Ann Meyers, the Queen of Hearts

Ann Meyer 01
Las Vegas is widely known for its gambling, nightlife, and entertainment, but the city of lights can also be considered the “land of opportunity” for many. That’s exactly what Las Vegas meant to Ann Meyers when she arrived here in the 1970s. A place where Meyers, a single mother of two came to fulfill her wildest dreams and became a pioneer for successful women. With her two young daughters in tow and little money to her name, she quickly became an icon in a city run by mobsters and wealthy men.

Not only did she flee from ethnic and religious persecution in Croatia, she landed herself in a city where seeing women in power was merely a fantasy. Although she dreamed of getting married and going to college, there was something about the glittering Vegas lights that energized her and pushed her to break the barrier of the current social climate.

There were very few women in the gaming industry at the time and in 1976, she became the very first woman in history to purchase a casino in Las Vegas. Formerly known as The Casbah Casino, she added her own personal touch by changing the name to the Ann Meyers Queen of Hearts Hotel in 1990. She completely recharged the property by transforming the vibe to be a budget friendly “four-star service” that eventually resulted in a large increase in business revenue.

It wasn't just her tenacity and bold spirit that helped her make a name for herself among some of the most notorious movers and shakers in the country, it was also her ability to quickly adapt to any situation that she was faced within an untamed industry. One day you’d find her mingling with the famed, well-to-do elites of the city, and the next she’d be repairing the roof of her own hotel in 6-inch heels and a gorgeous pantsuit.

She took on the big city of Las Vegas but graciously turned it into what she needed it to be, a place where the underdog has a fighting chance. She is quoted as saying “The most important message for the everyday person this is the land of opportunity and in Las Vegas even more than any place in the country.”

She created her own opportunities and now lands herself in the Las Vegas history books, with the grit of an entrepreneur and the heart of a woman. She was the Queen of Hearts, after all.

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