New Frontier Hotel and Casino

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New Frontier Hotel and Casino
New Frontier Hotel & Casino at night 2004.jpg
The New Frontier in 2004
Location Paradise, Nevada
Address 3120 South Las Vegas Boulevard
Opening dateOctober 30, 1942
Closing dateJuly 16, 2007; 14 years ago (July 16, 2007)
No. of rooms986
Total gaming space100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2)
Signature attractionsGilley's Saloon
Notable restaurantsGilley's
Phil's Steakhouse
Casino typeLand-based
OwnerEl-Ad Group
Previous namesLast Frontier
The Frontier
Renovated in1955, 1967, 1989, 1999
Coordinates36°7′46″N 115°10′6″W / 36.12944°N 115.16833°W / 36.12944; -115.16833Coordinates: 36°7′46″N 115°10′6″W / 36.12944°N 115.16833°W / 36.12944; -115.16833

The New Frontier (formerly Last Frontier and The Frontier) was a hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. 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.[1] The building was demolished on November 13, 2007.[2][3] Wynn Resorts currently owns the land. The resort had the distinction of hosting Elvis Presley's first Vegas appearance in 1956, and the final performance of The Supremes with Diana Ross as lead singer on January 14, 1970.


Name changes (1930–1940s)[edit]

Late 1940s view

The property started as a nightclub called Pair-O-Dice[4] 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.[4] 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.[citation needed]

Changes in ownerships (1950s–1990s)[edit]

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.[5][better source needed]

Frontier marquee before removal

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.)[citation needed]

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 over six years.[citation needed]

Frontier down Strip


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 only when a new owner took possession.

According to an article[which?] in the Las Vegas Sun, the following events occurred during the more than six-year-long strike:

  • Of the original 550 CWU Local 226 strikers, 235 had stayed the course of the strike, walking the line in shifts 24 hours a day.
  • Over the course of the strike, 17 strikers died.
  • 106 babies were born to CWU member mothers who had walked the picket.
  • The Dunes, Landmark, Sands and Hacienda resorts were 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.

In 1998, developer Phil Ruffin bought the resort from embattled owner Margaret Elardi and her two sons. The next year, the name was changed back to "The New Frontier".[citation needed]

Plans for new resort (2000–2006)[edit]

In 2000, Ruffin announced plans to raze the current facility and replace it with City by the Bay, a megaresort with a San Francisco theme, but high interest rates and the September 11 attacks scuttled those plans.[citation needed]

Donald Trump, in partnership with Ruffin, built a high-rise luxury hotel-condominium on some of its property, named the Trump Hotel Las Vegas. The project was announced in 2004, and opened in 2008.[citation needed]

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.[6] 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 owned the Plaza Hotel in New York City at the time, intended to demolish the New Frontier and replace it with a replica of the Plaza hotel, to be called the Las Vegas Plaza.[7]

Closure (2007)[edit]

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.[8] At one point, Steve Wynn was hailed as a potential white knight to bail out the project, but he declined, blaming what he saw as anti-business policies of President Obama, and the a challenging level of debt as a consequence of Yitzhak Tshuva and Nochi Dankner having paid what had proven too high a price for the property.[9]

In 2014, Crown Resorts and Oaktree Capital Management announced the acquisition of the property with the intent to build the Alon Las Vegas.[10] The project was halted in December 2016[11] and the land went up for sale in May 2017.[12] On December 13, 2017, Wynn Resorts announced that it was to buy the property, along with an additional attached four acres, for $336 million. No plans for when and how the property will be developed accompanied the announcement.[13]

Atrium Tower[edit]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ KLAS-TV Reports on closing of The New Frontier Hotel and Casino
  2. ^ Vegas casino headed for the final frontier
  3. ^ New Frontier demolition set for 2:30 am
  4. ^ a b "Las Vegas: An Unconventional History". American Experience. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
  5. ^ Running Scared: The Life and Treacherous Times of Las Vegas Casino King Steve Wynn, by John L. Smith
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-11-22. Retrieved 2005-09-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ - News - MORE THAN $1.2 BILLION: New Frontier sale sets record
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Billionaire blames Obama for Israeli tycoons' Las Vegas Plaza flop." Haaretz Newspaper, 14 October 2012.
  10. ^ James Packer snaps up Las Vegas site
  11. ^ "Alon management exploring options after loss of backer". 2016-12-15. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  12. ^ "Crown pulls out of Las Vegas market with land sale". Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  13. ^ Prince, Todd (December 13, 2017). "Wynn Resorts buying former site of New Frontier on Las Vegas Strip". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved December 14, 2017.

External links[edit]