Martin Stern and his renowned architectural firm had the task of designing and overseeing the construction of what was to be the largest, most expensive Hotel in Las Vegas at that time. This included the Youth Hotel, which would occupy about 10,000 square feet on the first floor within the main hotel, and a large playground. There was also a bus for trips to the mountains, ghost towns, and Lake Mead. The Youth Hotel had it all.
We needed Lenette to design the Youth Hotel and Playground, but Martin Stern wanted this task. His adult ideas and plans simply did not work for what we knew we needed.
I went to Alex, the president of the hotel, with the problem before it got too far, and he suggested that Lenette and I meet with Stern at his office in Beverly Hills. This was arranged, and we flew to Beverly Hills for the meeting. Martin greeted us warmly but treated us as if we were children. I immediately felt that he was in charge. He was Martin Stern, the famous architect, and we were in his country.
I suggested that we include the President of the hotel in our discussion. He immediately agreed and called Alex on his speakerphone. What follows are the exact words that took place between them. They are etched in my mind.
“Alex, I’m here with Mr. and Mrs. Ogulnick. We are discussing who will design the Youth Hotel.”
Alex hesitated momentarily and asked Martin if he was satisfied with the contract, payments, etc.
Martin answered, “Of course.”
Alex interjected, “Then Mrs. Ogulnick is free to design what they know and need for the Youth Hotel,” and hung up. Case closed.
The construction went forward, all based on Lenette’s drawings and designs. As Lenette intended, the Youth Hotel was as flexible and adaptable to different activities as possible. Moveable walls were everywhere. Only the dorms, washrooms, and a large old-fashioned soda fountain were permanent. Martin Stern had his hotel, and thanks to Alex, Lenette designed ours.