The chairman was none other than U. Rosenthal was big into clothes and is rumored to have owned pairs of pants. Frank Rosenthal was not a big believer in keeping things on the down-low.
Some romantically claim he got the nickname when, in , he appeared before a Senate hearing on organized crime and invoked the Fifth Amendment 37 times, keeping his left hand in the air while doing so.
That incident actually took place, and Rosenthal survived because of a manufacturing irregularity in his Cadillac Eldorado. After his death, it was revealed Rosenthal had been, talk about multi-tasking, an FBI informant.
Frank Rosenthal remains one of the most riveting figures in the formative years of Las Vegas. He seems to have had as many admirers as critics, and helped shape Las Vegas casinos as we know them today.
Ah, the circularity of the universe. How did you reach that calculation if I may ask, I am truly intrigued…?! It was imploded on March 13, , around 2: Construction was halted in , however, during the economic downturn.
The famed Stardust sign became one of the symbols of Las Vegas. Young Electric Sign Company was hired to fabricate the sign. Three-dimensional acrylic glass planets spun alongside 20 sparkling neon starbursts.
Across the universe was a jagged galaxy of electric lettering spelling out "Stardust". The "S" alone contained lamps. At night, the neon constellation was reportedly visible from over 3 miles 4.
The roadside sign was freestanding with a circle constraining an amorphous cloud of cosmic dust circled by an orbit ring and covered in dancing stars.
In , the Stardust took over the neighboring Royal Nevada Hotel, which had opened in The remodel of the building sign dropped the space theme in favor of an animated red and blue neon background, and the covering of the porte cochere was lit with thousands of incandescent bulbs.
The resort was conceived and built by Tony Cornero , who died in before construction was completed. John Factor leased the casino out to a company controlled by Moe Dalitz.
When the hotel opened, it had the largest casino and swimming pool in Nevada, and the largest hotel in the Las Vegas area.
The night before the opening, "atomic soldiers" from Camp Desert Rock were treated to a pre-opening party. Operation Teapot , the sixth in a series of nuclear weapons tests, had started earlier in The Royal Nevada was plagued with financial problems from the start; was in general a bad year for casinos, as the Royal Nevada and three other casinos that opened that year the Riviera , the Dunes , and the Moulin Rouge all went bankrupt.
The Stardust opened at noon on July 3, The entertainment roster featured the spectacular French production show Lido de Paris. The first showing on the night of July 3 was a preview reserved for members of the press.
The stage was billed as larger than a basketball court, held a swimming tank and ice skating rink, and was capable of generating rain and snow on demand.
Daniels became the first entertainer to sign a long-term residency contract in Metropolitan Las Vegas when he agreed to appear for 40 weeks per year for three years.
The Stardust took over the closed Royal Nevada hotel-casino, remodeled the showroom, and converted it into a convention center and high-roller suite.
In , the Olympic-size pool area opened to the general public with the addition of the 9-story Stardust Tower that replaced half of the bungalow rooms.
The same year, the Aku Aku Polynesian Restaurant was opened, complete with a Tiki Bar , and a large stone Tiki head marking the entrance from the outside.
In , with the addition of the nine-story tower later called the East Tower , the room count increased to 1, For the next five years The Stardust was the leader in rooms until when The International opened.
Argent was owned by Allen Glick , but the casino was believed to be controlled by various organized crime families from the Midwest.
Al Sachs served as president of the Stardust in the early s before leaving in after disagreeing with Glick and Rosenthal. Sachs was succeeded by Herb Tobman.
When exposed by the FBI, this skimming operation was the largest ever exposed. The story of the skimming was featured in the book Casino by Nicholas Pileggi.
In , the Stardust went through another remodeling. The new porte cochere sparkled with 1, small incandescent bulbs. The encrustation of bulbs turned solid mass into ethereal form.
In , the Aku Aku Polynesian Restaurant closed. The giant stone Tiki head that marked the entrance was later moved to an island in an artificial lake at Sunset Park in Winchester, Nevada.
After Argent Corporation was forced out of the gaming business in the late s, the casino was sold to Al Sachs and Herb Tobman, who had both previously served as president of the Stardust.
They formed Trans-Sterling, which took over the casino in The Stardust was a gold mine to the Chicago Outfit , the skim being extremely large.
When it was taken over by the reputable Boyd family, they were surprised by its huge profits, with every penny of income recorded.