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Searchlight in Clark County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Willie Martello and the El Rey Resort

 
 
Willie Martello and the El Rey Resort Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, October 3, 2013
1. Willie Martello and the El Rey Resort Marker
Inscription.  In 1946, Willie Martello came to Searchlight. He purchased the Wheatley Hotel, and remodeled it into a casino/restaurant. Renaming it the El Rey Club after a favored beer, Martello proceeded to change Searchlight history.

Martello's new club offered gourmet meals, casino table fames and slot machines, live nightly entertainment, and dancing. Martello added new amenities as possible, including the first in-ground pool in Searchlight. He also had an airstrip built just south of town, and sponsored junket flights from California to bring in customers.

Martello's club burned in 1962. With outside funding, Martello rebuilt the El Rey Resort, but passed away in 1968. During his time in Searchlight, the El Rey Resort was the place to stop, relax, have a meal, and enjoy the entertainment. He provided significant support for the small community during his time here, and helped Searchlight to continue to be "the camp that didn't fail."
 
Erected 2012 by Queho Posse Chapter #1919 E Clampus Vitus.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Entertainment
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Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the E Clampus Vitus series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1946.
 
Location. 35° 27.8′ N, 114° 55.149′ W. Marker is in Searchlight, Nevada, in Clark County. Marker is on U.S. 95, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 430 US-95, Searchlight NV 89046, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 17 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. George Frederick Colton and the Duplex Mine (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Searchlight (approx. 0.4 miles away); Zulu Echo Six (approx. ¾ mile away); a different marker also named Searchlight (approx. ¾ mile away); Cal-Nev-Ari (approx. 11.4 miles away); Mining Town of Hart (approx. 16.6 miles away in California).
 
Willie Martello and the El Rey Resort Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, October 3, 2013
2. Willie Martello and the El Rey Resort Marker
North bound US 95, Searchlight, Nevada image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, October 3, 2013
3. North bound US 95, Searchlight, Nevada
Willie Martello and the El Rey Resort Marker is at far right.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 17, 2013, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 992 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 17, 2013, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 15, 2024