Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Opening of the Flamingo Hotel by “Bugsy Siegle in 1946.

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This week marks the 74th anniversary of the Flamingo Hotel opening in Las Vegas by Bugsy Siegle in 1946. Since Bugsy is a colorful character, we will want to go to this grand opening. We need to take our list of things not to do to avoid a tear in the time continuum. We have James’s Oldsmobile all gassed up and ready to go.

James Wainwright’s 1956 Oldsmobile from Eternal Road – The final stop. You should read this one on Amazon. Just click the car to go there. Hurry back.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Opening of the Flamingo Hotel by Bugsy Siegle in 1946 by John W. Howell Β© 2020

10 If you go, do not pretend to be a gangster. If you do, at best, you won’t run into one. At worst, you’ll be playing the big shot only to run into George Raft. (A little secret, X. George is an excellent friend of Bugsy’s. Be careful he is reaching into his jacket. It might be for a cigarette case or a .45. Let’s hope for the coffin sticks. Oooh, bad choice of words.)

9 If you go, do not ask Tiny for a complimentary room. If you do, at best, Tiny never heard of that before. At worse, Tiny has skipped his last ten group sessions on customer service. (Don’t look now, X, but Tiny is going to treat you to an all-expense-paid trip to the curb. I hope your landing is softer than the last guy who asked for a complimentary room.)

8 If you go, do not call Bugsy by that name. If you do, at best, he won’t hear you. At worst, he’ll remind you that his name is Benjamin. (You see, X, Bugsy got the nickname for his volatile nature in his old days in Murder Inc with Meyer Lansky. He wants people to believe he is a businessman. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, Bugsy wants to see you in his office. No, I wouldn’t go either.)

7 If you go, do not get chummy with Virginia Hill. If you do, at best, she won’t tell Bugsy. At worst, Bugsy will want to know all about it. (Virginia is Bugsy’s girlfriend, who he nicknamed Flamingo for her red hair and long legs. Does that name ring a bell, X? I would not accept a ride to the airport in Bugsys car if I were you.)

6 If you go, do not take the chair with Charles Luciano’s name card on it. If you do, at best, Charles couldn’t make it. At worst, Charles did make it and is looking at you. (For your information, X Charles’s nickname is Lucky. I think you have heard of Lucky Luciano, who heads the Eastern Mob Syndicate. He’s now wondering how you would like to tread water in Lake Mead wearing cement overshoes)

5 If you go, do not mention that you don’t recognize the headliner for tonight’s show. If you do, at best, people will think you are from the backwoods. At worst, Bugsy will start to get suspicious about where you came from. (Jimmy Durante and Xavier Cugat were among the biggest names in entertainment, X. Bugsy is now thinking you were complaining about the entertainment. Looks like his pals are inviting you out for a car ride. I would take a pass.)

4 If you go, do not complain to Billy Wilkerson, the current owner of record of the Flamingo, about Bugsy’s curt demeanor. If you do, at best, Bugsy doesn’t hear you. At worst, you are complaining while he is standing behind you. (Bugsy is the flamingo’s actual owner, X. It took a little money and some direct talk to persuade Billy to turn over control to Bugsy. There are those two guys again offering you a lift to the airport. I would take Uber. Wait, what am I saying?)

3 If you go, do not ask Bugsy how the grand opening is going. If you do, at best, he will be too busy to answer. At worst, you’ll cause him to look at the books. (In the first week of operation, the casino lost $300,000, X. That would be like $4,235,835.16 today. So no wonder Bugsy has that wild look in his eye. I think he blames you for asking the question.)

2 If you go, do not ask Bugsy what a “square count” is. If you do, at best, he will think you are joking. At worst, Bugsy will think you are working for Lucky Luciano. ( A square count, X is an honest report of actual costs and earnings. You now have Bugsy concerned in that he pretty much overinflated the cost of building the casino. It was supposed to cost $1,600,000 and ended up at over $6,000,000. You can bet Bugsy will want to keep you quiet. You have to wonder why that guy is hauling in that bag of cement.)

1 If you go, do not think you can stay at the Flamingo. If you do, at best there will be a room at another hotel. At worst, there are no rooms available in all of Las Vegas. (When the Casino opened, X, all the rooms were not finished. This was one reason the casino lost so much money. Gamblers who didn’t have a room took their winnings to a hotel on the strip and continued to gamble and mostly losing at another place. Bugsy closed the casino and then reopened in May of 1946, which made the difference.)

 

74 comments

  1. Gwen M. Plano · ·

    This was a great history lesson, John. I’ve been to Las Vegas twice but didn’t know anything about the Flamingo hotel or gambling. If I ever go again, I’ll be sure to pay attention.πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There is a memorial to Bugsy in the lobby of the hotel. (He was killed by Lucky Luciano’s group in Virgina Hill’s house in Beverly Hills for short changing the mob. Virgina was gone with $2.5 million and was putting it in an overseas account at the time.)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is a rough crowd! I certainly don’t want to find out what it’s like to tread water while wearing cement shoes. I’m keeping quiet! Nice one, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. A wise choice, Jill. Thank you. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Benjamin aka ‘Bugsy’ . . . you have to wonder how many of his former “business associates” were buried in the Flamingo’s foundation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahaha. Hard to say. Thanks, Mark.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A scary place. I think IΒ΄ll steer clear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’ll steer clearwith you. Thanks, Darlene. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. These are great, so many good one-liners!! Have you seen the movie Bugsy?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not seen the movie. Fascinating bunch.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For sure. Their history pretty much comes under “you can’t make this stuff up.”

