In 1989, Verna Harrah contributed $5 million to the UNLV College of Hotel Administration in honor of her late hubby, gaming leader William Fisk Harrah The 23-year-old college was happy to finally inherit a name. It in some way made things feel more official.
As the college now celebrates its 50th anniversary, the name has actually been upgraded to show a market that has actually progressed past conventional hotel-centric operations and into other areas, such as dining establishments, home entertainment, meetings and events, golf, and video gaming. Now, the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality accepts this development while still protecting the tradition of the college’s namesake.
Recalling at William F. Harrah.
A California local, William F. Harrah was born into the gaming market. His daddy, a lawyer and entrepreneur, operated video games and concessions off the boardwalk in Venice Beach after he lost much of his wealth during the Great Anxiety. Harrah was recruited to help run the family’s bingo-style center, but he disagreed with his father’s routine of focusing on revenue instead of guests. At 22, he bought out his daddy’s interest in business for $500 and greatly highlighted on providing quality customer support.
Under Harrah’s new direction, the video game was rather successful, nevertheless, the facility was regularly shut down by authorities who thought about the game to be illegal gaming. So, Harrah loaded his bags and headed where video gaming was legal– Nevada.
Over the next years, Harrah owned a series of small bingo parlors and bars in downtown Reno prior to opening his very first casino in 1946. He later expanded into Lake Tahoe, including hotels to both residential or commercial properties as a natural extension. As his services grew, Harrah left the daily operations to his top executives while he devoted much of his spare time and cash to an extensive collection of 1,400 vehicles. Some are now shown at the National Automobile Museum in Reno and the Las Vegas Cars and truck Museum at The LINQ.
Harrah died in June 1978 from issues during heart surgery in Rochester, Minnesota. The Vacation Inn obtained Harrah’s residential or commercial properties in 1980 and was instrumental in facilitating the household’s contribution to the college practically a years later on.
Today, the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality is ranked among the world’s leading hospitality programs– a tradition deserving of this gaming pioneer.