If you’re a fan of the famous Rat Pack, then consider a trip to Las Vegas where the individual performers became superstar entertainment legends and where they really honed and stylized what it meant to be cool. They performed in several hotels along the strip both together and separately. The leader of the pack, Frank Sinatra, was performing at the Desert Inn when the group of friends first became well acquainted. Sammy Davis was playing at the Last Frontier, while Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were playing at the Flamingo.
Once their respective contracts expired, they signed on with the Sands Hotel. Together, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop became known as gamblers, drinkers, ladies’ men and above all, magnificent entertainers. They were icons of style, and right now you’re picturing the fedora, fitted tuxedo, casual cigarette on the lips or in the fingers and a rocks glass about to be drained… and you know exactly the kind of ’50s or ’60s hip lounge they’re commanding. Those lounges and that Rat Pack ethos still exists around the country today.
You may remember hearing about the Rat Pack performing in the famous Copa Room, which was made famous in New York City as the Copacabana Club. It became well-known at the Sands, not only as a place for the Rat Pack, but for many other entertainers such as Tony Bennett, Jimmy Durante, Judy Garland, Shirley MacLaine, and Wayne Newton. It was at the Sands Hotel that the Rat Pack really made their mark in Las Vegas. It was an iconic hotel that opened in the 1950’s and was the seventh hotel resort to open on the strip. The Desert Inn (next door) and the Sands Hotel were both owned by Howard Hughes, the reclusive businessman.
Travel information about that lifestyle, architecture and culture can be found in cities such as Las Vegas, Palm Springs, and Los Angeles where they were also often spotted. Palm Springs was known as Hollywood’s playground for celebrities as it was only two hours from Los Angeles. The Rat Pack and many other entertainers were often seen at the Ingleside Inn’s Melvyn’s Restaurant. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. all purchased hideaway homes in Palm Springs.
Your vacation brochure featuring the Rat Pack will most likely include a visit to the Crown Theatre in Las Vegas to see “The Rat Pack is Back at the Rio”. It’s an internationally hit show featuring hit songs and comedy skits from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Joey Bishop. It is a very entertaining show that will take you back to the 1960’s with video clips and music reminiscent of that era. You can tell that these four guys had a great time performing together and by the end of the show, you’ll have participated in that great time.