Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Transcript of interview with Stanley and Sandy Mallin by Barbara Tabach, January 7, 2015

Document

Information

Date
2015-01-07
Description

Stanley Mallin (1923- ) was a native of Kansas City, Missouri; the son of Bess and Louis Mallin. His mother was a homemaker and his father was an industrious immigrant from Ukraine who earned his US citizenship through combat in World War I. Stan was the middle child of their three. It was while Stan attended the University of Missouri that he met Jay Sarno. The two men’s fast personal friendship made them solid business partners. Their first endeavor was in Florida with a tile business. It was during a holiday stay at the Flamingo that the two dreamed a bigger, better hotel-casino. The result was Caesars Palace. He has lived and helped develop Las Vegas since 1968. In 1982, Stan married his wife Sandy (neé Jacoby) Mallin. Sandy grew up in New York and arrived in Las Vegas in 1977. She has provided dynamic leadership in the Jewish community. For several years she was President of the Women’s Division of Jewish Federation. She then followed this as the first woman to be President of T

Digital ID
OH_02222_book
Physical Identifier
OH-02222
Details
Citation

[Transcript of interview with Stanley and Sandy Mallin by Barbara Tabach, January 7, 2015]. Mallin, Stanley and Mallin, Sandy Interview, 2015 January 7. OH-02222. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rights
This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use (https://www.library.unlv.edu/speccol/research_and_services/reproductions) or contact us at special.collections@unlv.edu
Standardized Rights Statement
Digital Provenance
Digitized materials: physical originals can be viewed in Special Collections and Archives reading room
Language

English

Geographic Coordinate
36.17497, -115.13722
Format
application/pdf

An Interview with Stanley and Sandy Mallin An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ©Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage 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 Interviewers: Barbara Tab ach, Claytee D. White Editors and Project Assistants: Maggie Lopes, Amanda Hammar 11 The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. 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 University of Nevada Las Vegas 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 with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas m Preface Stanley Mallin (1923- ) was a native of Kansas City, Missouri; the son of Bess and Louis Mallin. His mother was a homemaker and his father was an industrious immigrant from Ukraine who earned his US citizenship through combat in World War I. Stan was the middle child of their three. It was while Stan attended the University of Missouri that he met Jay Sarno. The two men’s fast personal friendship made them solid business partners. Their first endeavor was in Florida with a tile business. It was during a holiday stay at the Flamingo that the two dreamed a bigger, better hotel-casino. The result was Caesars Palace. He has lived and helped develop Las Vegas since 1968. In 1982, Stan married his wife Sandy (nee Jacoby) Mallin. Sandy grew up in New York and arrived in Las Vegas in 1977. She has provided dynamic leadership in the Jewish community. For several years she was President of the Women’s Division of Jewish Federation. She then followed this as the first woman to be President of Temple Beth Sholom (1996-2002) and this was during the period that the temple undertook a large and successful campaign to raise funds to build in Summerlin. IV Table of Contents Interview with Stanley and Sandy Mallin January 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Barbara Tabach Preface..................................................................................iv Stan talks about his family heritage. Russian immigrant father’s produce business started in Kansas City, Missouri; acquired additional apple orchards later in Illinois and Kansas. Stan bom in 1923, remembers growing up without anti-Semitism, working orchards, and attending University of Missouri. Mentions father’s real estate acquisition and management business. Talks about Army service in 1940s and return to college in 1947; degree in business and public administration.........................................................................1-4 Talks about his college roommate Jay Samo; together they moved to Miami, Florida and got into the tile business; contracted in Atlanta with FHA 608 housing. Mentions his solo building projects in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Jacksonville, Florida. Project