Tony Cornero was a man truly in the mold of the early Las Vegas
trailblazer. A hustler, and prohibition era bootlegger, Cornero was
the first to dream of the super hotel, and indeed spent the last years
of his life pursuing his dream—The Stardust.
The Stardust was to be a 1,000 room casino resort, idealized as a
departure from many of the “sawdust” joints operating in Las Vegas at
the time. Cornero has a vision of fine carpet, chandeliers, and a
Cornero’s vision of The Stardust was about 70% complete when on July
31st, 1955, Tony Cornero collapsed. He died of a heart attack while
playing craps at the Desert Inn, literally seconds after throwing the
dice. Tony’s vision did finally open on July 1, 1958, after the
project had been taken over by Desert Inn boss Moe Dalitz.