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Four Queens Hotel & Casino opens on Thursday June 2, 1966 at 11am.
(4pm officially)

“An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 persons squeezed through the Four Queens during its first day of operation Thursday, the same press was evident yesterday... From the time the casino hesitantly opened its doors at 11 a.m.-the official opening wasn't until five hours later- people clamped onto 449 slot handles, filled every seat at 17 blackjack tables,  elbowed among six crap tables and stood eight deep to play the first Keno game  and get lucky ticket Number 1... Mayor Oran Gragson. with notably every municipal and county official and  scores of gaming figures looking on, cut the ceremonial ribbon at 4 p m.”  ( Las Vegas Sun June 4, 1966)

“The casino has six crap tables. 17 blackjack tables, one double roulette wheel, card room with five tables and 449 slot machines.... A five-story sign in the shape of a figure 4 and a crown marks the Four Queens a t Fremont and Casino Center Boulevard. The sign, with white and purple its dominant colors, has 580,000 candlepower and contains additionally, 932 high-output fluorescent lamps... In addition to Goffstein, other members of the Four Queens hierarchy are Tommy Callahan, executive vice president, and Jerome Mack, Art Ham, J r., and Einer Abramson, directors.  Four casino shift managers are Jim Garrett, Charles Stump, Jack Sullivan and Glenn Neely.   In charge of slots is Ted Tsouras;  heading the keno section is Joe Liska.   Others named as key personnel include Ray Wills, bar manager; Nick Podar, food service manager; Mrs. Hester Mayes, housekeeper; Joe Michael, chief chef; Glen Bodell, chief security officer; Vane Weidenkopf, bell captain; Leonard Marxen, comptroller; William T. Mayes, chief engineer; and Irene Cooper, chief telephone operator.
     “The Four Queens, he (Goffstein ) proudly explained, was named for his four daughters, Michele, 18; Benita, 15; Faith, 9; and Hope. 8.”  
(Las Vegas Sun June 2, 1966)

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Howard Stutz in 2005, Michele noted that  her parents were more excited about naming the hotel in honor of the girls than the girls were.,

“My father printed business cards for all of us. I was the Queen of Spades because I was the oldest.”


Jack Cortez wrote a review in his Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine the following week:

“...Local V.I.P.’s and Press were invited to a preview and buffet at the Four Queens Hotel and Casino, the day before the Grand Opening. . . . The following day, June 2, the place was teeming with wall-to-wall fun seekers, who had arrived to witness the official debut of this magnificent gaming center. Would you believe it was so jammed, they had to strain for enough room to cut the ribbon on the balcony, instead of at the street entrance, as was scheduled? A few of the gals who went in with bouffant coiffures came out looking like pressed Beatles...”   
(Jack Cortez in Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine June 11, 1966)
February 1966: 

Construction accident:
“...An unidentified drywall plasterer escaped injury when a 5 ton air conditioning unit fell four stories onto his truck... building inspectors said the unit dropped during handling from the Four Queens under construction..the half ton truck, they said, was demolished...” 
(Las Vegas Sun February 9, 1966)

In a column by  A. E. Cahlan he mentions:
"… Let’s take a look at the corner of Second and Fremont Streets when I first cast my lot with a struggling Las Vegas that had less than 2.000 inhabitants including the burros and jackrabbits. Where the fabulous Golden Nugget now holds forth was the post office with R. P Griffith presiding as postmaster. Where the Four Queens is now being built was the White Cross Drug Store, managed by Carl Farrar with A. J. Rafael as chief assistant...”
(Las Vegas Sun February 9, 1966)

More Investors:
"...The State Gaming Control Board yesterday recommended the following applications for approval: Albert B. Parvin and Norris J. Goldman to invest $66,000 for a combined four percent in the Four Queens Hotel Casino in downtown Las Vegas, which is now under construction..."
(Las Vegas Sun February 15, 1966)

New Executive:
"...Ben Goffstein announced yesterday the appointment of Wayne Redd as assistant to the president. Redd wound up nine years as advertising and publicity director of the Riviera Hotel yesterday. The Four Queens is scheduled for a mid-summer opening either June or the first of July..."
(Las Vegas Sun February 16, 1966)






March 1966:

