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Transcript of interview with Ron Lurie by Barbara Tabach, June 5, 2015






Interview with Ron Lurie by Barbara Tabach on June 5, 2015. In this interview, Lurie discusses his family and his time in politics, campaigning for office, and some of his accomplishments while in office as mayor and in the city council. He also talks about growing up in Las Vegas and attending Las Vegas High School, and working for his father, Art Lurie, in the grocery store business.

Ron Lurie was a rambunctious teenager when the Lurie family moved to Las Vegas from California. He adapted quickly to Las Vegas and made fast friends. He is a 1958 graduate of Las Vegas High School. His father, Art Lurie, a supermarket businessman, was also a well-known professional boxing judge and a former Nevada Athletic Commission chair. In 1987 Ron became the first person of Jewish ancestry to be elected Mayor of Las Vegas. Previously, he was fourteen year member of the Las Vegas City Council and served on many community boards and commissions. Since political office was not a fulltime position, Ron's career path developed in a couple of different ways. He tells the story of becoming a butcher and the opportunities he experienced becoming a successful salesman of gaming machines for Si Redd, IGT and others. His over three decade gaming career continues as of this oral history. He is executive vice president and general manager of Arizona Charlie's Decatur location. In this oral history he reflects on some of his political accomplishments as mayor and city councilman. He also served six years on the State of Nevada Wildlife Commission and is a member of the Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn.

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Ron Lurie oral history interview, 2015 June 05. OH-02424. [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 RON LURIE An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach The Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ?Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital 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 Tabach, Claytee D. White Editors and Project Assistants: Maggie Lopes, Stefani Evans ii 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 Community Digital Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iii PREFACE Ron Lurie was a rambunctious teenager when the Lurie family moved to Las Vegas from California. He adapted quickly to Las Vegas and made fast friends. He is a 1958 graduate of Las Vegas High School. His father, Art Lurie, a supermarket businessman, was also a well-known professional boxing judge and a former Nevada Athletic Commission chair. In 1987 Ron became the first person of Jewish ancestry to be elected Mayor of Las Vegas. Previously, he was fourteen year member of the Las Vegas City Council and served on many community boards and commissions. Since political office was not a fulltime position, Ron's career path developed in a couple of different ways. He tells the story of becoming a butcher and the opportunities he experienced becoming a successful salesman of gaming machines for Si Redd, IGT and others. His over three decade gaming career continues as of this oral history. He is executive vice president and general manager of Arizona Charlie's Decatur location. In this oral history he reflects on some of his political accomplishments as mayor and city councilman. He also served six years on the State of Nevada Wildlife Commission and is a member of the Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Ron Lurie June 5, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Barbara Tabach Preface iv Mentions his father, Art Lurie, who was Jewish and Italian ancestry; how 1986 mayoral race against Al Levy, also Jewish, made people aware that he too was Jewish. Talks about his 1973 run for city council; how it was a citywide seat and how he determined the important issues. Walked 90 precincts, learned to be a better campaigner on a limited budget 1 - 5 In 1975 ran against Harry Reid and Bill Briare (who won) for mayor; Briare became his mentor. Talks about significant things he helped change in Las Vegas: paramedic transportation, zoning, police and fire departments, especially confusion of county and city policing areas. Challenges of city and county boards. Served as mayor pro tem under Briare 6 - 8 Talks about Bob Stupak running against him; garnering support of gaming executives. Explains some important steps he led for local growth during his tenure: Cashman Field, zoning such as for Summerlin, 1988 development of Sun City, Floyd Lam Park and Tule Springs ranch properties, Recalls downtown of his youth and cruising Fremont Street; reluctance to make any changes to that area 9 - 11 Describes listening to Steve Wynn's proposal to build Golden Nugget; other leaders of importance in downtown area at the time. Reflects on the hospitals, served on Valley Hospital Health System; Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Brain Health Center, Smith Center, Discovery Museum. Recalls getting Union Pacific Railroad to clean up land for development. Speaks about level of crimes from when he grew up to his time on the council to more current 11 - 16 Mentions people he grew up with; attending high school in Las Vegas and his brief time at Arizona State University. Comes back to work with his father, Art, in the grocery business, specifically in the butcher shop; apprenticed