On February 17, 1950, Matilda's Gift Shop opened in a trading post building which was brought from Mountain City, Nevada. During the pioneer days this structure housed a trading post that served early families, trappers, and travelers. The only alterations to the structure was the adding of a fireplace and bay window. The gift shop was owned by Delia Wittwer and Marie Flowers.

Spanish Trail

Highway 91 was once a dusty dry wagon trail and yet it was fitting that the Last Frontier Village was located on the site of one of the earliest roads across the great southwest, the historic "Old Spanish Trail". In 1829, an expedition organized by Jose Antonio Chavez, governor of New Mexico, had Antonio Armigo for the leader and the party set out from Santa Fe northward into Southern Utah and then turned southwest across southern Nevada, arriving finally at the San Gabriel mission in California. Thereafter for a number of years, one large caravan set out yearly over this route. The springs at Las Vegas de Quintana (now Las Vegas), was a regular camping place on the route. An official marker, erected by the Spanish Trail Association, stood on the grounds of the hotel.

Western Theme

The Frontier has the distinction to be the founder of the Las Vegas Strip Sundays buffet. The Hunt Breakfast Buffet was served on Sundays. The El Rancho's Herb McDonald was the first to institute the $1.00 buffet.

The Frontier's administrative assistant, Helen Connors, was one of the first women executives in the hotel industry. During this year Art Force was the press agent and Ruth Deskin was his secretary.

In a brochure printed during this time period, it stated there was no cover or minimum charge for the floor shows and dancing in the Ramona Room.


Scenes from the Frontier Village:
Village Village Wagon

Holiday Ramona Room
Gay, holiday atmosphere prevails in the Ramona Room with nightly dancing & entertainment

21 Club Casino
Carrillo Room
Gay 90s Bar
The Gay 90s Bar features congenial hospitality & a collection of hundreds of horns

Rooms are large, beautifully furnished & all are air-conditioned

Friendly Western hospitality greets you from the moment you enter the lobby

Horseback riding from the resort

Little Church of the West
The Little Church of the West, widely known as the wedding place of the stars

Golden Slipper
Golden Slipper (later to be Silver Slipper)

Room rates were Single - $5, $6, $7, $10, $11; Double (Double or Twin Beds) rates - $7, $8, $9, $11, $12, $13, $14; Penthouse Suite, deluxe bed-sitting room private bar, bath and boudoir - $24; Three persons in room - double rate plus $1.50.

Throughout the years, Moore was becoming more and more involved in the community. He was an active member of the Board of Directors for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, serving one year as president. He was also a member of the State Tax Commission for four years and was constantly in the vanguard of the group promoting the area into one of the greatest recreational spots in the United States.

The Golden Slipper Gambling Hall opened on the Last Frontier Village property in September of 1950 which became the Silver Slipper.

Train Train

Students of Basic High School, Henderson, NV, donned costumes for pictures alongside Number 12 and its coaches. These pictures were used in the school's yearbook in 1949-50 which was awarded second prize in the Columbia University national competition.

In May of 1950, the Civil Library Association reported that the Library Fund had a total of $45,000. Bill Moore, on behalf of the Frontier, donated $7,500, and Marion Hicks on behalf of the Thunderbird donated $2,500. The library was to be on the site of the Wildcat Lair at Fourth and Stewart but it was decided to put it closer to City Hall.

Also during this month William Moore announced that a $1 million expansion program designed to double the room capacity. Moore stated that 42 additional acres were purchased bringing the total Frontier property to 148 acres. The program included construction of 100 deluxe suites of western cottage type and 100 room addition to the hotel proper. Moore went on to state that the new program will not affect the present $350,000 expansion of the Last Frontier Village.

In June of 1950, Art Force, Publicity Director at the Frontier was asked by the management at the Flamingo Hotel to write the lead story that appeared in the supplementary edition of their anniversary issue proving that the resorts were against each other for also stood by each other.

In 1950, Art Force was listed as the entertainment and publicity director.

Art Baker

Art Baker of ABC's radio show Art Baker's Note Book, and his wife check out the Village's old car and resident "bad guy"

In November of 1950 the "Kefauver Committee" took place in Reno. Named after Democratic Senator Estes Kefauver, he stated of his "Committee": The Committee's main purpose was "not to pass judgement on the law (making gambling legal) but we have information that certain operations here are controlled by men who have illegal operations in other parts of the country." Other members of the Committee included New Hampshire Republican Senator Tobey and Wisconsin Republican Wiley. Tobey said any evidence the Committee gets will be turned over to the justice department "so they can put these birds in jail where they belong."

For the hearing, Flamingo operator Moe Sedway left his sick bed in a Los Angeles hospital. Others included Emilio Georgetti of the Westerner Club; Sam Stearns, a partner in the Santa Anita Turf Club; Joe Contrato, a new partner in the El Rancho. Even though the hearings were hushed, it was learned that the first witness was William Moore, a member of the Nevada Tax Commission and Executive Director of the Hotel Last Frontier. It was noted that others subpoenaed under their titles included Guy McAfee, owner of the Golden Nugget; R.J. Katleborn, a Los Angeles businessman; Reno Police Chief L.R. Greeson; Nevada Lt. Gov. Cliff Jones; Ray Warrn, investigator for the Nevada Tax Commission, Wilbur Clark, owner of the Desert Inn; Gus Greenbaum of the Flamingo; E.A. Cahlan, Managing Director of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and George E. Franklin, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Clark County Commissioners.

On November 15, 1950, Frontier owner and Nevada Tax Commission member, William Moore, was the first to testify before the Committee saying that Eastern gambling figure Morris Rosen of New York took over the racing wire service following Siegel's 1947 assassination. Moore testified that following Siegel's death Rosen, identified as Vice President of the Merchant Island Distillers, arrived in Las Vegas and took over Siegel's interests which operated at the Golden Nugget. Moore went on to state that open warfare between the bookies was feared during Siegel's period because of a monopoly he enjoyed in getting racing information from Continental Press in Chicago. It was because of a heated feud between Siegel and Dave and Sam Stearns, brothers operating the Santa Anita Club, that the state set up a gambling division of the State Tax Commission, giving it broad powers in issuing gambling licenses. The Stearns Brothers had resorted to wire tapping to get the racing news for their handbook at the Frontier Club downtown until the Commission stepped in and broke up the monopoly.

Moore said when the gambling division was formed, all gambling operators were blanketed under the new licensing law even though some were known to have had criminal records. He said James Carro, an East St. Louis bookie, was denied a license on grounds he operated too widely in other states.

Moore went on to state that at the Hotel Last Frontier, bets on horses were laid off through a commission man he identified as Phillips who placed them anywhere in the United States in a matter of minutes. Kefauver stated that Moore's testimony indicated that "legal gambling is tied in with illicit gambling all over the United States."

Moore went on to state that he earns $70,000 a year at the Frontier including a $10,000 salary as manager, and 5% of the gambling profits.

In 1950, entertainment included Jan August; Don Baker; Gracie Barrie/Fred Lowery/Claire Stewart; Rita Bieber & Co.; Joyce Bryant; Harry Carroll/Polly Baker; Jack Cole; The Cooper Sisters; Devlyn Dancers; Al Donahue and his Orchestra; Al Jahns & his Orchestra; Stan Kramer Marionettes; Bob Lathe; Ted Lewis/Geraldine Dubois; Stuart Morgan; Jerry Murod's Harmonicats; George Redman; Phil Spitalny & his All Girl Orchestra; Nick Stuart Orchestra; George Tapps; and Al White Dancers.


The Birdcage Theatre in the Frontier Village would show at no charge old-time movies from 9:00am to 9:00pm.

Judy Davenport
Judy Davenport, Tulip Queen of Albany, NY, spent a week's vacation at the resort.

On August 22, 1951, the Nevada Tax Commission approved the new interests in the resort and granted licenses to Guy McAfee, Jacob (Jake) Kozloff, and Beldon Katleman with McAfee and Kozloff already holding a major interest in the Golden Nugget downtown. Katleman was noted as being associated with the El Rancho Vegas. The stockholders sold the resort for $5.5 million. William Moore decided to leave the Frontier when the news was announced. On Friday, August 24, 1951, at 11:00am, Jake Kozloff took over the management of the resort. It was announced that Bob Cannon would remain as hotel manager and Harold Hind in charge of the casino. Guy McAfee would be President. The deal was completed in Dallas, Texas, and it was noted it was the largest negotiated contract in Nevada. The sale included the Village as well as the Silver Slipper.

"We would like to sincerely thank the people of Las Vegas and the state of Nevada, as well as all of our good friends in California and other states, who have made it possible for us to enjoy a prosperous and fruitful business for the past ten years in this community.
"As one member of the operating staff of Hotel Last Frontier, I would like to personally say that I have never before in all my many business connections, been in as forward a community as Las Vegas.
"I appreciate, sincerely, all of the many fine friends I have here and all of the many personal favors that have been done for me over a period of years. I feel that Las Vegas will continue to prosper and that ten years from now there will be as much change in the community as there has been in the past ten years that I have lived here.
"We of Hotel Last Frontier, directors and staff, ask that all of our good friends and acquaintances continue to patronize the hotel and give the new owners a rousing welcome in their new business venture. Many thanks to you all."
- William J. Moore, Jr., August 24, 1951

"We sold [our interest in the Last Frontier] in 1950. I say we sold out, I took stock for my architectural fee and wound up as the general manager and the vice-president of the hotel. [I] operated the hotel for 10 years during the entire operation as long as the particular group I was originally associated with was in the hotel as owners or operators. . . . I think at the time we sold the hotel {Little Church of the West} it was still in existence. It was later moved to the opposite end of the property when certain improvements were made in the hotel. I do not know when it was moved, but it was picked up and moved in its entirety to the south end of the hotel grounds and then operated there as a chapel for several years. When the Fashion Show shopping was built on the Strip, it was moved again. What was done with it then, I do not know." - William Moore, August, 1981

Additionally, Moore had stated that when he left the resort in 1950, he had expended over $2 million on entertainment for the Frontier.

Memories of the second lady of the Strip from Moore to Kozloff was the hospitality. There was widespread agreement that the Last Frontier was, at the time, the friendliest place to both work and stay at. So much so, in fact, that there was almost always a long waiting list of people who wanted to work there. The reason? The management cared and took great pains to make everyone comfortable, including the employees. Moore, for instance, reportedly would casually stroll through the casino, picking up scraps of paper from the floor and putting them in his pocket, as well as stopping to put his arm around a porter saying hello.

