WELCOME TO RIVER DAVES PLACE

Now I Feel Like Watching Casino

Sharpy

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“A lot of holes in the desert, and a lot of problems are buried in those holes. But you gotta do it right. I mean, you gotta have the hole already dug before you show up with a package in the trunk. Otherwise, you're talking about a half-hour to forty-five minutes worth of digging. And who knows who's gonna come along in that time? Pretty soon, you gotta dig a few more holes. You could be there all fuckin' night.”

definitely one of my favorites!
 

Nordie

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“A lot of holes in the desert, and a lot of problems are buried in those holes. But you gotta do it right. I mean, you gotta have the hole already dug before you show up with a package in the trunk. Otherwise, you're talking about a half-hour to forty-five minutes worth of digging. And who knows who's gonna come along in that time? Pretty soon, you gotta dig a few more holes. You could be there all fuckin' night.”

definitely one of my favorites!
It's funny, but it's actually true. My brother lives near Losee and Washburn in North Las Vegas. Anyhow one day we were talking on Ham radio and he says, dang by my house there's cops everywhere at this construction site. Next day the news talks about that they dug up a dead body while digging some footings. A little while later they had did their dating or whatever and the body had been there since the 70's. I'll have to see if I can find the article.

When casinos used to do additions they would show up during concrete pours and dump old chips into the footings while they were pouring concrete.

The old trash company here also had ties with the casinos, I always wondered what ended up at the old landfill on Sunrise Mountain. I worked up there for about a year, but they never dug anything up, well except a black bag that was full of old Playboys and a lot of asbestos.

Interesting times for sure.
 

gqchris

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Nordie, if you want to go down memory lane watch some of these:)


Growing up in Vegas, I know we have talked about it before. I just miss "how it was". Were you born in Womans Hospital?
In the movie Casino. I know a ton of people in it. I used to eat at Tower of Pizza, Tony Spilatros restaurant. My friends Dad was first Metro cop to respond to Tony Romas Ribs for Lefty Rosenthals car bombing. I could go on and on. Love that movie!

 

Ziggy

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Look at all of that empty land, and how much things have changed in the Las Vegas Valley. Even the hospital I was born in 1984 no longer exists...

Most every iconic hotel then was imploded once "all that empty land" was built out.
They call it progress.
Had family friends that lived west of I15, latter 70s, early 80s that felt like it was out in no mans land...brand new development with nothing else within view except the strip.
 

Taboma

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First time I flew into Vegas was as a 8 year old kid, with my family 1956 for the Lake Mead water ski races. We flew in a TWA Connie out of LA.
Found this pic of the Flamingo. Seems I read that Bugsy Siegel built it in 46', so was already 10 years old when I went there, hard to imagine Vegas in the late 40's when I was born.

Flamingo Hotel 1956.jpg


Here's a mid 50's aerial, Flamingo and Dunes lower left -- whole lot of empty desert in Vegas back then. Didn't have AC in the car we were running around in, but I recall using those alcohol wipes, they felt cool with the windows down. 🥵 Hell I was a kid, no shit's given. I just couldn't get over how warm the water was compared to Lake Arrowhead water temps I was used to.

Mid 1950's Vegas.JPG
 

rrrr

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That brings back memories. My great grandmother and uncles lived in Vegas, and we would go there a couple of times a year. My Dad would bring us kids in a side door at the Nugget or Four Queens to take a pull at a slot machine, which lasted about 45 seconds before the goons showed up and gave us the boot.

😁
 

Blue

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It's funny, but it's actually true. My brother lives near Losee and Washburn in North Las Vegas. Anyhow one day we were talking on Ham radio and he says, dang by my house there's cops everywhere at this construction site. Next day the news talks about that they dug up a dead body while digging some footings. A little while later they had did their dating or whatever and the body had been there since the 70's. I'll have to see if I can find the article.

When casinos used to do additions they would show up during concrete pours and dump old chips into the footings while they were pouring concrete.

The old trash company here also had ties with the casinos, I always wondered what ended up at the old landfill on Sunrise Mountain. I worked up there for about a year, but they never dug anything up, well except a black bag that was full of old Playboys and a lot of asbestos.

