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Transcript of interview with Irwin Molasky by David G. Schwartz, April 23, 2014







Interview with Irwin Molasky by David G. Schwartz, April 23, 2014. In this interview, Irwin Molasky discusses arriving in Las Vegas in the 1950s, and building the Pyramids motel on the Strip. He talks about the entertainers in various hotels on the Strip, the concept of the "star policy," and bringing Parisian shows to Las Vegas. He goes on to discuss his real estate developments, including Paradise Palms, Boulevard Mall, and Sunrise Hospital, and donating the land for the development of UNLV.

Irwin Molasky came to Las Vegas in 1951, during a time when "everyone knew everyone else," and there was a small, but strong Jewish community. An Army veteran, Irwin and his wife moved to Las Vegas after living in California for a short time. Irwin soon built The Pyramids, a Strip motel next to the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. The Pyramids opened the same day as its northern next-door neighbor, The Sands Hotel and Casino, on December 15, 1952. Irwin used his newly acquired contractor's license to become on the city's most important real estate developers. Over the next 60 years, he built everything from residential housing, including Paradise Palms to commercial properties. Projects included Sunrise Hospital and the surrounding medical buildings; Sunrise City Shopping Center and other power centers; Bank of America Plaza and much other downtown development; and golf courses. When the recession hit, Irwin began bidding on government projects across the country, successfully shielding his business and employees from the economic downturn. Irwin's real estate ventures not only had a tremendous impact on Las Vegas' economic development, but a substantial effect in social programming. Irwin donated 40 acres of prime real estate to the University of Nevada - Las Vegas (UNLV) so that university could expand. Additionally, he was the Founding Chairman of the UNLV Foundation and received an honorary doctorate in humanities.

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Irwin Molasky oral history interview, 2014 April 23. OH-02154. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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AN INTERVIEW WITH IRWIN MOLASKY An Oral History Conducted by David G. Schwartz The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ?The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV - University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Editors: Maggie Lopes, Stefani Evans Interviewer: David G. Schwartz ii The recorded Interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of Dr. Harold Boyer. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank the university for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project. Claytee D. White, Project Director Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas ii i PREFACE Irwin Molasky came to Las Vegas in 1951, during a time when "everyone knew everyone else," and there was a small, but strong Jewish community. An Army veteran, Irwin and his wife moved to Las Vegas after living in California for a short time. Irwin soon built The Pyramids, a Strip motel next to the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. The Pyramids opened the same day as its northern next-door neighbor, The Sands Hotel and Casino, on December 15, 1952. Irwin used his newly acquired contractor's license to become on the city's most important real estate developers. Over the next 60 years, he built everything from residential housing, including Paradise Palms to commercial properties. Projects included Sunrise Hospital and the surrounding medical buildings; Sunrise City Shopping Center and other power centers; Bank of America Plaza and much other downtown development; and golf courses. When the recession hit, Irwin began bidding on government projects across the country, successfully shielding his business and employees from the economic downturn. Irwin's real estate ventures not only had a tremendous impact on Las Vegas' economic development, but a substantial effect in social programming. Irwin donated 40 acres of prime real estate to the University of Nevada - Las Vegas (UNLV) so that university could expand. Additionally, he was the Founding Chairman of the UNLV Foundation and received an honorary doctorate in humanities. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Interviews with Irwin Molasky on April 23, 2014 by Dave Schwartz in Las Vegas, Nevada Preface iv Describes the Las Vegas community, particularly the Jewish community, during early 1950s. Talks about building motel, The Pyramids, on Strip; layout of other hotels on the Strip during that time; star policies; partner Allard Roen. Discusses the building of Stardust, and its acquisition by Desert Inn; visiting Paris with Allard to look at show Lido for Desert Inn; brings Lido to Desert Inn, setting the stage for elaborate shows like Cirque du Soleil 1-12 Talks about building of Desert Inn Golf Course; selling homes around the course; creating Tournament of Champions; building course at Stardust. Describes Paradise Palms development; other real estate ventures in the city. Discusses starting Sunrise Hospital; his partners; its growth into the service provider it is today 13-19 Speaks about Jewish community in Las Vegas; its changes over time; growth of city's synagogues. Discusses projects on Maryland Parkway; acquiring land to ensure UNLV's expansion; building projects in downtown area; "green" development; winning bids to construct federal buildings nationally. Mentions influential leaders within the Jewish community 20-28 Index 29-30 v This is Dave Schwartz. Today is April 23, 2014. I'm sitting here with Irwin Molasky in the Molasky Corporate Center. So Mr. Molasky, can you tell me a little bit about how you came to Las Vegas and when that was? I'm just thinking out loud. Yes. When you mentioned to me about for the last 67 years in the Jewish community having to do with Las Vegas? Yes. I got here in 1950-51. So let's say that's 64 years. Yes. So that's about the time you're talking about. Yes. I want to make sure that you understand that?you're not [just] going to be writing about me, right? No. It's everybody. Okay. I've been asked to write many books. Yes. And I've turned them all down. Yes. Okay. By some very prominent writers. I'm sure. Around the country. And I've turned them down. So I want to make sure that this is not just about 1 me. No. Or my story. I just want to go on record with you. It's about your perceptions of the Jewish community in Las Vegas. Yes. Of course, you're a prominent member of that community. That's all right. But it's your perceptions of what was going around?and the changes you've seen since 1951. Okay, that's fine. Certainly, they're big ones. Okay. I just want to go and be structured. I understand. Okay. So you moved here in 1951. Right. Tell me a little bit about what the Jewish community, and what was the community in general was like in Las Vegas in 1951? I think the city had a population of about 25,000 and the county was probably another 20,000 or so, so under 50,000 as a population. There was a very small Jewish community. I would say that there were about 10,000 Jewish people here at that time. That's a guess. Ok. How does that jive in with what you know? Sounds pretty accurate. 2 Okay. The town was strictly a western town. Most everybody knew everybody else. When I moved here I moved into a rental house I rented on South Sixth Street near Charleston. That was a residential area over there. I had gotten out of the Army and moved to Florida for a year to build GI housing. I was a young kid, and quite successful I might add. My wife at that time didn't like it in Florida, so after a year we picked up and moved back to California where I did some spec building for six months or a year, and then I moved here and decided to build a motel. Okay. On the Strip, right next to the Flamingo. In the location that is now the Holiday Inn. I built a little motel of 19 units. okay. Called The Pyramids. I actually built some concrete block pyramids in front to designate the name. It was right on the highway. My parents were my partners. We were on well water. There was no water to the area. We started a district called Sanitation District Number One and we put sewer lines out toward the Strip. That was, in effect, the reason the city never could take the county into its borders. Yes. So good, bad or indifferent, that's the reason the county has separate? Nobody knows this, I guess. That's the reason the county is separate from the city, because of the sanitation sewer district. Yes. So we were able to keep the county separate, which was our desire at the time. Why was that? It still is as far as I'm concerned. 3 Why? What were the reasons for that? Why do you want to go into more supervisory boards and be relegated to the whims of politicians? Good point. We elected our own board of county commissioners who were friendly to us on the Strip. Okay. That's just a little afterthought. In those years, I went to get a telephone. I found out that I had to wait for three months to get a three-party line. I bet you don't know what that is. No. That means that three different people had that number. Okay. They couldn't service everybody. There were no dial tones at that time, no rotary lines. You'd pick up the phone like this and say get me three four seven. Yes. Usually one of the three parties might have been on the phone, so you would gently put it back down, hopefully, and wait another five or ten minutes, then pick it up, and then wait; then you go like this a little bit [tapping] so they know you're waiting. PAMELA PUPPEL: That's amusing. It is. That was the telephone system in those days. But it worked. I can't imagine that you would have that patience now. I wouldn't. Right. 