Hacienda (resort)

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This article is about the now-demolished hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. For other uses of "Hacienda", see Hacienda (disambiguation).
Hacienda Hotel, Resort and Casino
Location Paradise, Nevada
Address 3950 Las Vegas Blvd S
Opening date October 17, 1956
Closing date December 10, 1996 (Imploded December 31, 1996)
Theme western /mexican
No. of rooms 1,980
Permanent shows Lance Burton (1991-96)
Casino type Land-based
Owner Circus Circus Enterprises (1995-1996)
Architect Homer A. Rissman
Previous names Lady Luck Hotel
Years renovated 1967, 1979, 1982, 1988, 1990

The Hacienda Resort Hotel and Casino was a hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, that operated from 1956 to 1996. It was one of a chain of four Hacienda properties, with the other three being located in Fresno, Bakersfield, and Indio, California. Each Hacienda featured a distinctive horse and rider sign; the Las Vegas sign is now prominently displayed at the Neon Museum.

Located by itself on the far south end of the Las Vegas Strip, it was the first resort seen by tourists driving up from California. Since it was so far from the other resorts at the time, many people who stayed at the Hacienda would not go elsewhere. The Hacienda was also located close to McCarran International Airport, and at one point they had their own airline, Hacienda Airlines, to fly in gamblers from all over America. The Hacienda was known for their inexpensive, all-inclusive junkets marketed to American Midwestern retirees.

History[edit]

Work on the Lady Luck Hotel had begun by 1953.[1] Before construction reached the halfway mark, the projects' financing fell apart, and management was denied a gaming license by state regulators.[1] One of the investors, Warren "Doc" Bayley, a travel columnist and owner of the Hacienda Motel in Fresno, stepped in to take over, agreeing to lease the property for $55,000 per month for 15 years.[1][2] He changed the name from Lady Luck to Hacienda.[1]

The Hacienda opened on October 17, 1956 at a cost of $6 million, with 266 rooms and the largest swimming pool on the Strip.[3] Bayley formed Hacienda Airlines in 1957. Offering packages that included transportation from Los Angeles to the Hacienda as well as a room and some casino chips.[4] The airline included DC-3s, DC-4s and Lockheed Constellations numbering as many as 30 aircraft.[4]

After Bayley's death in 1965, his widow, Judith Bayley, took over management.[1] After her death, the property was sold in 1972 for $5 million to a group led by Allen R. Glick,[5] who was later revealed as a frontman for organized crime interests.[6]

In 1977, Paul Lowden, the Hacienda's entertainment director and owner of a 15 percent stake, bought out Glick and the other owners for $21 million. The Gaming Control Board voted to deny Lowden a license due to his association with Glick, but was overruled by the Gaming Commission.[6]

In 1995, the Hacienda was purchased by Circus Circus Enterprises from Lowden's Archon Corporation.[7] By this time, it was dwarfed by the many new megaresorts that were being built, in particular the Luxor which had just been recently completed. On December 10, 1996, the Hacienda was closed to the public, and imploded later that month. This implosion was broadcast on the Fox Network as a part of their New Year's Eve 1996 telecast. Despite the implosion, parts of the old resort still stood, due to the building not falling into its footprint, but toppling into its parking lot. The next day a wrecking crew was brought in to bring down the remaining parts.

Herbert L. Becker, magician, produced, directed and wrote his own show at the Hacienda beginning in 1977. The show ran for two years, on a staggered schedule before Herbert went into retirement.

Lance Burton, magician, produced, directed and wrote his own show at the Hacienda beginning in 1991. The show ran for five years before Lance moved to the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino.

In March 1999, it was replaced by the Mandalay Bay.

The Hacienda name is now licensed to the Hacienda Hotel and Casino in Boulder City.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Gambling's First Lady runs empire". Victoria Advocate. AP. November 26, 1965. 
  2. ^ Kennedy, Howard (December 11, 1962). "California promoter shows Las Vegas how". Los Angeles Times.   – via ProQuest (subscription required)
  3. ^ "Luxury abounds on the Strip". Washington Post and Times Herald. October 21, 1956.   – via ProQuest (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b "Casino Shuttle Airlines". 2007-01-15. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  5. ^ "Hacienda, L.V., owners' new policy: no nudes is good news for B.O.". Variety. January 10, 1973.   – via ProQuest (subscription required)
  6. ^ a b Delugach, Al (March 13, 1988). "Casino owner beats odds". Los Angeles Times. 
  7. ^ Stutz, Howard (2007-09-04). "Investors group sues Archon over stock redemption price". Las Vegas Review-Journal (Stephens Media Group). p. 1D. Retrieved 2007-09-04.