in Atlanta with Jay Samo, meeting Morris Abram and Jimmy Hoffa. Talks about how junket trip to Las Vegas and stay at Flamingo inspired their dream of building better accommodations, to be known as Caesars Palace..5-8 Describes leasing land from Kirk Kerkorian, meeting investor Nate Jacobson, mentions other investors such as the Rogers brothers and raising two million dollars. Talks about Jerry Zarowitz, Tony Salerno, and learning of Mafia connection. Decision to join Samo in building of Circus Circus hotel/casino without a Teamsters’ loan and leaving Caesars ownership; experiencing fear during this period of time; mentions attorney Mickey [Milton] Rudin..................9-13 Recalls the creation and design of Caesars Palace (1966); statues; Samo Block; choosing the name Caesars; restaurants (Nero’s, Bacchanal, Cleopatra’s Barge) and role of Nat Hart; guest rooms with mirrored ceilings; being a part of this iconic location on the Strip............14-16 Describes opening of Circus Circus in 1968. Talks about borrowing money from Kerkorian; mentions Fred Benninger, Nish Kerkorian, Judd McIntosh. Speaks of 1974 gas shortage and effect on tourism; Circus Circus struggled; he and Samo got indicted for not paying taxes; leasing to Bennett and Pennington. Selection of Circus Circus name. Thoughts about so many Jews involved in gaming industry; Moe Dalitz, Jack Entratter, Mel Exber; Italian mob got Jews to work for them.................................................................................17 - 21 Talks about what Las Vegas was like in 1968; Sandy talks about moving here in 1977 and raising her children here; they attended Gorman High School. Mentions Kenny Guinn, who was principal at Stan’s daughter’s school. Conversation about education options then and now; sending Jewish v children to Catholic parochial high school. Sandy talks about moving to Las Vegas with her first husband who was in seafood business from New York. Both discuss becoming involved in Jewish community, Temple Beth Sholom and Jewish Federation; Sandy as the driving force of Temple Beth Sholom building a new synagogue and being the first female president of the congregation..........................................................................22 - 25 Stan makes observations about a recent visit to Boulder Highway area and Fremont Street and how things have changed. Talks about first living on Mohican, Sahara Golf Course, Rancho circle and Rancho Nevada Estates in 1977. Tells story of how they met; both avid golfers and introduced at Las Vegas Country Club. Sandy explains her active participation in fundraising for Temple and Women’s Division of Jewish Federation history as a driving force in fundraising; her personal commitment. Decision to relocate Temple Beth Sholom to Summerlin area (circa 1995).. ..26-31 Recalls Mona and Charles Silverman; Bill Bennett; named school wing after Mel Wolzinger’s grandparents; Sharon Sigesmund Pierce; Martin Howard; Sandy Hanson; Leon Steinberg. Discuss architectural design aspect of the new temple; Sandy talks about her role as President of the Temple; hired Brad Friedmutter Group. Stan tells of a planning meeting at Oscar Goodman’s office with Elaine Wynn and others; names of donors are on parts of the new temple building: Judy & Ron Mack, Steinbergs, Segermund, Mallins, Wolzinger, Priscilla Schwartz and additional importance of newcomers as donors.....................................................32-37 Conversation about Jewish Community Center donations and property near Costco in Summerlin; Sheldon Adelson donation; naming of building on Swenson (Nathan Adelson Hospice offices) after Walter Schwartz Mention Schwartz and Segesmund quiet generosity. Lack of a Jewish home for the elderly talked about. Transient nature of city. Talk about their children and where they live today.................................................................................38-41 Stan talks about Cinnabon franchise investment and investment in apartments in Las Vegas. Enjoyment of retirement years. Discuss changes on the Las Vegas Strip since early days and time doing business with Jay Samo; how corporate ownership affected business; birthday celebration for Stan. Share stories of photos and stars they have met; how Nate Jacobson like being around celebrities at the hotel. Sandy tells of living in Las Vegas Country Club at same time Frank “Lefty” and Geri Rosenthal did; Casino the movie; Allen Glick; Steve Wynn; Burton Cohen. Stan connects his tile early tile business to Des Moines, interviewer’s hometown................42-52 Appendix..........................................................................53 - 55 vi THE SOUTHERN NEVADA JEWISH COMMUNITY DIGITAL HERITAGE PROJECT at UNLV University Libraries Use Agreement Name of Narrator: MftLUAj Name of Interviewer: We, the above named, give to the Oral History Research Center of UNLV, the recorded interview(s) initiated on / ~ 7'?