Designer and Builder: 
“...Designed by Julius Gabriele, the general contractor is J. A. Tiberti of Las Vegas, a prominent member of the Southern Nevada General Contractors Association. The interior decor has been designed by Bill Yates of the Albert Parvin company...”  
(Las Vegas Sun March 13, 1966)

More Investors:
..."City commissioners Wednesday night will consider authorizing two more persons to gain a 4% interest in the Four Queens… under construction in Casino Center. Albert Parvin seeks a 3% interest in liquor, gaming, and retail tobacco licenses. Noris Jay Goldman, 1%. Parvin is an official of the Los Angeles firm doing the interior decorating for the building...”
(Las Vegas Sun March 15, 1966)

April 1966:

Investors back out. (This is a continuation of the request that was reported in the Las Vegas Sun on  April 10, 1965)
“...Two executives of Del E. Webb Corporation asked the Nevada Gaming Control Board to remove their names from the gaming license application of the new Four Queens Hotel under construction. A. A. McCollum, President of the Sierra Nevada Corporation and L. C.  Jacobson, President of Del E. Webb Corporation were listed on the application of the 31 man group..
'It was felt that their interests in the four Queens was not in the best interest of the Del Webb Corporation', a spokesman said... Both men were reported as 2% investors...”
(Las Vegas Sun February 15, 1966)

Parvin-Dohrman explore buying the Fremont  
“...Albert Parvin, Harry Goldman and his son, Norris, want to invest $300,000 in 58 tables and 741 slot machines. All are top executives of Parvin-Dohrman Corp , of Los Angeles, a giant home and hotel furnishings firm. The transaction calls for Parvin-Dohrman Corp. to buy the Fremont Hotel and property at a price of $16 to $18 million and lease the casino back to the three individual applicants... Parvin and Harry Goldman are already licensed for gambling at the Sands Hotel and the Four Queens. They also have applications pending in the newly opened Aladdin Hotel. Norris Goldman is a stockholder in the Four Queens...”
(Las Vegas Sun April 7, 1966)
June 1966:
Fire won't delay opening.
“...Air conditioning equipment for the Four Queens went up in smoke yesterday but the fire was not expected to delay the downtown casino opening Thursday...  The equipment was stored outdoors in large cardboard boxes stacked in a warehouse yard at Clark County Refrigeration, 2820 E. Fremont St.... Fire broke out at 4:20 p.m... Cause of the blaze is believed to be accidental...”
(Las Vegas Sun June 1, 1966)
“The opening three days ago of the main floor of this 'majestic castle' in downtown Casino Center
adds another glittering jewel to the Las Vegas horizon.”  
(Dell Wade- Las Vegas Sun June 5, 1966)
“...The Four Queens is installing its new revolving stage and has completed its cast of beauties... Rumors are beginning to flow about the impending shortage of cheesecake lovelies for the stage. ... It can’t be true that show biz is running out of comely damsels ... or can it..."

(Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine
June 25, 1966)
















"...The Four Queens inked dancer Nick Navarro to choreograph the show set to bow on July 1st. Navarro was Juliet Prowse’s dancing partner during her Flamingo Hotel gig, last month"

(Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine
June 18, 1966)



Aug 1966:

Layoffs
“…Sixty employees of the Four Queens hotel casino were “ furloughed” yesterday morning at a mass meeting of hotel employees called by hotel executive Ben Goffstein. All will be put back on the payroll of the city’s newest gaming establishment when “current conditions’* improve, Goffstein told them...  He declined comment on whether or not the “furloughs” were in any way connected with the strike by major airlines, economic conditions in Nevada, or other factors. The casino operation of the eight-story building has been open two months. Some 115 rooms were scheduled to open in the hotel this month…” 
(Las Vegas Sun August 2, 1966)

Hotel Rooms Open
“…The $5 million Four Queens Hotel and Casino will complete the first of its four-phase construction program today when It opens the first 115 deluxe rooms and suites... All rooms are luxuriously appointed and boast a variety of accommodations including rooms with king size beds, twin- double rooms, studio rooms and living rooms... All rooms feature free television, individually controlled air-conditioning units and large picture windows.... designed by Parvin-Dohhrmann of Los Angeles...  An additional 14 stories consisting of 325 suites and rooms is scheduled for completion during the next 24 months…"
(Las Vegas Sun August 12, 1966)
Sept 1966- Four Queens, Lucky Casino, Fremont Hotel, Binion’s Horseshoe at night.
September 1966

