Can You Name All of These Vegas Hotels?

By: Ian Fortey

7 Min Quiz

Image: Unsplash by Antonio Janeski

About This Quiz

In 1829, Rafael Rivera stopped on his way to Los Angeles to get some water in a little oasis with some artesian water wells and named the place Las Vegas. That tiny little oasis proved to be an irresistible spot for developers after construction began on the Hoover Dam. It was in the 1930s that the city as we know it started to take off, with hotels and casinos being built to accommodate all those workers at the dam, and the influx of business they brought.

By the 1950s, Las Vegas had cemented its legacy as the vacation destination for people in search of an exotic and fun getaway. Though the legacy of organized crime hung over the city for many years, millionaires like Howard Hughes had a massive influence over the development throughout the 1960s and suddenly Vegas wasn’t just a spot for seedy gamblers and single men, it was a family destination that never stopped, with lights, glitz and hotels all up and down the Vegas Strip.

Today there are over 100 hotels and 150,000 rooms in Las Vegas, and it’s the world’s most popular tourist attraction. Not bad for a place that used to be just down the road from where they tested nuclear weapons. If you think you know Vegas hotels, take the quiz and show your stuff.

Celine Dion famously performed at which legendary hotel from 2011 until 2018?

Caesars Palace is one of the oldest casinos on The Strip, dating back to 1966. When the hotel opened, it threw a massive $1 million party and invited everyone from Johnny Carson to Jimmy Hoffa to attend. Frank Sinatra really helped put the hotel on the map after Howard Hughes cut him off at the Sands, so he moved to Caesars where he was making $100,000 a week until the owner pulled a gun on him during a fight.

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Which of these is not just the largest hotel in Vegas, but in the whole US?

If you want a wild experience, then The MGM Grand is where you go. This hotel contains a staggering 6,852 rooms and, oh yeah, a 100,000 lb bronze lion statue. When it first opened you had to pass through the mouth of a giant lion to get in but customers felt it was unlucky to enter a giant carnivore's mouth. They even had live lions on display from 1999 until 2012.

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Do you know which popular hotel and casino is named for an ancient Egyptian city?

The Luxor has to be where you want to go on a hot streak because, more than any other casino, this place knows the heat. The world-famous Luxor Sky Beam that bursts from the peak of the Luxor's pyramid is the strongest beam of light in the world at 42.3 billion candela. The room that generates the lights heats up to a scorching 300 degrees.

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Which hotel was built in 1968 for $15 million and then sold in 2019 for $825 million?

When Circus, Circus first opened back in 1968, it was only a casino with no hotel attached. High rollers were not interested in hitting up a casino they couldn't actually stay at so the owners got a $25 million loan to build the attached hotel which came with some serious organized crime ties. Despite the circus theme, the whole place was still adult-oriented. Waitresses were dressed like sexy majorettes, and the mob helped fund the hotel expansion in 1972.

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This used to be The Sands Hotel. What is it?

Back when the Venetian was The Sands, this hotel was the home to the legendary Rat Pack. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. could be found in here on any given night performing for crowds or just charming the ladies like Marilyn Monroe. They even filmed the original "Ocean's 11" here. These days, as the Venetian resort complex, it's the second-largest resort in the entire world. Sinatra would be proud!

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The first professional wrestling themed restaurant in the US was opened at which hotel?

Excalibur was originally designed as a medieval, Arthurian resort but a redesign in 2006 has stripped almost every medieval aspect from the hotel's decor. That said, thanks to its "Tournament of Kings" medieval-themed dinner show, the hotel is the largest purchaser of Cornish hens in America. If you have a hankering to eat like Merlin, this is the place to do it.

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Do you know which hotel features an 8-acre lake out front?

If you're a true high roller, you can buy into a game at the Bellagio's ultra-exclusive "Bobby's Room," named for World Series of Poker champ Bobby Baldwin, where poker games can start at $20,000. This is where the term "Big Game" comes from, and some hands can top $100,000. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

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This is the only casino still in operation in Vegas that was opened before 1950. What is it?

