Elevating the Brand of a Legendary Las Vegas Casino.

El Cortez Hotel And Casino

El Cortez is an iconic staple of Downtown Las Vegas. With guest rooms from the original 1941 build and more than 200 coin slot machines, the hotel casino offers a truly vintage Vegas experience. As Downtown Las Vegas developed into an art and culture mecca, the El Cortez wanted to ensure they were growing with their neighborhood and sought to reposition themselves as the original downtown hotspot.

El Cortez is the longest continuously-running hotel and casino in Las Vegas. In 2013 it became the only existing casino listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can still stay in the original El Cortez rooms from the 1940s when Bugsy Siegel was the owner.


  • Creative Design
  • Website Development

Don’t change, evolve.

With a long history and a popular destination in the community for both locals and tourists, El Cortez has many loyal guests who visit the property multiple times per year, even daily for some local fans. As Braintrust looked to develop a fresh campaign, we wanted to ensure that it was unique and presented the El Cortez in a new manner but did not alienate existing clientele. Original imagery was captured as part of “The Original” campaign, creating a series of advertisements that showcased various aspects of the casino hotel, and was executed across direct mail pieces, e-blasts, print ads, billboards, and on-property signage.

In addition to a brand refresh, we also re-branded their restaurant and cafe, Siegel’s 1941.

El Cortez poster woman in lounge
El Cortez poster Elvis singing
El Cortez poster winning hand

The hotel embraces their historic past, with owners such as Bugsy Siegel and Jackie Gaughan, so we wanted to create a concept that paid homage to the era of vintage Vegas.

Free Play Frenzy
El Cortez draft specials poster
El Cortez mailer inside
El Cortez mailer inner design
El Cortez

We Keep Evolving

As one of the longest-running, family-owned casinos in Las Vegas, celebrating local culture is at the core of the El Cortez brand. For the last 80+ years, they have worked hard to remain inclusive and mindful of what resonates with their immensely diverse target audience. We continue to update the look and feel for El Cortez to keep the brand relevant and captivating.


Dash for Cash

Dash for the Cash

This concept uses a retro style utilizing Mid-Century Modern shapes along with inspiration from sign painting. The use of shapes, typography, and color palettes were carefully chosen to bring the design to life to catch the reader’s eye. Depending on the application, the logo was designed to work in a vertical or horizontal format.

Dash for cash
Cash is king

Cash Is King Drawing

This concept utilizes a medieval-themed crest logo that incorporates Benjamin Franklin wearing a crown to emphasize royalty. The background of the shield will have 6 different color options for each drawing held throughout the year. The embers and dark concrete texture in the background tie the overall aesthetics and help emphasize the drawing’s name.

El Cortez post cards


El Cortez hoodies

Limited Edition Vintage

El Cortez wanted to capitalize on the surge of retro/vintage fashion and create a line of apparel that could speak to a younger audience. So Braintrust leaned into the heritage of the El Cortez and created a line of apparel that you can buy today in their gift shop and online. These designs are inspired by the designs from years past or celebrate the history of this property. [Shown on black hoodies but also available in tshirts]

El Cortez hoodie
El Cortez hoodies
El Cortez hoodie
Life is Beautiful shirts

Life is Beautiful

The following designs were created in partnership with Life is Beautiful and El Cortez to be given to their staff and sold in their gift shop for guests to wear during the music & art festival held in Downtown Las Vegas. Both the front and back of the t-shirts were designed using the Life is Beautiful brand guide for that respective year while still keeping the retro spin that El Cortez evokes.

Website Development

As the brand and creative was refreshed, the team agreed that there was a need to update the website as well. With so much happening at the hotel, we needed to make sure the site was built to be updated quickly and easily while delivering the information to visitors in a clean and organized way. We chose modern typefaces for easy readability and put a focus on large images so we could show off their amenities such as their remodeled rooms and restaurants.

Website Statistics

Improved stats with an improved UX/UI.



Decrease in bounce rate



Increase in pages per session



Increase in session duration

El Cortez digital banners
Life is Beautiful banner

Increased Demand

As the Las Vegas landscape became more populated with new hotels and casinos, we wanted to ensure that both locals and tourists knew that El Cortez offered updated experiences, but with an essence that was grounded in the days of the Rat Pack. Our efforts helped to increase room demand and grow ADR for the classic Downtown Las Vegas casino hotel. We were also able to heighten the popularity of the hotel around events attracting a younger demo (i.e. Life is Beautiful), allowing the property to increase their audience.

Digital Marketing

Launched a digital campaign to generate more direct online bookings



Increase in rooms booked YOY



Increase in room revenue YOY

Back to top