Back in 1967, Howard Hughes payed $14 Million dollars for what was then still the New Frontier. But he didn't like that, so he called it The Frontier, and that's also where their trademark F that has been in all of their signage, chips, ashtrays and the like came from. Howard Hughes also owned the Desert Inn, right across the street and reportedly built an underground tunnel going under the Strip so that selected VIPs could go from Howard's casinos without having to fight traffic or, God forbid, daylight.
Well, the Nevada Gaming Commission had decided that 7 properties was enough for Howard and they refused to let him buy any more after 1969's attempt to buy The Stardust. Things got quiet on the Hughes front and he soon went away as quickly as he came. His company still held on to the properties and slowly sold them in the late 1980's. In 1988, the Elardi family bought the Frontier, changed the name BACK to the New Frontier and kept ownership between then and 1998. Phil Ruffin then bought the property in 1998 and retained the property until Israeli group El Ad Properties bought the failing casino for a whopping $1.2 Billion dollars and decided to close and implode it, making way for The Plaza Las Vegas. There might actually be some confusion with that name, seeing as how in Downtown Las Vegas, there is a successful and long living Plaza Hotel and Casino - but neither the designs, owners or brands will be the same. The new Plaza is expected to be open in 2011-2012.
This last set of pictures depicts how the hotel looked up until the day it was destroyed. Their were two major towers built once Hughes bought the resort but I've not been able to find years. The first tower built was the 7 story tower that almost circled the property. That tower was built sometime during Howard Hughes' ownership between 1968 and 1988. The tower was standing in the 1970's which leads me to believe that Howard had it built around 1969-1972. In the view from the air, you'll see that it goes around the property in an almost octagon shape. The more recent tower, the Frontier Tower, was the taller structure and was erected I believe in the early 1990's. Some of those dates may be off, but it gives you a rough idea at least.
These last two shots show what is left of the property as of 11/29/2007. The tower shown is the 7 story tower that circled the property. They're in the process of emptying and gutting the tower and will demolish it before the end of the year.
So be honest. Was this at all interesting? Now I have to do research and find all the nitty gritty dirt on Frankie! Fun fun! Enjoy kids!