The Flamingo Hotel dates back to 1946. The 40 acres of land it's built on was originally purchased for just $8.75 an acre. In the 1940s, notorious mobster Bugsy Siegel developed the land into the casino and hotel and even built his own secret escape route into the Presidential Suite. Remember that if you ever need to escape the Flamingo in a hurry.

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A poem by Rudyard Kipling provided the name for which of these hotels?

Named for Kipling's poem "Mandalay," the Mandalay Bay hotel has overcome some serious setbacks to get where it is. The property actually sank 17 inches in the center but only 2 inches at the wings due to uneven ground when it was built. It took upward of $10 million to shore it up. When it finally opened, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi and John Goodman in character as the Blues Brothers grand marshaled the event at the head of a motorcycle parade.

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Do you know which of these is the tallest hotel in Nevada?

At 642 feet tall spread over 52 floors, the Palazzo is an absolute monster of the Nevada skyline. Structures like the Stratosphere stand taller, but that's not 100% hotel. In 2004, ground was broken on the Palazzo with a total price tag of $1.6 billion by the time it was finished. Not a bad evolution for what started life in 1949 as the 8-room Ottilla Villa motel.

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"The Bombay Club" was the working name of which of these hotels?

The Mirage hotel is known for its gold-tinted windows, which actually get their color from real gold dust. Back in the day this was Howard Hughes' Castaway Hotel and Casino, famous for its 1500-gallon aquarium in which, three times a day, nude swimmers would put on a show.

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Part of which of these hotels is destroyed on film in both 2014's "Godzilla" and 2010's "Despicable Me?"

The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas is very clearly modelled on the most iconic parts of the real city in France. That includes the Louvre, the Paris Opera House, and most notably the half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower which is stolen by Gru in "Despicable Me" and destroyed by MUTO in "Godzilla." Pterodactyls used it as a roost in "Jurassic World II." It gets around.

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Where can you go to see the Cirque du Soleil show "Mystère?"

The pirate-themed hotel Treasure Island opened in 1993. Eventually management scaled the pirate theme back to make it less intrusive and more welcoming to people who just wanted to spend a weekend in a hotel. To make it more enticing to adults, the pirate-themed family show was replaced by the sexier "Sirens of T.I." show in 2003 until 2013. Rumor is a lot of people didn't really get it.

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Mardi Gras is the theme at which of these hotels?

Harrah's does everything grand scale. The hotel is home to six monstrous 22,000 lb, 32-feet tall gold-leaf sculptures of jesters made from steel and resin. Inside the hotel, you can head to the Piano Bar and check out Pete Vallee, better known as "Big Elvis," who bills himself as the heaviest Elvis impersonator in the world. Big clowns and big Elvis make any vacation better, right?

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The Desert Inn was replaced by which of these?

The Wynn Las Vegas is a massive, 5-star complex that cost over $2 billion. Back in the day, the Desert Inn was only the fifth resort to open on the Strip, setting up shop in the spring of 1950. In 1951, this was the place where Frank Sinatra made his Las Vegas debut and guests included the likes of Winston Churchill and JFK.

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Ivan Drago beat Apollo Creed in "Rocky IV" at which hotel?

Bally's, as the MGM Grand, has a notorious history and was the site of a devastating fire back in 1980 that ended up taking 87 lives. When it was built in 1973 it was the largest hotel in the world and was taller than the Empire State Building. These days people will actually honeymoon here specifically because there are tales that the North Tower is haunted.

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Which hotel opened in 1959 as the Flamingo Capri?

The Linq has gone through many renovations over the years and a handful of names. These days it's most noticeable thanks to the massive Ferris wheel called the High Roller which, at 550 feet, is the tallest in the world. It used to be home to a classic car museum that featured JFK's Lincoln Continental, Johnny Carson's 1939 Chrysler Royal Sedan and Marilyn Monroe's '55 Lincoln Capri convertible, among many others.

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Britney Spears did her residency show "Piece of Me" at which hotel?

