When the Stardust opened on July 2, 1958. The guest list was a who's who of governors, senators, city and county officials and Hollywood celebrities.
The entertainment registry started with the spectacular French production show Lido de Paris. Lido was conceived by Pierre-Louis Guerin and Rene Fraday, and staged by Donn Arden. The opening night lounge lineup offered, from dusk to dawn, Billy Daniels, The Happy Jesters, The Vera Cruz Boys and the Jack Martin Quartet. Daniels became the first entertainer to sign a long-term residency contract in Metropolitan Las Vegas when he agreed to appear for 40 weeks per year for three years.
Tony Cornero's dream had become a $10 million 1,065 room reality, charging just $6.00 a day. The resort featured the 105-foot long Big Dipper swimming pool, a 13,500-square-foot lobby, a 16,500-square-foot casino, and a decor featuring rich red and deep brown colors and indirect lighting.
The Stardust expanded and took over the closed Royal Nevada hotel-casino, remodeled the showroom, and converted it into a convention center and high-roller suite.
This Olympic size pool area was opened to the general public with the 1964 addition of the 9 story tower that replaced half of the bungalow rooms.
By 1961, Stardust's management included a rogue's list of organized-crime figures including Credit Manager Hyman Goldbaum, a career criminal with seven known aliases, fourteen criminal convictions including an assault conviction, and a three-year prison sentence for income tax evasion. Casino Manager and 5% owner Johnny Drew, was a veteran associate of Al Capone, and general manager Morris Kleinman had served three years for tax evasion.
In 1964, with the addition of the nine-story tower, the room count increased to 1,470. For the next 5 years, The Stardust was the leader in rooms until 1969 when The International opened. In 1964 the landmark facade was updated, expanding out into the parking lot by the highway.
From 1965 until 1970, the hotel operated the Stardust International Raceway in Spring Valley. The track drew the Can-Am and USAC Championship Car series, including many famous drivers of the era including Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, Bruce McLaren, Mark Donohue, and Jackie Stewart.
In 1966, Howard Hughes attempted to buy the Stardust for $30.5 million but was thwarted by government officials on the grounds that his acquisition of any more gambling resorts might violate the Sherman Antitrust Act.
In November 1969, Parvin-Dohrmann Corporation purchased the Stardust for an undisclosed amount.
In the 1970s Argent Corporation, the owner of the Stardust, had siphoned off between $7 and $15 million dollars using rigged scales. When exposed by the FBI, this skimming operation was the largest ever exposed.
In 1977, the Stardust went through another remodeling. The outer-space theme was abandoned and the facade was covered with animated neon tubing and trimmed with mirrored finish facets. The new porte-cochere sparkled with 1,000 small incandescent bulbs.
In 1984, the Nevada Gaming Commission levied a $3 million fine against the resort for skimming, the highest fine ever issued by the commission. Suspicions, accusations and controversy about the Stardust's hidden ownership over the years was finally squelched when Sam Boyd's gaming company purchased the Stardust in March 1985. When the Stardust was taken over by the Boyd family, they were surprised by its huge profits, with every penny of income recorded the Stardust turned out to be a remarkably profitable casino. Ex-FBI agent William F. Roemer Jr., longtime senior agent of the FBI's organized-crime squad in Chicago, once remarked that "The amount of skim had been so heavy that the profit and loss statement did not present a true picture of the gold mine that the Stardust was."
When at its peak size, the Stardust contained 100,000 square feet of gambling casino including 73 gaming tables, and 1,950 slot and video poker machines. The conference center was 25,000 square feet and could accommodate meetings and banquets for groups of 25 to 2,000.
Wayne Newton signed a ten-year deal with the Stardust in 1999, for a reported $25 million per year, the largest entertainment contract in the Las Vegas region at the time. After five and half years, Newton ended his run in late April 2005, and George Carlin moved into his theater. Magician Rick Thomas premiered at the hotel on March 25, 2005.
The lights finally dimmed for the Stardust in November of 2006. With the guests of the casino being lead out the door by the Bobbie Howard Band, one last time in a huge conga line to the tune of "When the Saints Go Marching In." The 48-year run of the Stardust came to a spectacular end. Six months later the Stardust was imploded in a grand ceremony befitting its long and illustrious legacy.
Dimensions: 15" tall x 12.5" wide x 3.5" thick
Energy efficient with build in led lighting with 8 foot power cord and on/off switch. Works on 120 volt with standard two prong plug for North America.
Made in USA.
This piece features real postcard art, commemorative casino chips, a miniature craps table with casino dice, and professional style matted background.
Frame: 18" x 15" (with wire installed, hang ready)