Sun File Photo
The front page of the Wednesday, Feb. 11, 1981, edition of the Las Vegas Sun on the Hilton fire.
Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 | 2 a.m.
It was 31 years ago today, at about 8 p.m., that a fire ripped through the Las Vegas Hilton — once known as the International Hotel and now as LVH – Las Vegas Hotel — trapping some guests in hotel rooms while others used sheets to climb to safety.
Eight people died and 200 were injured. Damage was estimated at $13 million.
The Las Vegas Sun reported the next day that “enormous clouds of smoke billowed from the 2,300-room hotel. Hundreds of onlookers thronged around the hotel, creating massive traffic problems for Metro police. There were reports that fights broke out among people milling outside the hotel.”
Investigators later said a busboy set an eighth-floor lobby curtain on fire with a marijuana cigarette, starting the fire. Philip Bruce Cline was convicted of arson and is serving eight life terms plus 15 years in state prison.
The Hilton fire came just months after a fire at the MGM Grand killed 87 people and injured about 700.
Click here for more on the history of fabulous Las Vegas.
Westgate Las Vegas & Casino
As the place where Elvis Presley broke all Vegas show attendance records when it was still called the International Hotel, the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino is a time capsule of classic Vegas. Its name changed from the LVH - Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in early 2012.
While the feeling is traditional, the hotel has recently spent millions in renovations. From the guest rooms to the pool deck, all surfaces were remodeled. Crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling of the 74,000 square-foot casino, where there is high limit slots. Just off from the casino, there is the world's largest race and sports book, the SuperBook, featuring 350 seats, 28 giant screens highlighted with a massive 15' x 20' screen for a grand total of more than 60 viewing monitors.
The dining choices at the property range from the award-winning Benihana, a Japanese steakhouse, to The Buffet, where guests can enjoy the wide selection of choices. After dinner, guests can take advantage of the star-studded entertainment. The hotel also makes it convenient to casino-hop as one of the stops on the Las Vegas Monorail.
3000 Paradise Road