El Cortez Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas C-E
El Cortez Hotel & Casino
600 East Fremont Street,
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101-5693,
Phone: (702) 385-5200
About the Casino
The common wisdom in Las Vegas seems to be that the only way to make an older hotel competitive in today’s market is to blow it up and start over. Witness the demise of The Stardust, The Sands, The Desert Inn, The Dunes, and The Frontier. To be fair, the people who own these buildings are often justified in creating something new because in the end there is only so much you can do to an existing building – only so many times you can slap a fresh coat of paint on it and hope that it will make a difference.
But a tour of the historic El Cortez in Downtown Las Vegas proves that you don’t have to bring in a wrecking crew to turn a has-been hotel into one worthy of notice. The El is back and she is in many ways better than she ever has been before.
The fabled history of the El Cortez dates all the way back to 1941 when it was built by JK Houssels with 59 rooms and a small casino. Houssels sold it in 1946 to none other than Bugsy Siegel. It went through a series of owners landing eventually with one of the most famous names in the casino industry, Jackie Gaughan. Although he no longer owned the place, he lived in the penthouse atop the hotel tower until his death in March of 2014. Gaughan could regularly be seen in the casino or the restaurants, chatting amiably with customers who are on a first name basis with him.
While the hotel was never a "first rate" property, it had been a solid performer in the Downtown arena until the neighborhood around it declined. The crowded, somewhat dingy, and smoky casino mainly lured an older, locals audience and the rooms were little more than basic accommodations.
It's amazing what throwing a few million dollars at a building and its surroundings can accomplish.
Nov 6, 2020 - Nov 8, 2020
$200,000 Slot Tournament ($3000 Buy-in)
Aug 20, 2020 - Aug 22, 2020
$140,000 Summer Classic Slot Tournament ($500 buy-in)