This is one of the few businesspersons in Las Vegas who can proclaim that their plane set off in the world of gambling. Wynn was in charge of the family’s bingo parlour when he was young and this is where he earned the skills that would assist him start off his resurgence of fallen apart hotels in Las Vegas. This was in 1989. He did not aim at building new resorts but he expanded the dilapidated ones. Steve Wynn is the man behind the financing of the Treasure Island Resort and this started as an expansion of the Mirage and in this resort is where he started his first permanent booking of Circue du Soleil in Las Vegas.
William Andrews Clark
He is a copper mining magnate and he put Las Vegas on the map when he made it his maintenance shop for his Salt Lake/ Los Angeles Railroad in 1905. During this time, Clark was one of the wealthiest industrialists in USA. He was second to Rockefeller. He owned plenty of railroads, gold mines, cattle, banks, electric companies and interests in timber. Clark has Utah Senator Thomas Kearns as one of his business partners. This man assisted in promoting Las Vegas to American farmers who could buy a share of the desert for as little as $1.25 per acre.
This man was an aviator, film producer and a manufacturer. Hughes went to Las Vegas on Thanksgiving Day in 1966. He occupied the penthouse suite of the Desert Inn to a time when the manager asked him to evacuate the suite to offer room to customer during New Years’ Eve. Howard Hughes did not leave the hotel but he bought the hotel. He went ahead and bought the Las Vegas Real Estate which consisted of the North Las Vegas Airport and other casinos. Since Hughes rarely left his penthouse, all these properties were left under the supervision of Robert Maheu.
Kirk Kerkorian did what many would term as a Las Vegas hat trick. This is when he built the largest resort in Las Vegas three times in a row. Kerkorian’s first development was when he built the International Hotel which has 30 stories and 1512 rooms.
He went on to build the MGM Grand Hotel two times. The first time he did this was bigger than the empire state building. The hotel had more than 2,000 rooms. In 1980, the hotel burnt down with 84 people succumbing to the ordeal. This was termed as the worst disaster in Nevada. The show had to continue and this is the time Kirk Kerkorian built the MGM Grand Hotel again and sold it to Bally Manufacturing at $594 Million.
Adelson was raised in the slums of Boston; as he says. He spent a short time studying at City College of New York but later dropped out and founded a computer trade show COMDEX. Since this time, he has come up with a great gaming empire. Sheldon Adelson bought the Sands in 1988. He went ahead and got rid of it and built the Venetian and Palazio Hotels and the Sands Expo. Sands Expo is the largest convention centre in the world and has more than two million square feet of show floor and places for meetings. He was ranked as the third wealthiest American. He later lost the title in 2008 and 90% of his wealth in the financial crash. In 2010 he shared with the Wall Street Journal and told them that he lost $25 Billion but he started with nothing!
This might be the odd one in the history of Las Vegas entrepreneurship. This man does not operate a casino but he owns one. Hsieh bought the Gold Spike Casino in downtown and made an announcement that he would not re-open the casino. On the contrary he invested $350 million to open the area for small businesses, entertainment, real estate and start-ups.
Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel
Bugsy started out as a hit man Genovese crime family in Brooklyn and this is where he started the syndicate’s enforcement arm. This arm was labelled as the Murder Inc. He was on a small contract in Los Angeles and this is where he rubbed elbows with crime boss Mickey Cohen. This is the time he settled in Las Vegas and was frequently credited with building the Flamingo Hotel. Siegel wrestled the project from Billy Wilkerson after he nearly lost all his investor’s money playing poker. Siegel was later shot in Beverly Hills after Wilkerson sold his final share in the casino.
Thomas Hull opened the first resort on the Las Vegas Strip when his car broke down on Highway 91. At this time he started counting out of state license plates passing by. In reality, the Las Vegas auto dealer and businessman Big Jim persuaded Thomas Hull to open El Rancho Las Vegas.
El Rancho opened in 1941 and was the first of its kind in the city. It had 110 rooms, a roulette table, two blackjack tables, more than 70 slot machines and a craps table.
J Walter Thompson
This is the man who coined the name Sin City. This is the man who was tasked with the duty of advertising Las Vegas Internationally. He went into a partnership with a local radio station owner Maxwell Kelch. This is when JWT advertising started in order to promote Las Vegas as a great vacation spot to tourists. Las Vegas News Bureau was also started and was to be used in publicizing the city’s attractions.
These two guys made the Las Vegas experience into a product that set the stage for the city’s $40 billion industry in tourism.
Monuments do not last for a long time in Las Vegas. When you go to the Neon museum, you will come across signage of landmarks that have been forgotten about in the Strip. There is the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign that was designed in 1959 by Betty Willis. This signage is a Las Vegas Native. Willis went to Los Angeles school of art and went back to her hometown where she started her career as the first commercial artist in the city.
She is known to have designed signs and adverts for different local businesses. One of them is the multi-ethic showgirls for Moulin Rouge Hotel in 1955.