The oldest continuously running casino in downtown Vegas will celebrate the eight decades with fireworks after a $25m renovation.
US.- The iconic El Cortez casino, the oldest continuously running downtown Las Vegas gaming venue, will celebrate its 80th anniversary on November 6. Mayor Carolyn Goodman will give a speech at the event, which will feature a fireworks show.
Built in 1941, El Cortez is the only casino listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To mark it’s anniversary it’s undergone a $25m renovation. The first major resort, it had 59 rooms designed in a Spanish Ranch theme. Those original rooms can still be rented today in the Vintage tower with stairway access from the casino floor.
The property has had several owners over the years. According to Geoff Schumacker from the Mob Museum, El Cortez was the first hotel casino in Las Vegas to be owned by the Mob.
The owner that maintained the property longest was Jackie Gaughan, who purchased El Cortez in 1963. He owned the hotel & casino for five decades and resided at the hotel until his death in 2014. There is a hidden luxury suite where he lived. Located on El Cortez’s 15th floor, it’s available to book by special request only.
In 2008, Gaughan sold the property to his long-time family friend, partner and gaming pioneer, Kenny Epstein, who has also celebrated his 80th birthday this year.