to Al Schulman. Joined the US Army, spent six years in reserves. Tells how his dad opened Art Lurie Supermarket on the Westside in 1963, challenges, going to Watts to learn more, selling to Food Fair. He v eventually worked at Wonder World for Herb Kaufman; going to temple with co-workers from there 17 - 21 Comments on holding political office, pay and continuing a work career. Talks about his personal goal to build soccer fields, Pop Warner fields and such. Explains how he came to work for Si Redd selling coin machines at Antique Gambler and eventually sales director IGT (International Gaming Technology) placing thousands of video poker machines; joined Sigma Game and introduced 10-position horse race game to the Strip 22 - 25 Hired by Bruce Becker who owned Arizona Charlie's and Sunset Coin (1990); has been there 25 years and worked for various owners including Carl Icahn and Goldman Sachs. Talks about selling machines to Becker for Charleston Heights Bowling alley, became Arizona Charlie's; out of state licensing difficulties in Missouri; folklore of the real Arizona Charlie, a Becker relative 26 - 28 Talks about reading his father's oral history [Art Lurie, 1986 oral history]; recalls his father's personality and involvement with boxing and with the athletic commission; their personal relationship. Explains his personal interest in the outdoors; purpose of and his membership in Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn; hunting 29 - 33 Speaks about his "Jewishness"; married to his wife, a convert, at Temple Beth Sholom on Oakey in 1965; story of how they met; story of visiting her Southern Baptist Texas family the first time; married 45 years, Beverly died in 2010. Talks about interfaith dynamics of his life; mentions Jewish business leaders of the past; law enforcement of Las Vegas over the past, Sheriffs Lamb and Moran; story about impact of a photo of him with Moe Dalitz and others when doing gaming application 34 - 40 vi Today is June fifth, 2015. This is Barbara Tabach and I'm sitting in the office of Ron Lurie. I really appreciate you meeting me early this morning. Yeah, I like to get started early. I'm with you on that one. It's the best part of the day. It is. You get things done. The purpose of this recording is to save the stories of Las Vegas history and, in particular here, we're looking of people of Jewish ancestry. Doesn't mean you had to be particularly religious or anything. But I was reading, because we have the benefit of your father's interview that he did way back in...1986 or '87; something like that. Which I thought was wonderful to listen to. He was a product of an Italian Jewish background?right, his parents? And so I'm curious when you look back at your life, how did your dad's background filter through to you? Well, a lot of people thought I was Italian. They were very surprised when they found out that I was Jewish especially when I ran for office the first time. I ran against Al Levy, who was Jewish, and he made it a point to let people know that I was Jewish also so that if there was people out there that maybe didn't care for the Jewish community, then they wouldn't vote for me; maybe they wouldn't vote for him. So most people thought I was Italian. So I picked up that segment of votes. And in this city where you have a really strong Italian and Jewish influence. There was quite a bit. I think we're diversified here in Las Vegas. When I look back, I have many friends that are LDS, Catholic, Protestant, Methodist, Jewish. We just all come from different walks of life. It's nice when we can talk sometimes about politics or we talk about 1 religion. Everybody has something to say and we either agree or we don't agree, but we don't let it interfere with our friendship. That's really wonderful. When you look at Las Vegas history of Jews?and it's interesting that you were running against a Jewish man at that time?how much did religion play in politics as far as people voting in Vegas? Was it significant, do you think? I believe it was. Al, who ran against me, his dad was a city commissioner, too. So they kind of were grooming him at some point to become the city commissioner, also. But then I kind of spoiled things when I decided I was going to run and that put two of us in the race. I think my dad at one point, he was interested in running for the city council and he was talked out of it because they had already picked somebody else that they wanted for that particular seat. So he just backed off. And then when I decided to run, some people said, "Well, Al's running. His dad was a city commissioner and maybe you shouldn't run." And I said, "Well, I've already paid my fifty dollars, and so I'm in the race. So if he wants to get out of the race, he can get out of the race. But I have my goals set on certain things I want to see done in the city and I was told the only way you really can get things done is you have to be on the city council." So that's why I ran and I did win. It was not a real heated race, but there were some issues that came up. I mentioned Al wanted to mention I was Jewish because, again, a lot of people didn't know I was Jewish. He made a comment one time when we were on a debate on TV about my Jewish background. So then it got out. I wasn't trying to hide it or anything. But nobody really paid much attention to the religion. But religion played a part in getting the vote out. We are a very strong LDS community, a very strong senior community. At