202 Fremont

Las Vegas, NV

Four Queens

June 2, 1966 to now

January 1967:

New manager
"...Colonel Joseph J. Klonowski, former Winonan (Wisconsin) who is now manager of the $6 million Four Queens Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., recently had as his guests Astronaut James A. Lovell and his wife, Marilyn, and Nevada Sen. Howard A.Cannon..."
(Winona Daily News January 1, 1967)

"...More than 500 waiters, waitresses and bartenders walked off their jobs at 12 downtown Hotels and casinos Tuesday night (April 18, 1967) triggering the largest strike in the history of the desert gambling spa.... By midnight, 200 pickets were marching along the famed three block area known as Glitter Gulch... Some management officials took over vacant bartender posts. 'I'm the official cocktail waitress here tonight,'  said Mrs. Frank Schivo co-owner of the California Club,  'We just have to keep going.'...
The establishments struck were the Fremont and El Cortez Hotels and the Horseshoe, Golden Nugget, Pioneer, Golden Gate, California Club, Club Bingo, Showboat, Carousel, Las Vegas Club, and Four Queens Casino... 
     Two other casinos, the Lucky and the Mint both owned by Del Webb, were included in the strip agreement because Webb has interests there... 
   The Nevada Club, owned by Robert Van Santen. reached a separate agreement with the union late Tuesday night..."
(Oxnard Press Courier April 18, 1967)

March 1967: 

Goffstein is hospitalized
"Benny Goffstein, head of the Four Queens Hotel in Las Vegas, was confined to Methodist Hospital, in Houston, TX, Friday for a series of tests. Goffstein, who has been examined at Mayo Clinic and several other hospitals during the last three months, said he came to Houston to 'see which diagnosis is currect'... 'I wanted to come to Houston for examination since this is the big leagues,' Goffstein said..."
(Nevada State Journal March 25, 1967)

On August 15, 1967, a little more than a year after his dream property opened, Ben Goffstein died.

Tribute to Ben Goffstein's passing
Ben Goffstein, a jovial pioneer, died Aug. 15, (1967)  a little more than a year after he built and named the Four Queens Hotel and Casino in honor of his four daughters. Cancer took him at 59 after he left his colorful stamp on Nevada history as a veteran hotelman, labor mediator, newspaper man, philanthropist, friend of kings and paupers.
Born in Omaha, Nev., Goffstein was circulation manager of various newspapers in Omaha and Albany, N.Y., prior to World War II. In 1945 he came to Nevada and played a leading part in the construction of the Flamingo and Riviera Hotels.       
In 1947 he was executive assistant to the president of the Flamingo, and in 1955 moved into the same position at the Riviera Hotel. From 1958 to 1963 he was the president of the Riviera. Resigning in 1963. Goffstein became general manager of a downtown casino, served briefly as director of the Nevada Resort Hotel Association, and was associated with the Las Vegas Turf Club. The Four Queens opened in June, 1966. Goffstein received the 1963 “ Heart Award” from Variety Ten 39, and served as its Chief Barker in 1951-52. He was also active in organizations such as the City of Hope, United Fund, United Jewish Appeal, and a friend of the Home of the Good Shepherd.
(Las Vegas Sun January 7, 1968)

1967 Sept 28: In a column about changes in Las Vegas:
“The Four Queens offers free wigs in a choice of 24 colors, with each keno jackpot”
(by Leonard Lyons in the Kenosha News September 28, 1967)
January 1968

Additional games
"...City commissioners approved... Four Queens, Inc...., for an additional craps game and two 21 games for the Four Queens Hotel and Casino, 201 Fremont..."
(Las Vegas Sun January 4, 1968)

Callahan takes charge
"...Tommy Callahan is quite a man. His Four Queens is a well run fun factory. Sat at the bar observing the keno board and in rapid succession watched Cliff Jones meet with Leonard Marxen the 4Q comptroller; saw security Sgt. Bob Lynch escort a pleasant but rather liquid gentleman to the nearest exit... Noted that Jones and Marxen had lunch elsewhere??? John the bartender looks Irish but his name is Segretti.  He refers to himself a., being 'Mediterranean Irish.'..."
(Joe Delaney column Las Vegas Sun January 14, 1968)

Another investor
“...non-restricted licenses recommended for approval included: Herbert M. Jones, a Las Vegas attorney and Nevada’s Democratic National Committeeman, for one per cent for $45,000 in the Four Queens in Las Vegas...”
(Las Vegas Sun January 25, 1968)

Herbert Jones investor approved
...the commission approved applications by:   ...Herbert Jones, Las Vegas attorney and Democratic national committeeman for Nevada, to acquire one per cent in the Four Queens Hotel in Las Vegas for $45,000..."
(Las Vegas Sun January 31, 1968)

August 1968

Casino humor
"...Tommy Callahan of the Four Queens was talking shop with Charlie King from the Golden Nugget across the street. The chief topic was the closing of the Pioneer Club when someone mentioned that the Denny's on Fremont Street was also closed. None of us were prepared for Charlie King's explanation.
   ... 'One of the Gaming Control Board boys stopped in Denny's for a platter of  pancakes and found two 'jacks missing from the stack' '' Even if pancakes were ‘closed’, they might still be able to “ operate " the ham and eggs..."
(Joe Delaney's column in the Las Vegas Sun August 5, 1968)
(Note: The Pioneer Club was shut down by the Gaming Control Board when they found that the casino was cheating by removing face cards from the blackjack decks... "Agents of the gaming control board picked up a four-deck of blackjack cards on July 13 and investigation showed 16 cards were missing from the required 208. The missing cards were four 10s, four jacks, four queens and four kings, thus giving the casino a better chance to win...")

