Happy birthday El Cortez!

Jackie Gaughan, former owner in front of the old El Cortez.

Jackie Gaughan, former owner in front of the old El Cortez.

Seventy years ago, no one could have predicted the exponential growth of Las Vegas. From a small desert oasis to a thriving 24-hour city, Vegas has transformed and reinvented itself more times then Madonna.

So when I heard the El Cortez was celebrating its 70th anniversary on May 27, 2011, I was impressed. The downtown hotel is now dwarfed by newer and larger buildings such as the more than 5,000-room MGM Grand.

But, the classic El Cortez is still going strong, with an updated new Cabana Suites wing and a strong  community involvement such as hosting the Vegas StrEats, a popular monthly food truck festival.

The El Cortez sign, 2011.

The El Cortez sign, 2011.

You can celebrate with El Cortez by heading to the wine walk on Jackie Gaughan Parkway across from the hotel, tomorrow at 7 p.m. In addition to wine, there will also be a local food truck on hand.

While strolling down the street, wine in hand, watch the movie “Bugsy,” about Bugsy Siegel’s time in Vegas. In the 1940s, Siegel, a famous member of the mob, owned the El Cortez. The movie begins at 9 p.m.

Happy Birthday, El Cortez. Here’s to 70 more years.

El Cortez Hotel & Casino

600 E. Fremont St.
Las Vegas, NV 89101