Interesting times for sure.
My sister's Dad was a shot caller at the Peppermill in Reno back in the 80's, he was found in a hole in the desert. I have some crazy first hand stories
 

Nordie

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Most every iconic hotel then was imploded once "all that empty land" was built out.
They call it progress.
Had family friends that lived west of I15, latter 70s, early 80s that felt like it was out in no mans land...brand new development with nothing else within view except the strip.
Same here, well kind of. I grew up on the East side of Las Vegas, back when it was really nice area to grow up. I even had some of the same school teachers as my dad had. About 2000 we moved to the very southwest part of the valley, nice house on 2 1/2 acres, we lived there for only a year, when the developers came knocking on the door and basically told my dad to name his price (he should have held out longer though) His buddy had 2 1/2 acres a block away and walked away with 2.5. The new zoning of that property was 8 houses per acre, whether they did that or not I have no idea, I wouldn't even know how to find where that house was.
 

Nordie

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That brings back memories. My great grandmother and uncles lived in Vegas, and we would go there a couple of times a year. My Dad would bring us kids in a side door at the Nugget or Four Queens to take a pull at a slot machine, which lasted about 45 seconds before the goons showed up and gave us the boot.

😁
My dad was an in house carpenter at the Golden Nugget, and my grandpa was an in house carpenter at the Riviera. We used to visit both of them often at work, never pulled on a one arm bandit though. In fact when my dad had a slow day at work one time of many I am sure, he came home with a beautifully made oak paddle, routered off nice and even had the paint shop varnish that paddle. Sum bitch hurt...
 

Nordie

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Nordie, if you want to go down memory lane watch some of these:)


Growing up in Vegas, I know we have talked about it before. I just miss "how it was". Were you born in Womans Hospital?
In the movie Casino. I know a ton of people in it. I used to eat at Tower of Pizza, Tony Spilatros restaurant. My friends Dad was first Metro cop to respond to Tony Romas Ribs for Lefty Rosenthals car bombing. I could go on and on. Love that movie!

Yeah I was born in the Woman's Hospital on Sahara, as was my brother. I'll have to watch all of the commercials lol, as long as the GMF Motors Commercial is on there, "If I can finance you, I can finance everyone". I remember you were an East Side kid too, and we just missed each other going to the same high school. Yeah old Vegas was fucking awesome. No one locked their doors even. I remember my parents opening car doors in parking lots because they left their lights on just to shut them off, most of the time they keys were in the ignition. That was the Smiths on Stewart and Nellis. Where I remember that. My Aunt retired from that Smiths, she probably rang you and your parents up.
 

Chili Palmer

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Watch the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever and see what the strip looked like in 1972 - a lot of empty space between casinos at that time.
 

gqchris

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Yeah I was born in the Woman's Hospital on Sahara, as was my brother. I'll have to watch all of the commercials lol, as long as the GMF Motors Commercial is on there, "If I can finance you, I can finance everyone". I remember you were an East Side kid too, and we just missed each other going to the same high school. Yeah old Vegas was fucking awesome. No one locked their doors even. I remember my parents opening car doors in parking lots because they left their lights on just to shut them off, most of the time they keys were in the ignition. That was the Smiths on Stewart and Nellis. Where I remember that. My Aunt retired from that Smiths, she probably rang you and your parents up.
Hell yes, third commercial is Fred at GMF! LOL.......Yea that Smiths was our main store. My mom retired from the Kmart on Nellis and Bonanza from the Jewelery section and then went out to be a Cashier at Sams Town for the Food and Beverage Dept. She then finally "really retried" from the Dillards at Boulevard mall! LOL....

Did you Skateboard when you were younger? We probably ran into each other at Owens ditch! LOL
 

Nordie

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Hell yes, third commercial is Fred at GMF! LOL.......Yea that Smiths was our main store. My mom retired from the Kmart on Nellis and Bonanza from the Jewelery section and then went out to be a Cashier at Sams Town for the Food and Beverage Dept. She then finally "really retried" from the Dillards at Boulevard mall! LOL....