"It was such a good place to work, such a friendly place. There were no pressures. Each department head could run his department with very little supervision." - Art Force, ex Hotel Last Frontier publicist

Jack Kozloff

Jake Kozloff had moved to Vegas from Lebanon PA, in 1947 after going to Vegas on vacation from his job as President and General Manager of the Lebanon Valley Brewing Company. He was married to Fern and had three boys, Teddy, Chic and Bert. Kozloff became friends with Guy McAfee and began his career working at the Golden Nugget downtown. He was President of the Jewish Community Center, Chairman of the 1949 United Jewish Appeal Drive and co-Chairman of the 1950 Drive, Executive Director of the Community Chest, member of the Clark County Recreation Board and member of the Boy Scout Executive Council, and in 1950, was a stockholder in the Hotel Thunderbird. In 1950, Kozloff had announced the planning of a new resort on the strip with the groundbreaking occurring in September or October, 1950. I have been unable to ascertain what resort this was or what happened to the plans.

Village entrance

In September of 1951, the following article was written about the Frontier Village:

"What is the Last Frontier Village? An authentic restoration of a roaring Western Village of the Gold Rush Days. The buildings were moved from abandoned "ghost towns" of Nevada and restored to their original appearance.

As you go down the Village Street you will see an Old Trading Post with all type of curios . . . some designed around items in the Village, such as trains, Chinese Church, Museum and Log Cabins. Maybe you'll stop in at the Shooting Gallery with its $100,000 collection of guns dating back to the 1800's with every type of gun and pistol known to man. From time to time throughout the year, the Shooting Gallery offers turkey shoots and duck shoots.

Then you will want to visit the Stables wherein are housed all of our horses. Here you will see a large collection of early day vehicles, such as stage coaches, Tally-Ho, Buckboard, etc.

Your children will be thrilled by the Playground area with its Merry-Go-Round, Pony Rides, Scooter Car Rides and a Miniature Train traveling around the entire grounds of the Village.

Behind the Chinese Church you will see three log cabins of ancient vintage used by the early settled in Nevada, just as they were in the old days with the dirt roof, chinked up logs and fire places. In these old cabins will be found shops of interest to today's travelers.

Silver Slipper

For the greatest thrill to tourists, however, it's the Silver Slipper Saloon and Gambling Hall where there's continuous Gay '90s entertainment nightly.

With its employees dressed in Gay '90 attire, this replica of an old-time gambling and dance hall in effect presents a continuous western pageant.

You'll want to visit the barbecue restaurant in the building, too. It is uniquely designed after the interior of an old railroad coach of the famous Virginia & Truckee Railroad.

Yes, you'll find fun for all the family at the Last Frontier Village, one of the greatest tourist attractions in the West."

In 1951, Frontier showcased Don Baker at the organ during intermissions; Devlyn Girl Revue featuring Gene Nash; Herbert Harry & Sylvester; Ted Lewis Revue w/Geraldine DuBois/Ben Yost's Colleens/DeRay & Youg/Paul White/Elroy Peace; Martez & Lucia; Bob Millar & Orchestra; Dorothy Shay; Sportsmen's Quartet (from Jack Benny Show); The Star-Kings; electro-magician Marvin Roy; Wiere Brothers/Mildred Seymour; Margaret Whiting; Mae Williams. Intermission music was performed by Don Baker.

Margaret Whitting was the daughter of Richard Whiting, composer of such songs as My Ideal, Japanese Sandman, Honey, and Too Marvelous for Words.

Bob Millar

The Frontier advertised their stables located on the grounds with moonlight rides every evening midnight to 3:00am. The Frontier Village Gun Shop sold guns including the "Frontier Model" revolvers.

On January 10, 1952, the Nevada Tax Commission granted Murray Randolph 35% interest in the resort. Randolph was listed as a Los Angeles Realtor and business associate of Beldon Katleman, present licensee of both the Frontier and the El Rancho Las Vegas. Randolph was seeking to buy 35% of the 57% interest Katleman held for $375,000. Jake Kozloff, who owned 43% would continue to manage the resort for another four years under his present contract. Randolph stated he would take no part in the management or the running of the resort. Nevada twice to date has refused to extradite Binion to Texas.

In the summer of 1952, the resort was in chaos and people wanted to catch a glimpse of "Miss Car Hop of 1952" Eleanor O'Donnell as she was in a bathing suit having her publicity picture taken. She was accompanied by her husband Tom.


In June of 1952, RKO starlet Mala Powers was shown the exact location of the Frontier as Assistant General Manager Bill Kozloff, pointed on the unique copper map in hotel's Carrillo room; and National Commander Frank Hilton took the reins for the VFW. During his stay Hilton and a group from the Las Vegas chapter toured the Village ending with a stagecoach ride.

It was also celebration time when Frontier Village Manager, Herb McDonald shot a 39 during his golf game.

Frontier received a new car, a Studebaker with cow-hide (fur and all) seat covers.

On August 4, 1952, Kozloff used the resort for personal reasons when he threw a surprise birthday party for his wife Maxine.

Mr. Mrs. Ferde Grofe
Mr. & Mrs. Ferde Grofe

Also during this year The Little Church of the West married Mr. and Mrs. Ferde Grofe. Grofe was the composer of The Grand Canyon Suite.


Herman Steiner, right, formerly U.S. Open Chess Champion engaged current U.S. Champ Larry Evans, in a friendly poolside game at the Frontier as Vegas Chess Club President Fred Soly looks on. Evans was only 21 years old and had the reputation of being one of the finest players in the world.

Also during this year Harpo Marx was seen in the Frontier's pool clowning around with Flo Chadwick.

Harpo Marx

Doris Day/Bob Cannon

In August of 1952, Doris Day and Bob Cannon were seen looking over the plans for the new pool during construction while standing in the "deep end" sans water.

McDonald, Bill Kozloffs

In August of 1952 Mrs. Herb McDonald and the Bill Kozloffs posed for a picture.

Every other week, 52 drivers and members of the southern Nevada Racing Association roll 39 Stock Cars onto the Frontier Sportsdrome track and treated some 4,900 odd spectators to a bruising and spine chilling 105 laps of racing. Most racing fans made it a point to be on hand for the time trials at 7:00pm and by race time at 8:15pm, the stands are jammed. The following pictures were taken in August of 1952:

dick Hardy

Frank Jennings in car 111 on the outside forces Dick Hardy, 1950 Champion, into the infield. Jennings went on to cop the race
Jimmy Donditch

Jimmy Donditch after being spun out on the turn. Jimmy blew a tire and tore out 30 feet of fence before rolling off the track. donditch was a 19 year old veteran Main Event driver and had been with the SNRA 3 years
Eric Erickson

In the 1st deliberate thru-the-wall crash ever seen at the Drome, Eric Erickson, champion California Driver, teaches Bob Ruppert, behind in car 74, why not to pass on the outside. Ruppert had spun Erickson out in a previous race and was overtaking the California driver in the main go when "Eif" took both cars out of the race by forcing Rapid Robert right through the timber
Joe Dwiggins

Joe Dwiggins is one of the hardest drivers on the track. Dwiggins is shown here as he starts a bruising end flip coming out of a turn.
Mike Mars

Mike Mars reduced a brand new car and 65 feet of the Sportsdrome wall to scrap while turning over three times in one of the most spectacular crashes ever witnessed at the races. The terrific impact literally tore the rear end of the car complete in half and netted a $3,000 loss to the entry.

During this month it was noted that Dolores Frazzini of the Ramona Room line often guest starred at the Silver Slipper in a singing capacity; and Smiley Washburn, the bewhiskered sheriff of the Village was headed for TV fame following inking of a contract with western star Carolina Cotton.

Rhonda Fleming, John Payne

In August of 1952 Rhonda Fleming and John Payne, vacationing in Vegas, took time out to serve real "Western Vittles" at a barbecue at the Frontier Village.

In September of 1952 it was reported that Fern and Jake Kozloff were practically frantic when they couldn't locate their son, 9 year old Chicki, the evening before he was to return to school. every section of the Frontier was combined thin, in an effort to discover him. Just as they were finally convinced the sheriff should be called, Jake remembered they hadn't checked the stables. The disturbed parents rushed to the final unexplored place and were brought up short by the scene in front of them. There was young Chicki, sitting right near his horse, "Dodger." The young face was damp with tears and a trembling voice kept repeating a sad farewell. The Kozloffs' youngest son, Bert (5 years), has joined Chicki and Teddy in attending the Elsinore Military Academy in California.

In November of 1952, the Las Vegas Women's Bowling Association began planning their pre-Christmas dance. Jack Kozloff contributed a much coveted prize for the raffle, a case of liquor.

"What a wonderful sight to view, when Idaho Ellison drive the Frontier's stage coach along the main streets of town. Wonder what he thinks of as he travels the route that has changed so tremendously from the roads upon which his coach traveled in day of yesterday? A lost of memories must accompany the distinguished gentleman who knew the West of old." - Jack Cortez, November, 1952

Marilyn Hecht was the harpist who accompanied Liberace. She was always guaranteed one fan - her uncle Louis Hecht, owner of Hecht's Dress Shop on Fremont Street.

In 1952, Frontier showcased Edward Arnold; Bell Sisters; Nita Bieber Dancers; The Continentals; Lorraine Cugat & Her Orchestra; Curry, Byrd & Leroy; The Devlyn Dancers; Devlyn Girl Revue w/Gene Nash/Eddie Gallagher/Dolores Frazzini; Bob Miller & his Orchestra/Don Baker at organ; Eileen & Elsa; Dolores Frazzini & Jimmy Sisco; Helene & Howard; Candyce King; Joy Lane; Buddie Lester/Tulara Lee; Liberace/Lucille Norman; Freddie Martin Revue; Marx Brothers; McCarthy & Farrell; Renee Molnar; The Nilsson Twins; Bobby Ramos & his Orchestra; Buddy Rogers; Herb Shriner; Estelle Sloan; April Stevens; Garwood Van Orchestra; Margaret Whiting; Wiere Brothers/Mildred Seymour; and Ben Yost Royal Guards.

Whiting/Wier/Shriner Cugat/Bell

Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra

Also showcased were Ronald Reagan, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Josephine Baker. Davis was appearing there with the Will Mastin Trio when he was involved in an auto accident resulting in the loss of his eye. Louis Prima and Keely Smith, who was then three months pregnant, stepped in after their own shows to fill in so Davis could recuperate without worry.

Dennis and Jackie Rosen
Dennis Rosen and his sister Jackie playing at the Frontier in 1952, as well as one with his father in front of the saloon

Panorama View of Village

Entrance to Village

Cocktail Waitress
Ronald Reagan

In the end of 1952/beginning of 1953, Hotel Last Frontier advertised that it was located in the heart of the famed Strip.


The lobby consisted of massive stone fireplaces, towering timber pillars and log rafter exemplified the warm Western atmosphere that greets the visitor.

