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Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas

Grandissimo The First Emperor of Las Vegas Jay Sarno built two path breaking Las Vegas casinos Caesars Palace and Circus Circus and planned but did not build a third the Grandissimo which would have started the mega resort era a

  • Title: Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas
  • Author: David G. Schwartz
  • ISBN: 9780990001614
  • Page: 193
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Jay Sarno built two path breaking Las Vegas casinos, Caesars Palace 1966 and Circus Circus 1968 , and planned but did not build a third, the Grandissimo, which would have started the mega resort era a decade before Steve Wynn built The Mirage As mobsters and accountants battled for the soul of the last American frontier town, Las Vegas had endless possibilities if youJay Sarno built two path breaking Las Vegas casinos, Caesars Palace 1966 and Circus Circus 1968 , and planned but did not build a third, the Grandissimo, which would have started the mega resort era a decade before Steve Wynn built The Mirage As mobsters and accountants battled for the soul of the last American frontier town, Las Vegas had endless possibilities if you didn t mind high stakes and stiff odds Sarno invented the modern Las Vegas casino, but he was part of a dying breed a back pocket entrepreneur who d parlayed a jones for action and a few Teamster loans into a life as a Vegas casino owner.For all of his accomplishments, his empire didn t last Sarno sold out of Caesars Palace shortly after it opened partially to get away from the bookies and gangsters who d taken over the casino and he was forced to relinquish control of Circus Circus when the federal government indicted him on charges of offering the largest bribe in IRS history a bribe he freely admitted paying, on the advice of his attorney, Oscar Goodman Though he ultimately walked out of court a free man, he never got Circus back And though he guessed the formula that would open up Las Vegas to millions in the 1990s with the design of the Grandissimo, but he wasn t able to secure the financing for the casino, and when he died in 1984, it remained only a frustrating dream.Sarno s casinos and his ideas about how to build casinos created the template for Las Vegas today Before him, Las Vegas meant dealers in string ties and bland, functional architecture He taught the city how to dress up its hotels in fantasy, putting toga dresses on cocktail waitresses and making sure that even the stationery carried through with the theme He saw Las Vegas as a place where ordinary people could leave their ordinary lives and have extraordinary adventures And that remains the template for Las Vegas today.Grandissimo is the story of how Jay Sarno won and lost his casino empire, inventing modern Las Vegas along the way.In Grandissimo, you ll learn Jay s fascinating story, and also plenty of things you never knew about Las Vegas, including the true story about how Jimmy Hoffa s Teamsters Union first started funding Sarno projects how Steve Wynn ended up answering the telephone in Hoffa s suite on the second day Caesars Palace was open how Sarno, represented by Oscar Goodman, beat a seemingly airtight case against him when he was accused of offering the largest bribe in IRS history to an undercover agent how Sarno s unbuilt Grandissimo became the template for the 1990s mega resort era in Las VegasFrom start to finish, it s the story of the man who inspired modern Las Vegas.

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      193 David G. Schwartz
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      Posted by:David G. Schwartz
      Published :2019-02-11T03:15:12+00:00

    1 thought on “Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas

    1. I ended up with this book purely from an impulse buy in a sale. I never had pondered on the history of Vegas or given hardly a stray thought to it. This was quite an interesting biography which will probably lead me to looking for more titles about Sin City.

    2. I can't decide if my overall reaction to this book was "meh" because of the way it was written or if I my opinion of the work as a whole was overwhelmed by my extreme dislike for Jay Sarno. There is absolutely nothing about this man that I find admirable or compelling, which made it frustrating to read about his success in the hotel/casino business. I haven't read anything else about the history of Vegas, and this probably wasn't the best one to start with. I only knew about this book because it [...]

    3. An interesting story and solid source material brought down by the author taking too many liberties with the facts, particularly by using first person narrative.

    4. Jay Sarno developed the concept of giving a casino a theme, which dominated the Strip from the mid 60's to the mid 2000's. The casinos that have been built since that time, however, don't necessarily have a specific theme (Wynn, Encore, Cosmopolitan, Aria, etc.). All that said, Sarno is probably one of the underappreciated figures in Las Vegas history. This book has some interesting history about the founding of Caesars Palace and Circus Circus. If you think Circus Circus is weird now, you'll be [...]

    5. Audio version: I'm not quite sure why I chose this book, as I've been to Vegas only twice and gambled all of $5.00, so I'm not particularly interested in casinos. It did interest me, though, to hear how Jay Sarno went from humble beginnings to being a major player in the Las Vegas casino scene (both as a gambler and owner of casinos). His perseverance in getting what he wanted and getting it his way was pretty inspiring, but at the same time, it got old, as basically it was, Sarno wanted somethi [...]