££)/??' along with typed transcripts as an unrestricted gift, to be used for such scholarly and educational purposes as shall be determined, and transfer to the University of Nevada Las Vegas, legal title and all literary property rights including copyright. This gift does not preclude the right of the interviewer, as a representative of UNLV, to use the recordings and related materials for scholarly pursuits. I understand that my interview will be made available to researchers and may be quoted from, published, distributed, placed on the Internet or broadcast in any medium that the Oral History Research Center and UNLV Libraries deem appropriate including future forms of electronic and digital media. There will be no compensation for any interviews. Signature of Narrator Date Signature of Interviewer Date Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Box 457010, Las Vegas, NV 89154-7010 702.895.2222 Vll THE SOUTHERN NEVADA JEWISH COMMUNITY DIGITAL HERITAGE PROJECT at UNLV University Libraries Use Agreement Name of Narrator: KLU Name of Interviewer: ___________ We, the above named, give to the Oral History Research Center of UNLV, the recorded interview(s) initiated on —J7-along with typed transcripts as an unrestricted gift, to be used for such scholarly and educational purposes as shall be determined, and transfer to the University of Nevada Las Vegas, legal title and all literary property rights including copyright. This gift does not preclude the right of the interviewer, as a representative of UNLV, to use the recordings and related materials for scholarly pursuits. I understand that my interview will be made available to researchers and may be quoted from, published, distributed, placed on the Internet or broadcast in any medium that the Oral History Research Center and UNLV Libraries deem appropriate including future forms of electronic and digital media. There will be no compensation for any interviews. Signature of Narrator Date ^ ---{/7/je/g' Signature of Interviewer Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Box 457010, Las Vegas, NV 89154-7010 702.895.2222 vm [Today is January 7, 2015. This is Barbara Tabach and I am sitting with Stan Mallin and his wife Sandy Mallin in their home. Stan, how many years have you been in Las Vegas? I moved here in 1968. So a few years, huh? Yes. Forty something years, yes. Tell me about your family ancestry. Well, my father was born in Ukraine, in Russia. He came to this country as a young man and fought in the World War I, which gave him citizenship to this country. My mother, I think, was bom in New York. I was bom in Kansas City, 1923. [I had] an older brother and a younger sister. I'm very familiar with Kansas City. Were you on the Missouri side? Yes. Tell me about growing up. What was it like to grow up in Kansas City at that time? It was wonderful. It was wonderful. I went to grade school, high school, then attended the University of Missouri in Columbia. It was a very, very nice city to grow up in, very fine Midwestern city. I suffered no anti-Semitism in school or otherwise. What kind of work did your father do? My father was in the produce business, fruits and vegetables. Well, he was in real estate, too, with my brother, yes. And I should note that the second voice that we're going to be hearing is his wife, Sandy. A lot of Midwestern Jews that I know started out in the produce business. Why was that? Any idea? Maybe from his heritage in Russia. When he came here, in this country, he first was in a horse and wagon; he drove around the neighborhood selling vegetables. That's how he started out and then he opened a produce place selling to grocery stores. He later branched into apples. We eventually acquired a number of apple orchards throughout Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. He specialized in that. Sold his business, but continued with the apple operation. What kind of apples did he grow, do you remember? All sorts—Jonathans, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Winesaps. When you have an orchard, you start early and then you have apples that go along—like Winesap is late; an apple called a Wealthy is an early one—so you can keep going on for a month or two on the harvest. You don't grow the same apple brand at the same time. It would be too much. So you spread it out over a