The Players: The Men Who Made Las Vegas

Overview

Las Vegas has been described as "the last great, mythic city that Western civilization will ever create," and its brief, phenomenal history has been largely shaped by a handful of colorful and astute casino operators who turned a dusty desert town into the gawdy, booming holiday mecca that it is today. The essays in this book introduce us to these "players" and outline the decisions that led them and their chosen city unparalleled heights of success. We discover how early leaders like Cliff Jones, Moe Dalitz, and...
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Overview

Las Vegas has been described as "the last great, mythic city that Western civilization will ever create," and its brief, phenomenal history has been largely shaped by a handful of colorful and astute casino operators who turned a dusty desert town into the gawdy, booming holiday mecca that it is today. The essays in this book introduce us to these "players" and outline the decisions that led them and their chosen city unparalleled heights of success. We discover how early leaders like Cliff Jones, Moe Dalitz, and Benny Binion first grasped Las Vegas's potential as a center for high-stakes gambling, and we read of mobster "Bugsy" Siegel's efforts to bring to reality another man's dream of a glamorous resort-casino on a then-remote site at the edge of town. Other visionaries like Jay Sarno, Sam Boyd, and Jackie Gaughan helped turn casinos into islands of fantasy, replete with lavish entertainment spectacles, that have become the norm for subsequent construction in the city, and they began the now-standard practice of mass-marketing the Las Vegas experience to middle America. The arrival of eccentric Howard Hughes introduced a new style of corporate management to an industry hitherto led by independent entrepreneurs and their families - a style of management since carried on by Kirk Kerkorian and Steve Wynn.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874173062
  • Publisher: University of Nevada Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1997
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,452,900
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
1 A Peculiar Institution 1
2 Cliff Jones: "The Big Juice" 23
3 Moe Dalitz and the Desert 35
4 Benny Binion: He Who Has the Gold Makes the Rules 48
5 Sportman's Paradise 68
6 The Ghost of Ben Siegel 81
7 Jay Sarno: He Came to Play 92
8 Sam Boyd's Quiet Legacy 104
9 Jackie Gaughan: Keeping the Faith on Fremont Street 120
10 Howard Hughes in Vegas 133
11 Kirk Kerkorian: The Reticent Billionaire 159
12 Steve Wynn: King of Wow! 168
13 Cowboys, Crooks, and Corporations: How Popular Literature Has Treated Las Vegas 183
25 The Adult Playground Becomes a Heaven for Families 200
Contributors 213
Index 215
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