the time in the West Las Vegas you wanted to get the support of ministers on the Westside. So if you got those segments of voters, you just 2 about were assured to win your race. So you were running for city council against Levy at that time. Yes. So what area of the city were you running in? See, when we ran it was citywide. Oh, okay. As the years passed the legislature, they divided the city into four wards and the mayor ran at large. So my the time I ran it was citywide. So that's in 1972 that you were running? If I remember correctly there were about a hundred and forty-six precincts in the city at the time. And it was funny because when I decided to run, number one, I didn't have any money. I didn't have a lot of the political people backing me. So I had a friend that was in the sign business. I had a friend that was PR. So I called both of those people and I said, "I'm thinking of running. Would you want to get involved and help me?" They said, "Sure." So the signs were easy because we bought some particle board and we cut them and we silk screened signs and we put them up ourselves around the city. The PR...That was interesting because I got a call. Once I filed and I was in the race, I got a call from a reporter that wanted to know?we were sitting down like we're sitting down? what my platform was. And I said, "Let me call you back." And I called my friend Greg who was in the PR. I said, "They want to know what my platform is." I said, "Tell me what the platform is." I didn't know what a platform was. He said, "Well, they want to talk to you about the issues of the campaign." I said, "Fine." I said, "What we need to do to find out what the issues are is we need to talk to the people." So we needed to either go to a shopping mall or we 3 needed to go to some restaurants. We needed to go to some neighborhoods. I said, "You know what?" I said, "Why don't we go in the neighborhood where I live and let's walk and see what the people say?" Well, I walked two blocks. I knew all the issues and what was on people's minds. I lived down off Burnham and Griffith in that area of Charleston and Eastern. So we walked those blocks down there and I found out?police, fire, paramedics, air quality, water?at that time pornography was a big issue because they had just opened an adult movie theater on Charleston and Eastern and the neighborhood was outraged at the fact that they were bringing pornography in the neighborhood. This is back in 1973. So I said, "Okay, well, we're going to come up and that's going to be our issue." Planning and zoning was a big one, too. People were concerned about...Las Vegas was kind of built checkerboard because you have private ownership and you have BLM [Bureau of Land Management], you have private, BLM. So now zoning is coming into play where you live in a nice neighborhood and all of a sudden somebody comes in with a multipurpose development. They want to build apartments and you don't want apartments in your neighborhood because it brings the wrong element of people, is what people were saying. It really doesn't, but that's how their mind works. So we called the reporter back and I said, "Here's what I want to do with police. I want to hire many police. I want to get a permitted program in this city. I want to do things for our youth when it comes to Pop Warner football, soccer, baseball, so on and so forth." So I put the whole package together and we ended up walking over ninety precincts. At the time we went to every house. Not every house has registered voters, but we went to every house anyway because we didn't know any better at the time that there's a way?in fact, Myron Leavitt, after I got elected and everything, he says, "I can tell you an easier way to get the vote 4 out because what I do is I send my kids down to the election department and I look at the register of voters of who voted in the last presidential election and you know those people are eligible in the next election." And so we call those people hard-core voters. I paid some people to go down and go through all the voter books and get the names and addresses of people I knew voted all the time and those are the people we focused on. And it works. I don't know how they do it today. Back then you could go get a book, how you sign in, and you just look at the book and you see, well, Barbara voted last time. I've got to send Barbara a letter and let her know she needs to get out and vote and here's where I stand and I hope she supports me. That's the way we won that election. I won the primary. Then I won the general?we had a runoff. I had some school kids come in and help me. Again, I didn't have a lot of money. So we had to rely on volunteers and I had a couple of high school government classes, friends of mine that were teaching that gave me their class as a project to address envelopes and stuff envelopes. I spent time just getting out and showing my face. Growing up here I knew a lot of people. But when you get into politics, it's a different segment that you're dealing with. How's that? Well, I wasn't familiar with all of the people that belonged to the Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, the Downtown Progress Association at the time. I ran around with my little circle of people. So when you get into politics there's a whole new circle of people you're dealing with, whether it's hotel owners and business people and home builders, shopping center builders, people that are doing business within