New Frontier Hotel and Casino
|The New Frontier Hotel and Casino|
|Address||3120 South Las Vegas Blvd|
|Opening date||October 30, 1942|
|Closing date||July 16, 2007|
|No. of rooms||986|
|Total gaming space||100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2)|
|Owner||El Ad Properties|
|Previous names||Last Frontier
1989 Atrium Tower
The New Frontier was a hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, USA. It was the second resort that opened on the Las Vegas Strip and operated continuously from October 30, 1942 until it closed on July 16, 2007. The building was demolished on November 13, 2007. The land is now owned by Crown Resorts, which plans to begin construction on a new casino resort in 2015.
The property started as a nightclub called Pair-O-Dice that opened in 1930, then The Ambassador Night Club in 1936 and was renamed the 91 Club in 1939 for its location on US-91. It was subsequently rebuilt and renamed the "Hotel Last Frontier" in 1942. On April 4, 1955, it was renamed the New Frontier, following a modernization of the resort.
In the 1950s and the early 1960s, the New Frontier went through a succession of owners and operators. In 1966 and 1967 (by which time it had been renamed "The Frontier") the casino had secret ownership interests by Anthony Joseph Zerilli and Michael Polizzi, "two high-ranking members of the Detroit Mafia family" according to The Boardwalk Jungle by Ovid Demaris, along with Emprise Corporation (now called Delaware North Companies. (In 1971, a federal trial in Los Angeles found Zerilli, Polizzi and four other individuals, along with Emprise, guilty of concealing their interest in the casino.)
On September 22, 1967, the resort was purchased for about $14 million by businessman Howard Hughes. Hughes purchased the resort from the previous owners, which had also included Steve Wynn, with a 5% interest, in one of his early ventures when he first moved to the Las Vegas area. (Wynn indicated that he did not know that the other owners had mob connections.)
In 1988, Margaret Elardi bought The Frontier from the late Howard Hughes company, Summa Corp.. Elardi had previously been the part-owner of the Pioneer Club Las Vegas and the Pioneer Hotel & Gambling Hall in Laughlin. She closed the showroom, which had featured Siegfried and Roy, and down-scaled much of the hotel. In September 1991, union workers began a strike at the hotel, which lasted for years.
Developer Phil Ruffin bought the resort in 1998 from embattled owner Margaret Elardi and her two sons. In 1999, the name was changed back to The New Frontier.
In 2000, Ruffin announced plans to raze the current facility and replace it with a megaresort with a San Francisco theme, but high interest rates and the attacks of September 11, 2001 scuttled those plans.
In March 2005, with Las Vegas's fortunes on the rise, Ruffin announced new plans to demolish the current facility and replace it with a new resort with 3,000 rooms. The $2-billion Montreux // resort was to be entirely funded by him (with no partners). The name Montreux came from the famed Swiss resort which sponsors the yearly Montreux Jazz Festival. The upscale 2,750 room resort was intended to compete with the Mirage and Paris Las Vegas. It was to use jazz music as a draw. Ruffin said, "We don't really have a Strip casino that advertises good jazz music." A second Montreux Jazz Festival could have been a yearly event at the resort. The resort was to feature a 500 foot (152 m) tall Ferris wheel similar in size to the famous London Eye.
On May 15, 2007 El Ad Properties announced plans to purchase the New Frontier for $1.2 billion. El Ad, which also owns the Plaza Hotel in New York City, intended to demolish the New Frontier and replace it with a replica to be called the Las Vegas Plaza.
The New Frontier closed its doors at midnight on July 16, 2007, and was demolished by implosion on November 13 (Clauss Construction and Controlled Demolition, Inc.). The Atrium Tower was imploded with over 1,000 pounds of explosives. The demolition and its preparation were filmed for the National Geographic Channel and a program called Blowdown: Vegas Casino. The hotel's marquee remained standing until December 10, 2008 when it was taken down at the request of Steve Wynn prior to the opening of the Encore Las Vegas across the street.
The Las Vegas Plaza project was cancelled around November 2011. Wynn said that he would not bail out the project and blamed the failure of the development on Yitzhak Tshuva and Nochi Dankner's paying too much for the property.
The 2nd longest strike
From September 21, 1991 until February 1, 1998 members of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 in Las Vegas staged a strike against the New Frontier and the Elardis. A settlement was reached on October 28, 1997 when Ruffin announced he would purchase the New Frontier from the Elardis for $165 million. The strike ended when Ruffin officially took possession.
According to an article in the Las Vegas Sun, the following events occurred during the strike:
- 17 CWU Local 226 strikers died.
- 106 babies were born to CWU member mothers who have walked the picket.
- The Dunes, Landmark, Sands and Hacienda were all closed and imploded
- More than 21,340 hotel rooms were constructed in the Las Vegas Strip.
- Construction on an additional 19,000 rooms and suites was started.
- 235 of the original 550 strikers had walked the line in shifts manned 24 hours a day.
The Atrium Tower lasted only 18 years, being built in 1989 and imploded in 2007. The other two towers were built in 1967 and were dismantled by January 2008.
- KLAS-TV Reports on closing of The New Frontier Hotel and Casino
- Vegas casino headed for the final frontier
- New Frontier demolition set for 2:30 am
- "Las Vegas: An Unconventional History". American Experience. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
- Running Scared: The Life and Treacherous Times of Las Vegas Casino King Steve Wynn By John L. Smith
- ReviewJournal.com - News - MORE THAN $1.2 BILLION: New Frontier sale sets record
- "Billionaire blames Obama for Israeli tycoons' Las Vegas Plaza flop." Haaretz Newspaper, 14 October 2012.
- James Packer snaps up Las Vegas site
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to New Frontier Hotel and Casino.|
- New Frontier Implosion Video - the implosion starts at 1:50
- KTNV New Frontier Implosion Coverage
- New Frontier photo from November 3rd, 2007