Ramona Room Ramona Room Ramona Room

The world's greatest entertainers appeared nightly in the Ramona Room where there was never a minimum or cover charge including Abbe Lane, Dorsey Brothers, Ronald Reagan, Howard Keel, Marilyn Maxwell, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Xavier Cugat, Herb Shriner, Liberace, and Dorothy Dandridge.

Gay 90s Bar Gay 90s Bar

The Gay '90s Bar was rich in romantic history of the Old West, the ruggedly beautiful bar adds a touch of the past to enjoy headline entertainment on the midnight to dawn beat.

Casino Casino

The 21 Club Casino was opened around the clock and offered Craps, Roulette, 21, and slot machines, all fully protected by rigid County and State Regulations.

Carrillo Room

Adjoining the casino, the Carrillo Room was a gathering spot for after the show crowds and featured the famous Chuck Wagon.

Chuck Wagon

The Chuck Wagon served a variety of food prepared to suit the tastes of gourmets tamped late-hour appetites in the Carrillo Room.

Room Room

Accommodations had a touch of Western atmosphere added an unique quality to modern rooms, all air conditioned and designed for comfort and convenience.

"Panoramic view showing pool in setting of the old west in modern splendor. Spacious lawns, snack and beverage bar and the famous Little Church of the West, wedding place of the stars. Visit the subterranean room permitting photographs under water"

Pool Pool/Marine Room

Built adjoining the deep end of the pool, the Marine room, which offered unusual views of swimming and diving action, was the only underwater observation room in Nevada.

Stage Coach

Visitors could partake of the true spirit of the old West by riding in this stage coach.

Kozloff felt that Las Vegas was no longer the "last" frontier, and changed its name to "The New Frontier". The slogan was also changed to "Out of This World".


Kozloff made many changes in the hotel - refurbishing, and redecorating the interior to modern contemporary western decor, yet sustaining Griffith and Moore's old west theme.

Artist's Rendition
Artist's rendition of the New Frontier

In May of 1953, Walter Zick of Zick & Sharp, Architects, reported that the much rehashed plans for the Variety Clubhouse building project were proceeding. The gay '90s style structure was to be constructed in the Last Frontier Village in the open area between the pony ring and the merchandise store. The Clubhouse will feature an auditorium, bar and card room, kitchen and ticket office. Estimated table for the 50x80 foot building stood at about $600,000. Construction was to being mid-summer, and take about 160 days for completion.

When Marilyn Maxwell arrived in town to start in Belle of New Orleans, she agreed to not only have publicity pictures taken while she performed, she agreed to have publicity pictures taken at Lake Mead and by the Frontier's pool. Then she found out that the first contingent of Marines arriving in Las Vegas for the rugged duty at Desert Rock and the atom test site. She asked, and was granted permission, to entertain the troops. Below are the pictures.
Maxell kissing soldier Maxwell/Marshall/Ferre On stage 1
Maxwell/Sheppard Maxwell/Marshall/Ferre On stage 2
Maxwell talking on radio Maxwell Lake Mead On stage 3
Maxwell at Pool Getting off boat On stage 4

In June of 1953 it was stated that "Tex" and Freda Gates were running their night rides from the Last Frontier Stables located in the Frontier Village. Riders used to leave the tables around 2:30am and ride out to what used to be "Hoot" Gibson's D4C Ranch where they would dine on steaks or chicken and dance to the juke box. It was noted that musicians and show people would do this twice a week and went in groups of 25 or 30 people. It was stated it was an autograph hound's heaven.

"At Hotel Last Frontier you may still see the really fine bar and back bar and the beveled, leaded plate glass front that graced and beautified the New Arizona Club. When Hotel Last Frontier was built the story was widely circulated that the bar and fixtures came 'around the Horn' to San Francisco and formed part of the glory of the famous Barbary Coast of that city along in the '60s. But one day when I heard one of the hotel employees boasting about that I took him to a certain place on the bar and showed him a little metal plate set in the bar, on which were engraved the words, 'Brunswick, Balke, Collendar Co., Chicago, 1905." Soon after that I again looked for that little metal plate, but it had disappeared." - Charles "Pop" Squire, November, 1953

During 1953, Frontier advertised the "Largest Amusement Center In Nevada - Last Frontier Village open all year. Merry-Go-Round, Miniature Train, Bumper Cars, Arcade, Soft Drinks, Hot Dogs, Amusement Games For All Ages, Museum of Mechanical Pianos, Souvenir Photos and Records."

Kalantan of the Silver Slipper and Dolores Frazzini of the Ramona Room demonstrate the new Aquaped, device designed for and used by the Frogmen in the Navy

Ace Jockeys Harold "Red" Keene & Tony DeSpirito showed some fancy footwork with the dancers at the Frontier

During 1953 it was noted that Merl Sage headed the Las Vegas Archers as well as Tom Sisk, Vice President; Doug Farnow, Secretary; and Board Members Phyllis Clar, Ted Marak, Bill McCloskey, Coleen Farnow & Bill Dooley.

With 150 members, Hotel Last Frontier and Silver Slipper sponsored the Archer's Two-Day State Tournament, presenting beautiful trophy awards to top archers in all classes, as well as those who scored second and third place.

archery lessons
Group instruction in archery was given to the Frontier beauties by Merl Sage on the grounds of the Frontier

3 champion archers Doug Farnow, Mildred Searles & Merl Sage display to Smiley Washburn results of skill with bow & arrow on Frontier grounds

Beth Burg
Bulls eye of the State Archers, Beth Burg, shows how she earned title

Julian Ritter

Ritter 1Ritter 2Ritter 3Ritter 4

In November of 1953, it was reported that Fern and Jake Kozloff needed congratulations. Ever since they sold their home they originally purchased from Ballard Barron, Fern had nurtured a secret desire to live in it again. Well, the Kozloffs once again owned their home and were moving back in.

In December of 1953, Frontier had on display the artwork of Julian Ritter.

In 1953, the Frontier showcased Merriel Abbott Dancers; Marty Allen/Mitch Dewood; Gracie Barrie; The Beachcombers & Natalie; Jeffery Clay; Nat King Cole/Dave Barry; Xavier Cugat & his world famous Latin-American Orchestra; Emile Buziad playing intermission organ music; Charles Carts; Dorothy Dandridge; Dega & Bary; Beverlee Dennis; The Devlyn Dancers featuring Bill Damian/D. Frazzini; Diabolito & Carmencita; Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey; Four Jokers; The Garcias; El Gringo; Olson & Johnson; Sammy Kaye & his Orchestra featuring his All Star Radio & TV Show; The Kaydets; Kaye Choir; Dorothy Lamour; Abbe Lane; Buddy Lester; Liberace/Phil Foster; Juan Manuel; Bob Millar & his Orchestra; Olsen & Johnson; Janis Paige; Buddy Rogers; Peggy Powers; Dorothy Shay; Tina & Coco; Kay Thompson; Senor Wences; Paul Whiteman & his Band. Gay 90's Bar showcased Billy Britt Trio Buster Hallet Trio/Art Barduhn; and Mary Kaye Trio.

Gracie BarrieArt BarduhnSammy KayeShay/Mary Kaye TrioLiberacePaige/Rogers

Due to the discrimination that prevailed Vegas during this time, African Americans were treated differently. It was reported that Dorothy Dandridge was told not to go anywhere near the swimming pool. She hinted she might stick her toe in the water. The pool was closed then to everyone. It was "under construction". Then it was drained during the rest of her tenure. Dandridge was then married to a white man. They had separate rooms, across the courtyard of the West Las Vegas motel as the color barrier worked both ways.

During Buddy Rogers' tenure, patrons strained their eyes looking for a glimpse of his wife, actress Mary Pickford who accompanied him on all his shows.

One night in August of 1953, proved to be a memory in those in the audience. Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey played for the first time together after nearly 20 years of having their own bands. Tommy is playing the trombone and Jimmy is playing the sax.

Dorsey BrothersDorsey Brothers

During the Korean USO visits, Rogers and the Four Jokers persuaded the proper authorities to allow them to get as close to the Korean front line as possible. The performers wanted to make sure that the soldiers received some entertainment to boost their morale.

Phil Cabibi, casino manager of the Frontier, received a $5.00 donation from each of the dealers, and $10.00 from each of the boxmen at the Frontier and Silver Slipper to be turned over to the Red Cross Drive.

In the beginning of 1954, Zsa Zsa Gabor was supposedly playing with Porfirio Rubirosa at the resort when he "accidently" gave her a black eye. As the story unwound, Gabor supposedly told Rubi she was not in the market for playboys this season and suggested he peddle his mortgaged Dominican Republic property in the Eastern market, referring to Barbara Hutton who he was dating. Gabor went on to tell Rubi that she was still in love with George for it was at this comment that he promptly hit her right eye. He fled the resort and Vegas and wed Hutton two days later. The black eyepatch made Gabor a woman of distinction and in Vegas stirred some skepticism by appearing in print on the right eye in one newspaper and on the left eye in the opposition, a mystery that resulted from shooting one pose in the mirror. Gabor began suffering headaches and went to the S. Nevada Memorial Hospital where she was prognosed as doing just fine. Frontier chorus girls adopted the eye patch and Gabor proudly held up a picture of the Rubirosa/Hutton wedding stating "Zee how unhoppy zey boz look. Even wiz a black eye, I am better hoff than zhe is."

Porfirio RubirosaZsa Zsa, Magda, EvaWith PatchShowgirlsPictures

Moving Church

In 1954, the addition of the New Frontier building forced the owners to move the Little Church of the West to a new location at the far south end of the hotel property, where it was surrounded by desert trees and foliage with Eddie Albert & Margo on the marquee.

Bill Moore was asked if he knew what happened to the mural he originally had painted at the resort.

"I presume it probably went with the bar; the bar building and walls as well as the bar and the whole front entrance and so forth was taken out at the time the Hotel Last Frontier was demolished to build a Frontier Hotel. I believe that's the way they carried the name. So I presume the painting is still in that building if the building stall exists. I don't know, last time I saw it it was up on shoring stilts on the road directly behind the Hotel Last Frontier." - William Moore, August, 1981

Kozloff tried to maintain good care of the employees. Joy Hamann was a showgirl and part of her job in that capacity required her to decorate the bar between shows, as did the other girls. However, to keep up the image of being alluring and tantalizing for the male patrons, the hotel insisted that the showgirls be single. Hamann wasn't. One evening Kozloff came up to Hamann and said "Are you a married broad?" Hamann replied she was. Kozloff replied "What the hell are you doing here then?" Hamann stated that she had to stay at the bar until 2:00am. Kozloff stated "Go home where you belong." She no longer had to stay at the bar until 2:00am.

Candyce King

In February 1954, Frontier's Candyce King appeared on the Magazine Las Vegas cover.


During the annual Helldorado Rodeo harmonizing lads could be found at the Village.

