- From: Walt <none@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 16 May 2010 13:56:16 -0400
freddy <melbedewy1226@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
What can you tell me about the old Continental Hotel and Casino on
Paradise Road, where the current Terrible's sits?
There¹s not a whole lot to tell about the old Continental casino, but
we did manage to come up with a QoD¹s worth.
It debuted in 1975 on ten acres at the corner of Flamingo Avenue and
Paradise Road, built to take advantage of its location as the closest
casino to the airport. It opened with 200 rooms, then doubled in size
in 1979 when another 200 rooms were built.
It was a good locals joint from the start, with strong ongoing food
and gambling specials. In April 1983, for example, it was listed in
one of the first Las Vegas Advisor Top Tens for its complete lobster-
tail dinner available round the clock for $4.49. It still ranks, in
our view, as one of the best Las Vegas meal deals of all time. It was
still available more than 10 years later, though the price went up
over the years to $9.99.
Anthony Curtis remembers going to the Continental for a triple-pay-for-
blackjack promotion in his gambling days in the '80s. He called it
"one of the biggest gatherings of scufflers I ever saw -- almost a
convention of people on the unofficial exclusion list. I couldn't get
And in Anthony¹s book Bargain City, he wrote about a good video poker
promotion in 1993: Ladies were paid double for 4-of-a-kinds on Tuesday
The Continental made the news in March 1984 when, on a Saturday
afternoon, a grease fire in the kitchen forced the evacuation of 400
patrons from the dining room and casino. Only a few blocks and a few
years away from the deadly MGM Grand fire, it was a big media event,
though no one was injured and the fire was quickly contained. The
hotel wasn¹t evacuated.
The lounge occasionally had surprisingly worthwhile acts. It was Cook
E. Jarr's home away from home. And this writer remembers being stunned
one night in the mid-1990s when he walked in on some other errand and
saw Tiny Tim performing for 10 people in the lounge. Being a fan of
the eccentric but talented performer, that was quite a treat.
As a strange aside, we did find that the Continental was used as the
basis for a UNLV study about whether or not the cycle of the moon
affected people's luck. (Bizarrely, the study found that four of the
five major jackpots won between 1991 and 1994 at the Continental
occurred on a day of a full moon which, according to one of the
study's co-authors, had a statistical chance of 1 in 22 million of
happening by chance.)
Anyhow, that same year, the Continental was sold by American Realty
Trust, a Dallas-based real-estate investment company. ART was founded
in 1961, so it¹s conceivable that it built the Continental. We
couldn¹t verify this, but it makes sense to us, for two reasons.
First, there¹s no record of it being sold till 1996, so the seller was
likely the original owner. Second, corporations had been allowed to
own casinos since 1969, and this was the era when forward-thinking
developers and hotel companies saw opportunities in Las Vegas.
Anyway, ART sold the joint to Crowne Ventures for $36.7 million.
Crowne was the parent company of the Las Vegas-based "Back To The
'50's" catalog business that sold '50s, '60s and '70s memorabilia;
Robert Maheu, of Howard-Hughes-in-Las-Vegas fame, was Crowne's
chairman of the board. Upon acquiring the Continental, Crowne
announced ambitious plans to implement a back-to-the-'50s theme. Not
only did nothing happen, but Crowne basically ran the Continental into
the ground (not that it wasn't halfway there when they took it over).
Crowne owned the Continental for less than three years, then sold it
to the Herbst family in 1999.
The Herbsts closed it, completely refurbished it (the cost to buy and
renovate totaled $65 million), and reopened it in November 2000. They
also renamed it Terrible's, which put the last nail in the
There goes Freddy again, using AVLV as his personal storage facility
because he's too cheap to save text to his own hard drive.
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