Las Vegas History Series - Sands Hotel and Casino
Sands Hotel & Casino

The Sands hotel was established in 1952 by Jake Freedman, who had established restaurants in Las Vegas years earlier.  Construction began on Sands Hotel in early 1952, built to a design by Wayne McAllister. Freedman had initially intended naming the hotel "Holiday Inn" after the film of the same name starring Bing Crosby, but after noticing that his socks became so full of desert sand he decided to name it Sands.  The Sands hotel was opened on December 15, 1952 as a casino with 200 rooms.
The opening was widely publicized, and the hotel was visited by some 12,000 people within a few hours. Each and every guest was given a Chamois bag full of silver dollars when they entered the casino that opening day and Sands ended up losing $200,000 within the first eight hours.
In the late 1950's, (then) Senator John F. Kennedy was occasionally a guest of Sinatra at the Sands.
In the 1960 the Sands attained iconic status, with regular performances by Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis. Jr., Red Skelton and others, who performed regularly in the hotel's world-renowned Copa Room. The Sands hotel's biggest claim to fame was a three-week period in 1960 during the filming of Ocean's 11, after which it attained iconic status. During that time, the movie's stars Sinatra, Dean Martin, Davis, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford performed on stage together in the Copa Room. The performances were called the "Summit at the Sands" and this is considered to be the birth of the Rat Pack.
Howard Hughes purchased the hotel in the mid-1960s for $14.6 million and he soon added a 500-room circular tower, which opened in 1967, making it a true Las Vegas landmark.
Howard Hughes was particularly annoyed every time the Rat Pack were in his hotel, due to a hatred of Frank Sinatra which stemmed from the fact that he had been in love with Ava Gardner in the 50's and she had run off to marry him. Hughes plotted to get rid of Sinatra from the Sands for good, and drew up a plan shortly after the new hotel opened in 1967. The hotel imposed restrictions on how much Sinatra could gamble in the casino, just $3000 a night. Under previous management, Sinatra had no limits on the amount of credit extended to him by the Sands casino. His I.O.U.'s, chits or "markers" were torn up at the end of Sinatra's engagements because he was considered to be good for business-bringing the hotel more monetary value than the worth of his gambling losses.

Infuriated by the new policy, Sinatra began what The Los Angeles Times describes as a "weekend-long tirade" against the "hotel's management, employees and security forces".  The FBI report says the incident began when Mia Farrow lost $20,000 at the Sands casino. Sinatra bought $50,000 in chips and made an attempt to win the money back. He lost this sum within a short period of time. Sinatra then asked for credit, which was denied. This culminated when Sinatra reportedly drove a golf cart through the window of the coffee shop where casino manager Carl Cohen was seated and began "screaming obscenities and anti-Semitic remarks" at Cohen.  Sinatra reportedly punched Cohen, a heavily built man, who responded with a smack in the mouth, bloodying Sinatra's nose and knocking two of his teeth out. As a result, Sinatra never performed at Sands again while Hughes owned it.
In its final years, the Sands became a shadow of its former self, a throwback to the old days, and it ultimately could not compete with the newer and more exciting mega-resorts that were being built on the Strip.  The decision was eventually made by its final owner, Sheldon Adelson, to shut it down and to build a brand new resort. The last dice in the casino was rolled by Bob Stupak just after 6:00pm on June 30, 1996. On November 26, 1996, it was imploded and demolished, much to the dismay of longtime employees and sentimentalists.
Sands Hotel & Casino Chips
The Sands Hotel & Casino once stood where The Venetian Hotel & Casino now stands on the Las Vegas Strip.
Chips from the Sands Hotel & Casino are a great addition to any collection of iconic Las Vegas Casinos. 
Sands Casino Marquee Sign Lighted Replica

Handmade beautiful Sands Casino Las Vegas light up sign replica. Can be stand on a table or hang on your game room wall.

Option to have sign customized with your own text. Please allow 6 weeks for production.

Dimensions: 19.5" tall x 14.25" wide x 3.5" thick

Energy efficient with build in led lighting with 8ft power cord and on/off switch. Works on 120v with standard two prong plug for North America.

Made in USA.
Sands Casino Cards
These decks were used in the Sands casino. These casino playing cards make for great additions to anybody's card collection and or can be used for your home gaming nights.
Sands Hotel & Casino Art
This piece features real vintage post card art, commemorative Sands Casino chips, casino used dice, and professional matted back grounds. Frame: 18" x 15" (with wire installed, hang ready) The Sands Hotel was a historic Las Vegas Strip hotel/casino that operated from December 15, 1952 to June 30, 1996. Designed by architect Wayne McAllister, the Sands was the seventh resort that opened on the Strip. During its heyday, the Sands was the center of entertainment and "cool" on the Strip, and hosted many famous entertainers of the day. Regulars were able to mingle with the stars in the lounge after their late-night shows. In its time, the Sands was located next door to the Desert Inn. The two adjacent properties were once owned by reclusive businessman Howard Hughes in the mid-1960s. Today, the Venetian stands where the Sands once stood.
Gambling memorabiliaLas vegas historySands hotel

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