Vegas is a city that changes quickly.
It seems like every time you visit, new hotels are open, old hotels have been demolished, renovated or rebranded, hundreds of restaurants have come and gone, and the city has reinvented itself again.
With the Riviera closed and gone forever, the recent sale of the SLS (on the location of the former Sahara) and all the classic Vegas memories being recalled as the Neon Museum expands with new signs, including restored neon from the Stardust, many Las Vegas fans are feeling a bit nostalgic.
Let’s get back to our Vegas roots.
3 of the Most Historic Hotels on the Las Vegas Strip
Even with all the new construction and renovations, you can still find historic hotels on the Vegas strip.
They may not look exactly like they did when The Rat Pack played the Stardust, and corporate conglomerates have replaced the crime families that were once in charge, but they’ve still got touches of that Old Vegas glamour if you know where to look.
Caesars Palace was established in 1966, catering then (and still) to high rollers with opulent tastes.
Some might argue that Caesars Palace shaped the luxurious Vegas resort culture. It was one of the first Vegas hotels that sold the royal-treatment experience as part of its draw.
The party celebrating the Caesars opening was appropriately lavish. It cost 1 million dollars – the equivalent of about $7,400,000 in 2017 money – and included two tons (literal tons, not just a figure of speech) of filet mignon, 50,000 glasses of champagne, and a record-breaking amount of Ukranian caviar.
As nice as it would be, we can’t go back in time and attend that grand opening gala. We can eat at Bacchanal Buffet, though. Considered the best buffet in Vegas by many, it’s where you can get a taste of Vegas’ delicious history.
Check out the pools, too – they’re throwbacks to the Roman baths.
The Forum Shops continued the Caesars tradition of luxury, and when they were completed, The Forum Shops became one of the first places in Las Vegas where shopping was an attraction by itself.
Tropicana was built with a Cuban theme, though when guests selected their rooms, they could choose from four thematic options: Far East, French Provincial, Drexel, and Italian Renaissance.
As the second-oldest hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, Tropicana has been a Vegas icon for decades.
You might recognize the Tropicana in a slew of movies and television shows, including the James Bond flick Diamonds Are Forever, Elvis Presley’s Viva Las Vegas, an episode of Charlie’s Angels, and The Godfather, among others.
Booking at the Tropicana today, you walk in the footsteps of stars.
Fortunately, there are Tropicana coupons available so you don’t pay star prices, though.
Try the swim-up blackjack at the pool, and save even more money during their reverse happy hour from 10 AM until noon. It’s perfect for pregaming your Vegas night out.
It began as the Pink Flamingo Hotel and Casino, and as a giant middle finger to the city of Las Vegas. Here’s the story:
Bugsy Siegel, a somewhat paranoid gangster, purchased the El Cortez in the City of Las Vegas.
He wanted to expand and build more Las Vegas casinos, but the city government (for some reason) didn’t want organized crime in the city, so they wouldn’t let him build.
Undeterred, Bugsy purchased some land in Paradise, Nevada just outside of Las Vegas city limits, and he built the Pink Flamingo Hotel and Casino…which was open for two weeks and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The next year, the hotel reopened as the Fabulous Flamingo and finally made a profit.
Unfortunately for Bugsy, his paranoia was justified. A few months after the Fabulous Flamingo opened, complete with secret escape routes, Siegel was killed in Beverly Hills.
When you stay at the Flamingo today, it’s a different hotel entirely. Check out headliners Donny and Marie – here are some discount show ticket hookups – or catch an old fashioned burlesque show, complete with pink feathers.