Planet Hollywood was once the Aladdin hotel before changing names back in 2007. Incredibly, it started life way back in 1962 as the Tallyho Hotel, the only hotel in Vegas that didn't include a casino. By 1964 it caved in and had a casino but opted for a new innovation that no one else in Vegas was doing — non-topless showgirls.

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Where are you going to see the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States?

The FAA are not fans of The Strat, formerly the Stratosphere, thanks to its 1,149-foot-tall tower. They objected to the building of the tower, fearing it could potentially interfere with aircraft flying overhead and wanted it to be made 200 feet shorter. That didn't happen.

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This hotel originally opened in 1952. What was it?

The Sahara was one of the oldest resorts in all of Las Vegas and was actually the sixth one on the strip. In its heyday, this was the spot you could go to watch the Rat Pack perform classics like "Mack the Knife." Later, in 1976, Frank Sinatra surprised everyone by bringing Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin back together after they split up, right here at the Sahara. The Sahara was closed in 2011 before reopening as the SLS Las Vegas in 2014.

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In "Diamonds are Forever," James Bond stays at which hotel?

The Tropicana was built back in 1957, making it one of the few old school Vegas casinos still in operation, though it's been renovated extensively over the years. Infamous gangster Frank Costello was behind the building of the Tropicana, and it was allegedly mob money that made it thrive during the Las Vegas slump in the late '50s. Allegedly.

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Which hotel prominently features numerous replicas of landmarks from elsewhere in the country?

New York-New York hotel and casino features replicas of New York landmarks like the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building and, of course, the Statue of Liberty. The US Post Office accidentally used the replica Statue of Liberty on a stamp it issued and was sued by the statue's designer for copyright infringement. USPS had to pay $3.5 million for it.

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Do you know which of these hotels cost over $9 billion?

CityCenter with its massive $9.2 billion budget was the largest privately financed development in US history. That brought with it a whopping 12,000 new jobs, 42 bars and restaurants, and even 7 different Elvis-themed cocktails on the menu. It also has a $40 million art collection which is one of the largest in the United States. You want fancy? This is the place.

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This 3,500-room casino broke ground in 2015 but won't be officially open until 2021. What is it?

Located at the site of the former Stardust, the Resorts World hotel is a curious landmark for just being there for so long. Construction was set to begin in 2014 with the hotel opening in 2016, but delay after delay has pushed the opening all the way back to 2021. The original 200-foot-long Stardust sign was so famous it was synonymous with Las Vegas in the 1950s and contained over 7,000 feet of neon tubing.

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Which hotel features a rare underground parking lot?

The Boulevard Penthouses, the high-roller suites at the Cosmopolitan, cannot even be booked by visitors no matter how much they want them. They're by invitation only and are offered to those who spend at least $1 million, but hopefully around $2 million, at the Reserve, the private high-roller's room on the 71st floor.

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In the game "Street Fighter II," the fighter Balrog is located outside which hotel?

The Golden Nugget casino is one of the oldest fixtures in the city dating back to 1946, founded by Guy McAfee, a one-time LA policeman who turned criminal during Prohibition. The name of the hotel lends itself to one of main attractions, the world's largest gold nugget that's on display called the "Hand of Faith." It weighs 960 oz, making it worth well over $1 million.

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Which classic hotel has been replaced by the Drew, which opens in 2022?

The El Rancho Hotel and Casino was a Las Vegas staple from 1948 until 1992, during which time it was also known as the Thunderbird and the Silverbird. For 8 years it was just an empty building on The Strip before it was demolished. An investigation found the place was a death trap, loaded with exposed wiring, rats and asbestos.

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Which star-studded hotel and casino was on The Strip from 1955 to 2015?

Built in the 1950s with some rumored organized crime involvement, the Riviera also counted Marx Brothers Harpo and Gummo as stakeholders for a time. It took just three months for the hotel to go bankrupt before famed gangster Gus Greenbaum snatched it up. Rumor was he was pressured by Chicago mob bosses to get involved.

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Hunter S. Thompson made which of these hotels famous in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?"