On July 1, 1954, The State Tax Commission inquired into the financial interests held by various persons in the Frontier. The Commission questioned Jake Kozloff, Milton Stevens, and Murray Randolph closely about agreements that they may have had with persons who had loaned them money for operation of the hotel and its casino or who held options to purchase interests. Kozloff and Randolph assured the Commission that they had repaid all loans. Kozloff and Randolph stated they were anxious that Milton Stevens, a wealthy Los Angeles water heater manufacturer be granted a gambling license for the resort. The Commission stated that they would look at the application as stated: Jake Kozloff - 23%, Beldon Katleman - 20%, Randolph and Stevens - 19% each, William Hartman - 9%, Robert Kroloff and Arthur Brick - 3% each, and Max Wittus - 2%. On July 3, 1954, the Commission denied the application of Milton Stevens. The Commission ordered the present operators to dissolve a voting trust which was operating the hotel because it felt that this had been used to conceal undisclosed interests although a legal technicality was probably involved.

On September 3, 1954, Beldon Katleman filed a suit charging the officers of the Last Frontier with gross mismanagement and misappropriation of at least $1,000,000 of the hotel's funds. Katleman who owned 20% of the Frontier named Jake Kozloff, President of the Frontier, Bill Kozloff, Vice-President, and Murray Randolph, secretary/treasurer. Katleman charged that the three endangered the resort's gambling license by assigning large amounts of stock to "undisclosed partners" in direct violation of the Nevada Tax Commission's regulations. The complaint stated that the Frontier's take is counted every night by the three men and no accounting was being maintained. Katleman asked that the three be removed from control of the resort, name a new board of directors, and order a complete compilation of all the finances for the resort. The complaint went on to state that the policies of the present Board is also endangering the $2,000,000 expansion program, and that there were not enough funds to complete the expansion. The undisclosed partners were identified as Louis Lesser, Arthur Brick, Hy Widess, Robert Kroloff, Harry Cohn, William Hartman, Isador Murker, Herman Hover (owner of Ciro's), Charles Spellman, Jules James, Dave Bright, Milton Stevens, and Oscar Pattiz.

On September 14, 1954, Milton Stevens announced that he was planning on filing a $1,000,000 lawsuit against Katleman. Stevens stated "I am President of the Republic Heater Corp. . . . You can imagine the effect on my business of these charges-picturing me as a gambling baron trying to take over Las Vegas."


Jim Down and Cy Crandall show off their catches from the Frontier's cruiser on Lake Mead.

On September 21, 1954, it was reported that the Nevada Tax Commission ordered a full scale hearing at its October session into the tangled financial affairs of the resort. The Commission acted after Secretary Robbins Cahill reported that "we are conducting a very thorough investigation . . . our top two investigators are on the job." It was stated that the Frontier was in the center of controversy in two separate legals actions.

One action filed by Katleman accuses the remaining licensees at the hotel of mismanagement of its affairs and selling undisclosed interests in the casino to various persons in violation of state gambling laws. Katleman owned 19% filed a $1 million action against Jake Kozloff, his brother William Kozloff, and Murray Randolph. Katleman and the three men were the only licensees listed to operate the gambling at the resort.

Louis Lesser of Los Angeles filed a $589,380 action against the hotel's operators in federal court. Lesser, a wealthy oil and building man claimed that he purchased 9% interest for $135,000 in 1951 and 1952, and sold it for $180,000 in February of 1954. He later found out that its true value was more than half a million. The Tax Commission stated Lesser was never granted a gaming license for the resort.

The Commission instructed Cahill to subpoena whoever he thought should be summoned to testify. Among his list at that point was Beldon Katleman, Randolph, Milton Stevens, a wealthy stove manufacturer who sought a gaming license for the Frontier and then withdrew his application.

Accountant William E. Hartmann said he had borrowed money with which to purchase a proposed 9% of the Frontier. Hartmann's application was denied on August 9, 1954. The new license seekers included Harold S. Garman, Leonard J. Biljar, and Willard M. Christ.

In December of 1954, it was noted that the Nevada Tax Commission was investigating the financial affairs of the major stockholders of the resort. One witness from whom a stockholder borrowed money stated at the recent Frontier hearing he considered himself a stockholder as well since he held as security an option to buy shares in the resort.

Also in 1954, Ramona Room showcased The Adorabelles; Eddie Albert & Margo accompanied by Jack Eastern; Patti Andrews/Honey Brothers/Frank Fontaine; Pepito Arvello & Mirko Markos; Los Barrancos; Bibian Blaine/Jack Carter/Ghezzi Brothers; Xavier Cugat; Dorothy Dandridge w/Nick Perito at Piano; Devlyn Girls; Diablito; Dick Gregory; Dominque; Tommy Dorsey Orchestra; Four Step Brothers; Frontier Girls; Gabor Sisters; Garcia; Three Houcs; Mary Kaye Trio; Abbe Lane/Eddie Garson; Lane Brothers; The Marquis Family; Martin Brothers; Marilyn Maxwell; Will Masten Trio w/Sammy Davis, Jr.; Mechita; Dave Rodgers Trio; Roxanna; Gene DeTroy; Herb Shriner; Kirby Stone Four; Lisa Kirk; Garwood Van Orchestra; Joe Wong. The Gay 90's Bar showcased Wild Bill Davis Trio; Mary Kaye Trio; and George Shearing.

Mary Kaye TrioMaxwell/Kirby Stone FourCugat/Lane

Smiley Washburn/Terry TrueWild Bill Davis Trio

In February 1955, Frontier employee Smiley Washburn placed his Geiger Counter next to Terry True to see its reaction.

Also during this month, Otto Preminger flew into to catch Dorothy Dandridge on opening night. He produced Carmen Jones which won Dandridge the Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

On March 1, 1955, the Gaming Board denied gaming licenses to the resort for Irving J. Leff, Maurice H. Friedman, Stanley S. Leeds, James E. Little, and R. Frank Williams.

On the evening of April 3, 1955, there was a cocktail party for the press preview of the opening of the $2 million modernization of the resort. Many luminaries were on hand to welcome the opening of the New Frontier Hotel. Among the stellar figures were Harry Jameson and his wife; Raine Cugat; Don Metz; Sonja Henie; Vincent Price; Rita Moreno; Robert Young; Nat Dallinger; Hy Gardner; Hedda Hopper; Louella Parsons; May Mann; Dorothy Manners; Louis Sobol; Earl Wilson; Cobina Wright; Emily Belser; and Florabel Muir.

Liberace was playing at the New Frontier for $750 when he was lured to appear at the Riviera to the tune of $50,000. While playing at the Frontier, Liberace never had his own piano. He would rent one. He had a broken down candelabra he'd put on it and his brother George would stand alongside him and play the violin. The symbol of that candelabra became Liberace's trademark.

The opening of the New Frontier was at 11:00am, on April 4, 1955, with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The New Frontier had not yet received a gaming license for the new owners so the Hotel Last Frontier Corporation continued to operate the business until the license was approved.

Scheduled for opening night was Mario Lanza and Larry Storch. Lanza was to be paid $100,000 for a two-week engagement beginning at the resort's opening. At the last moment Lanza bailed out.

In 2003, Stan Irwin had stated that Lanza wanted to lip-sync Be My Love to a recording at the opening. The hotel wouldn't hear of it and that is what probably brought on the following:

"Mario Lanza was at the Sands getting drunk with Louella Parsons. We tried to sober him up by sending a fireman and a priest to his room - one to give him oxygen and the other to try to convince him to do the show. Jimmy Durante even came over to get Lanza to go on but he wouldn't do it." - Maurice Friedman

Durante saved the night by organizing a show to appear in Lanza's place. Durante arranged to have himself, Ray Bolger, Gisele Mackenzie and other stars take over in Lanza's place.

As stated, the new owners abandoned the Old West theme for a sleek modern look more in keeping with the contemporary General Motor Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, by Eero Saarinen.

Old Frontier next to new

Built just north of the still-standing older hotel, it echoed the two story scale and second story balconies of the old. A crisp porte cochere with an upswept lip and New Frontier in large block letters sheltered arriving Cadillacs. The original buildings remained for a few more years but the gracious high frontage with pool and lawn was replaced with parking. The Frontier Village remained with both parts of the resorts acting separately at times, even placing ads in magazines for entertainment shown in each part of the property.

Frontier Village

The lobby was 48 square-feet, with Italian black and white marble flooring. The center section was carpeted in thick, cushiony charcoal gray, specially woven materials, complimented by 25 feet of white and pink leather sofas. On the wall facing the entrance was a raised brass and glazed ceramic mural of six little men from outer space making a beeline for the casino. Architect Albert Criz and designer Jim Coppedge used tapered steel girders in their designs.

Inside the Cloud 9 Cocktail Lounge, which was at the far end of the lobby, were relief murals of celestial objects including flying saucers soaring upward toward a circular ceiling wall dotted with luminous pink plastic bowls resembling realistic planets. Planets were also featured in the dining room.

The Venus Room was circular in shape - 120x80 feet, with an overall effect that of an amphitheater with every table ringside. Terraced into 12 horseshoe-shaped tiers, each rising seven inches away from the huge stage, the maximum seating capacity was 808 for a dinner show, 972 for the second show.

Venus RoomVenus Room

The stage was 38 feet in diameter, with the revolving section 30 feet in diameter, and the two side stages were 15x20 feet. Wired for television, a complete television production unit could move right in and take their places. A dramatic highlight was the hydraulic orchestra lift, the only one in Las Vegas at the time, measuring 38x9 feet. This arrangement prevented the orchestra from obscuring the view; and when the orchestra was on-stage, this space was used for more tables. The sound system was the most modern anywhere and the only one of its kind in Las Vegas. It was specially designed so that the sound engineer had full control of the 24 microphones and sound level at all times.

The casino was 135 feet by 90 feet, with gigantic chandeliers shaped as space ships.

Dorsey Marquee

When the Desert Inn opened its large pool in 1955, the Last Frontier filled in its old roadside pool and built a heated one of AAU dimensions with a subsurface observation room at the deep end and a deck-side bar. It also updated its sign with a 126 foot tri-sided pylon of stacked cones lit indirectly.

Pictures of the resort

On April 15, 1955, it was announced that the Nevada Tax Commission will hold a regular meeting on April 25, 1955, to hear plans of an ownership change of the resort. It was stated that three California men, Irving Leff, Stanley Leeds, and Maurice Friedman was going to outline an intricate series of financial maneuvers. They had previously planned to mortgage the assets of the Hotel Last Frontier to gain enough capital to buy out Jake Kozloff and Beldon Katleman but it was rejected stating they needed more hard cash. Katleman appeared before the April 15th meeting and protested the three men's plans. He referred to them as "promoters" who were offering a "watered down" proposition.

