The Hacienda Club at 1729 N. Main Street, North Las Vegas, Nevada, was first licensed in May of 1948. In 1951, the owner of Ritner’s Caf and Lounge in Shelton, Washington, Roy Ritner, decided to join two friends in Las Vegas and take over the Hacienda Club.
Ritner had run his lounge in Shelton for nine years and was ready for a new adventure. He found it in Las Vegas. Southern Nevada was growing with ever-increasing speed as casinos like the Desert Inn and the Sahara opened, and the Hacienda seemed like the perfect match for Roy and friend Carl Morgan. Matt Howard was licensed for the gambling that consisted of 16 slot machines, one craps table and two 21 games.
The owners made sure their customers were happy, and groups like Ray Butler’s Nevada Riders provided live music on a regular basis. Two years into a successful run of business a representative of the soon-to-be-built Lady Luck casino approached the partners with an offer to buy the club.
One of the Lady Luck’s partners was California hotel owner Warren “Doc” Baley. His resorts were the Fresno and Bakersfield Hacienda hotels. He wanted the new casino in Las Vegas to be called the Hacienda, and he was willing to pay for the name. A deal was struck, the Hacienda Club in North Las Vegas closed, and the partners went their own way. The Hacienda Casino on the Las Vegas Strip opened in 1956.
In 1956, Ritner returned to Shelton, Washington and repurchased his lounge from the government, which had levied a $7200 tax lien against his renter. Ritner reopened the lounge and was later elected to the Washington State House of Representatives.
His son, Roy R. Ritner, Jr., followed his father’s footsteps in the gaming industry. Ritner, Jr. was the hotel manager at the King’s Castle casino in Lake Tahoe and also played poker professionally for many years. He currently works for Casino Arizona in Scottdale.