RIP Barbary Coast (Bill's)

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Author: [Las Vegas] Topic: RIP Barbary Coast (Bill's)
Ironhead34 PM Ironhead34
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Posted: 2/1/2013 11:07:28 AM

Not going to be the same after the 4th. Anyone else going to miss it?

Frank_Da_Tank PM Frank_Da_Tank
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Posted: 2/1/2013 1:47:35 PM
Ironhead34 PM Ironhead34
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Posted: 2/1/2013 1:53:59 PM

That avatar brings back some good memories. My Vegas is dying.

Frank_Da_Tank PM Frank_Da_Tank
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Posted: 2/1/2013 2:41:41 PM

The line was out the door at Barbary Coast from people who wanted action on Ali-Holmes in 1980.

By: Jimmy Vaccaro

Nov 27, 2012

 

LAS VEGAS -- So the stage was set in Las Vegas for sports books to operate within casinos. The pioneers set forth what would become a new way of doing business. Bob Martin was at the Plaza, and Lefty Rosenthal showed us with his place at the Stardust how to dress up a book, but we needed a push to get the machine in motion throughout town.

That push came from the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo at the Barbary Coast, which opened on March 30, 1979—with me running the book—and it played a pivotal part in the future of racing and sports.

This was way before there were dozens of street performers in character as Batman and Megatron, and before the street peddlers and jugglers took up residence in front of what is now called Wild Bill's. There were no overhead walkways, nor peddling of cards with the phone numbers of escort services on them.

The common thread to a Las Vegas experience in those days was shows and gambling, in no particular order.

Picture this on an NFL Sunday morning way back when: The Flamingo was on our right. Caesars Palace was across the street. The magnificent Dunes was catty-corner, and the original MGM was to our left. The four of them combined had over 8,000 rooms.

At the Barbary Coast, we had only 200 rooms.

But with all the opulence at those great casinos, you could do everything except bet your favorite team. We had a sports book, they didn't.

And as each big event came and went, Michael Gaughan emphasized giving leeway on things that would get spillover play from our neighbors on the tables and slots. Again, we had a sports book, and they didn't

I can't even begin to tell you what the Barbary Coast was like on October 2, 1980. That was Holmes vs. Ali.

Part V: Union Plaza first hotel to jump into book business

When I think about that day, I can't help but remember the crew behind the counter with me in the Barbary book — Archie Manteris, Ricky Herron, Jerry Ludt, Muggsy Muniz, Chris Andrews, Mary Sapp, and Mary Stumbo. ... I hope I did not forget anyone.

On this particular fight night, it was non-stop ticket writing, as the lines of people wanting action extended out the door to the Flamingo. It was a sight to behold, and 98 percent of the people betting were from other hotels. You get the picture.

But it came to a head one Monday morning when I was summoned to Michael's office, and he was livid after receiving a phone call from the brass at Caesars wondering why we had so many of their chips.

You used to be able to walk into any casino and exchange or bet another casinos chips. Early in the week, what was called a chip run was put into use — security would gather our chips and get cash from the other casinos.

Well, on one big football weekend, we were to return over $200,000 of Caesars chips, and they didn't like it too much. Their customers were coming to the little red casino across the street, playing sports and sticking around. Pretty good marketing tool, wouldn't you say?

Books were coming to the big joints eventually, but this put some 5-hour energy into the CEOs' to-do lists, and it wasn't long before they all had their own books.

Even though Ali was totally outclassed that night in 1980, he might have won a big decision in getting you to the window quicker when you stay at your favorite hotel.

keithdylan PM keithdylan
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Posted: 2/2/2013 10:19:06 AM
Stayed there the last two March Madnesses, and was going to stay there again this year.  Had the John Wayn Suite which was at one time Michael's apartment.  Huge, and a nice slice of old Vegas.  It will not be the same when it reopens, not even close.  They will not be marketing to people like me.
spurs74fan PM spurs74fan
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Posted: 2/2/2013 10:27:36 AM

Was a great place to gamble and just hangout and drink with friends.  It's going to be missed!!  

Goggles-Pisano PM Goggles-Pisano
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Posted: 2/2/2013 12:14:16 PM

very sad, a great place for breakfast any hour of the day. The hallways which look like they never end always remind me of a Twilight Zone episode

Goggles-Pisano PM Goggles-Pisano
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Posted: 2/2/2013 12:32:13 PM
<------------- Endless Hallway
Ironhead34 PM Ironhead34
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Posted: 2/2/2013 3:33:41 PM
Amen my brothers.
wolffer12 PM wolffer12
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Posted: 2/3/2013 1:49:56 PM
I really enjoyed that hole.. wild and crazy garbage you would see in there at 3am... some of my best nights were in that shithole.
dytide PM dytide
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Posted: 2/11/2013 10:31:10 AM
I just went online to book a room there and found out about this.

sad sad sad



russ1110 PM russ1110
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Posted: 2/11/2013 1:59:05 PM
BARBARY COAST WAS THE ONLY SPORTS BOOK WITH ANY BALLS.THE WASHINGTON/BUFFALO SUPER BOWL WAS WASH. -7 AT ALL BOOKS,AT BC YOU COULD GET WASH. -6 1/2 OR TAKE BUFFALO AT +7 1/2,STUPEK FROM VEGAS WORLD BET 1/2 MILLION EACH WAY THAT YEAR.ALL THE ACTION ON THE STRIP WAS ALL AT BARBARY.
jamesxnj PM jamesxnj
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Posted: 2/13/2013 12:56:50 PM

My first trip to LV was in 1986 and hit the BC..loved the marker boards and the 'Vegas' feel of the book.Nothing like it,though I was pretty amazed at the electronic boards at other props.

Speaking of Bob Stupak,stayed at Vegas World and that was a trip,free play,free drinks.Went out with a buddy and provisions when that sort of stuff was no problem travelling..Go every year now and spend a lot of time in the Gold Coast,which still uses the boards in the racebook.

edwardjohn70 PM edwardjohn70
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Posted: 2/26/2013 9:12:02 AM
where can I go now and see Big Elvis..he was awesome
Frank_Da_Tank PM Frank_Da_Tank
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Posted: 2/27/2013 11:58:45 AM
QUOTE

Originally Posted by edwardjohn70:

where can I go now and see Big Elvis..he was awesome

You can finf the fat man @ Harrah's

http://www.bigelvislasvegas.com/

budwiser PM budwiser
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Posted: 2/27/2013 10:40:51 PM
who gives a f/ck, really

the guys there were fools when i tried to play a bet i lost on anyways.  just a tiny book nobody goes to around a ton of books

granted it has history, i'll never step on its importance to the past

jmo
Ironhead34 PM Ironhead34
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Posted: 2/28/2013 7:41:43 AM
QUOTE

Originally Posted by budwiser:

who gives a f/ck, really

the guys there were fools when i tried to play a bet i lost on anyways.  just a tiny book nobody goes to around a ton of books

granted it has history, i'll never step on its importance to the past

jmo

 

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