The property was occupied by a building that Stupak had leased to Paul Wolfsohn, who had been operating the Imperial Carpet store inside for 26 years.
Wolfsohn challenged Stupak's plans. Stupak stated that the lease allowed for the eviction of Wolfsohn's carpet store within 60 days, despite Wolfsohn's claim that his store could not be evicted because his lease did not expire until May The Las Vegas City Council was expected to consider Stupak's expansion plans the following month, after the Las Vegas Planning Commission recommended against it due to inadequate parking spaces.
Vegas World closed on February 1, , for remodeling in order to be integrated into the Stratosphere resort. A majority of Vegas World's final customers consisted of people redeeming their vacation packages.
Vegas World featured an extensive collection of space-themed memorabilia such as rocket sculptures, as well as a replica of the Apollo Lunar Module and a life-sized astronaut that both hung from the ceiling.
The hotel featured a spaceport -themed check-in lobby, while other parts of the hotel featured mirrored walls and ceilings in a black interior that was accompanied by stars and plastic columns filled with bubbling, colored liquid.
The hotel also featured what was claimed to be genuine moon rocks approximately the size of rice grains , which Stupak somehow obtained from the Nicaraguan government.
During the s, artists Robert Barnett Newman an original member of The Motels and Paul Whitehead created various space-themed murals on Vegas World's two hotel towers, measuring 25 and 10 stories high.
At the time, it set a record in The Guinness Book of Records for the world's largest mural. Anthony Curtis of the Las Vegas Advisor opined that Vegas World was "one of the most bizarre casinos in the city's history", and wrote that its buffet, The Moon Rock, was "infamous for being among the worst in town.
During the mids and into the s, Vegas World featured a show starring a Frank Sinatra impersonator, titled Reflections of Sinatra.
It had been two decades since Gabor had performed in Las Vegas. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Archived from the original on August 11, Retrieved June 19, Archived from the original on February 25, Retrieved May 23, Archived from the original on August 6, Retrieved May 22, Archived from the original on May 26, Archived from the original on February 2, Retrieved January 29, Archived from the original on July 25, Retrieved July 4, Archived from the original on August 10, Archived from the original on March 5, Archived from the original on March 4, Archived from the original on March 6, Retrieved February 24, A loser looking for new deal".
Archived from the original on February 24, Retrieved February 23, His casino now closed, Stupak bought a downtown lounge, the Sinabar, with several table games and six slots.
He renamed it the Vault. To draw players, he offered blackjack games with both dealers' cards turned face up for a half-hour a day.
Stupak sold the Vault and leased a slot casino, the Glitter Gulch, on Fremont Street , and placed what would become an iconic neon sign above it—cowgirl Vegas Vicky.
The site was beside a notoriously seedy neighborhood known as Naked City. When it debuted in , Vegas World had an eight-story hotel tower, which Stupak would later expand to twenty stories.
Stupak's promotional ideas were put to the test, as his new casino was nowhere near other Strip hotels and their crowds of walking tourists.
He put in games like blackjack with the dealers' cards exposed and crapless craps. He offered gamblers a chance to bet against a caged chicken.
Slot machines awarded automobiles as prizes. He adopted as his nickname the "Polish Maverick. For the interior of Vegas World, he flouted all conventions.
Vegas World's casino had an odd, space-themed interior with a life-sized space shuttle and astronaut hanging from the ceiling amid containers filled with bubbling water.
A large plastic box in the casino purportedly contained a million dollars—including scattered Vegas World casino chips of various dominations.
Stupak became known as an excellent poker player and a high roller, competing in the World Series of Poker. In , he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Las Vegas.
In the late s, while in Australia, Stupak saw the Sydney Tower, which gave him the idea for his next project.
He started making plans to replace Vegas World with the Stratosphere Tower. He created a public company to sell stock to raise building funds and dreamed up a promotion that would get him in trouble with state gaming authorities: Buyers complained they were misled about the actual value of the packages while at the hotel.
With enough money to start on the tower, Stupak began building in When only about half of the 1,foot tower was done a year later, a fire halted construction.
Stupak as a teenager was mainly interested in motorcycle racing, and once ranked third in the world after breaking a speed record.
As a young adult, Stupak moved to Australia to try to find his fortune. Stupak moved to Las Vegas in He bought the Vault casino in downtown and changed its name to Glitter Gulch.
Stupak acquired a small, 1. On May 21, an air conditioner caught fire and the building burned down.
Two years later, Vally Bank's Perry Thomas loaned Stupak a million dollars to build the original Vegas World on the site of the former gambling museum.
Stupak opened Bob Stupak's Vegas World hotel and casino known for its promotions and the world's largest sign which later blew down in a wind storm , and new twists on games, including the world's first quarter million and million dollar jackpot.
He got his wish, and his appearance on the court in a Globetrotters uniform during one of their games shooting hoops made international news.
Then, taking a page from Donald Trump with his Trump board game , Stupak came up with his own board game he called Stupak after Trump declined his million dollar challenge for charity playing Trump: Stupak's unique promotions included the world's first one quarter million dollar jackpot followed shortly thereafter by the world's first million dollar jackpot.
He also was wildly successful with his direct-mail marketing called the "Vegas Vacation Club" that enticed vacationers to Vegas World with what was almost a cost-free vacation package including room, meals, and vouchers for casino play.
In , Stupak was considering the purchase of a local television station, as well as starting a weekly newspaper.
Later that year, he won the Deuce to Seven Lowball championship bracelet at the World Series of Poker and the Super Bowl of poker at Caesars Palace, both times edging out world-renowned lowball poker legend Billy Baxter for the championship.
In , Stupak approached the mayor and city council with a plan to build the largest free standing sign in the world.
His plan was for an 1, foot tall neon sign that would tower over Las Vegas. Then-Councilman Steve Miller , an airline instructor pilot, convinced Stupak to redesign the structure to include an observation deck.
Miller took Stupak for a flight over Vegas World in Miller's private plane. There they circled for over an hour at altitudes ranging from 1, to 2, feet watching the sun set.
Stupak told Miller that to not share such a beautiful sight would be a sin, and he immediately went to work revising his plans to include a restaurant and amusement rides at the top of what was then to be called the "Stupak Tower.
Within a year of Stupak's announcement, the construction on the tower began. In , Stupak suffered a motorcycle accident, breaking every bone in his face and going into a coma.
Stupak recovered, although with lingering health problems. At the time of his motorcycle crash, Stupak was developing what had become known as Stratosphere Las Vegas , the largest structure west of the Mississippi and top 10 tallest structure in the world.
This was Grand Casinos' big opportunity to enter the Las Vegas market due in large part to the overwhelming success in the Indian gaming market.
Stupak called this the most difficult decision of his life as he had never had a partner and was always sole owner.
The tower opened in late April , making it the third most expensive casino development in history at the time; within a year Stupak was out as Chairman of the Board and the project ultimately ended as a financial disaster.