Home      Hotels      Condos      Mixed Use      Dreams      Other Projects      Cool Stuff      Links      Contact



 The Rise and Fall and Rise of an Icon

Back to Interesting Tidbits    


The Desert Inn Progression

The Desert Inn opened in 1950 as a typical low-rise strip resort. The first major expansion was in 1963 with the St. Andrew Tower (shown left). This nine-story tower was one of the tallest in Vegas. The resort also includes an 18 hole golf course.

Howard Hughes lived on the top floor from 1966 until 1970.

The next major expansion came in 1978 with the opening of the Augusta Tower.  A large spa, expanded casino, additional restaurants, and a new night club came along with the tower.  
In keeping with the times, the original St. Andrew Tower received a new mirrored glass exterior makeover to match the new Augusta Tower.


In 1993 ITT/ Sheraton purchased the resort and began planning a major expansion and a second resort (using the land under the south parking lot) .

In 1997, a $200-million expansion and a Grand Re-Opening, added the new Palms Tower. The St. Andrew tower was given its second exterior makeover and converted into an all suites tower with major interior remodeling. The Augusta Tower was also given a new skin and remodeled rooms.

A shot of the Desert Inn's  new tower and grand lobby main entrance (left). A complete makeover was also given to all the interior public spaces including a very beautiful casino (below).


The Porte Cochére (left).

This $200-million expansion also included a new pool area and refurbished grounds all around the resort (above). The Mobile rating for the Desert Inn was raised from three to four stars.

On April 28, 2000, Steve Wynn bought the Desert Inn for $270 million. 
At 2:00 a.m. on August 28, 2000, Desert Inn closed her doors forever.


October 31, 2001, Steve Wynn implodes the 1978 Augusta Tower to make room for his new 2,716-room mega resort.  The new resort will be built mostly in the Desert Inn's parking lot, but due to the size of the project, the Augusta had to go. 

The Augusta only received a minor interior refreshing during the 1997 re-opening and due to the small size of the rooms, it was more cost effective to let her go.


The St Andrews and Palm towers and their grounds were saved and used as offices and a venue to house Wynn's growing art collection. Future plans for these lovely buildings were uncertain.

During the construction of the now named "Wynn Las Vegas", Steve Wynn decided to expand his new resort with a 2,000-room all suites tower called "Encore". So....




...fair thee well lovely buildings.  On November 16, 2004, the remaining two towers were brutally destroyed.  There have been nine hotel implosions in Las Vegas and this one hurt. These were very nice buildings. The Palms Tower was only seven years old. Oh well, all for progress, nothing is sacred in Las Vegas.

On April 28, 2005, the impressive new $2.7-billion Wynn Las Vegas opens. The resort has a short history of rave reviews and a five star rating.

Right next door, the rubble from the destroyed St Andrew and Palms towers has been cleared and work has begun on Encore at Wynn Las Vegas.


More Implosions         Wynn Las Vegas & Encore News
updates  .  hotels  .  condos .  mixed use  .  dreams  .  other projects  .  completed  .  cool stuff  .  the map  .  downtown map 
area map  .  southwest map    regional map   .  harmon corridor map   .   who owns what map  .  links  .  contact us  .  sitemap  .  legalese
copyright © 2010 vegastodayandtomorrow.com