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Vegas is still full of those types. Not one of my favorite places.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mine either. Thanks, Craig.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Are we allowed to ask where the flamingos are? There are flamingos, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They have a wildlife habitat on the grounds that has flamingos and other animals.

      Like

      1. So it would be a normal question. That’s good.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, it’s good I don’t gamble. I don’t look good in cement. Good job, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I don’t think cement grey is your color. Thanks, Dan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Plus, I wear size 12. They’d need an 80lb bag, I don’t think the 60lb bag of Quickcrete would do.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. These guys have plenty of concreate.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Just my luck.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve never had any desire to go to Las Vegas. Now, I have even more reason not to go. Who knows whose ghosts still are floating around, looking to finish some unfinished business?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. they may still be there, Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is way better than the movie version πŸ˜‰
    And I see, maybe because it IS Bugsy that you’ve switched to X πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I normally sub in a name where I put an X. Quite honestly, I forgot. πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it works… πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Very interesting, John. I’ve seen the movie, but it didn’t share all these historic facts. And, great top ten advice!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jan. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Some history there, John., I’ve been to Las Vegas three times, but never stayed in the city or gambled or went to a show – I was there for scientific meetings where the men wanted to enjoy the high life. Not my style.There was a casino in the hotel where we stayed – God awful smell of cigarette smoke and stale air. My clothes reeked of it since I had to walk through it every day to get to the meeting rooms. And the heat! It was 120 degrees one night!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always thought Las Vegas smelled like an ashtray. I remember swimming at midnight and it was 114.

      Like

  13. D.L. Finn, Author · ·

    The history of Las Vegas is fascinating.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is fascinating.

      Like

  14. I loved this. Makes me want to see the film again, when Virginia Hill says to Bugsy, do ya always talk this much before you do it?

    Ben Siegle was a trip alright. But he really was responsible for the siring of Las Vegas, and as another who really cares, Susannah, tidbit…in the Godfather, Moe Green was supposed to be him. At least that’s what I read.

    I also love the name, The Flamingo. There’s something glamorous sounding to it, flamingos with their long legs, the showgirls of birds if you will.

    Loved this one. Oh hell, I love them all. Look forward to Mondays at John’s. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great comment, Susannah. Bugsy was running around with Hill while he was married and never tried to hide it. His wife finally called it quits.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And you’re right, he’d kill ya if you called him Bugsy. Warren Beatty played him well, though I don’t think Ben was quite as handsome, but then again, Virginia thought so. Esther was his wife’s name I believe, and they had kids. The crap I know John. It shocks even me.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s why I enjoy chatting with you. I always walk away with some new information. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m a file cabinet, with legs. What an image.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I know, right. Raised in my mind at least two ideas for comic quips. Let’s just say I’ll give them to Henny Youngman. (In spirit of course.)

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I loved him. I’ve told you my favorite Henny joke, I’m sure, but here it is again. Mrs. Henny says…Henny, you never take me anyplace new. Take me somewhere I’ve never been before, and Henny says…how bout the kitchen? Harumph. πŸ™‚

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      6. Hahahaha. Who cares if you told me before, it is still funny. (I don’t think you did) As a kid I used to laugh at everything he did. Morton Downy was another.😊

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Don’t know the latter, but Henny. Just loved him, even his camel like slump. He was all legs.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I made a mistake. I meant Morry Amsterdam.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Dick Van Dyke show. Him and Rose Marie. I remember. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Yes but he used to do stan up comedy. He had a base viola and would sometimes even play it. He wouldintroduce a song with a title like “Mrs Moore started to snore and blew the covers on to the floor.” I thought that was so funny.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I never knew that. Only that he was Dick and Marys’ friend Mertz.

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      12. More file stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. It’s spilling over the side. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Maybe another set of drawers are needed. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Yes, good idea. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Could you add that R I missed in anothe…r? Sigh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Going there now.

      Like

  16. I’m with Darlene – I think I might steer clear, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. There really is something to be said for small talk when it comes to this bad company. And the smaller, the better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha. Good one, Marc.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Vegas one of my all time favorite places never to go. And if I do I ain’t sayin nuttin till I get outta town alive…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Who would open a hotel with unfinished rooms, hoping the gambling alone would bring in money? I really enjoyed this, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right? He didn’t make that mistake again. Thanks, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John. Hey, he learned the hard way.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Always the most painful learning experience. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  20. They didn’t call him “Bugsy” for nothing. But never to his face. And if George Raft was there, I bet he was continuously flipping a coin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. These guys were something.

      Like

  21. I’ve only been to Vegas twice but more for seeing the sights, never been a big gambler. I think I’ll probably steer clear, too, but thanks for the fascinating history, John. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a great story. Bugsy pretty much founded Las Vagas as we know it today.

      Like

  22. This is funny, John, but also really interesting. I never knew about this hotel or its history.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is a colorful place for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

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