Las Vegas, Nevada

In 1952 the Café la Rue, a proposed restaurant on the Strip, was bought out by a group of business investors fronted by New York nightclub director Jack Entratter, Cleveland casino boss Cark Cohen, and Texas gambler Jake Freeman. The remodeled and renamed Sands Hotel which opened in 1953 was the work of Googie California architect Wayne McAllister.


Entertainment director and Vice President Jack Entratter, of the famous New York Copacabana Club, put on Las Vegas' most popular floorshows with his hand-picked Copa Girls. Stellar headliners such as Danny Thomas, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Red Skelton and most famously, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and the Rat Pack made the Copa Room at the Sands the premier entertainment venue in Las Vegas in the 1950-60s.  The Sands broke the racial barrier in the 1950s when it allowed Nat King Cole to stay at the hotel.


Howard Hughes bought the Sands in 1967, the same year Martin Stern Jr. completed the distinctive Sands Tower. By the 1980’s The Sands was overshadowed by the newer Strip hotel casinos and was acquired by hotel and convention mogul Sheldon Adelson in 1988. After adding an extensive convention center, Adelson demolished the hotel buildings in 1996 to make way for the Venetian Hotel.


Architect's rendering of the Sands Hotel exterior, Las Vegas, circa 1952

Sands Hotel exterior, circa 1952
Photograph of a woman drawing in front of the Sands Hotel, Las Vegas, mid-1950s

Woman drawing at Sands Hotel, mid-1950s
Sands Hotel, Las Vegas, aerial view of the tower, after 1967

Sands Hotel, aerial view of tower, circa 1967
Architectural drawing of Sands Hotel, December 1963

Architectural drawing, Sands Hotel, 1963

Related Links:
Welcome Home Howard Las Vegas page

Martin Stern Jr. Special Collections page

Javascript is required to view this map.

Location of Project

Javascript is required to view this map.
  • 1952

    Sands Hotel opens

  • 1960

    “Summit at the Sands” performances given at the Sands by the Rat Pack while filming Ocean’s 11

  • 1967

    Howard Hughes purchases the Desert Inn, Sands, Frontier, Silver Slipper, and Landmark hotels

  • 1996

    Sands imploded to make way for the Venetian