From O.J. Simpson to Britney Spears Scandals: Las Vegas Hotel Rooms They Don’t Want You Renting
Posted on: February 3, 2023, 01:24h.
Last updated on: February 6, 2023, 12:20h.
The hardest hotel reservations in Las Vegas aren’t in the Palms Fantasy Tower or atop the Bellagio. They’re the rooms that hosted some of Las Vegas’s most infamous celebrity events, crimes and misconduct.
Staying in some of the rooms on this list would require a time machine since they were either destroyed or permanently rendered off-limits because of the bad vibes.
O.J. Simpson’s Trophy Raid
Courtyard Room 1203
What finally put O.J. Simpson behind bars wasn’t those horrific double murders in 1994, but the crime committed in this room at a 41-year-old, off-Strip casino.
On the night of Sept. 13, 2007, Simpson led a group of men who entered Room 1203 in the Palace Station’s courtyard complex – rented at the time by sports memorabilia dealer Bruce Fromong – and stole memorabilia at gunpoint. Three days later, Simpson was arrested. He admitted taking the items but claimed that no one was armed and that the items had been stolen from him.
On Oct. 3, 2008 – exactly 13 years to the day after Simpson was acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman – he was sentenced by a Las Vegas judge to nine to 33 years for kidnapping, armed robbery, and assault with a deadly weapon.
During the ensuing media circus – which included a trip by jurors to the room – Palace Station was inundated with requests to rent Room 1203. After refusing to rent it for a couple of years, they relented.
In 2017, the hotel demolished the Courtyard Rooms as part of a multi-million-dollar renovation project.
Averted Beatles Scandal
The thousands of guests who stayed in the room the Sahara once rented out as “The Beatles Suite” knew that the biggest act in music history slept here on Aug. 20, 1964. The room was adorned with photos of the Fab Four’s brief stay.
What they didn’t know is that a troubling event occurred there later that night — one that easily could have ended the Beatles’ career.
Between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. — following two 30-minute concerts at the Convention Center the night before — two underage girls were found in John Lennon’s room. The discovery was made after the front desk phoned up to inform the group’s handlers that a woman was in the lobby, claiming that the Beatles kidnaped her twin daughters.
Miami radio reporter Larry Kane — who was covering the tour and sleeping in an adjacent room — was asked to meet with the woman. (He was the only one who traveled with a business suit.)
Before taking the elevator, he opened Lennon’s door to investigate for himself. He found Lennon asleep with the girls watching TV at the edge of his bed.
No one can say for sure what happened before that – and Kane has stated his emphatic belief that nothing did – but it was the perception that was the problem. The woman filed suit when she got home to L.A., according to Kane, but the case was secretly settled. Had the news spread, the Beatles’ winding road might not have been so long.
Sometime in the ’80s, the two-bedroom suite was halved. Lennon’s was the bedroom in Room 2344, while Room 2342 contains the rest. Unfortunately, the entire resort was stripped to its bones during its 2014 transformation to the SLS, an ill-fated boutique hotel experiment that lasted only five years.
Elvis/Ann-Margret Affair Site
In the same Sahara tower, a year earlier in the much bigger Presidential Suite – take that, Beatles! – Elvis loved Ann-Margret tender while the two shot the 1964 film, “Viva Las Vegas.”
Since the future, Mrs. Priscilla Presley was already living at Graceland, and Margret had just broken off a relationship with the movie’s director, George Sidney, the couple carried on in complete secrecy.
In fact, neither ever publicly commented on their relationship, though various members of the Memphis Mafia spilled the beans.
Who Bassist’s Death Suite
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
On June 27, 2002 – hours before The Who was scheduled to launch an American tour in The Joint at what was then the Hard Rock Hotel – bassist John Entwistle was found dead on the king-size mattress in this one-bedroom suite. According to the Clark County Coroner’s office, the 57-year-old suffered a cocaine-induced heart attack sometime between 3 a.m. and 10 a.m., when paramedics were called.
If John could have planned his death, he would have almost written it the way it happened,” Who singer Roger Daltrey told Britain’s The Sun at the time. “The only thing that would have been different would be that he’d want his body to be mummified and replaced in the bed, the room filled with his beloved fish and his guitars. He’d have wanted a glass door to seal the room with a notice saying ‘Hard Rock Exhibit.’
“It would have been The Entwistle Suite.”
Immediately following Entwistle’s death, the front desk was besieged by rental requests. No attempt was ever made to mark the room with a plaque – or a mummy.
The Hard Rock reopened as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas in 2021.
Britney Spears Conception Suite
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
Of the many eyebrow-raising acts Britney Spears has committed in Vegas – marrying a childhood friend she would divorce 55 hours later, partying with Paris Hilton without underwear, napping onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards – only one is associated with a specific hotel room.
In 2005, the New York Post reported that Spears and then-husband Kevin Federline conceived their first child, Sean Preston, within the walls of this one-bedroom suite with a pool view.
For obvious reasons, the Hard Rock could only confirm that the couple stayed here (under K-Fed’s name) on or around a date that would seem to validate the story.
For years, crazed Britney fans rented the room or just photographed the door.
David Strickland Suicide Room
An estimated 165 tourists commit suicide on or around the Las Vegas Strip each year. Corporate hotel owners don’t want these tragedies publicized since they could impact business. So, as a rule, Las Vegas police don’t announce suicides to the media when they happen. Sometimes, though, word gets out.
On March 22, 1999, David Strickland – a cast member of Brooke Shields’ NBC sitcom, “Suddenly Susan” – checked into the downscale Oasis Motel between 3:30 a.m. and 4 a.m.
After downing a couple of bottles from a Coors six-pack, the 29-year-old hanged himself with a bedsheet flung around the ceiling beam.
Strickland – reportedly last seen alive at 1 a.m. at the Glitter Gulch strip club with comic Andy Dick – reportedly suffered from bipolar disorder and had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. However, no drugs were found in the room, and no suicide note, either – though the Clark County coroner’s report stated that his body bore the marks of a previous suicide attempt.
Las Vegas Massacre Sniper’s Nest
The most infamous hotel room in Las Vegas still exists. But it’s part of a wing of Mandalay Bay that’s now off-limits to the public.
Room 32-135 was the perch from which Stephen Paddock used the automatic weapons he stockpiled to shoot and kill 60 people and injure more than 500 more on Oct. 1, 2017.
Following the police investigation of the shooting, the worst in modern US history, Mandalay Bay announced that the room would never again be rented out. Clearly, however, that wouldn’t be enough to thwart the inevitable death tourism.
Some people – no doubt the same ones who enjoy Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum – might even travel to Las Vegas just to photograph the room’s door. (At the time, questions were raised about whether MGM Resorts should even change the name of Mandalay Bay.)
In 2018, MGM decided on its plan of action. It renumbered floors 31 through 34 as floors 56 through 59. (The 43-story tower had weird numbering even before the shooting. The floors went from 1 through 34 and then 60 through 63, skipping floors 40 through 59. The Four Seasons is located on floors 35 through 39.)
But even that apparently wasn’t enough. As of 2021, according to a report on Reddit, the entire 100-wing of the 57th floor is off-limits to the public, shuttered behind security doors warning off trespassers.
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