On May 23, 1955, it was reported that attorneys called Beldon Katleman and Maury Friedman to meet them in Friedman's office to discuss a possible settlement. The discussions fell apart when Katleman and Friedman got into a fist fight. Friedman accused Katleman of starting the fight. The attorneys were able to stop the fighting before serious injuries incurred.

In May of 1955, Carmen Miranda gave an interview from her dressing room. One of Miranda's skirts contained 85,000 sequins, pasted on by hand, one at a time. It took three women countless hours to complete the task.

During the May 12-16, 1955 Helldorado parade, New Frontier was awarded Best Theme with a float of flying saucers, Atlas and space travel carrying out the hotel's song title, Out of This World.

The LV Women's Bowling Association held its Annual Banquet in the Ramona Room. Stan Irwin of the Sahara was the MC.

In May of 1955, it was noted that the Dorsey Brothers and Buddy Lester were proud of the record they established, during their three week stint in the Venus Room. Maitre d' Mac Harris seated audiences, well above capacity for their curtain times. Many were turned away.

Also during this month it was noted that Jake Kozloff resigned as General Manager of the resort and then resumed the same duties the following day, for a temporary stint.

On June 19, 1955, The United Jewish Appeal planned its kick-off cocktail hour and dinner party in the Ramona Room. Ed Levinson (of the Fremont Hotel under construction) was local chairman for the drive; Moe Dalitz (Desert Inn) was Advance Gifts Chairman; Morey Brodsky (Royal Nevada) was Publicity Chairman with Stan Irwin (Sahara) and Eugene Murphy (Desert Inn). Guest speakers were Ben Swig, owner of San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel (National Gifts Chairman) and Dr. Abraham Brian. Dr. Biran was the Consul General of the State of Israel, to the 11 western states.

A frequent visitor of the resort was Captain George dice of the Air Force. His Dad had been a pilot with Eastern Airlines for more than 20 years

In the beginning of July Frontier threw a part in honor of Sammy Davis, Jr., who was ending his six week tenure at the resort. His shows were so popular that management wanted to show their appreciation for all his hard work.

On July 12, 1955, Ann Sothern's opening show was attended by Henry J. Kaiser and a party of 14 including Spike Jones, Van and Evid Johnson, Billy Gilbert and Nick Castle to name a few.

Also during this month Frontier released Rod Alexander from a play date that would have prevented him from working on "Carousel" for 20th Century Fox.

On June 29, 1955, the Nevada Gambling Commission stated that they wished to investigate the Frontier, especially since a pit boss was found to have illegal dice in his possession. The employee stated he had no intention of using them at the resort but had them to teach new dealers how to detect shady characters. The board took no action against the employee but during the investigation they discovered questionable stock practices. It as learned that no stock had been issued but some owners had what they termed "temporary certificates" which were being used as collateral in bank loans.

In July of 1955, Nevada Gaming Commission granted licenses of interest to Murray Rothman, $75,000 for 4%; Sydney Broer, $75,000 for 4%; Louis Ellenson, $100,000 for 4%; Melvin Miller, $60,000 for 3.2%; A.J. Gordin $100,000 for 4%; Morris Roseman, $30,000 for 1.6% for the resort. The Commission noted however, before these men could be licensed, the present operators of the New Frontier must place in escrow, and prove to the Commission they have done so, more than $1 million already collected from prospective licensees, which gambling control board members said had been used in hotel operations. Further, if any applicant withdraws, his investments must be returned immediately.

Investigators reported that the hotel operators have collected a large sum from prospective licensees and used the money to pay hotel bills. The restriction placed on the new licensees was aimed at halting this practice. Where the hotel operators were going to get the money, if the investment of the six already had disappeared into the hotel financing structure did not appear to worry the Commission.

On September 8, 1955, stockholders voted Maurice H. Friedman President and General Manager of the Frontier in the first election of permanent officers. Irving J. Leff became Executive Vice President. Other officers were Lou Ellenson, Vice President and Credit Manager; T.W. Richardson, Vice President and Casino Manager; Sammy Lewis, Vice President and Director of Entertainment; and Murray S. Rothman, Secretary-Treasurer. William A. Simonds, President of 23 Lincoln-Mercury and Ford dealerships throughout the States and a major stockholder in the Frontier, was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors. In addition, the owners were granted gambling licenses for the resort.

In early September of 1955, President Maury Friedman and Vice President Irving Leff announced plans to begin construction of 200 additional rooms. They stated these plans were still in the formulative stage.

In late September of 1955, it was announced that the New Frontier would begin a tremendous building and remodeling program. Facilities for 600 additional guests were to be added and accommodations were to be converted to match the ultra-modern decor of the Venus Room and Cloud 9 Lounge.

In early October of 1955, Frontier co-owner Mrs. Irving Leff was hailed as the epitome of congeniality. She was gifted with the ability to make everyone feel he was welcome and among friends.

Also during this month it was announced that Jules Leeds purchased the Lease of the Texaco Station in front of the Frontier in June of 1955. Leeds stated that the station would be open 24 hours (under the former ownership it closed at 10:00pm).

In October of 1955, it was announced that Director of Entertainment Sammy Lewis also would work for the Riviera booking shows there as well.

During this year the resort showcased Kaye Ballard; Red Buttons; Jack Carson/Connie Towers; Marge & Gower Champion; Dorothy Dandridge; Billy Daniels/Benny Payne; Deep River Boys; Tommy/Jimmy Dorsey; Four Aces; Four Stepbrothers; Gogi Grant; Shecky Greene; Gypsy Rose Lee & her American Beauties; Lancers; Will Mastin Trio starring Sammy Davis, Jr./Connie Moore/The Balladinis; Carmen Miranda; Patrice Munsel; Ken Murray; Senor Wences - A Robert Alton Spectacular w/the Heavenly Hims & Hers; Gene Sheldon; Herb Shriner; Ann Sothern; Tommy & Jimmy; Trio Gypsy; Venus Starlets; Garwood Van & His Orchestra; Wilder Bros; Marie Wilson. Gay 90's Bar showcased Mary Kaye Trio; and Mickey Katz. Cloud 9 Lounge showcased The Salmas Brothers.

Will Mastin Trio Dandridge, Carson, Lee Salmas Brothers
Gypsy Rose Lee
Gypsy Rose Lee helping her dancers before show at Frontier

In December 1955, the following individuals were connected with the resort: T.W. "Rich" Richardson - Casino Manager; Sammy Lewis - Director of Entertainment; Frank Casone - Casino; Day Shift - Ralph Freedman/Phil Diogardi/"Ribs" Dickerson; Swing Shift - John Dixon/Blackie Dardeen/Pete Longo/Jackie Mandell/Paul MacDonald/Bob Ryan/Jimmy Spencer/Joe Wilson/Harry Rahner; Graveyard - Tommy Callahan/Jimmy Rodich/Joe Gallerani; Maitre d' Mac Harris; Ann Kelsey - Assistant; Felix Meynardi/Walter Masson/Ami Pirot/Tom Lanahan/Gus Dallas/Colin Garry/Bill Thom; Boxmen N. Noran/G. Routa/R. Warren/O. Adams/R. Durbin/N. Hedge/E. Wroten/B. Siris/R. Abraham/C. Armstrong/S. Einstoss/L. Thurnblad/G. Abernathy; Jack "Pappy" Walsh - Resident Manager; Harold O'Hara - Assistant Resident Manager.

Billy Snyder was the Host and Manager of the Cloud 9 Lounge. He was the original owner of the Bandbox and sold it to Billy Gray as few years previously. He also owned the Melody Room in L.A., CA with his brother Pete. He sold that in 1954 intending to leave the nightclub business.

Emily Warren, who had just completed a six year contract with Dale and Roy Rogers went to the Frontier as a wardrobe mistress.

"Last Frontier Hotel was very good about supporting the community. For several years the Girl Scouts had their Founder's day dinner at the Last Frontier.

When I was in High School (54/55 - 57/58) they had the Sun Youth Forum at the Last Frontier. I remember because Sammy Davis Jr. was making some kind of Western Movie there and we got to see them shoot one scene where he was supposed to (if I remember right) jump from the roof of one building onto the roof of another building. They had two ladders, out of sight of the cameras. He quickly came down one ladder and right back up the other one. No chance he was going to try that jump!" - Beverly Phillips, June 2003

In very early 1956, it was reported that Jake Kozloff, formerly of the Last Frontier Hotel, and orchestra leader Phil Spitalny leased the hotel from owner Frank Fishman for 20 years. The hotel's rooms were immediately open for business, the bar was reopened and the shops continued to operate, however, the casino and dining room couldn't be reopened until the Nevada Tax Commission and the county license the pair. It was felt by many that full scale operations wouldn't be underway until at least the middle of April when the tourist business picks up.

In January of 1956, Katleman's lawsuit was settled for undisclosed amount.

Apparently something happened as in mid-1956 either with the resort or just the casino as the following was reported:

"Mrs. Vera Krupp (divorcing wife of German Munitions King) has purchased the 17 points in this bistro. We believe this is the first time a socially-prominent woman has invested so strongly in the gaming profession. Mrs. Krupp is a well-known figure in the Blue Book circles, both here in the States and abroad. She is well-known for her vast, charitable interests and has an intelligent sensitivity of business acumen . . . At present, the State License Commission holds the new application for approbation. When the green light is given, Mrs. Krupp will appoint Lou Machon as her representative and President of the New Frontier Corporation. At that time, Sidney Bliss will become General Manager . . . Bill Simonds, current President of the hotel will resign upon receipt of the approved license change. He will then be able to devote his time o his other enterprises. However, Mr. Simonds will remain as Chairman of the Board for the Frontier." Jack Cortez, 1956

Krupp and her partners didn't see eye to eye and they were losing money. In order to avoid being sued, she returned the property to the 1954 owners on St. Patrick's Day, 1957.

There was some switching around this year when Bill Sikes moved from Silver Slipper to become graveyard boss. The floormen included Tony Di Maggio and Skeets Simmons.

In April of 1956, the management of the Frontier was delighted with the reception accorded them for their first anniversary celebration. It looked as thought the entire town turned out an mass to celebrate this four day gala occasion. As gigantic as the cake was, there wasn't a crumb left when the festivities ended. It was reported that Milt Bronson acted as the model on the top of the cake - it was nude.

Also during this month it was noted that Frontier booked the Eastman Trio for the Cloud Nine Lounge. Dave Black was the drummer and also a Duke Ellington alumnus and one of the few drummers that had two base drums. Eddie Sterrea played the accordion, Teddie Noga was the clarinetist, and Al Simon on bass.