period of time. That's interesting. And I worked with him when I was going to school. What did you do? What were your jobs? Well, I will go out when they were in picking time. We used to pay the apple pickers by the bushel. I would help either pay them or see how many bushels each guy did each day, just help supervise. My older brother was...I helped him. Did either one of you get into the business? My brother stayed with my father all his life, yes. They later went into real estate. Tell me about the real estate business, then. What was that? Well, they bought some properties. They didn't develop any, but they bought existing properties, some downtown, some strip center. As I say, not developing, but just managing existing properties that they bought and sold. 2 So that was in the Kansas City area? Kansas City area, correct. The strip center that we still have is on the state line.. .on the Missouri side. We used to have a business at Country Club Plaza, which we always thought was a nice place to have a store. Very nice. Your family had one? My husband and I did. What kind of store was it? It was bridal retailing. My father-in-law was in the women's clothing industry and then they had a variety of women's retail stores. Long story short, they got a bridal shop and my husband and I took over ownership of that and we grew it from Des Moines, Iowa down into Kansas City. Was your father-in-law from Kansas City? No. He was from Waterloo, Iowa, originally. That's one side of my husband's lineage and the other was more in the grocery business out of Sioux City. So yes, there's a lot of parallels there. Did you ever hear of Streets? Those were women's stores somewhere in the Midwest— Oklahoma, Kansas City, Arkansas. Tulsa, Oklahoma; Oklahoma City; Kansas City, Kansas. My sister's husband's family, they were in the retail business, women's and men's. It's another traditional career path or business ownership path, isn’t it? Yes. More difficult as the chains took over is what we found. 3 So you said you attended the University of Missouri. Correct. Are you still a big Mizzou fan? Yes, sort of. I follow their football team. He was in the Army in between. Oh, in between going to college. Yes. So you graduated from high school where? Southwest High School in Kansas City... I think it was in the Class of 1940, at least the high school graduate of Class of 1940. I went to the University of Missouri and then the war interrupted. I was in the ROTC and I volunteered and I went into the service. I think it was around late 1942. I served approximately three years in the Army, came back after the war and got my degree at the university in 1947. What was your degree in? Tell me about that. Business and public administration. Did you have an idea of what you wanted to do? I just wanted to be in business. I didn't desire any profession; I just wanted to be somewhere in business and I didn't have any particular idea of what business it was. I just didn't want to be with my father. [Laughing] Family businesses can be a challenge. Right, right. And my brother was there with him and I didn't care to. I didn't like the business. One of my roommates at college was a guy named Sarno, Jay Samo. After we graduated—he graduated the same time—we went to Florida. He had a cousin who came to the 4 university, never attended class, but just came. When he left he went in the tile business in Miami Beach, Florida, and he said, “Come on down. There's a lot of work to be done.” We took a flier; we drove down. We decided to stay and we went in the tile business, tiling bathrooms. It was a tough business. It was very competitive. You would tile a guy's little apartment complex or whatever, and if he had a good season, you'd get paid; if he didn't have a good season, you might not get paid and you might wait a long time. So we ran into a fraternity brother from the University of Missouri who was living in Atlanta and had married a girl whose father was a builder, a home builder, and he was living in Atlanta. He said, “Come to Atlanta. We need some tile contractors. You can do good.” So we did. We kind of half-prospered. We were doing tile contracting for guys who had twenty-unit apartments or forty-unit apartments. A guy in overalls, looked like he didn't have a nickel, he says, “How come you're building this thing...?” and whatever. He says, “Well, there's a program in the government called FHA 608, which gives you money or guarantees loans to build apartments. The country needs housing. So sure enough, we went to the FHA office and we applied. We discussed it with them and we applied. We got a little lot on a certain street for