Gaming and Tourism

Pair-O-Dice Club and Early Las Vegas Strip

In the early 1930s, as the popularity of nightclubs grew in downtown Las Vegas, two casino-nightclubs were built several miles outside of downtown on Highway 91, a site that would later become the Las Vegas Strip. Owners of these early highway casinos, outside the city limits, sought to attract motorists before they arrived downtown.

Moulin Rouge

The first integrated hotel-casino in Las Vegas, the Moulin Rouge, opened on May 24, 1955 on West Bonanza Road, at the edge of West Las Vegas, the town's segregated area. Owned almost wholly by whites and intended to compete with whites-only resorts on the Strip and downtown, it originally attracted comparatively few African Americans, who resented the idea of a segregated casino.

Morris Barney Dalitz

Morris Barney Dalitz was born on December 24, 1899, in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised in Michigan, where his father operated a growing laundry business. When prohibition begin in 1919, bootleggers needed delivery mechanisms, and Dalitz's access to laundry trucks helped him enter that business.

Minsky's Burlesque

The Minsky family became synonymous with burlesque in the first decades of the twentieth century, operating several theaters in New York City. Burlesque combined comedy sketches, variety acts, chorus line dancers, and strippers. However, the rough language and bawdy entertainment made them the object of morals campaigns. Finally, New York City mayor Fiorello LaGuardia closed down the "burley" houses in 1939. Family members opened burlesque productions in Miami, Chicago, and New Orleans theatres.

Meadows Club

The Meadows Club was one of the first casinos to open in Las Vegas in the weeks after the Nevada legislature legalized casino gambling in March 1931, during the prohibition era. In its early years, the Meadows, with its live entertainment and fancy interior, was regarded as the finest casino in Las Vegas, and a forerunner of the modern casinos that followed in the 1940s.

Margaret Kelly

Margaret Kelly created a new form of dance entertainment in 1932 when she founded the "Bluebell Girls" in Paris, France. The dancers became famous internationally for their grace, style, and nudity. The Lido de Paris came to Las Vegas and changed showroom entertainment in 1958.

Mapes Hotel and Casino, Reno

The Mapes Hotel and Casino was the first major high-rise hotel built in this country after World War II. When the twelve-story Mapes Hotel opened in the heart of Reno in December 1947, it was the tallest building in Nevada. The hotel was significant in the development of the tourism industry and was the forerunner of the Nevada casino-hotels built specifically to offer gaming, guest accommodations, restaurants, bars, and big name entertainment.

Luxor Hotel

The Luxor, an Egyptian pyramid-shaped hotel opened by William Bennett's Circus Circus Enterprises in 1993, was among the first of a decade-long wave of new megaresorts to emerge on the Las Vegas Strip in the 1990s during the brief period when megaresorts flirted with catering toward adults with children.

Valley of Fire

The Valley of Fire is located approximately 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, in an awe-inspiring landscape of flaming red sandstone. The area was utilized by Basketmaker peoples and later by Ancestral Puebloan peoples between approximately 300 B.C. and 1150 A.D. Bright red sandstone carved into intricate shapes by the wind provides the backdrop for a rich concentration of archaeological sites, including rock art.

Live Wire Fund

Near the end of World War II businessmen in Las Vegas began planning for the post-war economy. Much of the town's prosperity had been built upon the payrolls of the 25,000 civilian and military employees of the Las Vegas Gunnery School and Basic Magnesium, Incorporated. Realizing that both would soon shut down, community leaders scrambled to replace the income derived from the payrolls of those employees.


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