4 who were your neighbors on the Strip and why build a motel on the Strip? Well, it's obvious. Even though it was 50, 60 years ago, it was still the Strip. The Flamingo had been built. We opened The Pyramids on December 15, 1952. Our next-door neighbor north of us was the Sands Hotel, which opened the same date that we opened, December 15, 1952. Their opening act was Danny Thomas. Ok. I didn't know him, but I've heard of him. I became friendly with him as he used to walk. He was a great walker. He used to walk blocks and blocks and got to know me. I was building next door to where he was opening at the Sands, and we got to be friendly. The Strip was comprised of?the Flamingo was about the furthest one south. I don't think there was anything beyond that at that time. The Sands opened that year. The Desert Inn had been open for a couple of years, going right down the Strip. Next to that on the same side was the Thunderbird. Beyond that was the Sahara, which had just been built. Yes. On the other side of the street, on the north side, was the Last Frontier, which became the New Frontier and then the Frontier. Going north was the El Rancho. Yes. That was the Strip in those days. So your question was, why on the Strip? Because that was the highway that people from L.A. drove into [the city]. If you were looking to rent rooms on a daily basis, you had to be visible. Does that answer your question? That does. Okay. There was no financing in those days. So I built whatever we could afford, which was 19 rooms, the lobby, the pyramids, and a swimming pool and all that stuff. I put up a big sign, 5 "Pyramids." I think it's in the boneyard museum if I'm not mistaken. Nice. I'll have to take a look. It's a piece of history now. Yes. We'll take a look. I do have the photos from it. Really? We catered to people who could afford Las Vegas in those days. Our room rates went from six dollars a night to twenty dollars a night depending on the time; Saturday was a busier day than Tuesday and things like that. That's what they still do on the Strip, by the way. Oh, yes. I built it and my parents operated it. I immediately got my contractor's license; I think in 1951. I still have it registered. It's number three one seven four. Today I think they're in the three hundred thousands. I used that license afterwards. I didn't have any money, so I was doing garage additions, garage enclosures, patios and things like that for a couple of years. Then I built a few spec houses and one thing led to another. But I'm not going to just talk about me. Yes. You want to talk about Las Vegas. Tell me a little bit about the other owners. When you get there in '51-52, were they welcoming? Just the people on the Strip, were they friendly? Very friendly. Okay. Everybody was very friendly. Everybody knew everybody else. If you knew anybody at all in any 6 of the hotels, pit bosses on up, they invited you to their hotels no matter who you were. They wanted customers and they would comp you in those days just because they knew you and they could. They had the power of the pen. There were entertainers. I'm trying to think of who they were besides the Sands who had a star policy, like Danny Thomas. Also had people like Nat King Cole and Lena Horne. Yes. People like that. One-star policies and there were no big shows at that time. No big cast of characters. The Flamingo used to have entertainers. Each hotel had a staff?a book of all the entertainers. Flamingo had people like Pearl Bailey. These are names you've never heard of, I'm sure. I've heard of them. And many other big headliners. The Sahara had Shecky Greene and Don Rickles. The Frontier had some kind of western show. The El Rancho had Sophie Tucker. Yes. And Billy Daniels. You've never heard of him, I'm sure. I've heard of him. Stars like that. Then those stars became bigger stars and then they evolved into the Elvis Presleys and the Ann-Margrets and couple of big British stars, Anthony Newly. You've never heard of him, huh? I've actually heard of him. Have you? Yes. Okay. It was a star policy; the stars would play there for like six weeks and then move on. They'd 7 come back twice a year or something like that if they could draw 12 weeks of shows. It wasn't until?the big show policy, before Cirque du Soleil was?the Lido de Paris and the Folies Bergere. Yes. Folies Bergere opened at the Tropicana, which also opened up at that time further south. The