John Ascuaga

From the list of elephant persons Family: Ascuaga

John Ascuaga
John  Ascuaga
John Ascuaga, shown in 2005, expanded the Nugget into a major hotel and casino operation with two 28-story towers overlooking Interstate 80 just east of Reno, Nev.
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Personal details
Country United States

Locations
Title owner 1960-
Location at Nugget Casinos elephants in United States

Biography details

John Ascuaga , circus director in United States

Born 1925? in United States dead 2021 in United States .

Owner of 1 elephants

1: Bertha (owner from 1962)


John Ascuaga, the son of Basque immigrants, grew up on a farm in Idaho and got his start in the hospitality industry as a bellhop.

By age 30, in 1955, he was running a coffee shop in Sparks, Nev., whose menu included Jackpot Steaks and Awful Awful Burgers. For some customers, the slot machines were the real attraction.

That business grew into a hotel and casino. Mr. Ascuaga bought it in 1960 for about $3.8 million, paid from cash flow over time. He expanded the Nugget into a major operation with two 28-story towers overlooking Interstate 80 just east of Reno.

In the early days, entertainers in the casino’s Circus Room included Dick Gregory and Ella Fitzgerald. In 1962, Mr. Ascuaga bought an elephant named Bertha from a circus museum in Baraboo, Wis. Trained to dance and play musical instruments, Bertha proved a durable opening act. She remained the Nugget’s mascot until her death in 1999.

Reference list

References

Koehl, Dan, (2024). director John Ascuaga in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 20 July 2024 at https://www.elephant.se/person.php?id=2884. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:


Selected publications

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Categories director | circus | Nugget Casino | Ascuaga family | Born 1925 | Dead 2021 | People from United States

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