Stanley Mallin, who is well-known to the public for building Caesars Palace with Jay Sarno, has sadly passed away at the age of 98, as reported by The Las Vegas Review-Journal. Sarno described Mallin as a quiet gentleman and these two icons are credited with the casino-hotel concept that Caesars adopted. Vegas gave them the ultimate commemoration by naming two streets after them – Stan Mallin Drive and Jay Sarno Way. These two streets are parallel to each other and they are behind Caesars.
Mallin Was in Charge of the Business Side of Caesars
Sarno and Mallin were opposites in terms of their character. Mallin was the business and financial part of the puzzle that made everything possible and lived a quiet life by managing the properties in the background.
On the other hand, Sarno was often referred to as the driving visionary and was Caesars’ public face. He had a lavish life as a massive Vegas personality. Sarno commented on the relationship that he has with Mallin while speaking with David G. Schwartz, the author of The First Emperor of Las Vegas. He said that Mallin is a quiet gentleman and everyone loves him, but that Sarno is not like that.
One interesting fact about Mallin is that he was inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame in 2019, 30 years after Sarno achieved the same milestone when he passed away (1984).
Sarno and Mallin Met in the 1940s
These two revolutionaries were roommates while attending the University of Missouri during the 1940s. They started working as Miami tile contractors after serving the military in the Second World War. They also built houses in Atlanta.
In 1958, they opened their first hotel in Atlanta – the Atlanta Cabana. The Atlanta Cabana was partly funded by an investment from Jimmy Hoffa, the boss of Teamsters. Eventually, Caesars Palace would also be funded by this company.
Sarno and Mallin went to Las Vegas in the early 1960s and noticed that the famous Strip was filled with motels and lacked grand scale luxury hotel resorts. So, the ambition to build something unique was born and after, they decided to go with an ancient Roman style. They toured Italy with the purpose of examining the architecture and marble statues during that time.
In 1966, Caesars Palace, which is currently undergoing a makeover that costs millions of dollars, opened its doors at a cost of $24 million. The resort was sold three years later by Sarno and Mallin for a price of $60 million.
Circus Circus Was Not a Major Success
The next project by Mallin and Sarno was Circus Circus, which was designed as the first family-themed casino facility. It featured trapeze artists that performed above the gaming floor and carnival games. Monkeys were even trained to pay out the winnings, while baby elephants were involved in a short-lived stunt and they were transported around the casino in an overhead tram. However, this project was not successful.
It suffered because it did not include a hotel. Instead of gambling, tourists would just visit so that they can stare at the attractions. That’s why Circus Circus was sold at a loss and, after that, Mallin retired from the casino industry to participate in other business projects.
Oscar Goodman, a former mayor of Las Vegas, spoke with the Review-Journal and said that he befriended Mallin and Sarno during the 1960s and gave them the full credit for creating the Strip’s blueprint. On Sunday, Goodman released a statement in which he said that Sarno was a gourmand and everything that included him was loud, but in a good way. On the other hand, everything with Mallin was quiet, also in a good way, and that made them the perfect combination. He ended by saying that they are responsible for Las Vegas’ look today.