Lido, I had somewhat to do with it. There was a star policy at the Stardust Hotel. That was the biggest hotel in town. Yes. As far as rooms. They had something like 3,000 rooms in those days. That's a story all by itself. A few years ago I was lucky enough to talk to a man named Allard Roen. He told me all about building the?he said they went in to build the stage. They had to blast down into the caliche. Apparently, they used so much dynamite they might have blown up the whole hotel. It was a very good story the way he told it. I'm not telling it the way he told it. But it was a very? He's telling you the truth. He was very?yes. I mean because I was there and I was his partner. Yes. Okay. Did you know I was his partner? I did, yes. Okay. He was a terrific guy. He went to Duke. He came out with the Cleveland group to run the Desert Inn. Yes. Wilbur Clark didn't know what he was doing. He started a hotel and he never had enough money 8 to get it out of the ground. So they went to Cleveland. All the casino operators in the Midwest decided to put money into it with him. They came out and they came [up with] the name Wilbur Clark's Desert Inn. It was the best hotel in town, that and the Sands. Yes. They had star policy, Eddie Fisher. Again, you've probably never heard of these names. I've heard of him for sure. He and I had the same birthday. I later helped him get his divorce from? Elizabeth Taylor? Yes. That's when he married Debbie Reynolds. I put a house in his name, like a three-hundred-thousand-dollar house in his name to establish residency. That's when he met Liz Taylor. He used to bring her to Las Vegas a lot. Anyway, where was I? You were talking about? Oh, Allard Roen. Yes. The Desert Inn took over this hotel that was being built called the Stardust by?you ever heard of Max Factor? Yes. Okay. One of the Factors decided to build this hotel. It was started by a gambler from L.A. He had a boat called The Lucks and his name was Tony Cornero. Yes. He started this hotel and he ran out of money. The Factors took it over, put a lot of money in it and then ran out of money. They didn't know what the hell they were doing because the gambling 9 business is different than any other business. Yes. I'm trying to think which Factor it was. Was it Jake Factor? I think it was Jake Factor, one of the brothers, came to the Desert Inn people and told them they were running out of money and what could they do and so forth. So the Desert Inn took over the Stardust. They bought the Factors out. They didn't last very long. They had a 3,000-room hotel to fill those rooms. I knew all the people at the Desert Inn very well. So they asked me to go back to Paris with Allard Roen to look at a show called the Lido. Yes. It's the most famous show in Paris. That was the beginning of all the big time shows of a lot of people, a lot of acts instead of one act. The Lido show had beautiful girl dancers. It had jugglers. It had ice skaters. It had singers. It had everything. Not like one or two, but about six acts, eight acts. Yes. They were all fantastic. I worked with them for a while and called the people at the Desert Inn and told them, look, I'm through here. You know who went with me is a show producer called Frank Sennes. Yes, I've heard of his name. He was a producer. We went to the south of France. We went all over, working with the guy who owned the Lido show. His name was Joseph Clerico, C-L-E-R-I-C-O. He was an Italian. He built roads during the war. He was a friend of Mussolini's. So he owned the Lido show and we were 10 his guests. He introduced us to all the cast, all the costumers, all the lighting people and so forth. We came back to the Desert Inn and reported that we could put this show on, and we think it would be successful in Las Vegas. It's altogether different than any of the other shows that had ever been here before. But the good news about it is it had legs, we thought. If it had legs, it wouldn't have to go out every six weeks, which was a pain in the ass, to get new performers. Yes. We said to do the show would cost?I don't remember the number?but something like four or five million dollars. Yes. To rebuild the stage, which was what he was talking about. I was the one that rebuilt the stage. Instead of a flat stage, we had a five-story stage, three stories below and two stories above. So you could fly loft and put different sets?ice skating, swimming pool?all on the same stage. So I built that stage and brought in the show. The Desert Inn actually brought in the show, but through my counsel. I told them that it would have to run 15 months in order to amortize all the costs. Let's say it was five million dollars. So if it ran 15 months, it would cost you five million dollars to bring it in plus salaries and things. It would pay for