Las Vegas History Series - From the International Hotel to the Westgate Hotel & Casino

Las Vegas History Series - From the International Hotel to the Westgate Hotel & Casino
Few properties in Las Vegas have gone through as many changes of ownership and names as the current Westgate Hotel and Casino.
 
The hotel was originally designed by architect Martin Stern Jr.  When the hotel originally opened (International Hotel) in 1969 it was the largest hotel in the world.  
 
In 1970 the hotel was sold to the Hilton Hotel Corporation and the next year (1971) it was renamed the Las Vegas Hilton.  The hotel carried the Hilton name for forty years until in June of 2011 Hilton Worldwide terminated its franchise agreement with the Las Vegas Hilton.  
 
In November of 2011 the (now) former Las Vegas Hilton changed its name to the LHV - Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.   It was also during this period that the hotel was sold at auction due to economic hardship suffered by the property during the recession of the previous decade.  The hotel continued under the name of the LVH until the middle of 2014 when it was sold to  Westgate Resorts.  
 
Today the property, now almost fifty years old, proudly stands under the banner of the Westgate Las Vegas.  Having survived rumors or demolition and more name changes than almost any other property in Las Vegas this grand dame of Las Vegas still stands.  This casino/hotel might go through the periodic face-lift but continues to stand where lesser properties have long since fallen to either implosion of the demolition crew's wrecking ball. 
International Hotel
\(1969 - 1971)
Once the largest hotel in the world, the International Hotel's opening night performer was none other than Barbara Streisand.  After Barbara Streisand left then none other than Elvis Presley performed 58 sold out shows. His performances shattered all previous Las Vegas show attendance records. Then the next year (1970) he broke his own previous attendance record.  Not only did Elvis perform at the International Hotel he also lived in the penthouse suite.  
 
Keep the memory of the International Hotel alive with a casino chip from the International Hotel.
Hilton Hotel & Casino 
(1971 - 2012)
 
The tradition of sold-out performances continued once the Hilton bought the property; this time it was Liberace filling the showroom, and the casino with his twice nightly shows. 
 
In 1994 the original Hilton sign was destroyed during a thunderstorm and it was replaced by a new sign which, when completed, was the largest freestanding sign in the world.
 
From 1998 to 2008 the Hilton was home to Star Trek: The Experience.  Including the space-themed casino within a casino SpaceQuest Casino and the Star Trek themed Quark's Bar.
 
The Hilton suffered financially from the recession of 2008. The Hilton began defaulting on loan payments and a final blow came in 2011 when Hilton Worldwide confirmed that it was not renewing their franchise license, thus ending the reign of the Las Vegas Hilton.
LVH - Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
(2012- 2014)
 
The LVH - Las Vegas Hotel and Casino existed for just a brief two years. Still suffering from the effects of the 2008 recession the property soldiered on under the banner of the LVH for two years until it was sold to the Westgate Resorts in 2014.
 
Although, it was only briefly the LVH, unique chips under this brand were produced and hold a place in any collection of Las Vegas casino chips.
Westgate Hotel & Casino
 
Today the grand hotel still stands holding the memories of Elvis, Liberace and the countless people who have passed through its doors.  Now under the banner of the Westgate Hotel and Casino the future of the hotel is secure as she proudly marches towards her 50th Anniversary. 
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