Did you Skateboard when you were younger? We probably ran into each other at Owens ditch! LOL
That's funny my mom worked jewelry at Sears at the Boulevard mall, I still live here, but have no idea if the old Boulevard mall is still open. Good times in that mall. Growing up we rode bmx bikes, we didn't have sidewalks or any good roads. We used have some good jumps on monroe and betty lane, as well with the good jumps behind the 7-11 on stewart and nellis. The stewart and nellis jumps is where the CiCis pizza is now located where those 2 officers lost their lives. My mom and stepdad still live right in the area, and I refuse to goto that area unless it's work related. I'm not sure if you've visited the area, but it is definitely not what it used to be. Shit even Memphis BBQ closed down over by the Air Force Base. Makes me sad really.
 

Racey

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Nordie, if you want to go down memory lane watch some of these:)


Growing up in Vegas, I know we have talked about it before. I just miss "how it was". Were you born in Womans Hospital?
In the movie Casino. I know a ton of people in it. I used to eat at Tower of Pizza, Tony Spilatros restaurant. My friends Dad was first Metro cop to respond to Tony Romas Ribs for Lefty Rosenthals car bombing. I could go on and on. Love that movie!

Remember the GMF Motors commercials where the guy had the wheelbarrow full of cash 🤣

Edit:lol I guess it was in the clip
 

FreeBird236

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My first trip there after I was old enough to actually gamble was 1973, doesn't seem too much different. Sure used to get excited going, kind of miss that.
 

monkeyswrench

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Had a customer that was in the demolition business out there. He's probably passed by now, wasn't young and spry 20 years ago. He and his wife would buy any car at auction they thought was "cute"...neat older couple.
We got to talking about how long he'd been in business there, and powers that truly controlled things "back then". A fairly prominent "businessman" had given him some advice when he was younger man. "Buy dirt".
Well, he did. As of 2005 or so, he still had some vacant lots, but they were all off the strip. He told me he'd leased the good ones already. I was very confused. I thought only Natives and such "leased" land. Well, he proceeded to explain that several of the casinos had signed 99 year leases :oops:

He and his kin were set for a good deal of time. Then I really understood how a construction guy could build what he had.

Was a super nice guy to boot!
 
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FlatNv

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Had a customer that was in the demolition business out there. He's probably passed by now, wasn't young and spry 20 years ago. He and his wife would buy any car at auction they thought was "cute"...neat older couple.
We got to talking about how long he'd been in business there, and powers that truly controlled things "back then". A fairly prominent "businessman" had given him some advice when he was younger man. "Buy dirt".
Well, he did. As of 2005 or so, he still had some vacant lots, but they were all off the strip. He told me he'd leased the good ones already. I was very confused. I thought only Natives and such "leased" land. Well, he proceeded to explain that several of the casinos had signed 99 year leases :oops:

He and his kin were set for a good deal of time. Then I really understood how a construction guy could build what he had.

Was a super nice guy to boot!
Had to be Art and Shirley Goldstrum? Super nice people. They opens there private car and memorabilia collection every year and do a fund raiser.
 
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monkeyswrench

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Had to be Art and Sherri Goldstrum? Super nice people. They opens there private car and memorabilia collection every year and do a fund raiser.
Yes, very nice people!

Quick story...
Had a young customer, Marine, driving an old 1950 Ford truck. He was headed back home from Pendleton with his new bride. He calls me up, about 4:30 on a Friday. Generator bearing howling, just outside of Vegas. I called Art, and got them together. I had no other ideas for help. Art and his mechanic stayed at the shop, and got the young soldier squared away.
He and his bride were happy as could be!
 

namba860

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Look at all of that empty land, and how much things have changed in the Las Vegas Valley. Even the hospital I was born in 1984 no longer exists...

I moved to Vegas in December of 1982 I was 11 years old. The place was awesome then, not so much now!
 
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Rondog4405

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Seems like everytime I turn on the tv casino is on...and I watch it every time!😉
 
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Taboma

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I used to sit on the front steps of the Tropicana and watch the trains. No sidewalks.
Now:
Haven't been to Vegas since around 93' 😁 Far to much sensory overload for me, that town.
Best Trip to Vegas ever was with a completely crazy x-marine turned fellow electrical apprentice buddy of mine and I in his vert Vette. Eating white crosses and drinking for two days running non-stop. Then down to our last quarter between us on the last morning, turning that into a big win, then leaving town with $$$ and a massive hangover. Then magically cured by a beautiful blonde during an amazing pit stop at the infamous Ash Meadows "Fly In" Ranch out by Death Valley Junction . 🥰
 

TPC

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I think Golden Nugget casino manager Steve Wynn got his start buying dirt.