itself rather than pay these superstars the hundred thousand a week that they were getting in those days. That's an easy one. Yes. Yes. They said do you think it will last 15 months? I said, "I can't guarantee it, but I would guess so." Well, P.S., we did it. It ran 25 years and it was one of the biggest shows ever. Twenty-five years, sold out every show. I'm getting off the subject. You mentioned Allard Roen. Yes. What was he? 11 It was a terrific, terrific endeavor. It was the forerunner of the Cirque du Soleil shows. Cirque du Soleil shows came in maybe 15 years later, after they saw how successful this was. They had that same idea only they expanded it into what you see today. There's like six Cirque shows in town. Yes. That's how busy they are. Another? There's a guy by the name of Guy Laliberte who's? Oh, yes. He's the Cirque shows. I helped bring him into town. Really? Actually, with Steve Wynn, for a show called Mystere at the Treasure Island at that time. Yes. He had built the Treasure Island and had a stage, built that show for Guy Laliberte for one of the first Cirque shows, Mystere. It was a fantastic show. Yeah. It's still?doesn't it still? It's still there. Yes. Let's get out of show business for a minute. Well, another thing that Mr. Roen talked to me about was building the Desert Inn Golf Course and how some of the other casino owners were very skeptical about that. He told me that originally he and Mr. Dalitz said, look, we'll do this together; we won't have it open directly with the casino; it will be kind of all the properties. And the other properties said 12 no, it's not going to work. Can you talk to me a little bit about the development of the golf course? He told you the truth. Okay. I helped build the Desert Inn Golf Course. I also helped tear it down and helped build the new one for Mr. Wynn. But the idea was to build?it was not my idea to build the Desert Inn Golf Course. Okay. I came along when I was a member of the Desert Inn Country Club and because of my development experience, they used me for a lot of it. We sold houses around the Desert Inn Golf Course and we sold them?I'm talking about three to 4,000 [square] foot house?we sold them for somewhere between 50 and $60,000. We sold them with four percent interest, $5,000 down or something like that. We sold-out of all of them. There were like 60 of them around there. We had a piece of land in the middle where we built another 22 or something like that. We sold those. It became the place to go to play golf and socialize, and it was a big thing for the hotel. It did bring in lots of customers. Yes. They used to have golf tournaments there. They had a thing called the Tournament of Champions, which I helped start there. I later became one of the sponsors of that tournament for something like 30, 35 years. When Howard Hughes bought the Desert Inn, we moved it to the Stardust, which I owned, the Stardust Golf Course, which is now the National. Yes. Over a little bit east of the? On Desert Inn. 13 Yes, further east. Near Eastern. Yes. We built a golf course there and we called it the Stardust because we leased it to the Stardust. Then their lease ran out and we called it National. The Sahara leased it. So this golf tournament moved there; it became one of the biggest golf tournaments in the country. In order to play in the golf tournament, you had to have won a tournament. Instead of a thousand players or a hundred players, we used to have like 25 players or something like that and they were all invited with their family. Last place got like eleven hundred dollars in those days. Yes. First place got a hundred thousand. We used to wheel the hundred thousand in silver dollars in a wheelbarrow out and dump it on the green for the winner. That's publicity for you. Yes. I finally moved that tournament to another place I had called La Costa, which is in Southern California. We kept it there for many, many, many years. Japanese bought La Costa from me in 1987 for a big number and they didn't do a very good job of running it and the tournament?they even lost the tournament. But the tournament is still on now. I think they play it in Hawaii now. But for 35 years or so, I was the sponsor of that tournament with Mr. Roen. He was the main sponsor. Interesting. Speaking of development and golf course and development in that area? How did you meet Mr. Roen? Through his daughter, Judy. 14 I met her and said I was interested in talking to people, and she set it up. I drove down to La Costa when he had his home down there and had a really nice talk with him. You met him. Great guy. Very helpful. He spoke highly of you, too. He was one of the best people I ever met in my life. Yes. He had some very interesting things to say. Speaking about real estate developments and