Las Vegas History Series - Silver Bird & El Rancho Hotel and Casino

Las Vegas History Series - Silver Bird & El Rancho Hotel and Casino
Silver Bird & El Rancho Hotel and Casino
In 1976 the Thunderbird was sold to the owner of the Dunes Hotel and Casino Major Riddle; he renamed it the Silver Bird and reopened it in 1977.  Under Riddle's leadership the Silver Bird quickly became a favorite of locals and tourist alike, with Joe's Oyster Bar being 'the' hangout to be seen in at the Silver Bird.  The Silver Bird also offered child care and pet boarding facilities (a novelty at the time) making it a popular choice for families traveling with children and/or pets.
In 1981 Major Riddle sold the Silver Bird to Ed Torres, owner of the Aladdin Hotel & Casino. Ed Torres renamed it the El Rancho, named after the El Rancho Vegas which burned down in 1960. Torres added a new entrance and a second,13 story, tower bringing the total number of rooms up to 1,000.

Comedian Rodney Dangerfield opened "Rodney's Place" comedy club inside the El Rancho in 1989.

In 1987 Ed Torres became the first casino owner to appoint a woman, Danou Sears, to the previously male-only position of casino manager.

By 1992 declining gaming revenue and competition from new and bigger resort casinos forced Torres to finally close the El Ranchobringing an end to a legacy that started in 1948 with the opening of the Thunderbird Hotel
These casinos were situated on Las Vegas Blvd, where the stalled Fontainebleau Resort project is currently located, across the street from Circus Circus Hotel & Casino.
Silver Bird Hotel & Casino Chips
The Silver Bird Hotel & Casino is no more, but its memory lives on in the hearts and minds of collectors everywhere. 
Coin Inlay Chips from the Silver Bird Hotel & Casino are an attractive addition to any collection of Las Vegas Casino Chips. 
El Rancho Hotel & Casino
The El Rancho, not to be confused with the El Rancho Vegas that burned down in 1960, was the final incarnation of the property that began its life as the Thunderbird Hotel and Casino.  
Add a touch of Las Vegas history to your collection with these dice from the El Rancho Hotel & Casino.
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  • Beverly Welsh - February 28, 2019

    I have a post card of the strip from some years back and it shows the Silverbird as being on the strip?

  • Mr. Rick Nelson - August 16, 2018

    I have an old button pin Tina Turner Jackie Gayle at silverbird casino July 11th through the 24th but doesn’t say what year and I’m trying to find out what year she was there, thank you for any help you can give me Rick

  • gene deutsch - November 28, 2017

    Major riddle could not have sold the silverbird in 1981. He died in 1980. I went to his funeral, and left vegas on 10/10/80

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