thirty-two units. They gave us a guaranteed loan. They gave a guarantee and I think we placed the loan with the banks. And the banks were so anxious to get these loans they gave you a little bonus; in other words, they'd give you like a two percent bonus. Let's say the loan was two hundred thousand, you get four thousand for just giving them the loan. We built thirty-two units, the first one, and that turned out fine. We got enough money that we didn't have to put any money in. It was a hundred percent loan. We said,” Well, let's 5 build another one.” So we built one eighty-unit, eight-story building. And we were single and these were all one-bedroom. When we moved to Atlanta, we couldn't find a place to live. I'm backing up a minute. So we rented a house in somebody's home that took in borders. So after the thirty-two units, which was efficiency units, we moved in and then we said, “Well, let's build another one. This is a good deal.” So we built an eighty-unit, eight-story apartment building, all one-bedrooms, for single guys like us. It filled up right away. We got a loan from the government and when we finished the building, there was eighty thousand left over. We never saw so much money. And this is you and Jay Sarno? Right. Was there a third partner or just the two of you? Just the two of us. Then we applied for another one near the airport. For some reason or other, we sold it before we built it. We sold the commitment and the papers and got a nice piece of change. I'm trying to think what happened after that. The one with the hank. That you got the hank to be your tenant. Oh, that was mine. That was another one. I always wanted to build an office building. I went to a real estate company; I knew one of the men. And we said, “We need a doctors' building; there's no decent doctors' building.” So I managed with the real estate company and we built an eight-story doctors' building and it filled up. And then in Chattanooga some doctors wanted a building and they came to us and we built a building in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Then in Jacksonville, Florida, somehow they came to us, some doctors, and we built a doctors' building in Jacksonville, which we later sold to the hospital there, a big hospital. Then I wanted to build just a general office building. I went to the leading bank in 6 Atlanta, which was the Citizens and Southern Bank. They had a beautiful lot right on Peach Street and they had a temporary trailer as a bank. They were using it as the bank. So I went to them and I said, “You give me the land for a sixty-year lease at a dollar a year,” and I gave them sixty dollars, and I said, “I'll build a building and you can have the ground floor as your bank for no rent; we'll exchange the rent for the lease.” And somehow they bought the deal. So I built the building and it was a beautiful building. Is that the building? The Black Building? It's the Black Building. Oh, I see, the black-and-white photo there where you’re looking at. It looks like blueprints. Anyway, I got in trouble with the building; it didn't lease up as fast. So I sold it and leased it back. I had to lease it back to guarantee the people that bought it. There was a little public company, kind of a nothing company. I'm trying to remember exactly. They gave me stock; instead of money they gave me stock in their little company. It was like two- or three-dollar stock. But I was desperate; I took the deal. One day the guy called me up and he said, “Stan, the stock is booming. It's around eight dollars. Sell it.” Which I did and came out very well on the deal. I paid off all my debts and whatever. Wow. So you were— It was amazing. Yes, it was amazing. So you just kept working at this. Right. Did you guys have a name for your company? No. I had a different name for every project—Stanley Mallin Associates, Stanley Mallin Developing. I had a different corporation for each. 7 Jay wasn't in on those. No, Jay wasn't in on those. Then about that time Jay and I got invited on a junket to Las Vegas. Oh, in the meantime, we had built some motels. He and Jay. Me and Jay, we built a motel in Atlanta. Our lawyer was a guy named Morris Abram, who later became president of Brandeis University. He was head of the Peace Corps under Kennedy. He became a very distinguished guy. Anyway, we're building a motel and he says, “I'm doing legal work for the Teamsters Union and I can get you a nice loan for the motel,” which he did. We met Jimmy Hoffa. All of the members of the Teamster board, they came to the opening and we had a big party and whatever. Then right after that we got invited on a junket to Las Vegas. We went. We got a bunch of guys from Atlanta. Went to the Flamingo. We thought, well, there isn't a decent hotel in this town, so maybe we can build a hotel or develop one. That's when we started to think about Caesars Palace. Let me, if I can...so when you say they weren’t decent hotels, what were the standards that were missing for you? They just weren't grand enough. We just thought they were not—they were very plain. So it was the presentation you thought should be more grand. Right. The Flamingo, the Riviera, the Stardust, nothing distinguished about them, nothing palatial. So you two thought you could do it better. We thought we could do it better; that's correct. Okay. So go from there. 