When Binion’s officials announced earlier this week they were closing their hotel tower, locals recognized it as the death of the Mint, a downtown casino with a history of its own that’s well worth appreciating.
One favorite Mint story took place during the filming of “The Professionals,” the 1966 movie that stars Lee Marvin and Burt Lancaster. One of the co-stars was Woody Strode.
As the tale is told, the cast was staying at the Mint, which in 1966 featured a new tower and was considered one of the hottest spots in
Whether out of an abundance of playfulness or whiskey, Marvin and Strode got it in their minds that Vegas Vic was making too much noise
and needed to be silenced. Since they had a long bow at their disposal (the movie was a Western), they used it one night to shoot arrows at the metal cowboy famous for saying “Howdy Podner!”
Vic escaped with minor injuries, and Marvin and Strode got their bow and arrow privileges taken away. But the Mint found itself in the
center of the celebrity action.
It wouldn’t last, of course. The big sizzle was on the Strip even in 1965. But the Mint was a happening joint.
Then there’s the time Patsy Cline played there … but that’s another story.