Newspaper Articles from different sources
Gala Stardust Hotel Opening Today
Set Spectacular Fanfare For Largest Resort Hotel
Thursday, July 3, 1958 | 5 a.m.
The Stardust, 1065 room resort hotel located in the very center of the famed Strip in Las Vegas, opens at high noon today with all the spectacular fanfare befitting the largest resort hotel in the world.
The invitational list of guests includes governors, senators, city and county officials, civic leaders and movie stars as well as 75 of the nation's top press representatives from New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Opening festivities will include a gigantic aerial fireworks display, a very unique "ribbon cutting" ceremony that promises to delight even blase Las Vegas, and emphatically brief speeches.
A special press preview showing of Le Lido de Paris production, "C'est Magnifique," will be presented at 9:30 tonight. This is the only performance scheduled for today.
The entire Le Lido de Paris troupe of 60 European performers arrived in Las Vegas via chartered plane on Friday, June 20. This company of singers, dancers, mannakins and the famed Bluebell Girl has brought – direct from Paris to the Las Vegas scene – one of the most spectacular productions ever assembled in Europe Conceived by Pierre-Louis Guerin and Rene Fraday and staged by Donn Arden. "C'est Magnifique" will have its premiere on the Stardust's magic rotary rising stage. This stage, incidentally, promises to become one of the wonders of the entertainment world.
The grand opening of the Cafe Continental, the Stardust's glamorous theatre-restaurant will take place tomorrow. Thereafter, regular performances will be seen at 8:15 p.m. and at 12 midnight with a third show scheduled at 2:15 a.m. on Saturdays.
From the moment it is officially opened the Stardust will operate on a continuous round-the-clock basis. It numbers among its facilities many that can honestly be described as the "largest," "newest," "finest," and "most exciting." Even in this land of B-I-G and beautiful.
The brilliant Stardust sign that stretches across the hotel's vast facade is in itself immense. Weighing 129 tons, the sign is 216 feet long and 37 feet high. Installation utilized 32,000 feet of wiring, 7100 feet of neon tubing and 11,000 incandescent lamps. Over 84 gallons of automotive enamels were used in painting the sign. The dimensional world in the center of the sign is 16 feet high, weighs over 2 tons, is indirectly lighted and has a restless "sputnik" in constant motion around it.
This sign has the largest Cantilever in the world and is the largest of its kind in existence. With an electrical input of 3,000 amps, the sign has a night time visibility of over three miles. With a highly stylized projection of the planets in colorful, flashing neon and jeweled globes, it will undoubtedly prove to be one of the most photographed items in the Las Vegas area.
Within the hotel proper, which covers 40 acres, modern design is again immediately apparently. Every new concept and architectural device has been incorporated into its construction and decor. The skillful use of steel, stone and glass – and striking imagination – have created one of the most beautiful of the world's fine hotels.
The Stardust lobby embraces 13,500 square feet of floor space. Dominant color themes of rich red and deep brown are keynoted by thick carpeting and stained wood paneling. Indirectly lighted throughout the lobby is enclosed by shops and the ultramodern registration desk. One entire wall, overlooking the hotel's Pool Pavilion, is of specially tempered plate glass.
Guests will enter the casino and the casino lounge bar directly from the lobby. The casino covers 16,500 square feet. The bar is 140 feet long. In both the casino and the lounge bar, the decoration of red and brown is continuous.
In the Cafe Continental, the theatre-lounge which seats 700 for dinner, patrons will see the most advanced theatre stage in the American entertainment world.
Unlike familiar, conventional arenas, the Stardust stage is built upon six powerful hydraulic lifts and is therefore comprised of six separate and independent units. These can descend with great speed to an area 30 feet below street level where rapid scenery changes can be made. With the touch of an elevator control button, the stages can immediately ascend eight to 10 feet above stage level. Each unit can carry the weight of an elephant and can be manipulated with the rapidity of the whisk of an eye. Through these mechanized units a single performer, separate groups of individuals and even one or more entire settings can be made to appear as if by magic.
In presenting the premiere Le Lido de Paris production the six descending units, which are combined in one mammoth stage with an area larger than that of a basketball court, will be able to display an aquacade, an ice show, a circus and a variety of theatrical illusions beyond the scope of anything seen in the West.
The stage is equipped with a 10-by-foot swimming tank. It also boasts an ice skating rink. Overhead there are rain-pipes and a snow making machine. More than 40 scenery lines have been established in the rear of the proscenium to provide for a vast complex of sets and stagings.
The Stardust stage designers didn't stop at visual innovations. The most elaborate theatre sound system this side of Radio City Music Hall has been installed. In fact, with very little imagination a person entering the suspended cubicle called a sound control booth could look about at the maze of knobs, switches and meters and easily think he was about to take off for outer space. The whirr of several air cooled motors would add to this illusion; these are required because all the latest advancements in sound engineering – from 3-channel stereo to tape recorders and echo chambers – have been incorporated and integrated for truest fidelity in sound production.