On November 26, 1956, Tommy Dorsey died. I thought the following was a beautiful tribute:

"This morning (Nov. 26, 1956) the sun tucked its head beneath a cloud; the birds hushed their singing; the wood winds ceased their dancing; the roses folded their petals; and the brooks slowed their rhythm to a whisper; as the news came wafting across the nation that Tommy Dorsey, 'A sentimental Gentleman,' had made his transition.

Typewriters in newspaper offices, booking agencies, theatres and business houses, were stilled, momentarily. Writers forced themselves to grasp the fact that this great musician, and friend, had quietly taken off on his Heavenly journey. Our pens turned to burdensome iron with no points of steel. It is difficult to write of such things, when in days gone by it was so easy to say, 'Tommy hit a high note, Jimmy hit a low note, and it was a ball in brass!'

Tommy Dorsey was my friend. The last time I saw him was May 22, 1955, the night he and Jimmy put on the rockingest, swingingest, jumpinest jam session in history in the Venus Room at the New Frontier Hotel. The room was loaded to the rafters with folks from all walks of life, who came to that 2:30am musical treat, given free by the famed Dorsey Brothers. It was around four in the morning and Tommy was dead tired, but he took a moment to hug me and say, 'Vi, old girl, you did a Helluva job publicizing this caper. You're wonderful and we love you.' The next day, my last at that hotel, Tommy and I sat in the sun by the pool and reminisced about show biz and talked of many things - about Life, Death and Forgiveness.

It would seem that each of us would look upon the last journey with natural anticipation, devoid of fear and anguish, since we are aware that it is inevitable. Yet, we do not. Why is this? Tommy would tell you that such an attitude is based upon our ignorance of God's plans for us. I know how Tommy believed - he helped me out in many an emotionally charged moment in the publicity game with his gentle philosophy and advice.

Thus do I feel I can write a few words in his memory and try, in my small way to alleviate the brief of so many who loved him and who will mourn him.

In our fears and anxieties we forget that Death and Birth are one. Consider the story of man. He comes into this world with pain, but the pain is forgotten in the joy of life. It is also true of Death. some exit without pain, slipping away silently and without fuss and bother, just as Tommy did. Would that we could understand hat this experience, too, remains but a memory buried deep beneath the consciousness upon awakening somewhere else.

Consider the caterpillar inching along on yon mulberry true. Look! The little child is caressing it. Now it crawls along and basks in the sun. Presto! Suddenly, and gloriously, it takes wings and becomes a butterfly, its magnificent rainbow hues catching the sunlight magically. Can we deny that just a moment ago the beautiful butterfly was not a fuzzy little worm? Surely this is the message God has given us, through Nature, that we, too, shall shed our two cents worth of bones and be adorned in celestial splendor. Are we humans not greater than caterpillars and butterflies?

Tommy Dorsey has taken off on his Heavenly journey and we wish him Godspeed on that journey, exactly in the same manner as we would if he had been taking off from Greenwich, Connecticut for New York City.

During his 51 years on earth with us, Tommy made an indelible imprint upon millions of persons with his magic trombone music, and with his unique way of flicking the old baton, leading his orchestra. In that life he knew the hell of poverty and the ease of riches; he knew the misery of estrangement from those he loved and the incomparable peace of reunion. Tommy was never known to say anything but the best about others. Now was he ever too busy, nor too high on his star, to pause long enough to chat with the nobodies, because he felt that there was no such thing as a nobody - he believed that everyone is a somebody.

The wonderful words of Kalil Gibran in The Prophet dwarf anything my pen could say. 'For what is it to die, but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing but to freeze the breath from its restless tides that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Only when you drink from the River of Silence shall you indeed sing, and when you have reach the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb; and when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.'

Godspeed, Tommy Dorsey, and may your song be of the spheres after your drink Silence; and may you climb from the mountain top be glorious; and may you dance with the Angels and take pity upon us poor mortals who crawl toward your pinnacle." - Vi Taylor, November 26, 1956

Dorsey Memoriam

In 1956, Frontier showcased The Big Time starring Jack Carter; Blackburn Twins; Jack Carson/Cass Daley; Darvas & Julia; Leo Diamond; Dorothy Dorben's Venus Starlets; The Lancers; Les Marcellis; Freddie Martin & His Band; Connie Moore; Patrice Munsel; Ken Murray's Blackouts starring Marie Wilson; Janis Paige; Johnny Puleo & His Harmonica Gang; Giselle Szony & the Cabots; Garwood Van & His Orchestra; Venus Starlets; Henny Youngman.

The Cloud 9 Lounge showcased Rusty Draper/Eastman Trio; Chuck Leonard (who was also manager for the Frontier's baseball team "Cloud 9 Spacemen"); Oscar Peterson; Nelle Castell & Chamaco "The Cuban Cyclone"; Dick Lane; Starr Kings.

The review of Castell's show stated that her manner of singing had everyone in the hotel rushing to the lounge to investigate the cause of the earth-shaking cyclone they thought was occurring. Even the gaming paused when everyone from the patrons to the dealers watched the singer. A joke was made that the Frontier would have to brace the towering trylon sign with extra strong girders so it wouldn't fall during her shows.

Garland Marquee Judy Garland Rusty Draper
Garland Invite

Also in 1956, Judy Garland made her nightclub debut at the Frontier. A reviewer stated "She is my unequivocal choice as the greatest entertainer I ever saw. She has no equal. Talk about charisma, she invented the word!"

One person who performed during in April of this year was Elvis Presley.

Presley opening
This appearance was an attempt by his manager, Colonel Tom Parker to break Elvis out of the Southern honky-tonk and state-fair circuit and give him national credibility. Elvis was billed in newspaper ads as "The Atomic Powered Singer" and an "extra added attraction" to Freddy Martin and his Orchestra and comedian Shecky Greene. Freddie Bell was performing at the Sands' lounge and went to the opening. But on opening night Elvis went down "like a jug of corn liquor at a champagne party," according to Newsweek.

Freddie Bell

"He was kind of weird looking for those people. He had the sideburns, and that hair, and he was singing rock 'n' roll, loudly, in Sinatra's town." - Freddie Bell

"I shot one roll of film on him and thought this is going nowhere. I used to use the rest of his film on Shecky Greene." - Jerry Abbott, Las Vegas New Bureau photographer

"For the teen-agers, the long, tall Memphis lad is a whiz; for the average Vegas spender or show-goer, a bore. I predicted a nowhere ending for Elvis as far as Vegas is concerned." - Bill Willard, Las Vegas Sun columnist

"With an audience of jaded adults . . he's not quite in his element. Then again, who needs jaded adults? Elvis Presley?" - Forrest Duke, Las Vegas Sun columnist

On March 22, 1957, Clark County Licensing Board officials stated that none of the owners of the New Frontier, Beldon Katleman, Irving Leff, Maurice Friedman, and T.V. Richardson, appeared for a scheduled meeting. The resort's casino and theater-restaurant were closed a few days earlier following a series of financial difficulties. The hotel portion was kept open. Sidney Bliss appeared before the Board and stated several Chicago investors were interested in the hotel for a possible investment of $2,000,000. A spokesman for the Silver Slipper did appear though and stressed that her doors weren't closed even though the structure has a ten year lease from the Frontier.

On December 15, 1957, the Venus Room hosted a special concert featuring the Las Vegas Community Chorus with Antonio Morelli heading the 40 piece orchestra. Other stars to be showcased during this year included Victor Borge; Garwood Van Orchestra; Page & Bray; Johnny Puleo's Harmonica Rascals; Yma Sumac/The Lancers; and Jonathan Winters/The Goofers. The Cloud 9 Lounge showcased Melchionne Trio.

Sam Melchionne
Donated by Sam Melchionne

The casino was closed down and operated the hotel as a motel until December of 1957, while they searched for a casino operator suitable for licensing. The resort was then leased to Warren Bayley who also owned the Hacienda Hotel & Casino.

In 1958, Russ Miller's Saloon showcased the Barbary Coast Boys, and the Gold Coast Boys.

Barbary Coast Boys

In September of 1958 it was noted that even though the resort was having troubles, the Frontier Village was still going strong opened daily 10:00am to 8:00pm including Sundays.

Rev. Crowley

It was advertised that at 4:30am every Sunday morning, the Venus Room was transformed from showroom to a gathering for mass for those from the night shifts in the various casinos, the shows and orchestras, dealers, pit men, waitresses, show girls, entertainers, tourists, late rounders and early birds with Rev. Crowley. For many years New York City had its Actors' Mass at St. Malachy's on 49th Street, and now Vegas had its own. For the first mass which took place on October 5, 1958, 127 attended including Warren "Doc" Bayley, Preston Foster, Carl Reed and many others. The Mass was authorized by His Excellency Bishop Dwyer of the Catholic Diocese of Reno. It was hoped that this move would prove to be the prelude to the construction of a Church near the Strip which would serve the needs of the show people, workers and tourists.

Father Crowley regularly held masses at St. Viator Church on Charleston Blvd. Crowley was not new to show business as for over 20 years ago, he pursued drama studies at the Catholic University in Washington and was a member of the Blackfriars Guild.

In October of 1958, it was announced that Bayley bought the resort for a total of $6,500,000. Principal stockholders in the resort at the time of the purchase was Beldon Katleman and Maurice Friedman. The deal calls for a down payment of $750,000 with the remainder of the purchase price to be paid over a ten year period. It was also announced that actor Preston Foster will be Vice-President of the New Frontier. Bayley stated he planned to reopen the Last Frontier section of the hotel soon and to open the casino for New Years.

Dick Taylor was transferred from the Hacienda and became the managing director from 1958 to 1962. Click here to read Dick's memories of Bayley's involvement in this resort.

New Frontier Opening

On April 10, 1959, Frontier re-opened its casino and Cloud 9 Lounge to the public.

"Best wishes to Warren "Doc" Bayley, Preston Foster, Hoot Gibson, the balance of the Frontier staff and to our good friend Bill Miller who will "boss" the operation. Bill is returning to the Las Vegas entertainment and hotel scene loaded with great ideas of the kind that spread hi fame far and wide when he was formerly associated with several other Strip hostelries in the area. In the Cloud 9 Lounge premier it's headliner Francis Faye, the great double-entendre artist of the keyboard; Jack Costanza, the world's greatest bongo artist, and The Treniers, acknowledged as one of America's most talented swing and rock groups.

