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The Mapes Hotel was a hotel/ casino located in Reno, Nevada, next to the Truckee River on Virginia Street. It was built in 1947, and opened on December 17 of that year. It was the first skyscraper built in the Western United States since the start of World War 2. Built in a distinctive Art Deco style, the hotel was a unique high-rise built to combine a hotel and casino, providing the prototype for modern hotel/casinos.
Owned by the Mapes family, the hotel quickly became, for most of the 1950s and 1960s, the premier hotel in Reno. Many celebrities of that era stayed there, including Marilyn Monroeand Clark Gableduring the filming of The Misfits; Senator Joseph Mccarthy, who over a drink in the Lamplighter bar at the bottom floor of the hotel, admitted to a reporter that he did not have a list of communists in America; President Truman and many others. The Sky Room at the top of the Mapes was a famous nightclub and stage where many of the biggest singers and entertainers of the time such as Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Durante and Milton Berle performed; at one point, Sammy Davis, Jr. performed there but was prohibited from staying in the hotel due to segregation. During location shooting for the television series, Bonanza, many guest stars would reside at the Mapes. In 1959, Jack Carson appeared on Bonanza, while doing shows in the Sky Room. It was memorably showcased in a 1961 episode of Route 66, guest starring Walter Matthau. During the 1970’s Joe Conforte paid a percentage to Mapes Hotel bell men as they directed clients to his Mustang Ranch.