Frontier Hotel and Casino – Abandoned On The Las Vegas Strip

Frontier Casino

The New Frontier Hotel and Casino was located in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA but was demolished in 2007 after lying abandoned for 6 months.

Opened in 1942, the Hotel Last Frontier, as it was originally called, was the second resort built on the Las Vegas Strip. It had started life as the Pair-O-Dice nightclub in the 1930s before becoming The Ambassador Night Club and the 91 Club. The original club was demolished for the construction of the hotel. In 1955, it was renamed the New Frontier after work was done to modernise.

Postcard from the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas

A postcard from the early days of the resort.

The resort famously held Elvis Presley’s first Vegas appearance in 1956 and the Supremes in 1970. There was another name change after this time to become just The Frontier. Gilley’s Saloon, Dancehall and Bar-B-Que was a popular attraction at the resort and has since reopened at Treasure Island, also on the Las Vegas Strip.

Ownership of The Frontier changed a number of times over the years. In 1971, a federal trial in Los Angeles charged Anthony Joseph Zerilli and Michael Polizzi, two members of the Detroit Mafia Family, of concealing an ownership stake in The Frontier. It was bought by Howard Hughes, the American business magnate who was once one of the richest people in the world. He died in 1976.

An image of the Frontier Hotel

A picture of the hotel from the 1980s

In 1988, the resort was bought from the company created to manage the Hughes Corporation assets by Margaret Elardi. She began downscaling as it became no longer financially viable. In 1991, the Culinary Workers Union went on strike which didn’t end until 1997 when the resort was bought by Phil Ruffin. He immediately changed the name back to the New Frontier.

Ruffin had plans to demolish the resort and build a new one in its place but the downturn following the September 11th attacks stymied the plans. He teamed up with Donald Trump to build the Trump Hotel Las Vegas on some of the property. In May 2007, The New Frontier Hotel and Casino was purchased by El Ad Properties and demolished just 2 months later. Various plans surfaced thereafter but none came to fruition. The site was purchased by Wynn Resorts in 2017 although no further plans were announced at the time.

Advertising sign on the Las Vegas Strip

The sign outside the resort. The mud wrestling at Gilleys was quite popular.

The following are reviews from TripAdvisor

“The New Frontier is anything but new. And oddly enough, that brought a lot of charm to the place. It felt like old Vegas. But, the oldness also brought a lack of amenities and treatment that you expect with a Vegas hotel. The showiness was missing. The old slots and carpets made it feel dirty, even though it was cleaned often, as witnessed by seeing the cleaning staff running around. If you are looking for a time machine trip, this is your place. Otherwise, get somewhere more modern.”

“I have stayed in a lot of hotels and have never paid so much for so little and I didn’t pay very much. It was the nastiest place, they should charge by the hour. Rooms were filthy, had to pay extra for utilities, our door wouldn’t close, no non-smoking rooms and they smell smoking, furnishings out of my great grandmother’s nursing home, all the facilities were outdated and unusual…several haven’t been used in years, gross bathroom with a faulty shower and no warm water, I got the flu after staying there…99% sure it came from there. I had no choice but to stay here as I was in Vegas for a conference and all the hotels on the strip were booked except for this dump, now I know why.”

You can watch the demolition of the hotel as well as an internal video from when it was abandoned below.

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Abandoned: 2007

 

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