**The Historical Significance of the Casino "California"**

Opened in 1942 by Tony Cornero and Guy McAfee, the Casino "California" was a pivotal landmark in the early development of Las Vegas. Designed by architect Lloyd Wright, the casino's Streamline Moderne style became iconic in the city's burgeoning downtown district.

The Casino "California" was a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering gambling, entertainment, and dining options. It became a gathering place for famous figures, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr., who performed in the casino's lounge.

In 1964, the casino underwent a major renovation and expansion, increasing its capacity and adding new gaming tables and slot machines. However, the Casino "California" faced competition from larger, more modern casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

Controversially, the casino was the site of the 1976 murder of Cesar Rodriguez, a local attorney, by reputed mobsters. This event cast a shadow over the casino's reputation.

Despite its challenges, the Casino "California" remained a beloved downtown institution for over five decades. However, declining revenues and the arrival of the Plaza Hotel & Casino in 1971 led to its eventual closure on January 1, 1998.

On February 1, 1998, the Casino "California" was imploded, making way for a parking lot that serves the nearby Neonopolis entertainment complex. Its legacy lives on through its iconic sign, which was preserved and displayed at the Neon Museum in Las Vegas.

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Last Updated Apr 12th, 2024