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Celebrating 80 Years of Harrah’s

Last updated: February 15, 2018 at 4:01 pm. Posted by in Harrah's Las Vegas, Las Vegas Hotels, Nightlife, Things to Do in Las Vegas. Comments Off on Celebrating 80 Years of Harrah’s.

It’s not every day that you find an octogenarian partying on the Las Vegas Strip, in Reno and Lake Tahoe, NV and in Atlantic City, NJ. But Harrah’s isn’t your typical 80-year-old.

The iconic brand got it’s start when Bill Harrah opened Harrah’s Bingo Club on Oct. 30, 1937, in Reno and hasn’t stopped bringing fun and excitement to guests since. In honor of the brand’s 80th birthday this year, Harrah’s properties across the nation are holding events, including here in Las Vegas.

Asia will perform at Harrah's Las Vegas for its 80th Anniversary celebration

Look forward to a performance from Asia. Photo by Mary Ann Burns.

Harrah’s 80th Birthday Celebration

Celebrate all things ’80s (80th birthday, ’80’s party) at Carnaval Court at Harrah’s Las Vegas, featuring music from ’80s rockers Asia on Saturday, Oct. 21. You can get wrapped up in the “Heat of the Moment” and join the flair bartending competition to see if you’ve got the chops to measure up to the impressive Carnaval Court flair bartenders.

The party is free. To enter the flair bartending contest you need to be 21 or older. (Any 80-year-old flair bartenders out there? Show us your old school flair moves!) The contest starts at 3 p.m. Guests and pros are invited to show off their skills for a chance to score the $1,000 cash prize. Imagine how many shots you could buy with that! Register here if you’re feeling like you’ve got what it takes to win it all.

Harrah's 80th Anniversary Celebration at Carnaval Court in Las Vegas

Drinking’s just more fun at Carnaval Court. Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment.

If you’re just looking to grab a drink, not make one yourself, take part in an epic shot pour. In honor of Harrah’s 80 years, the flair bartenders will be doing a celebratory shot pour of 80 shots in just 8 seconds. Can it be done? Be there and find out.

In honor of the anniversary, guest can enjoy ’80s-themed drink specials like the Headbanger made from Skyy vodka and Redbull and the Bombdigity, a Jameson sour. Score a free Harrah’s 80th anniversary koozie if you order a Miller Lite or Coors Light.

Tenors of Rock will perform for Harrah's 80th Anniversary celebration

Tenors of Rock channel our inner ’80s power ballad rockers. Photo courtesy of Tenors of Rock.

Harrah’s Las Vegas performers the Tenors of Rock will kick off the nightime entertainment with a performance at 6 p.m. followed by Silversage at 7 p.m. and Asia at 9 p.m. Percussia keeps the night going with more music at 10 p.m. Come dressed to impress in your most gnarly ’80s gear to take part in the ’80s costume contest which starts at 8:30 p.m. You know you still have those acid washed jeans.

We think 80 is a pretty significant birthday, but if you’re still not sure what all the hoopla is about, just take a gander at the highlights, and fun facts, of what Harrah’s and its founder Bill Harrah have accomplished in those 80 years.

80 Years of Harrah’s

And bingo was its name-o

The original Harrah's Bingo Club in Reno, NV. Photo courtesy of UNLV Special Collections.

The original Harrah’s Bingo Club in Reno, NV. Photo courtesy of UNLV Special Collections.

On Oct. 30, 1937, Bill Harrah opened a bingo parlor in Reno, Nevada. That was the start of an empire that would encompass many more forms of gaming. Even if you don’t have your own bedazzaled bingo dauber, salute the bingo players whose passion for the game led to the creation of your favorite casinos.

Safe, Honest Gaming

In 1955, Bill Harrah helped to create the Nevada Gaming Control Board and in 1959 the Nevada Gaming Commission. Regulation paved the way for gaming industry we know today.

Don’t miss the bus

In 1956, Bill Harrah began the first busing program to bring gamblers to Reno and Lake Tahoe. Harrah aimed to make it easier for people in Northern California to reach the gaming destinations in Nevada.

No triskaidekaphobia here

Bill and John Harrah outside the Harrah's Bingo Club

Bill Harrah, with his father John Harrah, outside the bingo room at Harrah’s Reno. Photo courtesy of UNLV Special Collections.

Since many people have a fear of the number 13, it’s common for hotels to skip the number 13 when numbering the floors. Harrah’s Las Vegas does have a 13th floor because 13 just happened to be Bill Harrah’s favorite number.

The first to let you invest

On February 26, 1973, Harrah’s became the first gaming company to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company is now traded under the name Caesars Entertainment Corporation, CZR.

Planes, trains and lots of AUTOMOBILES

Bill Harrah with one of the many vehicles in his collection

Bill Harrah with one of the many vehicles in his collection. Photo courtesy of UNLV Special Collections.

Well, two out of the three apply here. In addition to adding many hotels and casinos to his collection, Bill Harrah was an avid car collector. His massive collection included 1,500 vehicles, including airplanes. In 1989, 175 cars from his collection were donated to the Reno National Automobile Museum’s collection. Several of his vehicles are still on display at The Auto Collection attraction at The LINQ Hotel & Casino.

The largest casino brand

Harrah’s is the largest casino brand in the United States with 17 properties nationwide. With everything from a casino in the center of the Las Vegas Strip to Harrah’s Atlantic City in the heart of the marina district, you can enjoy Harrah’s from coast to coast.

Harrah's 80th History infographic

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About The Author

Allison came to Las Vegas over a decade ago and fell in love with the city and all its dining and entertainment options. A live music junkie and tequila enthusiast, she has written for Las Vegas Weekly, Las Vegas Sun, Vegas Magazine and Conde Nast's VegasChatter.

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