A resource and bibliography of Hunter S. Thompson's Work By Marty Flynn
If it was not for the Mint 400 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas my never have came to be. After all the reason Hunter went to Las Vegas was to cover the race for Sports Illustrated. For me the name ”Mint Hotel” will always remind me of Hunter S. Thompson, it’s something I can’t explain. It’s long gone now, but for a lot of people it will hold fond memories. There are still Mint match books, poker chips, ashtrays, menus, floating around out there and I’m always on the look out for Mint memorabilia so let me know if you come across any.
The Dell Webb Mint 400 Off Road Rally (as it was known then) was the brain child of Norm Johnson who was the public relations director for the Mint Hotel. It started when Norm Johnson was promoting the annual Mint Hotel Deer Hunters Contest in 1967, the main prize of this contest was a dune buggy, and to promote this great prize Johnson hired two off-roading professionals to race from The Mint Hotel to The Sahara Tahoe (the Mint’s sister hotel) almost 600 miles away. The trip drew so much attention that Johnson decided the idea could catch on.
The first race which was a 400 mile loop of the Nevada desert had a total prize of $30’000 including sponsers money. By 1975 the purse has risen to $100’000. The first couple of years were sponsered by Jim Beam, who came up with a great decanter to mark the event.
After the sale of the Mint Hotel in 1988, the management team disbanded and the race was no more.
Now it’s back with the name “Mint 400 The Great American Desert Race” all the details can be found at http://www.themint400.com/index2.html