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Sands Hotel exterior, circa 1952

In 1952 the Café la Rue, a proposed restaurant on the Strip, was bought out by a group of business investors fronted by New York nightclub director Jack Entratter, Cleveland casino boss Cark Cohen, and Texas gambler Jake Freeman. The remodeled and renamed Sands Hotel which opened in 1953 was the work of Googie California architect Wayne McAllister.


Entertainment director and Vice President Jack Entratter, of the famous New York Copacabana Club, put on Las Vegas' most popular floorshows with his hand-picked Copa Girls. Stellar headliners such as Danny Thomas, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Red Skelton and most famously, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and the Rat Pack made the Copa Room at the Sands the premier entertainment venue in Las Vegas in the 1950-60s.  The Sands broke the racial barrier in the 1950s when it allowed Nat King Cole to stay at the hotel.


Howard Hughes bought the Sands in 1967, the same year Martin Stern Jr. completed the distinctive Sands Tower. By the 1980’s The Sands was overshadowed by the newer Strip hotel casinos and was acquired by hotel and convention mogul Sheldon Adelson in 1988. After adding an extensive convention center, Adelson demolished the hotel buildings in 1996 to make way for the Venetian Hotel.

Architectural drawing, Sands Hotel, 1963
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