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Audio clip from interview with Doug Unger, August 26, 2014

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Part of an interview with Doug Unger on August 26, 2014. In this interview, Unger discusses how he acquired Supreme Mattress, a local mattress company that supplied mattresses to Strip casinos.

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Doug Unger oral history interview, 2014 August 26. OH-02153. [Audio recording]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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So this little factory was called Supreme Mattress. Supreme Mattress, yes. Who owned it before you or who did you buy it from? A couple of guys. It was two family members. They had cheated every hotel in town and had no more customers. When I started calling on customers, I had to walk in with my corporation papers and prove to them I was a new owner and I wasn't the same people because they weren't going to do business with them again. So Billy invites me to this City of Hope dinner at the top of the MGM. I got all dressed up. It was packed. Moe Dalitz was being honored as the Man of the Year. I knew who Moe Dalitz was because, of course, growing up in Cleveland my parents had told me all the stories about the Mounds Club, all the gambling that had gone on in Cleveland and all the Jews that had been involved that had left Cleveland and came to Las Vegas. So I knew Moe's history and here he was being honored as the Man of the Year. I remember the next day calling my mom and dad saying something like, I'm home; this is it. I can't believe that here in Las Vegas this guy who had such a really bad history is here the Man of the Year. What was his history? Everything. He did everything. Moe was - and I knew him as an older gentleman in his eighties. He was a sweet, sweet guy. Not such a nice guy in his younger days. He was in lots of deals, lots of business deals. At that dinner Billy grabs me and he walks me over to somebody and says, "Steve, this is my friend Doug Unger and you should buy your bed from him." This was Steve Wynn who had just bought the Golden Nugget and was building a high rise. So I went to see him. I made him a couple of samples. He gave me my start. He gave me the order at the Golden Nugget. For almost a year all I made in my factory was Golden Nugget mattresses. He really gave me my start. What kind of specs did that give you? Well, it was interesting. I made the bed for him. I remember my dad commenting about it; that my very first sale to Steve Wynn was better than any bed my dad had sold any hotel ever before. It really was an indicator of Steve who became a trendsetter in the hotel business. You asked me earlier how often beds are changed. Back at that time beds were changed every ten, eleven, twelve years in hotels. And oftentimes, the ten-year-old bed from a hotel would go to a motel.