The Mint was an Old Vegas icon, in operation from 1957 until 1988. Hunter S. Thompson, working as a journalist, was sent to cover the race and documented his very weird, drug-fueled experience in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Because the hotel no longer existed when the movie was made, it was computer-generated as a special effect that fits the theme of so much being a hallucination in the film.

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Which hotel features the $40,000 per night Sky Villa suite?

The Palms opened in 2001 and is famous for its opulent Sky Villa suites, which cost $40,000 a night if you'd rather sleep for an evening than buy a new car. The rooms come with a 24-hour butler, private movie theater, private fitness room and upward of 9,000 square feet of space all in one suite that could cover two floors.

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Do you know which hotel closed in February 2020?

The Hard Rock Hotel was opened in 1995 and closed down in 2020 so that the property could be renovated. It was the first rock 'n roll-themed hotel in the world and was decked out with $2 million in rock memorabilia, including a piece of the plane in which Otis Redding died. The grand opening featured performances by Sheryl Crow and the Eagles.

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Despite having nearly 400 rooms, which of these is advertised as a boutique hotel?

The M Resort Spa Casino was built in 2009 and features a 92,000=square foot casino plus a 390-room hotel. If you're driving into Vegas from California, this is the first resort you're going to see. Back in 2009, this was home to the biggest Christmas tree in America, but a mall in California stole the title away from them. The war on Christmas is real!

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Which of these is partnered with Wynn Hotel?

Encore Las Vegas is a sister hotel to the Wynn. The resort features a jewelry store that has on display the Wynn Diamond. The Wynn Diamond is a 231-carat diamond that the hotel claims is the largest pear-shaped diamond in the world. It's worth a cool $15 million if you're looking for a sparkly gift for a loved one.

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Do you know which hotel used to be called THEhotel?

The Delano Las Vegas takes its name from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. At the time of its opening in 2003, it offered the largest standard suites of any hotel in all of Las Vegas at 725 square feet. Each room has an icebox that's a replica of the former president's hatbox in honor of FDR's penchant for wearing lucky hats. It also has a crafted dog menu in case your pooch has a refined palate. The Delano is located within the Mandalay Bay complex.

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What's the name of the Japanese-themed hotel that's inside Caesars Palace?

The Nobu Hotel is the brainchild of Japanese celebrity chef Nobu Mastsuhisa. There are 12 Nobu Hotels in the world currently with several more planned, but the Las Vegas location was the first on the list. You may have even seen Nobu himself on film as he had small parts in the movie "Casino" and "Austin Powers 3" during which his subtitles were turned into innuendo every time he spoke.

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Do you know which of these was opened as The International back in 1969?

The Westgate Las Vegas dates all the way back to 1950 when it was part of a racetrack. Howard Hughes tried to sabotage the building of the original hotel by spreading rumors of nuclear contamination from nearby testing that took place back in the '50s. It didn't work, but points for creativity.

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This is the tallest residential building in Las Vegas. What is it?

The Trump International Hotel is not just a hotel and casino but a timeshare and home to residential condominiums. Since you can literally live there, its 64 stories makes it the tallest residential building in the city at 622 feet. Added bonus, the windows are infused with 24K gold.

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The World Series of Poker is hosted at which hotel?

The Rio All-Suite Hotel is the first hotel in Vegas to be an all-suite resort. It's home to a 50,000-bottle wine cellar to ensure the party never has to stop. That said, the luster of the hotel has faded over its 30-year history and some suites can be booked for as little as $32 a night.

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Comedian George Carlin performed his final stand-up show at which hotel?

The Orleans is famous as a locals casino, as it's nearly a mile off the Strip, but it still draws some impressive acts to perform including such diverse acts as KISS, Rihanna, Van Halen, Demi Lovato, Gladys Knight and Panic! At the Disco. The hotel is decked out with cartoon alligators as mascots, inspired by the Louisiana bayou, so clearly it's nonstop fun in this place.

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This was the first hotel to have an equestrian arena attached to it. What is it?

The South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa has your standard hotel and casino amenities, but if you're feeling a little bit country it also features a massive 4,400-seat equestrian arena with air-conditioned stalls that can accommodate 1,200 horses. Try doing that at the Bellagio.

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