8 We leased some land where Caesars is now from Kirk Kerkorian, who owned the Flamingo and he owned that land. We didn't have enough money to do it on our own. So we went around the country and a guy told us about a fellow in Baltimore named Nate Jacobson; we should go see him. He was in the insurance business, but he knew a lot of people and he loved the idea. He took over raising all the money for the project. He became president of the hotel when we got it built. He raised 99 percent of money. Who was that? Was that the Rogers or was that... ? Rogers were an investor. Nate Jacobson was—it was in Baltimore. How much money did you have to raise at that time? A couple of million. That seems like chump change today, doesn't it? But back then it had to be a huge amount. I have the stockholders report for Caesars. The numbers are miniscule. I think it costs more to run Temple Beth Sholom today than it did that hotel. That puts it in perspective. Originally, there were six hundred rooms. The Rogers brothers— Now, who are the Rogers brothers? I'll tell you. A guy owned the Gulfstream Racetrack in Miami. I forget his name. He also owned the Cleveland Browns, NFL football team. I forgot who approached him, whatever. He was going to put in two hundred and fifty thousand dollars equity money if we would hire a certain guy to run the casino from the Sands, a guy named Jerry Zarowitz. He was a very feisty little guy. Whenever there was a conversation, he wanted to dominate the whole thing. When it came time to put up the money, he didn't put up the money and somehow that's how the Rogers 9 brothers. . . The Rogers brothers were four brothers from Beaumont, Texas. They had Texas State Optical, well over a hundred optical stores in Texas, shopping centers in Chicago, very wealthy, very fine gentlemen. They took over his position. That's how the Rogers brothers came. They later invested when we built Circus. Samo and I had developed Circus. They came with us and invested with us. But that Zarowitz guy that he had to hire in order to get the two hundred fifty thousand was really the reason why they lost the hotel. Oh. Tell me about that. We didn't know—I particularly didn't know any of these ins and outs of the Mafia and so forth and so on. This guy Goldfarb—I think that was his name—said he would give the two fifty if we hired Zarowitz to run the casino, which we did. He turned out to be a mob...I've forgotten what I wanted to say . Tony Salerno. He was under Tony Salerno. A very bright guy, this Zarowitz. But when we opened the hotel, he staffed the whole casino area [with] all kinds of guys, dams-and-dough’s guys. Anyway, when we were running after a while we found out that every month he was sending substantial amounts of money to New York, to the Mafia. How did you find out? Well, after a while he made no secret about it. We had a board and I was on the board, Samo, the Rogers brothers and several other guys, and we objected to it. I says, “How come you're...?” He says, “Listen, you better let it drop or they'll find out and they'll kill you. They'll kill you and your family. So just forget about it.” Well, that was a little scary. Actually he says, “They'll kill you.” So as far as the hotel operation, we caught what they say lightning in a bottle; it took right off and was very, very profitable. In fact, on our opening we went so far as to put out 10 markers that we weren't able to.. .we ran out of cash. Hoffa was at the opening and he said, “Don't worry; I'll give you another million or two.” And he did. But the hotel took off. Business was terrific. So then Samo and I decided—or Samo, really, mainly to build Circus Circus. And I went with him and we built Circus Circus. We didn't have a Teamster loan at that time; we went to Interstate Bank here. I don't think they exist anymore. But you went to Circus Circus because they were afraid at Caesars Palace. They were afraid, is what you told me. You couldn't own it anymore. So