Interesting Bugsy Stuff



The success of the El Rancho Vegas triggered a small building boom in the late 1940s including construction of several hotel- casinos fronting on a two-lane highway leading into Las Vegas from Los Angeles. The stretch of road evolved into today's Las Vegas Strip. Early hotels included the Last Frontier, Thunderbird (Still standing as the Arubu Hotel & Spa) and Club Bingo.

Jackie Gaughan sells his entire low-roller empire - except the El Cortez?

Mar. 26, 2004 - Marking the end of an era, ownership of Las Vegas legend Jackie Gaughan's four principle downtown landmarks passed to the Barrick Gaming Group at the stroke of midnight Thursday. The Union Plaza Hotel and Casino Inc., Exber Inc. and Gaughan South yielded control and ownership of the Plaza and its seven additional acres, the Las Vegas Club, the Western Hotel and the Gold Spike. Gaughan will continue operating the El Cortez, pending Barrick exercising an option and first right of refusal to buy that property as well.


The Western opened in 1970 as the Western Hotel & Bingo Parlor and was owned by Jackie Gaughan and Mel Exber. At its opening, The Western was the world's largest bingo parlor with 1,020 seats. It was the lowest rung of Jackie Gaughan's low-roller casino empire that included the Las Vegas Club, The Plaza, the Gold Spike and El Cortez.

El Morocco

March 10, 2008: The wonderful little El Morocco on the Las Vegas Strip was torn down this afternoon. Located next to the La Concha and the Peppermill Restaurant, the El Morocco opened in 1964. It was originally a Motel. The Bank of Las Vegas had a branch in the main building and the lobby was located there as well. The architecture with its scalloped windows fit right in with the nearby La Concha. It was briefly called Ash Resnick's El Morocco. Jack Dennison opened his very popular eatery, Jack Dennison's Copper Cart restaurantt that was known for its steaks and prime rib dinners.