The famous party mansion in Las Vegas is about to be demolished

Scenes in “Casino” were filmed there. Legends like Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson and Ginger Rogers celebrated there.

Cee Lo Green and the Muppets filmed a video there. So does Gene Simmons from Kiss.

Elvis slept there, they say.

We’re talking about the famous Hartland Mansion on South 6th Street in downtown Las Vegas. Known as Mansion 54 for the past four years, the mansion was directly across from Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum and near the southwest corner of Charleston Boulevard and Las Vegas Boulevard.

Unfortunately for Vegas historians, the history-steeped structure is on the verge of demolition. A Las Vegas fire and rescue team was on site Tuesday conducting rescue drills at the property. That work began over the weekend and was approved by the package’s new owner, Lanny Love of Las Vegas retail chain Adult Superstore.

The mansion itself was then due to be demolished within the week, Love said during a phone call on Tuesday.

Love says she doesn’t know what to do with the property.

“I really have no vision. I’m not a developer,” Love said. “Someone will build something there, but it won’t be me. I had considered living there but the property was completely derelict. It was a disaster. The repair would cost more than $1 million. It’s better to just rip it off.”

Regarding neighborhood concerns that she could build on the property, Love said: “I have no plans to build a high-rise building, although we have permission to do so. This will have a positive impact on the neighborhood. We won’t do anything stupid.”

Love said she could hold the property — she now owns 3.6 acres just off Las Vegas Boulevard — indefinitely and then sell it for a profit. In April, Love also bought the 1-acre property behind her Adult Superstore from Bagans. This parcel was once the site of the Monterey Motel. An investor could also snap up this property.

Love is in no particular hurry. She holds the cards and property.

“I owned three acres before Sunset and Spencer and have had it for 20 years,” Love said. “I didn’t do anything with it except pay taxes. I keep saying I’ll build a camp next year, but next year never comes.”

The mansion’s pending demolition is the latest episode in a string of ownership changes over the past four years.

In May, Love bought the property from Epic Venues and its founder Gene Campbell for about $4 million. Campbell’s company also operates the chic venues The GlassHouse and Corinthian Ballroom in San Jose, California.

Mansion 54 has hosted several private events, including a black and white themed party soon after reopening. DJs, dancers and live music were common at the venue.

In 2018, Campbell bought Garry Hart’s estate from the Hart entertainment family. The listed retail price was $2.9 million.

The Hart family matriarch, Toni Hart, a well-known gospel singer and evangelical preacher, built the property in the 1940s. She officiated hundreds of wedding ceremonies at the mansion. Hartland’s distinguishing features were his “Elvis room,” where the King was known to reside on occasion; an entry hall with a 35-foot domed ceiling; double spiral staircases; and an Olympic-sized indoor pool.

The 31,000-square-foot mansion housed eight bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, and its interior was attached primarily with a hot glue gun. A New York Times story once trumpeted, “A Las Vegas Mansion: Glue-Gunned to Perfection.”

It has been a popular wedding venue, including Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie’s ceremony with his wife Jennifer. Three scenes in “Casino” were filmed on the property. The Muppets and Cee Lo starred in the Christmas video All I Need Is Love, which was filmed on location in Hartland. Recently, the 2019 Shade Tree Mask Off Gala was held at Mansion 54 with celebrity honoree Christina Aquilera.

The Harts have welcomed a number of famous guests over the decades. They were a busy entertainment family, even performing as an ensemble act in strip lounges to help pay for Hartland’s upkeep.

Toni’s son Larry, who died in 2015, wrote the score for the musical Sisterella, an R&B version of Cinderella produced by Michael Jackson (there were unfortunately inaccurate reports that Flavor Flav would be playing the fairy godmother). Hart also won a Grammy Award for the gospel song “What a Friend.”

Linda Hart, the older sister of the Hart Brothers, has appeared in supporting roles in numerous films (including Get Shorty). She also appeared in “Hairspray” and “Catch Me If You Can” on Broadway and was also a backup singer for Bette Midler.

As Love brushes off questions about her vision for the property, Garry Hart says he would be eager to buy back and rebuild the property. He says he has an investor with a gambling license. He still holds a liquor license from when he ran Hartland Mansion.

That could mean…

“The Hartland Hotel-Casino. Hart said enthusiastically. “It would be a real getaway, especially for locals. I think we could do it. My people bought from (Love) and we did a small mixed-use high-rise project.”

Love heard that and giggled, saying, “Everyone has a vision.” But even as it’s being demolished, the Hartland Mansion seems determined to host the party.

Cool Hang Alert

Catch this, ahem, rodeo show at the Saddle N Spurs Saloon (touted as “Las Vegas’ last LAST remaining REAL honky-tonk bar!”) By July, the Bobby Kingston Band and BipolarXpress will merge into the SNS Saloon “supergroup” Bipolar Kingston Express . His land. It’s rock. It grooves. It’s not a cover. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm to 11pm, with karaoke at 11pm

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] consequences @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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