Jeanne Hood made history in Las Vegas as one of the first women to run a major hotel-casino. She operated the Four Queens from 1977 until 1993 and helped with the revitalization efforts of downtown in the early 1990s.
She was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and met her husband, David, at the University of Minnesota. The couple worked summers together at the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park, where he was an assistant manager and she a waitress. They later moved to California, and Jeanne managed her first hotel in 1958.
The Hoods moved to Las Vegas in 1973, when David became the president of the Four Queens casino on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, then owned by the Hyatt Corporation. Following his unexpected death in 1977, she assumed the role of president. Hyatt formed a subsidiary, Elisnore Corporation to manage its gaming interests, and in 1979, they named Jeanne Hood vice president. During the early 1980s, she oversaw the development of gaming properties for the company in Lake Tahoe, Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In 1985, Jeanne Hood became president and CEO of Elisnore. She sold the other properties and focused on the Four Queens. In the early 1990s, she worked with Las Vegas Mayor Jan Jones and other casino owners to improve downtown.
She left Elisnore in 1993, and went to work for American Vantage Companies as a director and gaming consultant. In 1998, the Nevada Dance Theater named her woman of the year. She also worked with the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and the Nevada Resort Association.
Jeanne Hood passed away in 2009 in Las Vegas.
For more information see Jeanne Hood’s oral history: Ken Adams and Mary Larson. Whatever Will Help!: A Woman’s Rise to the Top in the Gaming Industry (Reno: University of Nevada Oral History Program, 2006).
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