As the third reincarnation of the original 1969 International Hotel, few Vegas buildings sing with history like the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino (3000 Paradise Road. Tel: 702-732-5111. www.westgateresorts.com). Ushering in the Vegas mega-resort era, the International was the world’s largest hotel at the time. Barbra Streisand inaugurated the 2,000-seat Showroom Internationale with a month of twice-nightly shows. With the room warmed up, Elvis Presley famously followed with his record 837-show run.
The star parade stretches from Ann- Margaret, Tom Jones, and Liberace to current headliner Barry Manilow. James Bond came calling in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock musical Starlight Express rollerskated here from 1993 to 1997.
Changing owners three times, including its golden stretch as the Las Vegas Hilton, the pioneering property, acquired by timeshare titan David Siegel in 2014, remains one of Vegas’ greatest hits. Present day distinctions include women in prominent executive positions, rare for Vegas, led by charming President and General Manager Cami Christensen.
Gordon Prouty brings his own multifaceted talents to the Westgate. Formerly a senior level media executive working in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, the Syracuse, New York native also taught media and retail advertising at Syracuse University’s prestigious S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
In 2015, he relocated to Southern Nevada to became group publisher for the Greenspun Media Group and its award-winning outlets including Las Vegas Magazine and Las Vegas Weekly. Three years later, Prouty joined the Westgate, where we met for this interview.
With sartorial savvy and debonair dash, he cuts quite the figure. Impressive, too, was the setting for our conversation. Spanning the top 30th floor, Westgate’s three Sky Villas are pure fantasy. At 15,000-plus square feet, the Verona is America’s largest hotel suite. Amenities include the hot tub where Michael Douglas and Matt Damon went in flagrante for Behind The Candelabra. The Tuscany suite incorporates an updated portion of Elvis’s former penthouse digs, while the two-story Versailles includes a panoramic outdoor terrace.
Swearing me to secrecy, Prouty and entertaining Master Butler Valentino Crespo shared some of the VIP bacchanals hosted within these gilded walls. Head spinning with those tantalizing images and echoes of Barbra’s “Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here,” I settled in for Prouty’s dish on the property and his embrace of the Vegas scene.