Landings and Takeoffs
Home About Travel Tips Sightseeing Food & Drink Night Life Archives Resources

A Moment in Time: The 65,000 Square Foot Las Vegas Mansion of Phyllis McGuire

Phyllis McGuire is the youngest of three women who performed in a musical trio in the 1950s and beyond as the McGuire sisters. They were staples on television in the 1950s and 1960s. In time, they became popular in Las Vegas.

Although the McGuire Sisters had a decent following during the life of the trio, it is younger sister Phyllis who was best known and likely will be the member of the trio that will be most remembered over time.

If you plan a visit to Las Vegas, you might want to consider a trip off The Strip to Rancho Circle to take a gander at the 26.000 square foot mansion that has been the home of Phyllis McGuire for decades. In the final analysis, there really are few residences in all of the United States that are interesting as that of McGuire’s. This includes not only the structure itself, but the backstory behind the mansion.

An Overview of the McGuire Mansion

The massive McGuire Mansion is a true wonder, even considering everything else a person can see in Las Vegas. The most notable exterior (and interior) feature of the mansion is a replica of the Eiffel Tower rising 45 feet into the air.

An abundance of iron was utilized to construct the Eiffel Tower replica, and elsewhere in and around the estate. This includes iron gates, iron doors, and iron grates covering some of the windows of the mansion.

The interior of the mansion is ornate. Some visitors have gone so far as to describe it as being rather like the lobby of the Bellagio or some other grand hotel on The Strip.

McGuire and the Mobster

At the height of the popularity of the McGuire Sisters musical trio, Phyllis McGuire was rumored to be in an affair with Mafia boss Sam Giancana. Ultimately, McGuire did concede that she was involved in some manner with Giancana, who himself was married at the time.

Giancana was one of the most ruthless mobsters of the 1950s and 1960s. Some people theorized that he was behind the assassination of President John Kennedy.

In addition to having an affair with McGuire, Giancana was also intimately involved with Judith Campbell Exner. Exner was a mistress of President Kennedy. For her part, while involved with Giancana, McGuire started having an affair with another married man, an oil wildcatter known as Tiger Mike Davis.

McGuire and the Wildcatter

Davis became a fixture on the Las Vegas scene beginning in the late 1950s, and for the remainder of his life. He died in the fall of 2017.

Davis established himself as a wildcatter with the help of his first wife, who is introduced in a moment. Not long after Davis met McGuire, his affair with her began. McGuire and Davis would remain companions of some sort or another up until the end of Davis’ life.

Near the end of Davis’ life, Tiger Mike contended that Giancana sent multiple hitmen to kill him. Davis alleged that he killed these men and then proceeded to pull a gun on the Mafia kingpin himself. This is all hard to verify. Nonetheless, in the end, Davis ended up with McGuire and Giancana was out of the picture.

McGuire and the Newspaper Heiress

Into this weird brew, a final player must be added. This is a woman not well known across the country, but whose accomplishments alone demand a higher profile in history. Her name is Helen Bonfils.

Bonfils was the first woman to head a major daily newspaper, taking over that role when her father died in the 1930s. Her father founded the Denver Post. She was also a pioneering woman as a major producer on Broadway at the same time she took the helm at the Denver Post. Bonfils was one of the wealthier women in the United States.

In the 1950s, when Bonfils’ first husband died, she ended up marrying her chauffer, a 28-year old many named Mike Davis. He would later be known as Tiger Mike Davis. Bonfils was 41 years older than Davis at the time of the marriage

Not long after the marriage, Davis began his affair with McGuire, while she was still the “mobster’s girl.” This intersection of these unique characters has been brought to the theatrical stage in The Bonfils Girl, a play which made its premiere in 2015, was written by playwright Mike Broemmel, and stars Cathy Washburn.

In the end, Davis took Bonfils to the financial cleaners. Her money, through Davis, helped fund the construction of McGuire’s huge mansion.

====

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Abby Iron Doors. Abby Iron Doors specialize in designing and manufacturing wrought iron entry doors, wine cellar doors, windows and balconies for residential and commercial customers.

Feature image: https://www.luxurylv.com/article/just-old-times-sake/

Categories: Design, Las Vegas, Lifestyle