In the early 30’s the greatest era in Vegas history was about to unfold as some of the greatest casino moguls of our age were plotting and planning to create the greatest oasis the world had ever seen. Before the casinos came, Las Vegas was little more than a rest stop on the long stretch of road to California. With only a small airfield, and almost nothing to do for tourists the desert was the only sight to behold when driving through the dusty old town. The denizens of the early Vegas were mostly ranchers trying to work as much as they could from the hard dry Vegas dirt.
As California began to grow more and more were travelling along that lonely Panen138 stretch of road through the desert. Legend has it that a famous heir of a hotel empire broke down along this stretch of road while heading to San Diego, while sending his friend for help he stayed with the car, and while waiting he counted how many cars were driving past. His estimate was at about 300 cars an hour, as a natural entrepreneur and go getter he realized the small town of Vegas was an untapped Gold Mine. His wouldn’t be the first resort style casino on the long stretch of highway 91, the “Pair-o-Dice Club” had already capitalized on the highway in 1931, but being a good distance away from the town meant James Cashman could still pull in visitors while they stopped to rest in Vegas.
The “El Rancho Resort” would open in 1941, and would be the very first resort along what is now considered “The Strip”. Using the western theme Las Vegas loved so much the casino was an instant hit with tourists making long detours just to land in town for a night. Introducing the wild time of table games and boozing up while mingling in a party style setting turned out to be the talk of the entire Country. Like one giant club, the success of the resort initiated a wave of eager entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on the next big destination in Vegas. In 1944 The “El Rancho” was leased out for six months, to the man who would end up building the historical “Flamingo Hotel” in 1945. Soon after a Los Angeles business man bought the “El Rancho” and a couple years later would put 750,000$ into the improvement of the El Rancho allowing it to become the biggest Casino and hotel in Nevada.
From here on out Las Vegas would experience a continuous boom with hotels popping up every year. A few key Marketing masters would end up putting a flavor on the city that couldn’t be found anywhere else in the world. Using Neon Signs and ingenious methods of advertising some of the greatest musicians known today, Las Vegas achieved a near immortal status in the hearts and minds of millions as The Strip became the premier travel destination in the United States. In the end it would be the El Rancho and the Flamingo that set in motion a boom that hasn’t stopped to this very day, contributing to a culture and community still as unique as the city itself.