New Frontier Ad

We're certain many localities and tourists will recall little Willie Gordon and his Kocher Kart at the New Frontier before the hotel "shuttered". Now, on the re-opening of his plush spa, Willie is back with the Kart and in the Cloud 9 Lounge. He was away from Las Vegas for almost two years working at Schwab's in Hollywood. When negotiations were made to re-open the hotel, Little Willie was notified to stand by. He gave his two weeks' notice and when the time was up practically flew here in his '59 Buck convertible. Now he's home and the happiest guy this side of the Rockies."
- Jack Cortez, 1959 Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine

In 1921, Bill Miller was good enough to play the Palace in New York for four weeks after he entered show business. Miller stayed in show business as an actor until 1932, then opened an agency which included the accounts of Milton Berle and Jane Froman. In 1938 Miller began a series of show business successes by converting Luna Park on Coney Island into the world's largest amusement park. Miller went to Las Vegas at the urging of Milton Prell in 1952 to work at the Sahara. In the late 1950's he became Executive Director of the New Frontier.

A comment was also made how wonderful it was to see the myriad of lights glowing in the long shuttered Last Frontier and New Frontier.

In April, 1959, Bill Miller threw a surprise birthday party for wife of Donald O'Connor, Gloria. Donald was performing at the Sahara. The party started at 9:45 after the first show and continued on until 11:45 before the second show. There were 30 to 35 guests in the party including Donald's bosses, Milton Prell and Barney Morris.

Kathi Lynn

Also in April of 1959, Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine put the picture of Hostess and Gay 90's Room dancer Kathi Lynn on the cover.

Towards the end of April, 1959, Bill Miller left to go to Japan. Miller was hoping to put together a show based on Japan and he was going there looking for talent. Other Las Vegas hotels shied away from this type of entertainment. When Miller returned from Japan, he was convinced that Steve Parker's review was great for the New Frontier and Las Vegas. "I just had faith," Miller said.

Bill Miller
Bill Miller

Father Crowley who officiated at the special 4:30am "Actor's Mass" in the Frontier announced that the services were going to be held in the Canary Room. All late shifters as well as the stars and performers appearing in town were welcome to join.

In May of 1959, Frontier advertised "Ride the first and only travelling sidewalk in the west - no charge!"

In June of 1959, Little Willie Gordon left the Frontier to become Head Chef at a Long Beach, California resort. He was replaced by "Big Willie."

Russ Miller, owner of the Last Frontier Village Saloon installed pinball machines for his customers to play while drinking. It was Miller himself who was the best customer of the pinball machines, playing them when business was slow.

Hostess of the showroom, Judy Farmer, dyed her blonde hair brown and patrons would mistake her for Keely Smith. She was constantly approached by fans asking for "Keely's" autograph.

Doc Bayley took Ernie La Verne from graveyard Shift Boss at the Hacienda and transferred him to Casino Manager of the Frontier. He also took Head Bartender Leonard Hazelton from Hacienda and promoted him to Bar Manager for the Frontier. Mary Garvey was appointed Head Auditor, and one of the dealers was Jerry Cartwright. Pat Sullivan moved from the Fremont to the Frontier to become a cocktail waitress. Bill Marhold was in the slot department, Lois Neely was at the cashier's desk with Leonard Haselton being the head, Pete Long was Host in the Cloud 9 Lounge, Milton Harris was Game Starter, and Nat Hart left the Flamingo to be the Maitre 'd. Under Hart were Gus Dallas, Paul Roussos, Roy Weaver, Ray Cole, Bill Pallas, Pete Pallas, and Sam Mandelbaum. In addition, Norman Thoreson was graveyard Boss, Sundown Wells and Tommy Mulgrew were swing shift Pit Bosses, Jimmy Sparton was Floorman, and Greg Gelhart was soundman. Sundown Wells was referred to as "the last of the gentlemen gamblers" before he joined the New Frontier's swing shift. One of the cocktail waitresses in the Music Hall was Carol Serino who was a cocktail waitress at Club Bingo before it became Sahara.

The Last Frontier Village was still open and many patrons could be found in sawdust covered Russ Miller's Saloon, with free peanuts, and pretzels, being entertained by Clint Scoggin and Mike Mack on the piano. Charlie Rosson closed his men's shop at the Royal Nevada and reopened another one at the Frontier calling it Charlie Knickerboker Men's Shop. Al Kaye was the Manager.

Also advertised were 24 hour Captain John's Flapjack Parlor with 29 varieties, and the all you can eat Ranch House Supper served from 6:00-10:30pm for $2.00. Judy Farmer was Hostess of the Gay 90 Show Room and Dining Room.

On July 16, 1959, Bill Miller signed Steve Parker's "Holiday in Japan" revue. While there may have been misgivings since the show had an all Asian cast which featured stately costume sketches reflecting Japanese life & customs, the show's success was assured when with a fast Western beat in some of the numbers, the Japanese girls shucked their heavy costumes and proved to the audience that they were built no different than women of any other race! The show starred James Shigeta, Haru Tominaga, Diana Nakamura, Kieko Chiaki, Nagata Kings, Nakano Brothers, Rie Taniuchi, String Brothers, and Nat Brandwynne and his Orchestra. Life magazine called the show "The best nite club show in the United States."

The 39 year old Steve Parker and his wife Shirley MacClaine, were devotees of Japanese culture. Parker was one of America's best known producers.

Steve Parker

Holiday In Japan

#1 include Procession of the Courtesans number and Frontier's Mr. and Mrs. Preston Foster meeting the cast and Japan's dignitaries.

Holiday in JapanHoliday in Japan

"This show dispels now and forever the belief that all Japanese women are flat chested. In a sequence about the dreams of a drunken sculptor, Samurai warriors run around waving at each other with wicked looking swords and carry two or three deep chested young ladies past the audience. The girls return later, however, minus the warriors and most of their clothing. The show, however, perpetuates the tradition that Japanese humor is unusual. A chorus line, for instance, sings "Down in Nagasak where the women smoke tobaccy and the men wicky-wacky-woo." And a Japanese female in white tie, hat, tails and gloves sings a series of Al Jolson numbers. One night Debbie Reynolds was in the audience and almost caused a riot backstage. Everybody tried to be first out to get Miss Reynolds' autograph." - All Around Town article October, 1959.

"Everybody love very much Las Vegas. Western people are so clapping." - Emi Higuma

The staff in 1959 consisted of Preston Foster, President of Last Frontier; Casino Manager Ernie La Verne; Swing Shift Floormen Jimmy Sparton & Arthur Townsend; Graveyard Shift Boss Norman Thoreson; and Graveyard Floorman George "Whitey" Edwards. The Box Men were Bill Spicer, Freddie Clark, Dick Lenz, M. Davis, Eddie McDonald, Chris Becker, Bill Hollen, Walt Hibben, Gus Gerke, and Marty Jacobs.

Whenever the opportunity presented itself, President Foster would relieve a 21 Dealer and deal to the crowd. He would stay at the post for hours and it was reported that he would have the busiest table in town.

In July of 1959, everyone noticed that a majority of the dealers were growing moustaches. The Frontier was the only casino in Las Vegas who allowed employees to wear a moustache. This was presented by Casino Manager Ernie La Verne. La Verne wanted his men in the casino to look like gamblers, or at least different from others dealers in Las Vegas.

In 1959, Last Frontier showcased All-Star Nipponese Revue; Smiling Jimmy Cavanaugh; Dick Curtis; Edi Domingo (aka Edi Gomez); George Duane & his Orchestra; The Four Kings; The Four Queens; Russ Miller presents Gay 90's Revue starring Beatrice Kay/The Guardsmen/Leo Wolf/Mr. Barbary Coast/Chuck Murphy; Don Gregory & his Orchestra; Beatrice Kay; The Guardsmen; Garr Nelson; Joyce O'Connor; Ruth Olay; Johnny Olenn; Kathy Ryan Trio; Shirley Scott & the Modulators; The Treniers; and Charlie Ventura.

When not performing, Beatrice Kay was found at the Nevada Club watching Joe Wolverton and Joe Wolfe. Faye sustained a broken hip while performing at the Riviera in February of 1958. Most of her hip had to be replaced with a steel one and

In 1959, New Frontier showcased Nat Brandwynne & His Orchestra; Diahann Carroll; Bill Miller presents Holiday In Japan; and Mickey Rooney/Joey Forman/Diahann Carroll;

The Cloud 9 Lounge showcased Ernie Andrews; Jack Costanzo; Edi Domingo; Frances Fay; Woody Herman; Jackie & Roy; Jesse & the James Boys; Beatrice Kay & Ruth Olay; Fred Kushon; Johnny Olenn; the Players w/Gwen Harmon; Little Red & Marcy Layne/Frank Hanks Duo; Ernie Ross Quartet featuring Helen Ramsey; Bobby Sherwood; The Treniers; and Charlie Ventura; Venus Beauties; and Helen Wood.

Mickey RooneyMickey Rooney

In 1960, the Internal Revenue Service took all the cash at the New and Last Frontier companies for unpaid withholding and excise taxes, and Sheila and Preston Foster severed their ties.

In February of 1960, Lou Frazin, the operator/manager of the Texaco Gas Station located in the Last Frontier Village was the originator of an unique auto club. All the members of the club were entitled to free polish jobs, greasing and many other extras for their cars.

Little Willie

In March of 1960, it was announced that Little Willie, who had his cart in the Frontier Village, had opened this own restaurant across from the Stardust Hotel. Pictured on the right side is Bob Harmon, Little Willie, and Joe Shapiro. The Kosher Kart Snack Bar was opened 24 hours with free delivery anywhere in Clark County with any $3.00 minimum order.

On July 14, 1960, Venus Room changed shows from Holiday in Japan to Oriental Holiday starring Takeuchi Kiego/Larry Alpert/Miss Tokyo. Imperial Japanese Dancers in Ray Golden's Production, and Nat Brandwynne & his Orchestra.

Also in July of 1960, Frontier hosted the New Frontier Democratic Rally with Kathy Ryan opening the entertainment with "We've Got the Whole World in Our Hands." The turnout was terrific, the barbecue was in abundance, and the drinks extra strong.

During 1960, Frontier advertised steam baths, hot rooms, general & spot reducing, and Scientific Colonics.

In 1960, Last Frontier showcased its Show Bar with a show every hour. Roaring 90's Saloon showcased Pat Moreno's Artists and Models Abroad w/Roberto/La Barr.

In 1960, the New Frontier showcased Russ Miller presents Joe Tanner & His Midnight Flyers; Oriental Holiday starring Takeuchi Keigo/Imperial Japanese Dancers/Larry Alpert/Miss Tokyo in a bathhouse scene; Holiday in Japan w/original Japanese cast of 60; Nat Brandwynne & his Orchestra; Dick Rice Orchestra; Leo Wolf. The Cloud Nine Lounge showcased Jackie Allison; Dukes of Dixieland; Billy Eckstine; Peter Hanks Duo; Fred Kushon; Marcy Layne/Fred Kushon/Peter Hank Duo; Micky Lynn & The Nighthawks; Pat Moreno Show; Al DePaulis Trio; Don Ragon Trio; Harry Ranch Show; Tony & Eddie; The Treniers; and Ann Weldon

Shizuko Yagi

The heavy snowfall during the last part of February, 1960, brought out many skiing enthusiasts. Shizuko Yagi was surprised to find out that Mt. Charleston had enough snow to allow her to participate in her favorite hobby.

