Tommy Hull was a dapper entrepreneur who had once walked 600 miles back home from Mexico by himself after going into business with the wrong guy (Pancho Villa), on a failed mining venture in Mexico.
Hull moved to Los Angeles, and built himself a nice fortune running hotels. But Los Angeles was not Hull’s dream. Hull bought 33 acres of land in the middle of the Nevada desert in a spot where his car had broken down from a woman who was so convinced the land was worthless, she attempted to trade (or actually give) the land to Hull. Hull built the El Rancho on that lot, which is now on the corner of The Strip, and Sahara. The El Rancho opened on April 3rd, 1941, and became the first hotel/resort of its kind in the Nevada desert. This very same hotel layed the foundation for what would become the Strip some decades later.