If I recall it was a critical piece of obscure-at-the-moment land where a casino would eventually have to expand to. He bought it cheap, resold it at several times that.

He saw it coming and along with junk bond king Milken the rest is history.
Wynn bought the Nugget with that land sale money then went on a building spree.

That’s if I remember right.

We rarely venture deeper into town than South Point. Free parking, comp’d free pour of call booze, $14 resort fee includes shuttle, lively machines, cowgirls rolling dice.

Sams Town RV park has security issues so we quit them too. Nothing like when you’re in the casino while the wife is sleeping in the TH and crack heads trying to break-in.

We may try dog friendly Red Rock next time we visit Grandma Axehandle.
 
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Nordie

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I think Steve Wynn got his start buying dirt.
If I recall it was a critical piece of obscure at the moment land where a casino would eventually have to expand to.

He saw it coming and along with junk bond king Milken the rest is history.

We rarely venture deeper into town than Southpoint.
Sams Town RV park has security issues so we quit them too.
Steve Wynn started the whole theme casinos, and started the big casinos. I remember when he built the Mirage and Treasure Island. They were huge, now when you drive on the strip they are small compared to everything else.

The off the strip locations like Southpoint and The M, and several others are just as important to locals. Southpoint especially as they used to host the rodeos, it's concerning if that will actually come back.

Southpoint and The Orleans were owned by Tiberti Construction, and The M is owned by Marnell, which built all of Wynns towers. He also dabbled in pro stock drag racing. Marnell also used to own The Edgewater and Colorado Belle.
 

rrrr

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My school buddy Gavin Maloof and his brothers hit Las Vegas at the perfect time. They spent about $20 million building the Fiesta, and sold it six years later for $185 million. The Palms was hot for years, and now the boys are worth a few billion.

The project manager for the Palms construction was another friend, and flew to Vegas from Albuquerque every week. I was building a data center on Clark and 3rd Street at the time, and we would get together for dinner or whatever.

One night Johnny picked me up and we went to Ruth's Chris for dinner. He was dating a showgirl, and when she showed up at dinner I was trying hard not to stare at her. She was incredibly hot.

After the meal she was trying to get Johnny to go home with her. He didn't want to, he had been up at 5 AM to catch his flight to Vegas. She pouted, turned to me, and said "If I was your girlfriend, would you go home with me?"

I thought about half a second, and said "I'd come back from the dead to go home with you."

😁 😁
 
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stephenkatsea

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That era was some of the best of times for Vegas. Corporations had begun to take over Hughes, Del Webb etc. The Mob was still there and actually kept the town very safe. Ladies could walk to their cars at night without a worry. Top names entertainers were constantly appearing on The Strip. Dinner shows were $20, late shows with cocktails were $15. Every big show room had a full orchestra. The sounds were amazing. Did you ever hear Elvis’ opening number, LIVE at The International? Nothing around like that now. You weren’t paying $100 to watch a bunch of guys run around the stage painted blue. Golf was abundant and inexpensive. Different time, same place. Well, sort of.
 

Nordie

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That era was some of the best of times for Vegas. Corporations had begun to take over Hughes, Del Webb etc. The Mob was still there and actually kept the town very safe. Ladies could walk to their cars at night without a worry. Top names entertainers were constantly appearing on The Strip. Dinner shows were $20, late shows with cocktails were $15. Every big show room had a full orchestra. The sounds were amazing. Did you ever hear Elvis’ opening number, LIVE at The International? Nothing around like that now. You weren’t paying $100 to watch a bunch of guys run around the stage painted blue. Golf was abundant and inexpensive. Different time, same place. Well, sort of.
I've said it before on here, my grandma said actually how well this town was run when the mob was here. It was a very safe city. The mob ties are still here, but not like what is used to be. It is corporate America, and because of the Rona so many off the strip casinos (the ones the locals use) are still boarded up. Even the Palms is still closed, when years ago that was the #1 place to actually see a celebrity. @rrrr was right the Maloof brothers knocked it out of the park with The Palms. They also made a fortune.

