February 13, 2016   Saturday

What a treat! I had lunch with Suzanne Dalitz, daughter of gangster Moe Dalitz. As I described in "30 Illegal Years To The Strip", he was one of the top three fine-liquor importers during Prohibition, then he operated illegal casinos throughout the Midwest, before going on to build two of the greatest resort casino operations on the Las Vegas Strip. His Desert Inn was the first high-rolling casino, and his Stardust was the largest hotel and biggest casino in the world. Between the two casinos, he catered to every economic level. He taught the rest of us in the industry the best way to design, operate, and market casinos to every income demographic.

This lunch was special for me because Moe Dalitz had a great impact on my research, career, and becoming a man. He and all of his top executives each spent an enormous number of hours teaching me how they operated and the histories of Moe's hotel-casinos. As I point out in the Introduction to "30 Illegal Years To The Strip," it was references by the two most notorious gangsters to ever settle in Las Vegas, Moe Dalitz and Benny Binion, which got me the job as President of both the Castaways and Silver Slipper on the Strip for Howard Hughes' corporation Summa. I am still the only person to ever manage two Strip casinos simultaneously.

I told Suzanne the impact her father and his key executives had on my research and my personal values. Moe Dalitz was the epitome of integrity. His word was absolute. I learned in my dealings with him what great lengths he would go to in order to make sure he kept his word to every last detail.

Suzanne shared the strengths and weaknesses Moe Dalitz had as a father. Like all of us dads, he was imperfect, but she brought home the humanness of her dad in ways I did not expect. Some aspects touched me deeply about a man for whom I have so much respect. I and Moe always talked to each other from our adult and never exposed our inner child to each other. Suzanne, thank you for sharing the man at home and in activities with the people he loved!