El Cortez Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas, NV) – Set on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, the El Cortez has the distinction of being the city’s longest continuously operating casino – and its history is a rich one. This famed casino was an instant success when it first opened in 1941. In fact, it was so successful that by 1945 it attracted a new ownership group with ties to organized crime that included notorious gangster Bugsy Siegel. Within two years, Siegel had sold the El Cortez to J.K. Houssels in order to finance his stake in the Flamingo, a partnership that would quickly lead to his demise. In 1963, Legendary gaming visionary Jackie Gaughan bought El Cortez and owned it for the next 45 years. Finally, in 2008, ownership of the hotel & casino transferred to IKE Gaming (but Gaughan still lives in the penthouse and can still be seen walking around the hotel in his suit and playing poker almost daily). And despite the El Cortez having gone through several renovations over the years, its facade has remained unchanged since 1952. After 70+ years in existence, it was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.
- Neon Signs
- Vintage Signs