John Curtas is …

One Cool Cake for One Cool Dude

Jackie Gaughan's 90th birthday cake

Picture 1 of 2

Jackie Gaughan, Downtown Vegas Icon, celebrated his 90th birthday on October 24th, but ELV’s staff has been so busy with its usual sybaritic pursuits that we forgot to officially wish him a happy one….and post these snaps of one über-cool cake (made by the Luxor pastry chefs as a tribute to him and his operation of the El Cortez hotel since 1963).

Some fun facts about the El Cortez:

> It is the only hotel and casino in Vegas never to have changed its facade (as in: get a facelift).

> It had 59 rooms when it opened.

> When it opened in 1941, it was considered to be too far out of town to be profitable.

> The hotel’s signage is also original.

> Between the months of October and May, it has the best Florida stone crabs in town…at the best price. (Fridays and Saturdays only)

El Cortez
Address 600 East Fremont Street
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
Opening date 1941
Theme Ranch
No. of rooms 364
Total gaming space 45,300 sq ft (4,210 m2)
Casino type Land-Based
Owner Jackie Gaughan
Previous names none
Years renovated 1963, 1980, 2006, 2008
Website www.elcortezh

One über-cool cake befits one über-cool dude…so Jackie, these two are for YOU!

6 Responses to One Cool Cake for One Cool Dude

  • Met Mr. Gaughan several times over the years. He is a gentleman and a true Vegas icon!

  • What a good guy. A Vegas legend that assisted in making the city what it is today! :)

    Don Strevel

  • I like the El Cortez and one of the things I like about it is seeing Mr. Gaughan playing poker there during my visits.
    (About this article though – one of the facts states that “When it opened in 1941, it was considered to be too far out of town to be profitable”. The El Rancho was considered to be too far out when it opened…the El Cortez was IN town.)

  • we have always loved the el cortez. and enjoy playing poker with jackie. a true las vegas legend,icon and a gentleman:) happy 90th jackie!

  • Love the Cortez, and love the original wing rooms! (though the bathrooms are ugh)

  • Jackie Gaughan has always been a class act- I met him years ago and he was very friendly and glad to say Hi. The trouble is…. He doesnt own the El Cortez anymore- he just lives there, and current management blocks you off from even saying Hi to him when you see him.

    Jackie built a reputation of good customer service, and new ownership cares little about the history of the hotel or the legacy that has been built.

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