|By Ron Sylvester, Las Vegas
SunMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Feb. 26, 2013--The El Cortez has become the only Las Vegas casino that's still standing to join the National Register of Historic Places.
The city's oldest hotel to continuously operate under the same name, the El Cortez became only the second Las Vegas casino on the nation's cultural preservation list. It joins the Moulin Rouge, the first integrated casino, which burned down in 2003.
There are some 60 other Las Vegas sites listed. They include the former federal courthouse and post office, which now houses the Mob Museum, and the Old Mormon Fort. The "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign was added in 2009.
The El Cortez opened in 1941 and has retained much of its Spanish Colonial Revivial style architecture, even after a 1952 attempt to "modernize" the structure and an interior makeover two years ago.
"We are thrilled to become one of the beloved properties across the nation recognized on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places," Alex Epstein, executive vice president of El Cortez, said in a statement this afternoon. "Our hotel represents not only the treasured memories of our city's history but also embraces the future of downtown."
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