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las vegas night

Las Vegas Hilton

The Las Vegas Hilton is a hotel, casino, and convention center in Winchester, Nevada. It is a joint venture between Colony Capital, which owns 60 percent, and New York City-based REIT Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds, which owns the remaining 40 percent. With 3,174 hotel rooms, this off-Strip hotel is the largest Hilton Hotel in the world and one of the largest hotel-casinos in Las Vegas. Located on 64 acres (324,000 ), it has a 100,000 square foot (9,000 m²) casino and is also home to the largest sports book in Las Vegas.

The hotel is located next to the Las Vegas Convention Center and with its own convention center.

The hotel is a stop on the Las Vegas Monorail.

History

The land that the hotel sits upon, according to local Las Vegans, was owned by a woman descended from a family only known as Ashworth, though not much else is known other than the family moved to Texas in the 1970s.

The hotel, designed by architect Martin Stern, Jr., was built in 1969 by Kirk Kerkorian and opened as the International Hotel. When it opened, the International was the largest hotel in the world. Barbra Streisand was the opening-night performer, along with Peggy Lee performing afterwards in the hotel's lounge.

In 1969, right after Streisand's engagement, Elvis Presley performed for 58 consecutive sold out shows, breaking all Vegas attendance records, (130,157 paying, and ostensibly gambling customers in the period of one month), with stellar reviews coming from both critics, and the public. He broke his own attendance record in February 1970, and again in August 1970, and August 1972. When playing Las Vegas, he lived in the penthouse suite,(room 3000) located on the 30th floor, until his last performance there in December 1976.

Liberace headlined in the showroom during the 1970s drawing sold-out crowds twice per night. When he signed his contract at the Hilton in 1972 he earned $300,000 per week, a record amount for individual entertainers in Las Vegas.

The International Hotel was sold to Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1970 and renamed the Las Vegas Hilton in 1971. In 1998, Hilton Hotels Corporation split their properties and stock into two different companies (Hilton gaming, and Hilton Hotels). Shortly after the split, Hilton Gaming Company merged with Bally Entertainment Corporation (owners of Bally's Hotel). The company was re-named Park Place Entertainment. In 2000, Park Place Entertainment purchased Caesars Palace. In 2003 Park Place Entertainment changed their name to Caesars Entertainment. In 2004, Caesars Entertainment sold the Las Vegas Hilton to Colony Capital LLC for $280 million. Colony Capital transferred the property to Resorts International Holdings, a Colony Capital company also known as Resorts International. The Las Vegas Hilton is now Resorts International anchor property, with their corporate office located on the second floor of the east tower.

The east tower was added in 1975 and the north tower was added in 1978.

Fire

On the night of February 10, 1981, just 90 days after the devastating MGM Grand fire, an arson fire started at the Las Vegas Hilton while it was ironically being retrofitted with modern fire safety equipment. Firefighters, using the knowledge they had learned from the MGM fire, used local television networks to notify people to stay in their rooms and not go out to the halls and stairwells. Because of the lessons learned, only eight people died in this fire compared with the 85 people who died in the MGM Grand fire. In 1982, Philip Cline was sentenced to eight life sentences for his role in starting the fire.

The 1990s and beyond

The race and sports book was added in 1986 and at the time was the largest in Las Vegas.

In September 1991, the casino hosted the U.S. Navy's Tailhook Association annual meeting. During this gathering, widespread acts of sexual assault by Naval officers took place in the hotel. The Navy attempted a cover-up of the event, however the initial accusations stood up and fueled a large scandal receiving wide media attention. Responsibility included the entire chain of command, ultimately affecting the careers of over 300 pilots and 14 admirals, including Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Frank Kelso.

The hotel had what was the largest free standing sign made mostly of steel in front of the hotel on Paradise Road. The old sign was semi-circular in shape, and had three large steel posts close to each other forming a small circle, while three more posts on each side of the three main ones, this time more spaced out, formed the semi-circle, also holding up a concrete sign. The old sign, which had been built at a cost of $5 million, was blown down during a brief gust of wind on an otherwise windless day of July 18, 1994. A new, $9 million, free standing concrete Hilton sign was built in 1997 at the same location and is the largest free standing sign in the world. The sign is narrow, and gets wider as it gets higher, forming a fan-type design at the top.

On September 18, 1995, the Vegas version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express show opened. This involved a massive conversion of the theater, including pouring concrete ramps into the seating area. When the show closed, the theater was used to film The Oak Ridge Boys Live series for one of the county cable Networks before it was gutted and renovated.

In January 1998, Star Trek: The Experience opened. The casino added a space-themed casino, Space Quest, complete with high-tech table games. It served as the gateway to The Experience. Sometime prior to the summer of 2007 the casino was redone to largely remove the space theme.

In 1998, 2002 and 2005 Wheel of Fortune was taped on location at the Las Vegas Hilton Theater.

A Hilton Grand Vacations Company timeshare opened on the 59 acre site in 1999.

On March 18, 2004 a new "Borg Invasion 4-D" ride was added.

On June 18, 2004 the property was sold by Caesars Entertainment to Colony Capital for $280 million.

On June 30, 2008, it was announced that "Star Trek: The Experience" would close on Sept. 1, 2008, after 11 years. http://www.startrekexp.com/pdf/STTE-Media-release.pdf

Shows

During the summer of 2006, Reba McEntire signed an exclusive engagement performing at the Las Vegas Hilton titled REBA: Key to the Heart. Over five non-consecutive weeks, she performed for the fans traveling to see her for the first time in her career. Talk is now going on that Reba is now in talks with the Hilton for a new two-year exclusive contract to perform again at the Hilton.

Barry Manilow performs his “Manilow: Music and Passion" show at the Las Vegas Hilton. As part of the contract, Manilow lives in one of the "sky villas". The sky villas are three very large penthouse suites that were built in 1994 replacing the original penthouse (room 3000), Elvis's home for 8 years. On March 27, 2006, Barry Manilow announced that he will continue performing "Manilow: Music and Passion" through 2008. In February 2007, the Hilton painted Las Vegas' largest mural on the side of the hotel of Barry Manilow Mural

In October 2006, it was reported that the Las Vegas Hilton might be demolished in the subsequent 12-18 months. The claim was immediately refuted by president and CEO, Rudy Prieto.

The Las Vegas Hilton is one of few western hotels to not suffer from Triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) by having a 13th Floor.

Popular culture

Television

Let's Make a Deal produced its final syndicated season here in 1976-77.

The Oak Ridge Boys Live TV series was taped in the Starlight Theater.

Film

The hotel is forever remembered in film as the infamous "Whyte House" casino in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever.

The hotel was also feature extensively in the movie Over the Top with Sylvester Stallone toward the end of the movie.

Other notable appearances include the movie:Indecent Proposal.

Gallery

References

External links

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