the city. Now you have to broaden yourself and be able to get out and talk to those people and find out what they want to do as far as development and how it fits into your master plan of the city. 5 And so at the time I got elected in '73?Paul Christensen ran the same time. Paul and I were both new on the city council. Mayor [Oran] Gragson was the mayor and Hal Morelli and George Franklin were on the board. So when you're new, new kid on the block, we lost a lot of votes three to two because they kind of had a little PAC over there. So we didn't get a lot done the first year, but we put together a plan of things that needed to be done when they were gone, and then things turned where we had the majority. I mean there were some issues early on. We're a mayor, city manager, mayor council form of government and that's the way it is today. At the time Mayor Gragson, he wanted to run everything, but we had a very weak city manager. And so Paul and I?I said, "We've got to change that." So in 1975, when Bill Briare got elected?in fact, I ran in '75 and lost. I was in office two years and I thought I knew everything and I was ready to be mayor and I found out I wasn't ready. You just have to accept that. But I was in the middle of my term. So I could run and if I lost I still had two years on the city council. So it was really good experience at the time. In fact, Bill and Harry Reid and myself were the top three and Bill and Harry had a runoff; I came in third. I always tell Harry, I say, "The reason you weren't mayor is because I took a lot of votes away from you." I said, "I want you to remember that." So we're good friends. And so when Bill got elected and we had another councilman that got elected, then we had the majority and so we made some changes on the city manager's side to get a professional city manager to take care of city business. And then the mayor at the time, Bill Briare, he wanted his certain boards. He liked the convention board. He liked to travel and he liked to promote the city. And I didn't really care for traveling. So I was mayor pro tem. So I actually ran the city most of the time because he was doing other things with the Convention Authority. We really had a great relationship. He was wonderful to work for; he kind of was my mentor. 6 When his terms were up and he didn't run again that's when I ran. But he taught me a lot and I really worked closely with him. We had some good people on the board that we all had the same ideas and the same direction we wanted to see the city grow and prosper. So what were some of the more significant things that you felt like you helped change in the city? Well, I think in the beginning the paramedic program; I got legislation passed so that the paramedics could transport. Before, they couldn't transport; they could stabilize you and then Mercy Ambulance would take you to the hospital; now it's AMR. So I thought that was pretty significant. We changed some zoning, ways we do zoning and how we require certain developers to do certain things; it's just not a rubber stamp. We would go out and we'd actually?this is something that I didn't think a lot of the council people did, but I got my agenda and I went and looked at every project. So when you came before the board and you were telling me something, you better tell me the right thing because I had been out there the week before. So I know what the neighborhood is like. I know what you want to build and how you want to build it. And if it didn't fit into our general plan, we'll send you back to advising. The police and fire...We worked closely with the fire department to become a number-one fire department. They have a name for it; I don't recall it right now, but like class one. I felt very strongly about our firefighters and very strongly about the police. When I took office in '73, the legislature just passed a law consolidating the police department with the sheriffs department. In fact, Governor O'Callaghan?I called him and I said, "You passed this law. I just got on the board and I'd like to really take a look at this with you." He said, "You're too late. We've been talking about this for a long time and it's going to 7 happen." Well, the city, we had two-man patrol cars, we had the helicopter, we had canine, and the county didn't have all that. So now we kind of lost some of that protection because they had bigger areas to cover. I got on the police commission. So when I got on the police commission, we made a few changes. The county and the city have to split the budget, so we fought over that and how the budget was going to be split, whether it's on number of calls, population, the size of the city, size of the county. So we basically come up with, I think, a lot of plans. When we consolidated they changed the color of the police car. They changed the color of the uniforms. They wanted to make it look different. In the long run, we ended up going back to the black-and-white cars and the different?the same uniform. But it was kind of funny because people that live here don't really understand city and county. They don't understand the boundary. It can be very confusing. It is confusing. As mayor I probably received as many calls from county residents as city residents that think they have a problem. Because if you move from a city back east, you call your mayor. Well, here you've got to call the county commissioner. I said, "I'd like to help you, but you live in the county." "What do you mean I live