Promotions Final Week
"...The $250,000 Opening Celebration for the new Four Queens enters its last week with final giveaways set for noon, Saturday. The Grand Prize is a $25.000 home, free and clear, built to the winner’s specifications on the site of his choice anywhere in the U. S. A  The second prize is a Keno bonus. It affords the winner the opportunity of winning up to $100 a week for the next 20 years and carries a $5.000 guarantee...”
(Las Vegas Sun
September 7, 1966)








TWA opens office
“...Trans-World Airlines, Inc., officially opened its new ticket office on the mezzanine of the Four Queens Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas. The new office is the first airline ticket service to be provided the downtown area...”
(Las Vegas Sun
September 8, 1966)








"...The gaming commission approved... Barney Agren and Samuel Kalin for 100 shares in the Four Queens as co-executors in the estate of Abe Nabat..."
(Las Vegas Sun
September 17, 1966)
July 1966:

New tavern license and another investor
“...The City Commission last night approved a new tavern license for the Four Queens Hotel and Casino recently opened in downtown Las Vegas.... The commission also approved licensing of 71 more slot machines at the casino, and 12 more slots at the Fremont Hotel...”
(Las Vegas Sun July 7, 1966)

Taken under advisement ….
"...Michael Landwirth to invest $50,000 for one per cent in the Four Queens in downtown Las Vegas..." 
(Las Vegas Sun July 8, 1966)

Labor dispute and picketing
“...Dist. Judge John Mowbray issued a restraining order to halt picketing at the Four Queens in Casino Center...Deputy sheriffs handed the order to pickets and they immediately tore it up and stomped on it...”
(Las Vegas Sun July 20, 1966)

Back to court a week later...  
“the union got a Supreme Court writ staying the matter yesterday at Carson City....The union attorney contended at a hearing on the Four Queens case last Thursday a restraining order should never have been issued by a District Court against the pickets. He said the order was faulty....has dissolved the restraining order signed by Mowbray and permitted picketing to continue at the new downtown hotel and casino, 'as long as it is peaceful.'...   Tom Hanley’s American Federation of Gaming and Casino Employees began picketing Ben Goffstein’s Four Queens Hotel and Casino last month. They claimed they represented a majority of Goffstein’s casino employees, but he refused to acknowledge their representation or negotiate a contract…” 
(Las Vegas Sun July 29, 1966)
Ben Goffstein stands next to the giant numeral '4' on the sign for the Four Queens just prior to the Grand Opening Day in 1966.
They gave away over a quarter of a million free pairs of nylons at the Four Queens in 1966 and I feel lucky to have a pair!
October-November 1966- The Four Queens gave away a new land Rover!
October-November 1966- The Four Queens gave away a new land Rover!
November 1966:

Another investor and removing some tables
"...The Nevada Gaming Commission... approved yesterday; John D. Stewart, a superintendent in Wells-Stewart Construction Company, for two points in the Four Queens Casino. Stewart, son of another stockholder, C. D. Stewart will invest $80,000 in the new casino... also...deletion of three pan and two poker tables at the Four Queens....addition of three pan, one poker and one bridge table at McLaney’s Carousel..."
(Las Vegas Sun November 16, 1966)

I wonder if the tables just moved across the street from the Four Queens to McLaney's Carousel??


December 1966: 

Tommy and Mary Callahan
"...Mary Callahan was born Mary Green in Lexington Kentucky,.. she moved with her family to Cincinnati when she was a year and a half old and there she grew up... she married Tommy Callahan and eventually they came to Las Vegas where he worked at the Desert Inn and is now with the Four Queens...”
(Las Vegas Sun December 18, 1966)

"...at Tommy Callahan's Four Queens ..has added attraction of the lovely and musically talented 'Dolls' in the lounge..."
(Las Vegas Sun December 19, 1966)

Ben Goffstein and Tommy Callahan placed a full page ad for the holidays in the 20th Anniversary Christmas issue of Fabulous Las Vegas magazine published December 24, 1966.

Sadly, no one knew that this would be Benny Goffstein’s last Christmas. Soon Callahan would take over as president of the Four Queens.

202 Fremont

Las Vegas, NV



Four Queens

June 2, 1966 to now


1966 Events: Early Construction and Grand Opening
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