April 11, 2006

A place in the sun

History of The Sands Hotel

The hotel was founded in 1952 by Jackie Freedmen of Houston, Texas, grandfather of Houston socialite Carolyn Farb.

Jackie Freedman with Kim Novak

Ocean's 11


Sinatra at the Sands

"Come Fly With Me"

When billionaire Howard Hughes purchased the hotel in the mid-1960s, the 500-room tower was added.

pictures from the last day the Sands was open (June 30, 1996)

the last night

  • Here's a passage from Shawn Levy's excellent book Rat Pack Confidential:

    "And to put a capper on it they tore down the Sands.

    It's time had long passed. The tower with the wedding-cake filigree at the top came to look dainty next to the monoliths around it; the high rollers had long since removed across the Strip to Caesar's and the joint with the volcano; neither a city-within-a-city like the big new casinos nor the sort of swank, exclusive spot it once had been, it faded terribly, its orange stucco exterior more and more garish as the decades mounted."
    (page 317)

    Frank Sinatra is reported to have said something along the lines of: "They could have at least given me a brick".

    The old Sands was replaced by The Venetian.

    It's very impressive, but it, perhaps symbolically, blocks out the sun instead of being "a place in".

    It appears that they have a Sands Convention Center. The Sands lives on?
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