El Cortez Hotel and Casino
Miss the old Vegas? Welcome to the El Cortez hotel and casino, which keeps the spirit of downtown Las Vegas in the ’40s and ’50s very much alive. Built in 1941 and onced owned by Bugsy Siegel, the historic building’s Spanish-style architecture thankfully hasn’t changed much over the years. The second lasting influence is Jackie Gaughan, who bought the property in 1963 and has directly overseen its value-driven mission – “give the customer a good deal and he’ll come back” – ever since. In fact, don’t be surprised if you run into the 91-year-old owner – he shows up in the casino almost daily. Jackie’s deals for his customers include inexpensive rooms, low-limit tables and slots, and bargain meals (especially if you’re a slot-club member) at Flame Steakhouse. There’s also a remodeled race and sports book in the 41,000-square-foot casino, a coffee shop called Cafe Cortez, a beauty shop and a wonderful an old-school barbershop (a regular haircut is $9.00!). The El Cortez, just a block to the east of the Fremont Street Experience, has over 350 rooms.