The Mint Las Vegas
The Mint was made famous (or infamous) as the first night's stay in Hunter S. Thompson and Oscar Acosta's legendary 1971 weekend trip to Las Vegas, immortalized in Thompson's novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Milton Prell, who also owned the Sahara Hotel and Casino and the Aladdin Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, was one of the original owners of The Mint. Prell and his associates had engaged a firm to use a computer to come up with a list of possible names for this new addition to downtown Las Vegas. They had been working late into the night in Prell’s home, when his wife Debbie came into the room: “Milton, I have a suggestion …….” “Debbie, please don’t bother us, we are working on something very important!” “But, Milton, I have ……” Debbie, please, we can’t be interrupted……” “But I only want to suggest…….” "OK, but quickly, we have to finish this tonight.” “Why don’t you name it THE MINT!”
Del Webb assumed ownership around 1961 when he acquired other properties of Milton Prell.
Patsy Cline performed at the Mint Casino's "Merri-Mint Theater" from November 23 - December 28, 1962, 3 months before her fatal plane crash. She appeared with Tompall & The Glaser Bros., and at one point developed "Vegas Throat" due to the dry desert heat. For several shows Patsy pantomimed (lip-synched) to her records. The Wilburn Brothers, with Loretta Lynn as part of their act, played the Merri-Mint for a couple of nights in October 1962. According to author Larry Jordan, in his book "Jim Reeves: His Untold Story," Reeves also played at the Mint Casino in the early 1960s. Upstairs in the lounge you could see the Johnny Elvis Foster Show For The Love Of Elvis & The Memphis Sound Packed the house every night for 3 months from February 1978 though May 1981. Dell said Foster was the best thing to hit downtown.
Peter Urquidi, "Man of Many Sounds", played the Top of the Mint in the "Sky Room" for more than a decade until the early 70's.
The casino can be seen several times towards the end of the 1987 U2 music video "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", which was filmed entirely on Fremont Street and in the 1971 James Bond motion picture Diamonds Are Forever. A computer-generated reconstruction of the casino can be seen in the motion picture Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas.
- "Old Downtown Vegas". earlyvegas.com. Retrieved 2009-12-07.