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Live the Las Vegas high life, circa 1960: Now you can stay at the casino owner’s swanky penthouse

A cozy living room with commanding views of the southern Nevada mountains is just one of the features of the plush penthouse atop the El Cortez in downtown Las Vegas. For the first time, the spacious suite is available for overnight stays.
A cozy living room with commanding views of the southern Nevada mountains is just one of the features of the plush penthouse atop the El Cortez in downtown Las Vegas. For the first time, the spacious suite is available for overnight stays.
(El Cortez Hotel & Casino)

Want to revel in an over-the-top vintage hotel suite in Las Vegas where a casino owner once lived? For the first time, you can.

Prices for hotel owner Jackie Gaughan’s suite at El Cortez Hotel & Casino start at $500 a night. The downtown hotel is on Fremont Street east of Las Vegas Boulevard in the expanding Fremont East entertainment district.

In the distance, the Las Vegas Strip is seen from one of the two bedrooms in the Gaughan suite.
In the distance, the Las Vegas Strip is seen from one of the two bedrooms in the Gaughan suite.
(El Cortez Hotel & Casino )

The 2,700-square-foot suite on the 15th floor was Gaughan’s home for nearly 25 years. He purchased the hotel in 1960 and moved into the penthouse in 1980. He died in 2014, two years before the property celebrated its 75th anniversary.

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The suite is definitely one of a kind, with the midcentury decor intact.

For example, it has upholstered pink walls that remain to this day. The color was picked out by Gaughan’s wife, Bertie. You enter the suite through the original hand-carved wooden doors. Once inside, there are two bedrooms, 2 ½ bathrooms, a living room, a full kitchen and even a children’s playroom.

A marble bathtub with gold fixtures is an eye-catcher in one of the bathrooms in the Gaughan suite.
A marble bathtub with gold fixtures is an eye-catcher in one of the bathrooms in the Gaughan suite.
(El Cortez Hotel & Casino )

One of the bathrooms features a marble tub with gold fixtures, with water spouting from the mouth of a golden swan.

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The original kitchen appliances remain too. So, too, does an old intercom system that nearly 40 years ago was state-of-the-art.

Then-owner Jackie Gaughan is seen outside the El Cortez on April 22, 1965. The casino developer lived in a swanky penthouse at the hotel for nearly 25 years.

Then-owner Jackie Gaughan is seen outside the El Cortez on April 22, 1965. The casino developer lived in a swanky penthouse at the hotel for nearly 25 years.

(Las Vegas News Bureau)

You won’t find the Gaughan suite on the hotel’s website. If you’re interested in booking it – for an overnight stay or a private party – call (800) 634-6703.

Info: El Cortez Hotel & Casino, (800) 634-6703

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