In addition to these particular facilities, all unmatched in the history of night club production, there are others which include rear-view production, an elaborate intercommunications system and lighting equipment even more vast than at New York City's world-famed Music Hall.
Automaton has been employed to handle these deluxe facilities, and to guarantee the productions scheduled in the Cafe Continental will reach an acme of perfection, a group of experts has been employed to work as a unit in putting on the shows.
In addition to the theatre-restaurant, numerous other food service centers will be maintained at the Stardust. These include the Palm Room, a central dining room where food will be served from breakfast through dinner. It will be open on a 24-hour a day basis.
ALL DAY SERVICE
The Pool Pavilion, an indoor-outdoor combination room adjacent to the swimming pool, will offer breakfast, luncheon and light snack service throughout the day.
Four banquet rooms seating 25 to 1,000 persons will be reserved for the use of private parties and convention groups.
All dining rooms will be served by the largest and most scientifically designed kitchen in Las Vegas, which has been equipped throughout with the newest ranges, all stainless steel refrigerators and the most accurate temperature-controlled storage vaults. The kitchen has a food preparation capacity of more than 20,000 meals in any 24 hour period.
TICKER TAPE LOUNGE
The Ticker Tape Lounge (another first for the Stardust) is unusual in Las Vegas since it will feature ticker tape machines which will record stock market quotations, news reports and sporting results.
The Stardust's convention facilities are acknowledged to be of worthwhile civic importance to all of Las Vegas. Only here can adequate housing, food service, social and recreational programs be offered as a singe "package" to groups of as many as a thousand or more persons.
In the past, housing 1,000 guests attending a single convention has been a problem. This has been eliminated since the Stardust's 1065 rooms, lanais suites and combinations of room can easily accommodate 2,200 or more guests.
Built upon the public-approved multiple unit plan, the Stardust is comprised of six planet-sized structures that permit at-door parking for every guest. For the convenience of patrons (and perhaps for a bit of romance) the units have been christened with the universal names of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Neptune, Saturn and Jupiter.
All modern concrete construction extends throughout the hotel. Every room has individually controlled air conditioning to enable guests to dial the exact temperatures that suit them best. Every room has acoustical ceilings and is completely soundproof. Every room has been exquisitely furnished to provide greatest comfort.
LUXURY NOT OVERLOOKED
With the provision of comfort, luxuries have certainly not been overlooked. The Big Dipper swimming pool, which is 100 feet long with a capacity of 175,000 gallons of water, boasts 1 and 3 meter diving boards which have been installed so strategically that they cannot interfere with swimming.
The complex communication system of the Stardust is another "largest" well worth writing home about. This hotel has the largest private branch exchange switchboard in the entire State of Nevada.
The ten position board serves approximately 1,200 telephones and represents to the Southern Nevada Telephone Company an investment in excess of a quarter million dollars. This cost, of course includes cost of the distribution system as well as the switchboard equipment.
In addition to the PBX there is also a private automatic exchange of 100 lines, linking internal departments and offices.
This telephone system could, under normal conditions, serve a community of about 7,500 persons.
In fact, the combined facilities equipment and services of the Stardust could very well serve and sustain a small city in almost every way.
Shelter? Certainly. And with Stardust prices beginning at just $6.00 per day per couple, any family can afford to visit this most exciting city in the world.
Food? Of course.
Adequate water supplies?
Naturally, the Stardust will use over 1,000,000 gallons of water per month. The hotel maintains two huge steam boilers which will be in use alternately, and either could supply enough hot water for a township of more than 5,000.
As a plus, the Stardust makes available over 36 other services including auto rental and baby sitters, a barber shop and beauty shop, candy, drugs, toiletries and gifts, flowers, laundry and a notary public.
If you just can't leave your business at the office, you will of course find a public stenographer at the Stardust, as well as a physician, swimming and diving instructor, a social hostess and style – conscious men's and women's shops.
In short, if it's legal and will help make life more pleasant the Stardust either has it or will obtain it for you.
The Stardust Hotel is operated by Stardust, Inc. Jerry Rolston, prominent Beverly Hills attorney and civic leader, is president of the firm. Managing director is J.R. (Joe) Cunningham, veteran hotel man and for the past eight years general manager of El Panama Hotel in the Republic of Panama. Phil Jordan is Cunningham's executive assistant, David Garrett is public relations director and Mark Swain is director of sales.
Boyd adds to bank of land near Stardust
By Liz Benston
Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2004 | 10:44 a.m.