I am lucky enough to know the traditions of old Vegas, I've lived it. My great grandfather actually homesteaded property right near the Boulevard Mall. He had a small ranch with a pond, now that area is homes, condos, apartments, and businesses.

It's not just Vegas, but corporate is taking over all of us, it's not what it used to be and it never will be again. Just like Vegas you're no longer a name, you're just a number.

I know I've hinted about the whole FBI thing, but yes I have a family member in the famed Black Book. It was interesting times for all of us when that went down, pre corporate casinos. Maybe someday I will talk about it.
 

The Prisoner

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I miss the $1 blackjack..when you are pounding beers and talking with other bettors you can have a great time without watching your wallet. Could play 3-4 hours on 40$....dropping $25 a hand is too crazy for me.
 

TPC

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My school buddy Gavin Maloof and his brothers hit Las Vegas at the perfect time. They spent about $20 million building the Fiesta, and sold it six years later for $185 million. The Palms was hot for years, and now the boys are worth a few billion.

The project manager for the Palms was another friend, and flew to Vegas from Albuquerque every week. I was building a data center on Clark and 3rd Street at the time, and we would get together for dinner or whatever.

One night Johnny picked me up and we went to Ruth's Chris for dinner. He was dating a showgirl, and when she showed up at dinner I was trying hard not to stare at her. She was incredibly hot.

After the meal she was trying to get Johnny to go home with her. He didn't want to, he had been up at 5 AM to catch his flight to Vegas. She pouted, turned to me, and said "If I was your girlfriend, would you go home with me?"

I thought about half a second, and said "I'd come back from the dead to go home with you."

😁 😁
Maloofs brother in law was Dr Nasiff the Dr ya see on the botched TV show.
He did my nose job so I could fit my melon back into a helmet and my head not weathervane in strong winds.
 

The Prisoner

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I've said it before on here, my grandma said actually how well this town was run when the mob was here. It was a very safe city. The mob ties are still here, but not like what is used to be. It is corporate America, and because of the Rona so many off the strip casinos (the ones the locals use) are still boarded up. Even the Palms is still closed, when years ago that was the #1 place to actually see a celebrity. @rrrr was right the Maloof brothers knocked it out of the park with The Palms. They also made a fortune.

I am lucky enough to know the traditions of old Vegas, I've lived it. My great grandfather actually homesteaded property right near the Boulevard Mall. He had a small ranch with a pond, now that area is homes, condos, apartments, and businesses.

It's not just Vegas, but corporate is taking over all of us, it's not what it used to be and it never will be again. Just like Vegas you're no longer a name, you're just a number.

I know I've hinted about the whole FBI thing, but yes I have a family member in the famed Black Book. It was interesting times for all of us when that went down, pre corporate casinos. Maybe someday I will talk about it.
someday? :p Is the person still alive? Is that what you are waiting for?? Haha
 

Nordie

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someday? :p Is the person still alive? Is that what you are waiting for?? Haha
Actually not even a laughing matter he is on his death bed from cancer. We don't really get along, but he is still my uncle, and I was pretty bummed when I found out about a month ago.
 

The Prisoner

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Actually not even a laughing matter he is on his death bed from cancer. We don't really get along, but he is still my uncle, and I was pretty bummed when I found out about a month ago.
Sorry to hear that. Cancer sucks. My mom just got diagnosed 3 weeks ago with liver cancer....a 6mm mass on it..that’s why I went to Vegas when I did ..before she start chemo next week.
 

rrrr

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I miss the $1 blackjack..when you are pounding beers and talking with other bettors you can have a great time without watching your wallet. Could play 3-4 hours on 40$....dropping $25 a hand is too crazy for me.
I used to play at the Imperial Palace on their $3 blackjack tables. The Impy was a throwback, even into the 2000s. The Fremont Street casinos got my business for the same reason. I considered a $100-$200 loss the cost of entertainment, but most of the time I held losses to a few bucks. Occasionally a hot shoe would bring a $500 night. Good fun for notta lotta money.
 

