Sunday, June 12, 2016 | 2 a.m.
The most ornately appointed, 26,000-square-foot mansion you’ve never seen might be up for sale soon. Or, you could say it is for sale at this moment, if you have an appealing offer for singing legend Phyllis McGuire and her longtime partner, oil baron Mike Davis.
The estate is in what McGuire has termed “the Beverly Hills of Las Vegas,” Rancho Circle estates, about a mile west of downtown on Rancho Drive. The home features a replica Arc de Triomphe at the entrance and a 45-foot version of the Eiffel Tower that serves as structural reinforcement for the main home — the mansion is flanked by two guest houses.
Just the main French Room, filled with antiques, French and Persian rugs and crystal art from the 19th century, feels like the lobby of the Bellagio. McGuire’s bedroom is outfitted with a raised, marble tub and gold fixtures in the shape of swans (McGuire has always loved swans).
Other features are a backyard furnished with a tennis court, a salon labeled “Phyllis’ Place,” a lake with a bridge leading to and from a guest house, and a lavish collection of about 180 gowns dating to the McGuire Sisters’ heyday in the 1950s and ’60s. The designers worn by the sisters, always donning custom-crafted stage attire, included Sophie Gimbel, Norman Norell, Helen Rose, James Galanos, Pauline Trigere, Bill Blass, Bob Mackie, Nolan Miller, Emilio Pucci, Valentino and Coco Chanel. That collection alone would exceed $1 million if sold separate from the home.
The estate’s windows are bulletproof. The iron shutters can be dropped at the press of a button. Downstairs is a full cabaret with neon lights gleaming, appropriately “Bar Cabaret,” where McGuire’s friends and fellow entertainers — they included Frank, Sammy and Dean — used to hang out. It also was where McGuire entertained her mob-overlord boyfriend, Sam Giancana, and later Davis, the oilman who is said to be entertaining offers on the estate.
McGuire bought the property in 1967, and in the 1980s paid $5 million for a full-scale renovation. Though the McGuire Sisters were one of the highest-paid acts of their era, McGuire told Barbara Walters in a 1989 “20/20” interview that she outfitted the home through her investments in crude oil.
Figuring out exactly what the sales price would be is an inexact science, as the home is unique and so lavish that there are few comparable properties listed. Davis, who lives in the mansion next door to McGuire, has told his associates he would like to entice an offer from a rich celebrity with style and a sense of history — someone like Phyllis McGuire, actually.
I toured the home to learn firsthand of its grandeur. There will be more news coming from this estate, soon.
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My first paid-parking experience at an MGM Resorts International property was the afternoon of June 7.
I pulled into valet at Monte Carlo and was met with a sign explaining the pay scale, $8 for four hours and $13 for four hours and longer. I asked the attendant if there was a discounted rate for locals, though I knew the answer was no. He told me I could park for free at the garage just to the west, free to locals at least through the end of December. But the temperature was 105 and I was already out of my car. Convenience trumped thrift and I handed him the keys.
“Do you take debit cards for payment?” I asked. While he believed it was a cash-only transaction, I later learned that debit cards are being accepted for parking across MGM Resorts properties — highlighting that all of us are getting used to this new world. The attendant was friendly and efficient in the sort of way that made me sad that the new parking policies would likely cost him a bundle in tips.
I wonder how much different life will be for those of us who do spend ample time on the Strip. This will take some adjustment, especially if other Las Vegas companies join MGM in charging for parking.