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Historic Glass Pool Inn
set to be leveled

Oct 28, 2003 3:49 AM

Las Vegas has never suffered any pangs of nostalgia over its historic sites. Blowing up hotels and leveling historic buildings is the norm here, especially when they get in the way of development.

The latest site to be eradicated from the cityscape will be the Glass Pool Inn at the southern end of the Strip.

Opened in 1951, the Glass Pool Inn had become famous for its unique, elevated swimming pool with porthole-like windows.

According to the owner, Allen Rosoff, whose family originally called the motel the Mirage but sold the name to Steve Wynn in 1988, the pool was built to attract passing motorists, parched and dusty after driving for hours across the desert.

A popular film location in recent years, the motel has appeared in Casino, Leaving Las Vegas, Indecent Proposal, the TV series Vegas and Crime Story, as well as dozens of commercials, various documentaries and rock videos.

"It was probably the most famous 48-unit property in the country," said the 69-year-old Rosoff, who along with his wife, Susie, operated the motel from 1971 to 1999. "It was the first themed Vegas resort."

Rosoff, whose parents first bought the property in 1952, said motorists would stop at the motel and ask for directions, and that the elevated swimming pool was an eye-catcher.

The pool was built in 1955 and immediately landed a "starring role" in the film, "Las Vegas Shakedown."

That "role" was the start of a career that made the Glass Pool Inn one of the city’s most popular filming sites, as well as photographic destinations.

In addition to the movies and TV shows noted above, the Glass Pool Inn has been used as a backdrop for music videos (from artists such as Robert Plant, ZZ Top and Bon Jovi), as well as a setting for photographers such as Annie Leibowitz, who once photographed Brad Pitt at the Inn for a Vanity Fair story.

In recent weeks, the motel at 4613 Las Vegas Blvd. South and its adjoining lounge have been sitting idly behind a chain link fence, presumable waiting for its new owners to raze the structures.

The owners, Howard Bulloch and David Gaffin, bought the site for about $5.5 million and reportedly plan to eventually build a mega resort on the site.

Over the past several months, there has been speculation reported in the press over a "New World" resort or an Asian-themed hotel-casino earmarked for the Glass Pool site, but so far nothing concrete has taken shape.

Until it does, the Inn and its Golden memories will linger, trapped inside of a chain link fence.