The Flamingo‘s infantile stages of construction were met with much drama. Neither Siegel, nor his growing number of supplemental investors knew a thing about the construction business, and karma had a brief affair with him as firms and suppliers severely gouged their prices for construction.
Even workers were reported to have delivered materials during the day, only to return at night to steal them, actually reselling some of the very same supplies the following morning.
Completion of The Flamingo was jeopardized by the financial consequences of criminal activities targeted at one of history’s most famous mobsters.
Siegel’s on-site outbursts became the stuff of legend, though he was quick to reassure the foremen, “Don’t worry — we only kill each other.” In the end, The Flamingo sucked up $6 million and opened on December 26th, 1946. It was branded as the most luxurious hotel in the world, and certainly the most luxurious anywhere near what was then a far blander Las Vegas. Wilkerson was given his deserved dues as the project founder, though The Flamingo resort was christened as such by Siegel, whose long, skinny-legged girlfriend Virginia Hill inspired the moniker.