residential, can you tell me a little bit about Paradise Palms and how that came about? Yes, I can tell you whatever you want to know about Paradise Palms. Paradise Palms was the first master planned community in Las Vegas. It was behind walls, gated walls, bordered by Desert Inn, Paradise, Eastern and Flamingo. I built the Sunrise Hospital and opened it in December 15, 1958. I can tell you something about that date. Yes. In 1958. I built all the medical buildings around there. Across the street on Desert Inn and Maryland, I did a large enclosed mall, the only enclosed mall in Las Vegas. It was a million three hundred thousand [square] feet. That's tremendous. That's big. When I started it was like 900,000 and then it grew to a million three. We had every major [store] from Sears, Broadway, Penney's and so forth, Dillard's, all in there. It was designed by, I think, a guy by the name of John Graham. He was the guy that designed the Seattle World's Fair. We built this fabulous mall, a rolling success. It's now gone downhill and I understand it just recently sold for a minimal amount of money because the neighborhood ran downhill and they didn't fix it up. I'm trying to think who was the big company that owned it and let it run downhill. 15 Was it Rouse? Rouse, yes. GGP, I thought. No. Rouse. They let it run downhill and they didn't want to do any fixing. It was just disgusting. So that is where Paradise Palms started. Yes. Behind that, all the way back, we also built a subdivision. First time we had architecture in Las Vegas in the Paradise Palms area. I mean architecture you could be proud of. Yes. There were a couple of young architects that I used in Palm Springs, Bill Palmer and Dan Krisel. They designed these gorgeous semi-modern-looking homes and they were selling those anywhere from 20 to $35,000 dollars. Amazing. It was amazing. On a golf course. That's the Stardust Golf Course. Yes. That we called it Stardust because we leased it to the Stardust. We were building a house a day. Those years 350 houses a year was a lot of houses to build. Yes. We finally built about a thousand or twelve hundred of them, something like that, and we ran out of land. It was a very successful project and it won the American Builder Award for the best master planned community in the United States. Interesting. Strangely enough, you know that new article that's in American Builder? 16 Yes, the one that Alan? That Alan's in? Yes. That's the same magazine. Really? Yes. Fifty years later my son wins an award from that magazine. What was it for? For best? It was for Ovation, for the multi-family houses that he's doing. Yes. You must be very proud of that. I never even told him this story. Yes, come full circle. To this day we get calls from people who have bought homes at Paradise Palms? That's true. ?and they're looking for the plans and they call us. We get them all the time. Interesting. We get only really good calls. I've lived here 30 years, 40 years. It's the best community. We love it. Thank you very much. To this day. Nice. To this day. I want to store it back to its original mid-century look. Do you have the plans? Where can I get them? We used a very great architecture team. I used a guy who was a friend of mine, Tony Pereira, as a decorator for all the houses in there. He was wild. He was just the greatest. He was also married in my house. He was in charge of all the decor. For the first time we did a lot of heavy 17 landscaping around houses, front and backyards, and they had a golf course in the back. Finally, those houses started to sell for 60,000, not with us, but re-sales, and a 100,000 and 200,000. Then they went up to two fifty or something like that. I think they've settled back down again a little bit. It was a very well-conceived, well-thought-out, well-planned master planned community, and it was very successful. Interesting. We probably had eight models in a cul-de-sac. There was a three-story tower that you had to climb up. You could stand up there and look all over the world. That was our pitch, when people came there they could see all of the golf course and the houses. Interesting. How about Sunrise Hospital? How does that get started? You don't have enough time, nor do I. I had a partner by the name of Merv Adelson, who was the head of Lorimar Productions. I was a partner there, also. He was the chairman. He and I decided to go into business together. We were friends. We were going to build a medical building for doctors. Every doctor we visited to try to prelease...we don't need space, office space; what we need is a hospital. Now, here are two stupid kids in their early twenties who knew nothing about the business. We conferred with a friend of ours was a doctor in L.A., and he said if you can build a private hospital, you don't have to worry about all the junk with taking care of indigent patients and things like that. You still have to, but there's a county hospital you'd move them to. You'll make a lot of money and do this and that. He gave us $40,000 as seed money. That's how enthused he was about it. We didn't know anything about a hospital. So we ran around looking and we found out that private hospitals were very good businesses. We went to Phoenix and Chicago and found out that a lot of good private hospitals in this country, they were the backbone of the hospital industry. 