    6. You will love Sarno, despise him, pity him, and admire him. But you won't forget him!*****Variety Detail "Popcorn" Packed Into !Furniture! Caesars Palace Opening & Circus Circus Charging $2 Admission Plus No Roof!Steve Wynn Viewed Current As "King" Or "Pope" Of Las Vegas Was A Mentor Friends with Jay Sarno With as A Form Of "Student Relationship With Steve Wynn Learned His Perceptions! The "Early Aspects Of Jimmy Hoffa With Union Money Very Interesting Which Later Steve Wynn Went To Wall Str [...]

    7. Fascinating! Exciting , energizing, informative account of the man who created a new sort of business model - packaging up escapist fantasy and making it accessible to the average person. Las Vegas, Macau, and dozens of smaller locations around the world pay homage to what Jay Sarno, creator of Caesar's Palace was able to create.Like many of the business success stories from any generation (Malcolm McLean and SeaLand comes to mind), Scarno's story is part inspiration, part warning. Many visionar [...]

    8. An interesting look at a man who shaped an industry and a city. Ultimately, I found the book to be quite sad. It's a long and drawn out story of a man with deep seated addictions, unable to save either his marriage or his failing health. There is a line near the end of the book that basically says (paraphrasing) "he spent his last months eating, gambling and golfing with empty motions because it's all he knows how to do". It was this lasting impression that left me feeling sorry for Sarno. He al [...]

    9. “There are no bad ideas; they’re just bad after you try them.”--Jay SarnoJay Sarno ate too much, drank too much, talked too much, and was an unapologetic womanizing gambling addict who somehow, despite his fear of the government, terror of the mob, and astounding ability to say the wrong things to the wrong people, clawed his way up from a seller of cut-rate tile to the builder of two of Vegas's most iconic hotels. Unappealing but fascinating, Sarno was the kind of self-centered hustler an [...]

    10. Grandissimo fills a blank spot in a fascinating point of the Vegas chronology, sitting neatly alongside Pileggi's Casino and Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. While Grandissimo's account of Jay Sarno is non fictional on it's own, the book does its best work as a companion piece to the larger Vegas mythos as a whole. For Vegas nerds like myself, it's a must read.

    11. If you watched the movie Casino and found yourself wanting to know more of what went into creating the Las Vegas that we all love and loath--this is the book for you. This book has a good matter of fact flow to it. You feel like a fly on the wall in the smoke filled rooms were the big deals are going down.

    12. This is about Mr Sarno who built Circus Circus and Cesaers Palace in Las Vegas. He sold the Palace after a run in with the mobsters but he became the template for the future themed hotels that were built.

    13. I read this book to try to understand my friend Jay's childhood better. Wow! How did he turn out so wonderful with a dad like that! He has told me some of this book has misinformation, now that I have read it I can ask what's wrong.

    14. I've always credited Steve Wynn as the guy that change Las Vegas into the town that i love so much but it turns out all credit shall go to Mr Sarno, Steve just had a way to get the money to do what Jay Sarno visioned. Loved every minute of this book.

    15. Granndissimo is an engaging biography of Sarno, and a fascinating look at the history of modern Las Vegas. Sarno is outrageous, visionary, a gambler and risk taker and modern Las Vegas is made in the image of its inventor. Schwartz's book is written with verve and style making this a terrific read.

    16. Fascinating story of Jay SarnoIf you are interested in the history of modern Las Vegas you will find this very informative and entertaining. As a long time resident of Las Vegas (almost 40 years), I was enthralled. I especially enjoyed the section about the Circus Circus.

    17. Great look at the early years of Vegas through one hotelier's experience. Sarno deserves more credit as a real Father of Vegas. Now I need to go to Caesars again to take it all in!

    18. Really enjoyed this bit of Vegas history from Dr. Dave. Covered a lot of details of which I was unfamiliar, especially those about Jay Sarno. Must read for the Vegas junkies.

    19. What a crazy story and the history of Vegas in the 70s and 80s. What a appetite for life Jay Sarno had

    20. Fascinating history of Las Vagas wrapped in a morality tale about the emptiness of chasing pleasure.

    21. One of the better books I've read. Gives great historical context to the city of Las Vegas while highlighting the life of a legend.

    22. It's an exciting story of one man's rising (and falling) fortunes. It's also a fascinating history of the foundation of modern Las Vegas. A must-read for anybody interested in Sin City.

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