History of the Royal Nevada
Opened April 19, 1955
The dream Royal Nevada was owned and built by Frank Fishman, and operated by Easterners Albert B. Moll, Herman E. Kohen, Joe Leibman and Sid Wyman. Architect Paul Williams was working with architect/engineer John Replogle on the low-rise motel tradition. The Royal Nevada featured a curving entry canopy and a large fountain-like sculpture of neon.
The Royal Nevada opened north of the New Frontier on April 19, 1955, as the "Showplace of Showtown, U.S.A." The resort's crowning glory was the crown which sat on top of the resort.
Opening night entertainment was provided by opera star Helen Traubel in the hotel's magnificent Crown Room. The opening was attended by the mass with Mayor Baker in attendance. The night before the opening, atomic soldiers were treated to a pre-opening party.
Two other resorts opened within one month of the Royal Nevada - Riviera and Dunes.
Sometime in late 1955, Fishman signed a temporary lease on the resort with Jake Kosloff.
In 1956, the Royal Nevada obtained new operators. They were T.W. Richardson, W.A. Simonds, and Maurice Friedman, who were all licensees in the New Frontier, and Harry Oedekerk, a Los Angeles manufacturer.
On July 26, 1956, The State Gaming Control board deferred action on an application for a license for the new set of operators of the Royal Nevada. It is unclear as to whether the Royal Nevada ever obtained a license under the new operators.
The resort held a men's shop owned by Charlie Rosson and Bertie Kay the salesman.
It was mentioned that the Desert Inn saved the resort by purchasing it and obtaining the necessary licenses but to no avail.
The Royal Nevada was plagued with financial problems from the start. For a short period of time, Las Vegas experienced financial troubles, due in part to the national economic recession and overbuilding. It was the only time in Las Vegas' postwar history in which the availability of rooms exceeded the number of visitors.
For the established hotels, the problem was not so severe as for those starting out. Although the Riviera and Dunes suffered, only the Royal Nevada did not live through Las Vegas' dark days. This resort was the only one to disappear completely, swallowed in 1959 by the Stardust becoming the Stardust's Convention Center. The architect and interior decorator for the evolution was Jac Lessman. In June of 1959, Stardust was deciding whether to call it Stardust South or Stardust Coliseum. Somehow, Stardust Convention Center became the name.
More detailed information can be found at www.lvstriphistory.com