in the county? I live in Las Vegas, Nevada." I said, "Well, you still live in the county and they have their own ward and you have to talk to them. There's a boundary line at Sahara." And that goes way back when the city could have annexed all that back in the fifties and they didn't do it. And why didn't they do that? They didn't think the Strip was going to be what it is today. So they felt everything was going to 8 be downtown in their area and it was just going to be too expensive to annex, and so they opted not to pursue it, what was probably a mistake. But I still feel at some day or some point they should combine the city and county boards together and become one city because the county has a lot of town boards and it makes it difficult to do business. We tried to do things in the city to make it easier for the consumer. When you come down to get a building permit, we tried to make it easier to go through the process because a lot of times you get held up. And I think some of the things that we heard, "Well, so-and-so's not going to work on our project right now because he wants to work on the weekends so he can get overtime," and little things like that that kind of... So you were on the city council for how long? I was on it eighteen years and the last four years I was mayor. So finally becoming mayor, what significantly changed for you? Talk about that. Actually, there wasn't much of a change because I was mayor pro tem all the time during Bill Briare's term. When he wasn't there, I conducted all the meetings; I signed all the documents; I did all of the ceremonial things that the mayor would do. So it was a pretty easy transition to go from my office right next door to the bigger office. But that race was an interesting race. Who were you running against? Talk about that. He ran against me. He ran against you, okay. That was Bob Stupak. Bob Stupak owned Vegas World. He decided to get in the race. We ran our campaign like we normally run it. He spent a lot of money on the race. He spent a lot of money on the seniors. He spent a lot of money on the Westside. He took Vegas World public and, if you lived in the city and you're a registered voter, you got a couple of shares of stock in 9 Vegas World; it was tradable. And you could take your little card in Vegas World and you could get a discount on food and any kind of service you wanted. So actually, it was a real gray area. It sounds like it. Trying to buy some votes. I think the seniors at the time during the primary, every senior center or every senior residential area, everybody got like a fruit basket by their door at night. I mean he did all that. So anyway, to make a long story short, I lost the primary. He won the primary. He won?I forget?eighteen hundred votes. Well, that night I get a call from Steve Wynn, Frank Fertitta, Bill Boyd, Mel Exber, Jackie Gaughan, Jack Binion; all the guys that run downtown. They said, "You've got to win this race. How much is it going to cost to win this race?" I said, "Well, we're going to win it. I don't know how much it's going to cost you, but we'll beat him." Anyway, I met with Steve Wynn the next day and he gave me some money to kick off the campaign, and they all did. It was probably one of the easiest times to raise money for a campaign when Stupak won the primary because nobody wanted him as mayor. He would have been an embarrassment to the city. He was a friend of mine, too. I sold him slot machines and we were friends. But he just decided he wanted to run. Well, after he won the primary, he came to me one time and he says, "I really don't want to be mayor." He said, "But now that I'm in the race and I won the primary, I've got to stay in the race." I said, "Well, why don't you drop out?" He says, "Well, there are people would like to see me as mayor." He said, "But I'll tell you what. If I win, I still want you to run the city. I still want you to be able to do the things that you've been doing." I said, "Well, that to me is just so ridiculous." So I mean we worked pretty hard to win that race. A lot of people were nervous that he 10 might win. He was a funny guy. He came to my campaign party that night when we won and he just made kind of a fool of himself in front of the media. And so anyway, he just kind of backed off a little bit. But that was a very expensive race for me and it was an expensive race for him. But in the end you won. I won. And what things happened during your tenure as mayor that you recall? Well, there's things that we wanted to do. The Cashman Field...We worked with the Convention Authority because we had land down on Washington and we wanted to build a facility that was a multipurpose facility. We had land across the street where Reliance Park was and we saw that the Sawyer Building was built down there. We put together like a maglev test, a track we were going to build from downtown to Cashman Field to move people for transportation, which after I left office that just kind of went away. We did a lot of zoning items, a lot of things to try to encourage the city development. I think the one big one was Summerlin because the city had the land and we knew Howard Hughes owned twenty-five thousand acres up there and part of it was in the county and part of it was in the city. But the initial building...The major part of the land was in the city. So we let them come in with the zoning for Sun City. Sun City was its first development back in 1988. They actually were looking to go to