variety of internationally-themed restaurants. Kirk Kerkorian took over the original hotel concept from Marvin Krattner who had envisioned an exclusive International Country Club Estates with a championship golf course and hotel on the site of the old Las Vegas Speedway. Kerkorian purchased the property from Krattner and completed construction in 1969 of what was the largest hotel and casino in the world in record time.
 
Kerkorian hired Barbra Streisand and Elvis Presley for the resort’s grand opening, but Elvis let Streisand open, and followed her with 58 consecutive performances. Elvis re-launched his career in Las Vegas, and continued to perform at the International until 1976, living in the penthouse suite during his stays in Las Vegas. The International was the site for the fight in which Leon Spinks defeated Muhammad Ali for the World Heavy weight championship in 1978. The International was also the site of the notorious Navy Tailhook Association meeting in 1991.
 
In 1981, just 90 days after the MGM Grand fire, an arson fire was set in the International in which eight people died. Firemen who had learned from the MGM fire were able to keep guests out of hallways and stairwells.
 
The original sign blew down in a storm in 1994. The new sign, built in 1997, was the largest free-standing sign in the world, and was taken down in December, 2011.

 

 

Artist's rendering of the International Hotel, Las Vegas, circa 1969

International Hotel, circa 1969
Architectural drawing of International Hotel east elevation, north half, August

Architectural drawing, International Hotel, 1968

Related Links:

Martin Stern, Jr., Special Collections page
 

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Location of Project

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Timeline
  • 1969

    The International opens a 1500 room hotel, at the time the largest hotel in the world

  • 1970

    Kirk Kerkorian sells the International Hotel and Fabulous Flamingo to Barron Hilton

  • 1971

    The International is renamed the Las Vegas Hilton

  • 1975

    The East tower 600-room addition is designed by Martin Stern

  • 1978

    The North tower addition is made by Homer Rissman

  • 1981

    The Las Vegas Hilton arson fire mimmick's the MGM Grand fire of the previous year

  • 1997

    The new sign is erected by YESCO

  • 1998

    "Star Trek: The Experience" opens and runs till 2008

  • 2011

    The Las Vegas Hilton is purchased by Colony Capital/Resorts International 

  • 2012

    The International (Las Vegas Hilton) is renamed Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Skyline Comments
Photograph of a rendering of the International Hotel (Las Vegas), circa 1968:
This is a great image. Thanks
Photograph of men playing faro in a Fremont Street casino (Las Vegas), circa 1930:
I love this picture and the other one you have on the Faro Game. Please let me know How I...
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?