Saturday, July 18, 2020

Kirk Kerkorian & MGM Resorts


Intensely private, Kerkorian’s legacy may not be as well known as Steve Wynn’s but is unarguably one of the most important in Vegas history.  Some will criticize MGM as the shinning example of the faceless corporate machine that has taken over the city but without the corporate evolution of the market, the expansion of gaming around the United States, and the world for that matter, would have never been possible.  Corporations removed the negative stigmatism the gambling industry had for eons and made it a viable, bordering on respectable business model, now regarded as just another form of entertainment.

If you're interested in learning more about Kirk Kerkorian, check out

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Steve Wynn



Steve Wynn is probably the biggest name in modern gaming.  He’s definitely one of the biggest in gaming history.  Like Walt Disney before him, Steve Wynn saw the way things were and dreamed of how they could be better, then brought them to life.  He’s a visionary with a gift for promotion, a legacy of world renowned landmarks and a charm that can make him instantly likable.  This is the story of an icon.


For more information, check out

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

PCP - Evolution of Vegas E-1: El Rancho

PCP - Patreon Content Preview

The "Evolution of Vegas" is a companion series to our 360 Vintage Vegas podcasts. They take advantage of the documentary format we use to tell our Vintage segments and bring the stories to life via actual photos and video from the time. While the Vintage Vegas podcasts tell the story of this evolution, they don't tell the story in chronological order. That is exactly how we will present the Evolution of Vegas series.
For more on the El Rancho...

Friday, October 11, 2019

The Landmark




 


The Landmark existed for 34 years, 1961-1995, and during that time, sat empty and unused for a 3rd of its life.  Make no mistake, the Landmark was a great idea.  It just never had the support it needed to reach its potential.  It resembles everything that is great about Las Vegas.  Any grand idea can live here, if only here.  Want to build Paris in the desert, sure; Recreate ancient Roman decadence, why not; put a casino in the sky, give it a shot.  The sobering reality is it takes much more than a visionary idea to succeed in Vegas and there are many examples to prove that.  Rather than lament it’s passing we should celebrate the fact that it had a chance. There are literally dozens of visionary projects planned for Las Vegas that never make it beyond the concept phase.  Currently north strip is home to 3 of them in various stages of incompletion.  Regardless of it’s inability to become a financial success, the Landmark was able to literally live up to it’s name, establish itself as one of the most memorable properties in the landscape of Las Vegas history.Hughes FingerprintThe PoolGalaxy HotelFall of a Landmark

For those of you interested in more information on the Landmark, I can’t recommend the Marc Wagner book “Above the All- The story of the Landmark Hotel and Casino” as well as their companion site www.landmarkhotelmemorial.com.  Possibly the best documentation of a single property I’ve ever seen.  Others sources include

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Luxor





Luxor changed my life.  It can be credited as the property that brought me to Vegas for the first time with a theme that made me say "I have to go see that". The inspiration for this show, my love for just about all things involving the city including becoming a student of it's history can all be traced back to this property.  While it’s true, over the years, I’ve not spent a lot of time at Luxor.  In fact, I haven’t stayed at the property since my first trip.  I can still say with no exaggeration that I love Luxor.  This is the story of the 1st pyramid built in the desert in over 6,000 years.


For more information on Luxor, Bill Bennett and Mandalay Resorts, check out



Saturday, March 2, 2019

Bill Bennett & Circus Circus





Looking at the same thing everyone else sees and seeing it in a way no one else before has is just one of the many reasons he took a property that failed almost the day it opened and turned it into the most successful gaming company in Vegas history.  Yet, despite all he accomplished, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never even heard of a man referred to by many as one of the most influential in the evolution of Las Vegas.  This is Bill Bennett’s story. 

Make no mistake about it, Bill Bennett was a genius; a true pioneer in gaming. While history will forever glorify the legacy of Steve Wynn and Kirk Kerkorian, Bill Bennett is the reason Las Vegas is as popular and diverse as it is today. Before him, no one in Vegas seemed to care about the majority of the people who listen to shows like ours. While some argue things have changed for the worst and lament for the days of old when tuxes and gowns were required attire for an evening in Las Vegas, Bennett saw that it was a place that should be enjoyed by all.   While he never cared much for self promotion or the kind of attention Wynn embraces, ultimately he did want credit for what he did.  While historians recognize him as one the most important figures in the cities history, we honor his memory by making sure you, the listener, die-hard lovers of Las Vegas, know this as well.


If your interested in learning more about Bill Bennett, check out "Forgotten Man"

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Howard Hughes

It’s a shame that the last 10 years of his life largely overshadows all he accomplished prior to his decent into madness.  Truth be told, Howard Hughes was a genius; an innovator in business, aviation, film and in his lifetime, was one of the most financially successful people in the world.  His work ethic was legendary as was his disregard for his own safety, especially when it came to his first true love, flying.  That disregard would eventually cause him to be involved in the plane crash of an experimental aircraft that almost killed him.  While he did eventually recover, he would never be the same. In chronic pain for the rest of his life, his over medication to address the issue pushed his struggles with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder into stratospheric levels, causing him to become the eccentric recluse most remember him for.  Despite all that, what Hughes did during his time in Las Vegas helped the market evolve from the seedy place run by mobsters to a respectable industry; even if that wasn’t his intention and resulted purely because it was his name attached to the legendary great acquisition of Las Vegas

Whatever you think you know about Howard Hughes, he was undeniably a genius by any definition of the word.  The Hughes family made their millions by creating a drill bit that dramatically improved the way oil was drilled for.  At the age of 19, after his father's death, Howard took over ToolCo and used his family’s wealth to revolutionize multiple industries.  With RKO Studios, he changed the way movies were made, introducing violence and sex to the cinema.  He was one of the leading innovators in aviation, setting multiple world records. That knowledge was so valued, Hughes Aircraft become one of the US government’s largest private contractors for military planes, and his commercial airline TWA was a leader in the evolution of commercial flight.  Sadly it was his refusal to be confined by the metaphorical walls he was told he had to operate within, in whatever he decided we wanted to do, that ended up causing him to be confined by the actual walls he would spent last 20 years of his life in, seclude from the world.  And even in those constraints, he was able to change, not only another industry but the reputation of an entire state, all while in constant pain, terrified of just about everything imaginable outside of that room on the 9thfloor of the Desert Inn.  Even if what he accomplished was nothing more than a symbolic shift in the gaming industry, Howard Hughes will forever be known as one of the most important people involved in the evolution of Las Vegas.