Tuesday, Aug. 14, 1951 | 5 a.m.
Heralded to be one of the most lavish casinos in the downtown area, the new Horseshoe opens its doors today to expectant throngs. The long-awaited time for snipping of ribbon across the club's glass portals takes place at 11 a.m. this morning. Crowds expected will be treated to something entirely new for a Fremont Street entertainment center.
Across the terrazzo entrance with its imbedded steel horseshoes, footsteps of throngs will pass, to immediately encounter deep-pile rose carpet.
This vista of warmth extends throughout the entire ground space, and is contrasted by the emerald green dashed ceiling, the special finish redwood walls. Pouring from overhead, spotlights become fixed upon the center where all gambling action takes place.
Three crap tables, especially built for the Horseshoe Club, have padded leather arm rests and places to spot a drink when the play goes heavy.
Surrounding this section are rows of slot machines, and adjoining the tables, can be found blackjack tables, roulette tables, faro bank, money wheel, race horse keno, and race book area.
The long 60 foot bar is almost a part of the casino, still is separated. Comfortable booths, covered with soft gray leather, give a bit of added comfort to those not wishing to hop on a bar stool. The eye meets a long frosted line of glass in front of which are cutout maps of 14 states with painted scenes.
Beyond the comfortable appearing race book is the restaurant. Here is prepared anything and everything for a gourmet's exacting taste. With a section devoted to booths for couples and another for large parties, the dining area is set p to accommodate quite large numbers of patrons. Added feature, and one liked by most Nevadans, is a double counter. At one of these, a waitress can dispense malted milks at any hour of the day or nnight. Here also, is the juice bar, and ice cream fountain.
The first overall glance brings an impression of luxury with no expense spared. Builder Stanley Harris, starting with the interior of the old Eldorado Club, called in architect Vernon Welborn. Plans were drawn, approved, and construction started. Local firms were given contracts, such as United Electric; Western Heating and Ventilating; Arvill Miller; A. T. Burt; Young Electric Sign Co.: Nevada Westways and many more.
The changes brought about made an entirely new and different club. Within the past week, everything was ready for general manager Pat Collins to begin rounding up his crew. Pit bosses were contacted -- Claude Gavin, Phil Long, Herbert Swartz, Paul Garland, Bob Peccole, and Cury Thornton. Bar manager Frank Converse rounded up eight bartenders -- Jimmy King, assistant bar manager, Jake Collier, Steve Stevenson, Bill Payne, Roy Schultz, Morrie Matorian, Herb Lott, and Pete Caton.
Grant Price and Mike Luzaich readied the faro bank. Tommy Searlett, the money wheel; Walter Irwin, race horse keno; Bill Moorefield doubled from maintenance to his 65 slot machines; Sammy Cohen, the race book; Roy Banks, Ed Fennell and Al Shaw prepared everything in the cashier's cage.
Polishing up the stainless stell kitchen in readiness for opening night, the restaurant staff under Chef Francois Rogalle, worked overtime. Nick Parros, the steward, ordered supplies well enough in advance for assistant cooks, Jerry Fisher, Mike Mitchell, Gene Geraud. Chef Francois busied himself with a menu which would satisfy and meet the demands of the most exacting. Top cuisine is featured with a la carte steaks, chops and sea food orders. Another added attraction, according to Francois, is Crepes Subette. The bill of fare was approved by Jimmy Harakas, restaurant manager, and Nick Janios, the maitre de, brought in especially for opening week by restaurant owner Benny Binion. Janios is taking time off from permanent duties as maitre de and manager of Twentieth-Century Fox commissary. When he returns to Hollywood, Stephen Harrison steps in as maitre de.
The casino is in charge of Eldorado Corp., of which Dr. Monte Bernstein is president. Dr. Bernstein, in talks with bar and restaurant owner Benny Binion, and with general manager Pat Collins, stressed that local workers and tax-payers should be hired. This was done in every department. Ninety-five percent of all help in the Horseshoe Club is local.
In choosing a high spot of the beautiful new casino, the bar becomes a center of interest. On the rubbed redwood walls, highlighted by a row of long-horns. a long bar of diffused light strips for almost 75 feet. On this are placed maps of western states Washington, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho, Oklahoma, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Texas, Kansas, Arizona and Wyoming. A special-process scene was photographed on these forms and oil colors applied along with each state's seal. To be added will be a 25 foot mural on the wall between the entrances.
The impressions of those attending today's opening of the glittering Horseshoe Club will perhaps be centered upon the glowing color and play of light, the warmth of the L-shaped interior. If such an atmosphere can be combined with sound and intelligent operation -- then Las Vegas will be sure to make The Horseshoe a definite must on their entertainment list.