The Mint Las Vegas was a well-known hotel and casino situated in downtown Las Vegas on Fremont Street. The hotel and casino was approved a gaming license by state gaming control board on the 26th of June 1957. The establishment had its official grand opening on the 7th of July 1957 but it closed in 1988 becoming part of Binion’s Horseshoe.
The Mint Las Vegas cost $1.2 million and was labelled the new star of Fremont Street due to the 16 foot star that was situated atop of the 22 ton, nine story high sign. The sign was at the time considered to be the biggest in the world that was integrated into the building’s façade. The sign consisted of three miles of neon tube and used as much electricity as an average sized establishment in Las Vegas. The sign shone so bright it was seen from as far as 30 miles.
The hotel and casino featured more than 300 hotel rooms; two gourmet restaurants; two bars; a twenty four hour coffee shop and a buffet. A gift shop; tobacco store and a salon and barbershop was also available. The casino featured over 300 slot machines; a variety of table games and keno games.
The Birth of the Mint Las Vegas
Milton Prell was an original owner of The Mint Las Vegas. He also owned both the Sahara Hotel and Casino and the Aladdin Hotel and Casino. After hiring a firm to come up with the establishment’s name, it was his wife who eventually suggested the name The Mint. In 1961 Del Webb purchased the hotel and casino and in 1965 the establishment underwent renovations to add a 26 floor hotel tower and a six floor parking garage.
Famous Features of the Mint Las Vegas
Mint 400 was sponsored by The Mint Las Vegas which was the biggest off road race that ran from the 1960’s to the 1980’s. The race began in front of the establishment.
In 1971 both Hunter S Thompson and Oscar Acosta travelled to Las Vegas for the infamous weekend of debauchery which was forever immortalized in Hunter S Thompson’s book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The first night they spent in Las Vegas was spent at The Mint.
The Mint Las Vegas Featured in Film
The Mint Las Vegas was further immortalized in the films Diamonds are forever and Viva Las Vegas. A computer generation of the establishment was used in the film adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the place was also featured in music videos of U2 and Panic at the Disco.
Live Entertainment at the Mint Las Vegas
The Mint Las Vegas provided live entertainment at the Merri Mint lounge which showcased live acts like Patsy Cline, The Wilbur Brothers, Jim Reeves and Loretta Lynn. Johnny Cash also performed in the lounge for a cover charge of $1 which was the cost of two drinks. The Top o’ the Mint lounge that was situated on the top floor of the building featured the hit show by Johnny Elvis Foster, For the Love of Elvis & the Memphis Sound.