The Prisoner

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I used to play at the Imperial Palace on their $3 blackjack tables. The Impy was a throwback, even into the 2000s. The Fremont Street casinos got my business for the same reason. I considered a $100-$200 loss the cost of entertainment, but most of the time I held losses to a few bucks. Occasionally a hot shoe would bring a $500 night. Good fun for notta lotta money.
And on break from losing the car collection was cool too!
 

The Prisoner

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The Sands, the Dunes, hell even slots o fun were the best of Vegas. Old school is always better.
 

FlatNv

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Sorry about your uncle. I grew up here along with my parents and there parents.
Change happens all over but this town seems to change more quickly over the years. Still like it here ..

here is a cool video with Steve Wynn talking about his early years. One of my favorite old Vegas stories. image siting with the rat pack in your early 20's Funny to think a Mormon banker and a bingo parlor owner shaped what is today.
 

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And on break from losing the car collection was cool too!
Some interesting rumors with the car collection guys...aside from the owner, that's more popular culture. The museum supposedly had some ties with some SoCal people, and oddly some Florida people...import export business.
 

TPC

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The Rio over this past weekend. Watch from the very beginning, sound on:

 

rrrr

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Maloofs brother in law was Dr Nasiff the Dr ya see on the botched TV show.
He did my nose job so I could fit my melon back into a helmet and my head not weathervane in strong winds.
They had a typical Beverly Hills divorce, it was nasty as hell. Adrienne had the money to hire predator shark attorneys, and the fur flew.




😁
 
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RogerThat99

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In the 90's my buddies and I liked to go to Bob Stupak's Vegas World. Loved the plexiglass box with a million in cash inside. Bob had his name on everything. Every chip, even all over on the carpet. He was eccentric.

Sent From Tapatalk
 

TPC

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In the 90's my buddies and I liked to go to Bob Stupak's Vegas World. Loved the plexiglass box with a million in cash inside. Bob had his name on everything. Every chip, even all over on the carpet. He was eccentric.

Sent From Tapatalk
Crapless craps I think they still offer that and Black jack where all dealer cards are dealt face up.

No second floor on the hotel. "Snake Eyes, No Two's to loose" was the promotion jargon.

Remember the big buy-in vacation casino gaming Promotion Stupak had? It was something along the line of for $395 you got several times that in gaming tokens he called chips and a room for a couple days, show tickets to see a washed up "headliner" that never was a headliner and comp'd access to a really bad buffet.

The gaming tokens were only good for one bet. If you won the hand or the roll of the dice the token was collected. Win or lose ya lost.

Some college kids figured out mathematically how to beat the deal by hedging the token bet with another token. Both bet tokens collected but the pay out was a net gain. They won thousands per vacation package.

Stupak tried to stop it, even not honor those that bought the vacation package and lost in court and got fined on top of that. Even the company that bought the place had to honor it. It was in litigation for decades.

Those kids went on to create the "Cheap-O Vegas" website that was later sold off.

Stupak was in hot water with the Nevada Gaming commission his entire casino career. He'd settle the complaints then go right back to doing it.
 
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Joker

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How long were the workers at the Frontier on strike for? As a kid we always stayed at the Monaco Motel not far from the Riviera. Even stayed there while dating my wife and remember having her duck down in the car so I’d only have to pay for 1 guest.
 

Nordie

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How long were the workers at the Frontier on strike for? As a kid we always stayed at the Monaco Motel not far from the Riviera. Even stayed there while dating my wife and remember having her duck down in the car so I’d only have to pay for 1 guest.
Cheapass...

I don't remember the Frontier having a strike, I remember The Fitzgerald having a strike that lasted forever. I miss the Frontier though. That's where the original Stoneys country bar was. The bouncers always accepted my fake ID, $20 all you can drink.
 

gqchris

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How long were the workers at the Frontier on strike for? As a kid we always stayed at the Monaco Motel not far from the Riviera. Even stayed there while dating my wife and remember having her duck down in the car so I’d only have to pay for 1 guest.
It lasted over 6 years. I worked there as Security a week after I turned 21 years old!

Within a year I was promoted to Corporal. And then a Sergeant. Was crazy I supervised a shift of about 40 officers a night, most all ex cops. So many good times and stories!
 
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