The Strip Started With A Flat Tire

tire-606100_960_720When you read Vegas history, or what is purported to be history, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. There are many myths and legends that make up the fabric of the Las Vegas story.

We have talked before about the fact that Bugsy Siegel was not the Strip’s visionary and that his Flamingo Hotel was not the first hotel to built on the Strip. It was the third and was opened five years after the first.

This is the story about that first hotel, the El Rancho, not to be confused with the second El Rancho that was closed in 1992.

The original El Rancho Vegas opened in 1941. It was located on the southwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara. It closed in 1960 due to a fire.

There was a California hotelier named Thomas Hull. He was driving to Salt Lake City one day when he had a flat tire on the highway that is now the Strip. While his friend went into town to get the tire fixed, he noticed the flow of traffic, especially noticing the cars with out of state tags. In fact, he was so amazed by the many cars passing by that he stayed for two more days and counted the traffic.

Being inspired by what he saw, Hull then returned to his company’s board of directors and revealed his plan to build a hotel in Las Vegas. And this he did. In April, 1941, the El Rancho opened becoming the first hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Read more and see photos here.


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