The Hotel Last Frontier Photograph Collection contains photographic prints, negatives, and slides depicting scenes inside and outside the Hotel Last Frontier in Las Vegas, Nevada between approximately 1940 and 1969. The collection also includes photographs under its alternate names: the Last Frontier and the New Frontier Hotel and Casino.
Finding Aid PDF
Scope and Contents Note
The Hotel Last Frontier Photograph Collection contains photographic prints, negatives, and slides depicting scenes inside and outside the Hotel Last Frontier in Las Vegas, Nevada between approximately 1940 and 1969. The collection also includes photographs under its alternate names: the Last Frontier and the New Frontier Hotel and Casino. Interior scenes include hotel suites, convention rooms, showrooms, gaming, lounges, cabarets, bars, restaurants, and the Hotel Last Frontier Music Hall. Also featured are notable individuals such as astronauts Bob Crippen, John Young, and Sany Baxter; Mort Saiger; and Lauritz Melchior. Exterior scenes include the Last Frontier stagecoach, and photographs and artists’ renderings of the property. Other photographs feature publicity shoots, golfing events, weddings, banquets, rodeos, and brochure reproductions.
Collection is open for research.
Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.
Materials remain as they were received.
Biographical / Historical Note
The Hotel Last Frontier October 30, 1942. R.E. Griffith and William J. Moore planned to build a resort in New Mexico and stopped in Las Vegas, Nevada at the El Rancho Vegas on Highway 91. The men liked the Highway 91 area and decided to build their resort about a mile from the El Rancho. The Pair O' Dice Nite Club originally occupied the land, and they incorporated the structure into the Hotel Last Frontier, which featured a casino and the Last Frontier Village. The Last Frontier Village consisted of from historic structures moved from throughout Nevada to create an old-west village with shops, a playhouse, museum, bar, and other attractions, including the Little Church of the West wedding chapel. William J. Moore sold the Hotel Last Frontier in 1951 to Jacob Kozloff and Beldon Katleman. They renovated the resort and reopened as the New Frontier with an outer space theme in 1955.
The property subsequently went through a series of owners, including Maury Friedman and T.W. Richardson. In the late 1950s, Warren "Doc" Bayley, owner of the Hacienda Resort Hotel and Casino, purchased the property and reopened it. He held it until his death in 1964, when it was acquired by the Banker's Life Insurance Company. They closed the New Frontier and decided to tear it down to build a larger and more modern resort.
In 1967, Howard Hughes purchased the Frontier Hotel and Casino just before its grand opening and renamed it as the Frontier. Hughes' Summa Corporation owned the Frontier until 1988, when they sold it to Margaret Elardi. She downsized the hotel's operations and closed the showroom. On September 21, 1991, Culinary Workers Union Local 226 began a strike at the Frontier, protesting working conditions and wages. The strike lasted over six years, ending on February 1, 1998, following Elardi's sale of the Frontier to Phil Ruffin. Ruffin changed the name back to the New Frontier. He later partnered with Donald Trump to construct Trump Tower on the west parking lot of the resort. He sold the remaining property to the Elad Group in May of 2007. The Frontier closed on July 16, 2007 and was imploded on November 13, 2007.
Burbank, Jeff. "Last Frontier Hotel." Online Nevada Encyclopedia. Accessed January 9, 2019. http://onlinenevada.org/articles/last-frontier-hotel
Hotel Last Frontier Photograph Collection, approximately 1940-1969. PH-00168. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Materials were donated in 1970; accession number 1970-015.
In 2020, as part of an archival backlog elimination project, Jimmy Chang wrote the finding aid and entered the data into ArchivesSpace.