Vegas' sexiest septuagenarian (hotel, that is) shows how it's done.
The oldest continuously run casino-hotel in Vegas, El Cortez was fab then and is fab now.
In her video for that catchy earworm “On My Mind,” Ellie Goulding endures the rantings of a sharkskin suit-wearing boyfriend from the bed of a fabulous, retro blush-colored bedroom; rides horses through the casino floor of El Cortez with a hot female sidekick; and gets glammed up in the beauty parlor—along with sidekick and horse—before wreaking violent revenge on same boyfriend. No special effects here, explains El Cortez Executive Manager Alex Epstein, whose family owns the hotel. “The horses took the freight elevators to our offices,” she laughs. “There was a cleanup crew following them through the casino floor.”
And that might not be the wildest thing that’s ever happened in the longest continuously run hotel and casino in Las Vegas, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in November. Owned in the 1940s by, among others, Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky, forward thinking keeps El Cortez hip (think its mob-themed Siegel’s 1941 restaurant, locally decorated OAK suites, and its Founder’s Room now a Hong Kong-style reflexology parlor).
Lucky for Vegasphiles, the Epsteins are keeping the best of the retro details. That blush suite is onetime owner Jackie Gaughan’s real-life penthouse, from which he could survey his Downtown holdings. Its renovation just finished, the 3,500-plus-foot party pad (available for rent by appointment) retains wife Bertie’s completely pink marble bath, with gilded swan fixtures and pin-up fairies floating in etched glass bubbles; ’80’s-era inlaid carpeting; and an ’80s-era security system in every room whose screen lets you see whoever might be at the door—even a shotgun-wielding pop star on a horse. 600 Fremont St., 702-385-5200