Stardust Las Vegas (CLOSED)

Stardust marquee

Stardust Las Vegas marquee, December 25, 2006
Stardust Las Vegas marquee, December 25, 2006

Stardust Las Vegas closed November 1, 2006 after 48 years in business and was imploded March 13, 2007.

The north Las Vegas strip

View of the north Las Vegas strip shot from the Stratosphere, March 2006
View of the north Las Vegas strip shot from the Stratosphere, March 2006

As you can see, Stardust's 32 story west tower (opened in 1991) was a prominent enhancement to the appearance of the Las Vegas strip with its purple and violet neon glow. There have been a lot of changes in this area since this photo was shot in March 2006 - Stardust, Frontier, and Westward Ho have been demolished; Sky Condos were constructed south of the Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Encore at Wynn was built just north of Wynn, Palazzo was built just north of Venetian, and a hotel/condo combination called Crown is going up on the site of Wet N Wild Waterpark south of the Sahara. Boyd Gaming began construction on Echelon at the Stardust site; but that project is currently on hold.

Stardust Las Vegas

Stardust Las Vegas
Stardust Las Vegas

Stardust was one of my regular stops when walking the strip. I liked the quiet, no nonsense atmosphere - no silly themes or tourist gimmicks. The more I visited Las Vegas, the more time I would spend shooting photos instead of gambling. There was one particular cluster of video poker machines I always played at the Stardust, however. They were 50 cent machines near the south end of the casino. I won $400 the first time I played them, so silly superstition kept me coming back.

Stardust Las Vegas

Stardust Las Vegas
Stardust Las Vegas | Source

Although the film used the name Tangiers to fictionalize the story, Martin Scorsese's 1995 film Casino was factually based on the story of the 1960s-1970s Stardust being run by mobsters Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal (portrayed by Robert DeNiro as Sam "Ace" Rothstein) and Anthony "The Ant" Spilotro (portrayed by Joe Pesci as Nicky Santoro).

Stardust Las Vegas at sunset

Stardust Las Vegas at sunset, March 2005
Stardust Las Vegas at sunset, March 2005 | Source

Stardust keno lounge

Stardust Las Vegas keno lounge
Stardust Las Vegas keno lounge

Stardust sports book

Stardust Las Vegas sports book
Stardust Las Vegas sports book

Stardust Las Vegas

Stardust Las Vegas as seen from the Stratosphere, February 2003
Stardust Las Vegas as seen from the Stratosphere, February 2003

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