Desert Inn Hotel & Casino
The Desert Inn Hotel and Casino opened on April 24, 1950. The construction of the hotel started three years earlier in 1947, but Wilbur Clark and his brother quickly ran out of money bringing the construction to stop. The building languished for two years until Wilbur met with reputed gangster Moe Dalitz who agreed to fund a majority of the cash needed and construction quickly resumed. Wilbur Clark acted as the front-man of the casino while Dalitz remained in the background as the principal owner of the casino.
The opening two-day gala of the Desert Inn was heavily publicized nationally. Journalists from the major newspapers and magazines were invited with the hotel covering the cost of the air tickets for the journalists. One hundred and fifty VIP invitations where sent personally by Wilbur Clark that included a credit limit of $10,000.
The 1950's were a golden era for the Desert Inn often hosting VIP guests such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Winston Churchill, (then) Senator John F. Kennedy and former President Henry Truman.
In 1951 Frank Sinatra made his Las Vegas debut performance in the Desert Inn's Painted Desert Room theater.
Between 1953 and 1966 the PGA Tour's Tournament of Champions was held at the Desert Inn's 18 hole golf course.
In the 1960's the FBI turned its attention to Organized Crime in Las Vegas and Nevada. During this time the Desert Inn faced intense scrutiny by the FBI attracting the FBI's attention because of the involvement of Moe Dalitz in the hotel. Due to the increased pressure placed on him by the FBI surveillance in 1964, Wilbur Clark sold his remaining share in the hotel to Dalitz and his business associates.
On Thanksgiving Day of 1966 the man who would forever change the face not only of the Desert Inn, but of all of Las Vegas checked into the hotel; this man was Howard Hughes. After staying past his initial ten-day reservation, he was asked to leave in mid-December so that the resort could accommodate the guests who were expected for New Year's Eve. Instead of leaving, Hughes started negotiations to buy theDesert Inn. On March 27, 1967, Hughes purchased the resort from Dalitz for $6.2 million in cash and $7 million in loans. For the next four years Howard Hughes would live in the penthouse suite in Desert Innnever leaving his 250 square feet bedroom.
After Howard Hughes death in 1976 the Desert Inn was owned by his Summa Coorporation until 1986. It was then sold and became theMGM Desert Inn until 1993 and it then sold it to ITT-Sheraton who held the property until they sold it to Steve Wynn in April of 2000.
On August 28th 2000 Steve Wynn closed the Desert Inn, by then known affectionately as the D.I. by the locals, and on October 23, 2001 the Desert Inn was imploded to make room for Steve Wynn's newest mega-resort the Wynn Las Vegas.
Desert Inn Hotel & Casino Chips
Spinettis has a wide range of Desert Inn Collector Chips. Everything from Roulette to Tournament to classic casino chips and Baccarat Chips.
Chips from the Desert Inn Hotel & Casino are a great addition to any collection of Las Vegas Casino Chips.
Desert Inn Fantasy Chip
If casino Fantasy Chips are what you like to collect, Spinettis has a full range of Fantasy Chips representing many casinos from a bygone age. Check out our full range of Fantasy Chips on our Website or stop by our Retail Store.
Desert Inn Hotel & Casino Dice
Add a pair of matching serial number collector Casino Dice from the Desert Inn Hotel & Casino to your collection. They also make the perfect souvenir or gift from your time in Las Vegas.