So you want to know about the El Cortez. A peek behind the curtain. The secret to our success.
Well, there are no secrets here, no gimmicks or glitter. The El Cortez has been the cornerstone of Downtown and and icon of classic Vegas for more than seventy years. What you see is what you get, and what you get is a piece of vintage Vegas and an experience you can’t find anywhere else. We’re a family-run casino, unburdened by the trappings and constraints of corporate ownership. We’re a part of Downtown, and Downtown is a part of us. You can see it in the smile of a bartender, and hear it in the jingle of one of our classic coin slots. You can feel it in the air. When you play at the El Cortez, you really feel like you are a part of something. Not just the Vegas that people see on television and movies, but the real, legitimate, feel-it-in-your-bones Las Vegas.
The El Cortez Hotel and Casino is the longest continuously running hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Opened in 1941, it was so successful that it attracted the attention of Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Gus Greenbaum, and Moe Sedway, all whom purchased it in 1945.
In 1963 the El Cortez was purchased by Jackie Gaughan, and it has been run as a family business ever since. Jackie still lives at the El Cortez, and can often be seen in the poker room, studying your tells.
The El Cortez has undergone several renovations, but still rocks the same facade it had in 1952, keeping the spirit of classic Vegas alive. On February 22, 2013, the structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Take a look at our history and our staff, and you’ll see what Vegas means to us, and what we mean to Vegas.