Boyd Gaming Corp. has acquired a 13-acre parcel next to the company's Stardust resort for about $43 million, which includes the assumption of about $16 million in debt. The parcel includes a Budget Suites motel, which Boyd will continue to lease back to the motel operator for another two years.
The site brings Boyd's ownership at the Stardust to 63 acres, rivaling the size of MGM Mirage's proposed $4 billion CityCenter hotel and condo development further south on the Strip.
Boyd spokesman Rob Stillwell declined to comment on the transaction, citing a confidentiality agreement.
The company is in the process of master-planning its Stardust site for future redevelopment into a possible megaresort. Officials have said they expect to reveal those plans sometime after Steve Wynn's Wynn Las Vegas resort opens across Las Vegas Boulevard in April.
Boyd was the logical buyer of the motel site, which is surrounded by the Stardust property, one analyst said.
The purchase "enhances one of the best future development parcels in Las Vegas at a very attractive $3.3 million an acre," Susquehanna Financial analyst Eric Hausler said in a research note.
With 63 acres, Boyd could develop "two large megaresorts or some mix of casino /high rise development," he said.
Hausler said he values the Stardust parcel at about $8 million an acre, taking into account its Strip frontage as well as interior land.
"We view land as the placeholder for future growth of (Boyd) in Las Vegas, as we expect it to be redeveloped at some point into a megaresort, not sold to another developer," he said. "With Strip land scarce, those companies that own large tracts of developable land have the best future development outlook, in our view, and Boyd is one of those companies with its holdings at the Stardust and Barbary Coast."
Stardust casino sees last roll of the dice
By RYAN NAKASHIMA
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 1, 2006; 8:40 PM
LAS VEGAS -- The Stardust, the neon-wrapped casino with a mobbed-up past whose 1,065 rooms once set the standard for size on the Las Vegas Strip, witnessed its last roll of the dice Wednesday.
Wistful longtime employees and loyal gamblers gathered for a last farewell to the iconic 48-year-old institution, which is to be razed early next year to make way for Boyd Gaming Corp.'s planned $4 billion Echelon Place resort.
The Stardust opened July 2, 1958, as the world's largest hotel and catered to middle America with $6-a-night rooms and low-minimum stakes gambling.
But as bigger, classier casinos sprung up around it in the late 1980s and '90s and patrons began shelling out more for rooms, food and drinks, its luster began to fade.
"I'm really going to miss this place," said Jimmy Kunihiro, a 60-year-old Honolulu resident, as he took a last pass at the craps table. "It's a home away from home."
The resort became as famous for its familiar friendliness as its mob connections. In the 1995 movie "Casino," Robert De Niro played a character inspired by the finely tailored Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, who ran the hotel-casino in the mid-1970s.
"He truly was Cadillac sharp all the time," said Mickey Jones, a drummer and actor who appeared as a guest on Rosenthal's television broadcast from the hotel. "When the mob ran this town, everything functioned like clockwork."
Cocktail waitress Emma Houston remembered how Rosenthal sent money to make her mortgage payment when she was hospitalized for surgery in 1974.
"They knew everybody by name, not by badge," she said. "It was different back in that day."
In its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, Elvis Presley would drop by. Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown co-hosted a radio show from the sports book.
One night, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin showed up at the "Moby Dick" restaurant in the Stardust, just as chef Frank Perkins, now 60, was closing. He reopened in a hurry.
"Sinatra said, `You can cook for me anytime,'" Perkins said. "So I will never forget that."
With the 1980s came a crackdown by Nevada regulators on organized skimming from the casino cages. Boyd was brought in as an operator in 1983, and bought the Stardust in 1985 when the mobbed-up owners lost their gambling license.
While the explosion of upscale resorts _ starting with The Mirage in 1989 _ reinvigorated Las Vegas, it wasn't long before Boyd chairman Bill Boyd realized Stardust's best days were behind it.
"We saw a new wave of Las Vegas reinventing itself," he said. "We saw many new properties with new amenities that we didn't have. We started to realize before too many years that we would have to implode the Stardust and start over."
The property's decline could be charted in more ways than one.
In its last throes, Boyd signed crooner Wayne Newton in 2000 to a five-year deal to become its headline performer as the company focused its marketing on the older, nostalgic crowd.
But even its frequent players list was losing steam as the clients simply aged. For the past several years, the Stardust has resorted to a swinging couples convention, "Lifestyles," to fill its rooms for a week in the summer.
The new resort, Echelon Place, is expected to open in mid-2010 with more than 5,000 hotel rooms, two theaters, a shopping mall and more than 1 million square feet of meeting space.
Stardust memorabilia will not be lost.
The company is auctioning off equipment, photos and other mementoes beginning Nov. 17. And its famous 18-story Stardust sign is being donated to the Neon Museum, a local nonprofit group that hopes to restore it.