El Cortez Crosses 80-Year Mark By Balancing Preservation And Renovation


Raul Jusinto via Wikimedia Commons

The El Cortez in Downtown Las Vegas.

Las Vegas may be all too eager to get rid of its oldest institutions, but the El Cortez is going nowhere.  

Having recently celebrated its 80th anniversary, the property holds the distinction of being the oldest continually operating hotel-casino in the city.  

It was the first one in Las Vegas to be owned by mobsters, if briefly, thanks to Bugsy Siegel. 

And, as a World War II-era gaming icon surrounded by modern bars and restaurants, it has survived — even complimented — the complete overhaul of East Fremont, finding a new and younger clientele. 


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Kenny Epstein, CEO/chairman, El Cortez; David Schwartz, historian and author, UNLV

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