Las Vegas Pioneer: Frontier’s Final Days

Earlier in the day, long-time employees and customers, mixed with curious onlookers, shared minutes of the final meeting as another old strip property closed for another multi-billion dollar development.

Streep Lounge legend Norman Kaye stopped by to take a look at the property where he first started playing in 1947. 온라인경마

“I knew you’d come to say goodbye,” said Kay, a vocalist and bassist on the Mary Kay trio.

Kaye sang two songs with Dry Martini Orchestra in front of a crowd of about 1,000 people. He said it was his first Las Legas performance since 1966.

Playing with celebrities like Ronald Reagan and Judy Garland, Kay said the Mary Kay trio were the mainstay of the strip.

“We started all this freaking out here,” said Kay, who was nominated as an honorary Nevada poet last April. “We started at midnight and played until 6 a.m. every hour with a 15-minute break.”

Kay said the trio, including sisters Mary Kaye, who died in February, and Frank Ross, who died in 1995, were the first true lounge performances on the strip.

The 105-room Hotel Last Frontier opened in 1942, and is now the second hotel casino on the famous strip.

The property has grown under a variety of ownership, most famously Howard Hughes, who purchased it for $14 million in 1967.

Recent Kansas-based owner Phil Ruffin sold the 34.5-acre property to New York-based El-Ad Group for $1.2 billion in May.

The development group, controlled by Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tsuhuba, plans to spend $5 billion to build a mixed-use development modeled on the New York Plaza Hotel.

Colleagues Neil Bush and Ed Phelan serenaded four guests and various bystanders with a karaoke performance by Frank Sinatra and Joe Corker at 6 p.m. to help close sports books.

“We were out there until sunrise last night,” said Bush, wearing a tuxedo with a cocktail in hand, explaining Phelan’s wild take on Corker’s classic cover, “With a little help from my friends.”

“I’m taking a break today,” Bush said.

Sandy West, a regular since 1966, said the hotel casino had so many friends that her home was used to host Frontier Christmas parties for years.

“There are a lot of good people here,” said West, who now counts 20 of his employees as good friends. “This is, if you think about it, the last place for a family to stay on the strip.”

She said seeing Siegfried and Roy eight times during her seven years at the New Frontier was one of her best memories.

“I liked them more here,” said West, who has seen them only once in “Mirage.” “They were too mechanical. It wasn’t that good.”

Jill Chris, a cocktail waitress with 21 years at a hotel casino, said the closure was more than losing her long-term job.

“I have a lot of friends and more family-like customers,” Chris said. “A lot of them like it because it’s like family. It’s been like my home all this time.”

She’s planning a three-month vacation, but she’s worried that she’s too old to get another cocktail waitress job on the strip.

Ruffin missed the final night scheduled to return to Las Vegas on Wednesday, according to general manager Nazam Khan.

He paid $167 million in October 1997 for a property that ended a six-year labor strike four months later.

Khan and his team must clear the property by August 7 before handing over the keys to El-Ad.

An on-site auction scheduled for July 26 is being processed by Great American Group.

Jimmy Johnson, who was a security guard for 211 1/2 years, said the toughest part was to sever the relationship that had been formed over the years.

“We might even see them from time to time,” said Johnson, who has an orientation to begin a similar position at MGM Grand on Wednesday. “I’m going to see you because I don’t know you’re going to be here and that’s the sad part.”

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