End of an era
End of an era
New Frontier closes to make way for multibillion-dollar resort
Another piece of Las Vegas Strip history slipped away with little fanfare in mid-July when the New Frontier hotel-casino closed its doors for good to make way for a multibillion-dollar resort.
Some 3,000 people were at the hotel an hour before it closed at midnight July 15 and many lingered afterward to bid goodbye to the property, which opened in 1942.
Various owners, including Howard Hughes who bought it in 1967 for $14 million, operated the Frontier. The resort hosted Elvis’s first Las Vegas appearance in 1956 and Diana Ross and The Supremes’ final performance in 1970. Among others who found success performing at the Frontier were illusionists Siegfried & Roy and Wayne Newton.
The latest owner—Kansas businessman Phil Ruffin—paid $167 million for the property in October 1997 ending a six-year Culinary Union workers’ strike four months later. In May, Ruffin sold the 34.5-acre property for $1.2 billion to New York-based El-Ad Group.
The development group, which is controlled by Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, plans to spend at least $5 billion to construct a mixed-use development modeled after New York’s Plaza Hotel.
Ruffin reportedly paid employees who remained with the property until its closure severance packages of from $300 to $8,000, depending on length of service.