The first casino to be built on what is currently the Strip was the El Rancho Vegas, opening on April 3, 1941, with 63 rooms. It was located at 2500 Las Vegas Boulevard, at the southwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue. The casino stood for almost 20 years before being destroyed by a fire in 1960. Harry James and Betty Grable were performing a late show on stage when the fire started at the hotel. There were no deaths or injuries.

Despite vows to rebuild the El Rancho Vegas after the fire, the plans never materialized. In 1970, billionaire Howard Hughes purchased 60 acres of the land. In 1978, the remnants of the old resort were demolished.

The Hilton Grand Vacation Club now occupies a portion of the land while the Las Vegas Festival Grounds has the majority of the land.

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