who took over Caesars, then? What happened was the government or the Control Board—I don't remember exactly—or the Justice Department, they raided the hotel. Zarowitz, who was the casino manager as I told you, was living in the hotel. They raided his apartment and found a million and a half cash in his apartment. So the Justice Department, according to our lawyer, said, “We've got to get out of it. You guys are going to go to jail. Give up your ownership.” So we sold it to LUMS—LUMS was a hot dog franchise, national thing, came from Miami—for a certain amount of money and they were to give a third down and a third in six months and another third end of year. They gave the third down; they couldn't come up with the rest. At that time our lawyer representing us was a guy named Rudin, who was Sinatra's lawyer, a very bright man. He was in L.A. So we were meeting. He says, “Well, we can take the hotel back.” He says, “They can't come up with their obligations. We have a lien on the hotel. We should take the hotel back.” And he says, “Well, the government isn't going to let you do it.” He said, “The LUMS is a public company.” It was on the New York Stock Exchange. 11 And he says, “The government isn't going to let you screw these widows and orphans and all on this stock. So you've got to renegotiate.” See, that's where we made a terrible mistake, meaning some of us; we agreed to what he said. But in retrospect, we should have bought out Zarowitz and the Mafia group and we should have told him, “We're not doing it.” But he scared us to death. Well, how old were you at that time? Well, when was this? It was in about 1970. And you didn't come from that background at all. No. We never heard of them. Well, we heard of the Mafia, but we never got associated with them. It was frightening, a little frightening. Yes, I can imagine it being very intimidating. You're a legitimate businessmen trying to do a good thing. But the Rogers brothers and Samo and I, we had no...So he scared us. He said, “They'll put you in jail. They'll indict you.” And this and that. “And you've got to renegotiate the deal.” So we renegotiated it about ten times. They finally paid us with their own money; meaning that they paid us over the years out of the profits that the hotel created. It was really our own money. You know what I mean? Yes. So that's how we got out of Caesars. We made some money. But it later became , we sold it for a tenth of what it was worth after a few years. I always call Stan will tell you the rest. Is it okay? Oh, yes, absolutely. This helps. Fill in. If I was a screenwriter, I picture two country boys trying to deal with big guys, and that's what 12 happened. They had the right idea. They had the hotel. They had this big-time famous attorney it's [Milton A.] “Mickey ” Rudin; he was the attorney to the stars; I think he was Lana Turner's attorney giving them bad advice. Mainly he was Sinatra's attorney. They were like babies, babes in arms. Well, he was in contact with the head of the Justice Department prosecuting this case and he told us. He says, “This guy is out to get you. He's going to put you guys in jail if you don't get out of the ownership.” And we believed him. Now, whether it would have happened or not, I don't know. So when they did that were there episodes in Las Vegas history that kind of flashed through your mind at that time that made you more nervous? People watch the movie “Casino,” for example. They see the whole history of Vegas in a more intimidating way. A lot of previous casino people got killed by the Mafia. The Greenbaums—I don't know if you remember him—they killed he and his wife, slit their throats in their car. They were tough, the Mafia. You took it seriously. Between the Mafia and the government and the Justice Department, we said, “Jesus Christ, we're involved in...How did we get involved in this? We've got to get out of it.” But as I say, in retrospect, we should have ignored Rudin. We should've gotten rid of Zarowitz. Zarowitz was a non sequitur; we couldn't continue with him. But I think if we and Samo and the Rogers brothers had said, “No, we're going to stay with the hotel,” we might have prevailed. It's a moot point. 13 Well, let's stay with Caesars for a little bit before we move to Circus Circus. So the hotel opens and what were some of the aspects that you wanted to put into it to make it bigger and grand? Well, it was just grander. The place sold itself. It was a beautiful edifice. It was much grander, much...I say gaudy or whatever, much nicer than any of the existing properties. They went all over Italy buying the— It just sold itself. They did the statues. Right