Boulder City to build a retirement community, but Boulder City doesn't allow many permits every year for housing. Sun City now has eight thousand residents. So that's quite a few. So we built the Summerlin Parkway. We had to make some conditions as far as building it, payments and ordinances that people that move in pay a fee. I think that was one of the biggest projects that really moved development to the west part of the valley. As you see what 11 they've done now, I mean they have a lot going on. But at the time the city had the water and the sewer and the power that was close by, but the county didn't have the sewer that ran to a lot of the land that they had. Today it's there, but back in '88 it wasn't there. So different parts of the city have changed a lot since you were mayor. The Westside is struggling. We've got the change in downtown. Those are city, right? That's city. The one area that really changed was over in the north where Floyd Lamb Park and Tule Springs. That was all open for horse people, half-acre lots, five-acre lots, ten acres. When anybody ever came in for a zoning application, there were three women out there that just fought every application. They wanted to have it maintained as horse country. And so that basically changed. When you go out there now, you can see all the development that's out there in the north, northwest and northeast. We tried to keep it rural. Right after some of us left they started building little pockets here and there. There's some nice developments out there. I've been out there and gotten lost. [Laughing] When you get past Ann Road and Durango, the way they've built out there, you get... Downtown...Growing up and seeing downtown...when I grew up the train station was where the Union Plaza was. We used to cruise Fremont Street. We used to turn around at the railroad station and then we'd head down to the Blue Onion. Then we'd head up Charleston to Sill's and then Round-Up. I got on the city council and they started talking, "Well, we want to change Fremont Street." "No, I don't want to change it; I like Fremont Street the way it is." But what we ended up doing...Fremont Street was always traffic going both ways and it caused a lot of congestion. So we made Fremont Street one way because the kids would cruise Fremont Street. So this way if they went one way, they all had to keep going the same direction and they could talk. When 12 they got to Main Street, they would turn and go down Carson or Ogden and come back around. So we kind of changed the direction. So you preserved the cruising. Just changed the direction they had to go. When I left, they built the Fremont Experience. I'm not a big fan of Fremont Experience. I've been downtown. Being in the gaming business maybe it brings sometimes the wrong caliber of people downtown. People come downtown to maybe see the Experience and then they leave. I just wasn't a big fan of it. But some people like it. It's not one of my favorite projects. I think we changed downtown?I don't know if I mentioned it before?because Steve Wynn I think was the one in my estimation changed the scope of downtown with the Golden Nugget. Steve called Paul [Christensen] and I one day and said, "I want to talk to you about a project." It was Thanksgiving. And we told him, "It's Thanksgiving." But he said, "Well, it's only going to take an hour." Well, with Steve, an hour, you might as well figure two or three. But he showed us a project he wanted to build downtown. He wanted to build more rooms, a beautiful buffet, a beautiful showroom. He said, "I need you to do one thing." And I said, "Well, what's that?" He said, "Well, downtown is a railroad town. So all the lots are small; they're twenty-five foot lots." He said, "In order to build a megaresort, you're going to have to put land together and have one large parcel." He said, "But I'll do all these things I tell you. I'm going to spend a lot of money and I'm going to provide a lot of jobs. But I need you to close Carson Street." Carson runs right through the Golden Nugget. "Well, why?" He said, "Because I don't want my customers having to walk across the street or take a bridge across the street from the hotel to get to the casino or to eat. So I want everything contiguous, together." Well, that makes sense. 13 So at the time we had the Downtown Progress Association. We made a presentation before them and they didn't like the idea because of change to the traffic flow and they felt that it would hurt their business downtown. Anyway, the council voted for it. A lot of people weren't happy about it that we were giving him preferential treatment. But we closed the street and he built the Golden Nugget like he said he was going to do. He kind of changed the direction, the dynamics. He had the vision. Once he did that everybody else had to step up and do improvements to their property because he was getting all the business. It's the same thing when he put the land together to build the Mirage. It was the same thing. He built a beautiful hotel, which you've probably been in. Everyone says, "You're crazy to build something like that. This is nuts. Every day was like a million dollars. You'll never do that." He did it. And what happened? Everybody else had to step up to the plate, spend their money and keep up. That was what he did. I mean when he did the Bellagio, it was the same thing. You look at the Encore or Wynn, then MGM or?Caesars really started when they built. Then they built Circus C