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The International Hotel was a famous Vegas landmark for decades, hosting celebrities and extravagant shows. If you’ve ever wondered what became of this iconic casino-hotel, you’re not alone.

If you’re short on time, here’s the key takeaway:  The International Hotel in Las Vegas went through quite a metamorphosis! While the “International Hotel” name is no more, its legacy lives on under the Westgate banner. 

The story of this monumental resort’s life and death is intricate and fascinating. It continues to be a prominent part of the Las Vegas landscape, with a rich history and a bright future.

This approximately 2,000-word article will chronicle the complete history of the International Hotel in Vegas. We’ll highlight the property’s glamorous heyday from 1969 to the 1980s, its changing ownership in later years, and the drawn-out demise that led to the building’s dramatic implosion.

You’ll also learn interesting facts about the International’s massive size, famous entertainers who performed there, and more. Let’s take a nostalgic stroll through the incredible story of one of Las Vegas’ most unforgettable hotels.

The International’s Launch and Glory Days

The International Hotel, now known as the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, holds a significant place in the history of Las Vegas.

Opening its doors in 1969, it quickly became famous for being the world’s largest hotel at the time. With over 1,500 rooms, it was a symbol of grandeur and luxury that attracted visitors from around the globe.

Las Vegas

Opening in 1969 as the world’s largest hotel

When The International Hotel opened in 1969, it was a game-changer for the Las Vegas hospitality industry. With its modern architecture and sleek design, it set new standards for luxury hotels.

From its opening up to 1979, it was one of the tallest buildings in Nevada. The sheer size of the hotel was unprecedented, offering guests a wide range of amenities and entertainment options.

At the time of its opening, The International boasted over 1,500 rooms, making it the largest hotel in the world. The sheer scale of the property was awe-inspiring, and it became a must-visit destination for tourists and celebrities alike.

Hosting iconic headliners like Elvis and Frank Sinatra

One of the reasons for The International’s immense popularity was its ability to attract legendary headliners. The hotel’s showroom, which could accommodate up to 2,000 guests, became a stage for some of the most iconic performers of the era.

Elvis Presley, known as the “King of Rock and Roll,” performed over 800 shows at The International between 1969 and 1976. His residency at the hotel brought in crowds of adoring fans and solidified Las Vegas as a premier entertainment destination.

The International also played host to other legendary performers such as Frank Sinatra, Liberace, and Barbra Streisand. These headliners attracted audiences from all over the world, cementing The International’s status as a hub for world-class entertainment.

During its glory days, The International Hotel was not only a hotel but also a cultural landmark. It showcased the best of Las Vegas entertainment and played a significant role in shaping the city’s reputation as the entertainment capital of the world.

For more information on The International Hotel’s history, visit Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino’s official website.

Changing Fortunes in the 1980s and 90s

Renaming as the Las Vegas Hilton

In the 1970s, the historic International Hotel in Las Vegas underwent a significant transformation. It was renamed as the Las Vegas Hilton, marking a new era for the iconic establishment. The rebranding aimed to attract a wider range of customers and revitalize the hotel’s image.

The Las Vegas Hilton became known for its expansive casino floor, world-class entertainment, and luxurious accommodations.

The decision to change the hotel’s name was influenced by the desire to create a fresh identity that would resonate with the evolving tastes of visitors. The Las Vegas Hilton sought to position itself as a premier destination for entertainment and leisure, catering to both high rollers and leisure travelers alike.

This rebranding strategy proved successful, as the Las Vegas Hilton experienced a surge in popularity during the 1980s.

The hotel became synonymous with extravagant shows, featuring renowned performers such as Elvis Presley, Liberace, and Barry Manilow.  Visitors from around the world flocked to the Las Vegas Hilton to experience the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip.

Facing new competition on the Strip

However, as the 1990s approached, the Las Vegas Hilton faced increasing competition from newer and more extravagant resorts on the Strip.

These new properties boasted flashy themes, elaborate attractions, and state-of-the-art amenities. The Las Vegas Hilton struggled to keep up with these developments and maintain its position as a premier destination.

With the emergence of mega-resorts like the Mirage, Treasure Island, and the MGM Grand, the Las Vegas Hilton found itself overshadowed by these newer establishments. The competition for tourist dollars became fierce, and the Las Vegas Hilton had to adapt to the changing landscape of the Las Vegas hospitality industry.

Despite its efforts to stay relevant, the Las Vegas Hilton eventually faced financial difficulties and ownership changes in 2014. These challenges, combined with the changing dynamics of the Las Vegas market, ultimately led to the decline of the once-thriving hotel.

Today, the Las Vegas Hilton is no longer in operation, but its legacy as an iconic piece of Las Vegas history remains. The rise and fall of the historic International Hotel turned Las Vegas Hilton serves as a reminder of the ever-evolving nature of the hospitality industry and the importance of adaptability in the face of changing fortunes.

Las Vegas Hilton

Gradual Decline in the New Millennium

As the new millennium dawned, the historic International Hotel in Las Vegas began to experience a gradual decline. Several factors contributed to this decline, including decreasing occupancy rates and the need for extensive renovations.

Decreasing occupancy and renovations

One of the main reasons for the decline of the International Hotel was the decreasing occupancy rates. With the rise of newer and more modern hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, tourists were drawn to the shiny and luxurious establishments, leaving the International Hotel to struggle to attract guests.

The International Hotel also faced the challenge of needing extensive renovations to keep up with the ever-evolving hospitality industry. The hotel’s infrastructure, including its rooms, facilities, and amenities, had become outdated and in need of a modern touch.

Renovations would have required a significant investment, and the management of the International Hotel faced a difficult decision. Should they invest the necessary funds to bring the hotel up to par with its competitors, or should they continue to operate with the existing facilities?

Brief renaming 

In an attempt to rebrand and revive the hotel’s image, there was a brief renaming and the hotel was briefly known as the LVH – Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.

The hope was that by adapting a new name, the hotel would regain some of glory and attract more guests. However, this rebranding effort proved to be short-lived, as it failed to reverse the declining trend.

Despite the name change, the LVH continued to struggle with low occupancy rates and the need for renovations.

Ultimately, the gradual decline of the International Hotel in the new millennium was a result of decreasing occupancy rates and the need for extensive renovations. These challenges proved to be too difficult to overcome, despite the hotel’s rich history and iconic status in Las Vegas.

Reborn as Westgate Las Vegas

Westgate Resorts bought the property from Las Vegas Hilton in 2014 and reopened it as the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.

Westgate Resorts saw an opportunity in the LVH and purchased the property. They immediately began a major renovation project, aiming to revitalize the resort and restore its former glory. They’ve been renovating and updating the property ever since.

The LVH name was retired, and the property reopened in 2016 as the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.

So, while the “International Hotel” name is no more, its legacy lives on under the Westgate banner. It continues to be a prominent part of the Las Vegas landscape, with a rich history and a bright future.


As we’ve charted, the International Hotel was a true classic that defined an era in Las Vegas history. Though the iconic resort met its end after a slow decline, its former glory and impact on the Strip will never be forgotten.

The International’s aviation beacon shone brightly for decades as one of Sin City’s most famous hotels.

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