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” places operating in Las Vegas at the time. Cornero has a vision of fine carpet, chandeliers, and a classy vibe.
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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.