The Aladdin 1966-2007

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King’s Crown Hotel (1964)
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The Aladdin

[singlepic id=437 w=320 h=180 float=left]The Aladdin opened on April 1, 1966, with flower petals pouring from the ceiling and onto guests as they entered the hall. One guest was composer-pianist Warren Richards. The opening entertainment included comedian Jackie Mason, the “Jet Set Revue,” a musical review that showcased The Three Cheers and the Petite Rockette Dancers in the Baghdad Theatre.

Prell introduced an innovative main showroom policy by offering three completely different shows twice nightly with no cover or minimum charges.

The Aladdin contained a 9-hole golf course.

A little more than a year after it was opened, the Aladdin was host to Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s wedding.

In August 1969, the Aladdin completed a $750,000 makeover including renovations to the Sinbad Lounge, which became enclosed and leveled above the casino floor with Arabic motif.

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Also in 1969, Parvin Dohrmann Corporation took over the Aladdin, and in 1972, using the name Recrion Corporation, sold it to Sam Diamond, St. Louis politicians Peter Webbe and Sorkis Webbe, and St. Louis attorney Richard L. Daly for the price of just $5 million. Under the new owners, a $60 million face lift was conducted, including the addition of a 19-story tower and the new 7,500-seat Performing Arts Center replacing the golf course, which was $4 million over budget.

A $250,000 porte-cochere continued the tower’s arabesques. The Aladdin also added a new $300,000 140-foot (43 m) blockbuster sign with little neon, huge attraction panels and none of the arabesque of the Aladdin’s original sign.

The Aladdin had a grand re-opening in 1976 with singer Neil Diamond being paid $750,000 for two shows.

Prell sold the resort to Wayne Newton and Ed Torres for $85 million, snubbing an offer from comedian Johnny Carson. Newton sold his share to Torres 21 months later. Newton sued NBC, who had alleged in broadcasts, that his purchase of the Aladdin was tied to the mafia. He won a $22.8 million judgement, which was overturned on appeal.

Wayne Newton was a part owner from 1980 to 1982.

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In 1981, heavy metal band Iron Maiden played at the Aladdin – it was their first ever concert in America.

The Aladdin closed on November 25, 1997. NCL/National Content Liquidators conducted an on-site liquidation sale beginning March 5, 1998 and continued until the building was “sold out”. On April 27, 1998, the entire resort was imploded, except for the Aladdin Theatre known as the Theatre for the Performing Arts, to make way for the construction of an entirely new casino.

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The new Aladdin

The Aladdin was scheduled to reopen on August 17, 2000, at 6:00 p.m., with fireworks at 10:00 p.m. The opening was delayed while the Clark County building inspector completed its fire safety testing. Another delay was caused by last-minute repairs to the casino surveillance system. This left thousands of Aladdin visitors leaving in disappointment, as well as opening night hotel guests wondering where they’d spend the night. Many high-rollers waited out on the sidewalks in front of the Aladdin for hours. Most were unable to even get to their luggage, since the hotel had been locked down for testing. Aladdin employees tried to arrange alternate accommodations for the guests with Paris and Bellagio.

Meanwhile, the Desert Passage mall was opened with I Dream of Jeannie star Barbara Eden opening the doors to let the large crowd in.

The Aladdin finally opened the next day at 7:45 a.m. 100 members of Culinary Workers Union Local 226, as well as more than 1,000 other workers were marching on Las Vegas Boulevard to protest the Aladdin opening without a union contract. Eden’s speech as well as the other festivities were drowned out by the bullhorns and the rest of the protest.

According to Josh Axelrad in his 2010 book, Repeat until Rich, he and other professional gamblers, primarily card counters, took advantage of the Aladdin’s inexperienced staff its opening weekend and fleeced the casino for an undetermined but large amount of money. The casino later introduced severe limits on mid-shoe bets in response.

The casino was in financial trouble from the start and was sold on June 20, 2003, to a partnership of Planet Hollywood and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

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Following Hotel Links:

Planet Hollywood (2007)

 

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino”, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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