My Favorite Artifact By Steve Cutler


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Over the years I have done numerous interviews regarding my collection and one of the things I am always asked is “What is your favorite artifact” The collection numbered over 500,000 items ranging from swizzle sticks to fine art. In fact, there were over forty distinctively different categories. Most of you know me for the massive chip collection that I once possessed (Over 20,000 different Nevada Chips) but the bulk of the collection was not chip related. My answer always came as a surprise to the interviewer as they assumed I would tell them it was an antique slot machine or a Liberace costume or maybe an oil painting. Something of great monetary value is what they always expected. In fact, the item was an eBay purchase from many years ago and cost me $20. The item was priceless to me and had great historical value. Like “Mr. Sahara” who’s focus is the Sahara, incidentally his Sahara collection is unparalleled. I had a focus on the first resort built on the strip in 1941. That property was The El Rancho Vegas. The item in question is a postmarked letter from 1944, (On stationery that I have never seen before) addressed to her mother and describing her visit to Las Vegas. It was World War II and she was visiting her husband who was in the Army Air Corp and stationed in Las Vegas. There was no Air Force then. She was staying at the El Rancho Vegas and gave a first-person accounting of the hotel, her visit with her husband and Las Vegas in general. Her penmanship was impeccable, she was articulate and obviously very educated. I have hundreds of items from the El Rancho Vegas including numerous, thought to be, one-of-a-kind items. This is my favorite. Along with the letter I have pictured some other very rare and different El Rancho Vegas items that most have never seen.