October 1968

Klonowski leaves
"...Col. Joseph J. Klonowski, general manager of the Four Queens casino since its 1966 opening, was presented with a key to the City of Las Vegas and a testimonial from city officials as he prepared to leave for a new post as general manager of the Plaza Hotel in Winona, Minn..."
(Las Vegas Sun October 21, 1968)

Soon the Four Queens will expand east down Fremont Street
taking over the 200 block shown below during a Shriner's Parade.
It will take over the properties with the Four Kings Arcade,
Christiansen Jewelers, Smith & Chandler, and City Drug.
August 1968  

Four Queens Addition To Begin Soon
"...The Four Queens Hotel in downtown Las Vegas will have three times as many rooms by Labor Day, 1969.  A 10-story addition will be built atop the existing eight  stories, President Tommy Callahan said yesterday.  The late Ben Goffstein, founder of the hotel-casino, planned it just that way. The hotel opened in mid-1966. Goffstein promised work would be started on the 10-story addition within two years. The hotel has 115 rooms. It will have 325 when the addition is finished. Architect Julius Gabriel said plans should be ready for bids within two months..."
(Las Vegas Sun August 22, 1968)

October  1968

Four Queens Files Building Plans For 10-Stories More
"...Officials of the Four Queens hotel and casino yesterday filed construction plans with the city building department for the pending ten-story addition to the casino center hotel.... The addition will contain 206 rooms and 78,500 square feet of space... Estimated cost of the structural work would approach $1,450,000... The plans indicate architects apparently designed the structure with allowance for extension eastward at some future date..."
(Las Vegas Sun October 26, 1968)

November 1968

Contracts Let For Expansion Of Four Queens
"...Contract for construction of a 10-story addition to the Four Queens... was awarded yesterday to Sierra Construction Company, Four Queens President Tommy Callahan said.... The 115-room hotel... will have 325 rooms when the addition is finished. Completion date is Nov. 11, 1969. but Sierra Vice President Gus Rapone said he was going to try to speed up that date. Julius Gabriele is architect for the... addition. The largest cranes ever seen in Las Vegas will be used for the project, he said..."
(Las Vegas Sun Nov. 8, 1968)

"...Work will begin Tuesday on a 10-story hotel addition to the Four Queens. It will add 210 rooms and 75,000 square feet, of space to existing facilities, bringing the room total to 325, and more than doubling the amount of space now available. The contractor, Sierra Construction Corp., expects to complete work by mid-October, 1969...”
(Las Vegas Sun Nov. 10, 1968)

December 1968

Big Crane Holds Up City Traffic
"...Fremont Street motorists will find a block-long segment partially blocked off in Casino Center today to accommodate a gigantic crane imported to work on the 10-story addition to the Four Queens and Casino...  Opinions differed about a statement by Einer Abramson, Four Queens Vice-president, describing the crane as “ the largest ever seen in Nevada.”... Estimated completion date is between July 1 and Nov. 1. 1969..."
(Las Vegas Sun Dec. 2, 1968)

"...Gus Rapone, executive vice president of Sierra Construction, said yesterday... that he cannot recall whether engineers in this country ever have attempted (continuation) construction of a high-rise building on top of an existing high-rise structure in the manner of the pending Four Queens project..."
(Las Vegas Sun Dec. 3, 1968)

1968 Dec 11:  Big Crane finally arrives
"...That, thing that grew up over night on Fremont Street in front of the Four Queens Hotel and Casino is THE crane...  The crane was originally due here 10 days ago to begin work on the $1.96 million, 10-story additionto the Four Queens... arrived yesterday—shipped in by a four-truck convoy from San Pedro, Calif... will display a boom 148 feet long, and stands..110 feet to its highest point. It weighs 45 tons. Its vital statistics make it the largest crane ever seen here... Bill Koerwitz, president of Sierra Construction Corp. of Las Vegas, prime contractor for the Four Queens job, said barricades may come down by early next week, after all portions of the crane are out of the street..."
(Las Vegas Sun Dec. 11, 1968)

June 12, 1967: A new Cougar was awarded to a lucky winner.
June 12, 1967

A new Cougar was awarded to a lucky winner at the Four Queens. 

I was lucky enough to buy this orignal letter signed by both the winner and the Four Queens executive Einer Abramson!

Use the navigation buttons below to learn more and explore the history and collectibles of the Four Queens.
1967-1968 Events: Changes in Management, Strike, Expansion & Goffstein's Death
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