History of the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas

The history of the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas began in the 1950s. Now, the Venetian is one of the most luxurious resorts in the world.


The Sands

The resort started as the Sands, owned by Jake Freedman in collaboration with two other partners, namely Carl Cohen and Jack Entratter. They did not build it from scratch but acquired a property already in existence and made it to what they envisioned, opening doors towards the end of 1952. It was unique compared to other properties in the area, occupying a vast plot of land and having a neon sign. At the time, other establishments had metal signage, so the neon lighting was quite the upgrade. 

One of the aspects that sold this venue was the entertainment offered. Jack Entratter was in charge of this, and he made sure he got the biggest names in entertainment at the time to come to the resort. Some of the biggest names to perform at the time are Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, Johnny Mathis, Paul Anka, and others.

Gradually, the Sands began modifying the property, including a project to renovate the lobby area. A few years after this, a gentleman called Howard Hughes bought the establishment and had even bigger dreams for the property. He built a tower, seventeen stories high with more than 700 rooms and a modern arch design on the penthouse. The hotel was now grand, attracting customers, earning the title “Queen of the Strip.”

New Beginnings

In the early 1980s, The Inns of the Americas purchased the property and shortly after changed to Pratt Corporation, the new owners of the Sands. They had a strategy and an eye on the Mexican and Latin American markets. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned, and the resort was not doing well anymore. Despite efforts by new managers such as Phil Hannifin and others to reinstate the glory of the Sands, there was no growth. In 1988, Kirk Kerkorian bought the property and rebranded it to MGM Sands. However, this lasted a short while because a few months later, a new group of investors bought it from Kerkorian. This move did not improve things, and in 1996, the resort imploded. 

Three years later, in 1999, the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino opened its doors on the same spot. The grand opening featured excited gondoliers singing and blowing trumpets, making merry to celebrate the new establishment. The resort was way bigger than the Sands, with more than 3000 rooms on 35 stories. 

Everything about the resort is luxurious and offers guests a worthwhile experience. For example, luxury suites occupy about 700 square feet of space to ensure comfort that feels like home. 

That is how the Venetian came to be.

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