18 So we decided to build a hospital. We got our money from a savings and loan in this city, a guy by the name of Bart Litton, who was looking for publicity for his savings and loan, and he gave us a million-dollar loan to start the construction. We took in four or five smaller partners. Moe Dalitz was one of them. That's how I met Moe. Allard Roen was one. There was a company in New York, Fugazy, a travel service, we took him in, Bill Fugazy. We built this building on Maryland Parkway, out in the boondocks. I had to get the county to get a bulldozer to take Maryland Parkway and I made it two lanes, one this way and one this way - which it still is today - because from Sahara there was nothing from there on. I bulldozed those roads through; actually, I did it myself. We oiled it with oil just to keep the dust down. When we were building Sunrise Hospital for quite a drive down there, all the workmen would stop and look to see who was coming because it was out in the middle of everything. We opened with two surgeries, 58 beds, a laboratory, a pharmacy and a soda fountain. Within a couple of years it became 120 beds. Then it became 300 beds. It's now 700 beds and 16 surgeries. We started with I want to say 11 or 13 doctors. Today there are 1400, 1500 doctors. It's written as one of the finest hospitals. It's been accredited almost ever since we've opened it and gets very, very high marks to this day. We finally sold it in?oh, when we were pouring money into California to build La Costa, we finally sold it around that time to the precursor of Humana, who now owns it. Okay. They kept Merv's father, Nate Adelson, on to run the hospital for them for many years. So what was Jewish life like at this time? The 10,000 people became 60,000 over a period of time. I think that's what it is today if I'm not mistaken. 19 Yes, it's in that area, 60 or 70. I don't know exactly what it is. We had one temple and today I think there are 13, aren't there? Yes. There's quite a few. How many of them? I think 13 is a good number. We had a conservative temple, Temple Beth Sholom. It was over on Oakey, I think. I was on their board, and I did not want to become an officer. They asked me to be president, and I didn't want to do that. I just didn't have the time. But I did serve on the board for many years. I built the classrooms in the social hall. That's where I met my present wife. I lost track. Were we talking about Sunrise? Yes. How it was changing in the 60s and 70s. Okay. So that was the only temple in the town. Then it became a reform temple and then orthodox temple and now I think there are four or five orthodox temples now. There's quite a few. Terrific guy by the name of?the rabbi at the orthodox?that started the? Rabbi Harlig. Harlig. Terrific guy. Smart as a whip. Yes. I've heard of him. Nice man. Eight children. wow. I'm having trouble with two. Yes. Me, too. 20 How about some of your other projects? You did a lot of Maryland Parkway. How about some of your work down? We built most of Maryland Parkway. How about some of the stuff you built? Starting on Sahara, we built shopping centers, Sunrise City Shopping Center. All the good buildings you see on Maryland Parkway, we built. Okay. Down to the end of our city. Actually, I was involved in starting of UNLV, while we're talking about Maryland Parkway. I helped a friend of mine by the name of Parry Thomas. He was a banker. To land bank enough acreage so that UNLV could grow. At that time it was like 30 acres and we had to get 400 acres. Wow. So we went out and each of us did our own thing in trying to put land together. We bought it. We put down payments on it. We got a big credit from Parry Thomas' bank to buy this stuff. I owned 40 acres on Flamingo next to the university and he said, "I want you to give this to the university." I said, "Are you out of your fucking mind?" But he talked me into it. It's one of the best things I did. I mean even at -- you can do your own math. At that time it was probably a hundred thousand an acre property, 200,000 an acre property. But it was the start of helping them get the most northern side of the campus going where the Thomas and Mack is and all that. Yes. So I've been involved in the un