Pat Moreno

During 1960, The Cloud 9 Lounge showcased Jackie Allison; Al DePaulis Trio; Billy Eckstine; Fabulous Millionaires; Frances Faye; Marcy Layne/Fred Kushon/Peter Hanks Duo; The Instrumentalists; Wingy Manone; Marcy Layne/Fred Kushon/Peter Hank Duo; The New Yorkers; The Treniers; Don Ragon Trio; Della Reese; Kathy Ryan; and Ann Weldon.

1961 Publicity Picture

On March 4, 1961, The Beta Sigma Phi hosted its luncheon fashion show. It was one of the largest fashion shows ever held in Vegas.

In mid-1961, it was reported that "a rather large Nevada twister" hit Vegas and Frontier's security guard George Vanhorne, had his mobile home awning uprooted and blown away. When Vanhorne last saw it, it was heading toward Sunrise Mountain.

In June of 1961 the Nevada Gaming Commission granted George Graziadei a 2% interest in the resort.

In August of 1961 it was announced that Frank Wester, a highly successful contractor from Idaho, submitted his application to buy the resort. Wester stated that if he is okayed, he would add 1,000 rooms to the resort (I cannot find any facts that it was okayed).

On August 28, 1961, a farewell testimonial party was thrown for Father Richard Crowley at the Convention Center with entertainment from 10:00pm until dawn. Lou Walters and Harry A. White arranged the party, Stan Irwin and Henry Dunn were the emcees, Bill De Angelis was Stage Manager, and the musicians were provided by Musicians Protective Association, Local 369. Those who appeared at the show were Bogadadis Duo, Shecky Greene, The Dagenham Girl Pipers, The Florence and Fredrick Dancers and Mme. Baron's Can-Can Dancers from Tropicana; Arren and Broderick and Don Urban from the New Frontier; The Barry Sisters and Myron Cohen from Flamingo; The Happy Jesters and The Gimma Brothers from the Stardust; Hank Henry and The Madcaps from Silver Slipper; Ray Anthony and the Book Ends and Davis and Reese from Sahara; The Lancers and Alice Lon from Thunderbird; Arturo Romero & his violins and Eleanor Powell from Dunes; Kay Stevens and Mitzi Green from Riviera; Peter Lind Hayes from Sands; and Louis Prima and Keely Smith from Desert Inn.

On September 10, 1961, Leo Carrillo, who had been memorialized with The Carrillo Room died of cancer at the age of 80. He was buried in Section 2 of the Woodlawn Cemetery, Santa Monica, CA.

In early October 1961, Frank Webster filed an application for 98% of the New Frontier. The Gaming Control Board deferred action on a recommendation on Webster's application, saying it was not ready.

In November of 1961 it was reported that the Venus Room would be closed until December 21, 1961.

In December of 1961, Bob Crosby opened in the Cloud 9 Lounge with his 19 year old son Chris who made his first professional appearance.

In December of 1961, employees listed included Paul Roussos - Maitre d'; Louis De Paulo - Assistant Maite d'; Robert Montgomery/Robert Greco/Paul Macias/Herb Schwartz - Captains; Dorothy Oliver - Reservation Girl; Norman Yoshpa/Art Townsend - Casino Bosses; Joe Manuel - Head of Day Shift.

In 1961, New Frontier showcased the show Holiday in Rio starring Arren & Broderick/Evy & Everto/RonUrban, Martha & Adolfo/Elisa Jayne/MariaCaruso/Marya Linero/Val Damon/Roberto Navarro/Dick Rice Orchestra; Paul Roussos; and Minsky's 1962.

The Cloud 9 Lounge showcased Roy Aubrey; Roddy Bristol Trio; The Five Chords; Bob Crosby; The Four Tunes; The Ink Spots; Key Notes; Dale Deacon Jones Quartet; Henry Hot Lips Levine/Fred Kushon; Marcy Layne; Johnny Olenn & the Red Toppers; Original Ink Spots; Kathy Ryan Quartet; Sunny Spencer; and The Tribemen w/Tally Brown.

The Last Frontier advertised its new Show Bar with a show every hour from 9:00pm to 3:00am, with Lou Mosconi, Jr.

Ron UrbanElisa JayneArren and Broderick

It was noted that Roddy Bristol played at the Frontier from 6:00pm to midnight. Then he rushes over to the Desert Inn where he then became a member of the Michael Kent's Golden Strings where he worked until 6:00am. Bristol was known to play five different musical instruments.

During this year some employees included Marian King - Reservations Manager/Publicist.

In April of 1962, The Nevada Supreme Court upheld Clark County District Court Judge David Zenoff's dismissal of the $85,000 personal injury suit against the resort. Mary and A.E. Gunlock of Ohio sued the Frontier after Mary fell into a planter in the lobby on June 13, 1956. The suit also named Leonard Fayle as trustee of the Frontier. It was decided that Mary's fall into the planter was not through the negligence of the resort but possibly Mary's intoxication.

In 1962, Venus Room showcased Dardy Minsky Furs; Life Begins at Minsky's w/The Ashtons/Baby Bubbles/Frank Sorello/Carrie FinnellMaureen Diaz/Tommy Raft/Jack Mann/Murray Risco/Stunning Smith; Minsky's Follies of 1962 w/Carrie Fennel/Baby Bubbles/Frank Serrello/Maureen Diaz/Tommy Raft/Jack Mann; and Dick Rice Orchestra.

The Cloud 9 Lounge showcased Gene Austin; Bob Crosby & The Bob Cats; Orie Clark; Rudy Egan/Joey Jeffries; The Four Tunes; Tom Harkenrider; The Ink Spots; Don Lane & Admness Inc.; Kathy Ryan Quartet; Sunny Spencer; and Clara Ward Singers.

In January of 1963, patrons saw comedian Joe Cappo sitting on a stoop in the Last Frontier Village and watched the performance of Frosty, the masked horse, with as much eagerness as all the other youngsters who turned out for the horse's antics.

In February of 1963 Edie Adams taped her NBC special exteriors at the Frontier with Hank Henry joining the cast.

"We dropped in on Belle Barth the other evening expecting to hear some rowdy raucous songs and jokes. Instead we were surprised and pleasantly, we might add. There sat Belle on stage in the showroom facing an audience of about 275 'I dare you' persons. They dared and Belle accepted the challenge and put on one of the finest performances of old time song shouting and singing that we have had the pleasure of hearing in years. No filthy songs and no backroom jokes. Double entendre, yes. But a show for, as buxomly Belle stays, 'adult adults'. We suggest that you stop by and take in Belle's performance. You'll be entertained and we can assure you, not embarrassed." - Larry Ling, March, 1962

In 1963, Venus Room showcased The Johnny Bachemin Show; Belle Barth/Dick Rice Combo; Eddie & His Red Tops; Sunny Spencer; Tom Harkenrider; Minsky's Follies of 1963 starring Jamin Alcariza/Shiela Cass/Shari Clymus/Tony DiMilo/George Carol & Arlene/Milton Douglas/Marian Miller/Dana Opal/Dick Rice Orchestra; Oriental Inferno starring The Lee Sisters; Rhapsody On Ice; Coulter Twins; Twin Tunes.

Cloud 9 Lounge showcased Bob Crosby & The Bob Cats; Clara Ward Singers; The Ink Spots; Eddie & His Red Tops; Tommy Harkenrider; Sunny Spencer; Gertrude Ward Singers.

A feature was done on Janie Scott, a tray bearer at the Frontier. The article stated Scott was from Chicago, and was one of the first bunnies at the famous Playboy Club. Scott graduated from Chicago's Art Institute. Scott taped in at 35-23-35-1/2, and she loved to hunt, fish, ride horseback, jewelry design, and weaving.

Janie Scott

On May 2, 1964, German flying ace Horst Leiste and Evelyn Shaw of Wichita, Kansas, were married on-stage at the resort shortly before midnight.


In 1964, Venus Room showcased Ice Show starring Dolores Frazzini; Voila! Les Femmes starring Regina Carol/Rudy Costa/Monica Dabmer/Mary Demos/George Hernandex Orchestra/Les Mannequeens/Lobato Dancers/Nick Novarro/Nelida/Pierce & Dante/Janet Selman/Jimmy Stoker/Turner-Smith Dancers/Dick Weston/Judi Wetherald. This show was produced by Turner & Smith, and staged and choreographed by Eber Lobato. Just in case people didn't understand "Les Femmes", Frontier's marquee kind of gave a hint.

Cloud 9 Lounge showcased Rhapsody On Ice with Wick & Brand/Clara Ward Singers/The Singers Three. Entertainment Director Garr Nelson hosted the entire cast to its first anniversary celebration. The titanic birthday cake was most prominent in the center of the abundant food and drink. Also during this year, Janet Champion who was appearing in Rhapsody was involved in a car accident but recuperated and returned to the show.

In January of 1965, Bankers Life, purchased the resort with President John D. MacArthur keeping the hotel closed until the summer of 1965. When he couldn't find a tenant to operate the hotel, he called Friedman asking to tear the old building down and build a new hotel. MacArthur authorized $6 million for the project.

On August 12, 1965, rumors were spreading that business tycoon John McArthur and his associates finalized the purchase of the resort on this date. It was further speculated that McArthur stated he was going to build a skyscraper, with ground breaking to be set in September of 1965. Everyone was cheering the news in anticipation of the resort bringing brought back to her former status on the Strip.

"For many years, this gaming center was a highly popular one. Shuttering of it proved a wound that never quite healed. Hundreds of long-term employees lost their jobs and the darkened edifice was a blind spot on our Strip. A fabulous welcome to Mr. McArthur and his investors. We'll be mighty pleased to see the lights back on in this area." - Jack Cortez, August, 1966

The Frontier Operating Company was formed involving new owners including Steve Wynn, who took over the lease from MacArthur and Bankers Life in June of 1967.

Building of the new section

Further renovations included the new building by Rissman and Rissman Associates with 650 rooms, and a $500,000, 186 foot roadside sign by Bill Clark of Ad-Art. During this time, the New Frontier was moved back to its original site after the demolition of the remnants of the Last Frontier building. It was reported in July of 1967, that the village was to be restored but that did not happen.

New Part


The official opening of the resort was on July 29, 1967, with Paul Godkin choreographing the production for the opening. This is a drawing of the resort with President T.W. Richardson on the left and builder and developer Maurice Friedman on the right.


Controversy arose when some of the owners were accused of mob affiliations. Apparently, Wynn didn't know this when he bought into the resort and got caught in the middle of the scandal.

Steve Wynn

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