Dick McNeely, 72, publicist and co-founder of Vegas Visitor entertainment weekly, died Feb. 4 in Las Vegas of lung failure.

McNeely pulled many publicity stunts throughout his long career in Chicago and Las Vegas. At the opening of the Mint Hotel in Glitter Gulch, he hired a truck to unload 5,000 Cornish hens in front of the hotel, but when the truck doors opened the hens flew out and invaded downtown casinos.

A graduate of Trinity College in Sioux City, Iowa, he moved to Nevada in 1949 and worked for Del Webb and Sam Boyd properties, including the Mint, Sam’s Town and Thunderbird. He also helped open the Cypress Gardens park in Florida in the ’50s.

McNeely and newspaperman Bob Campbell started Vegas Visitor in 1962.

McNeely suffered spinal meningitis as a child, which slowed his growth. He was 4 feet 11 inches tall as an adult, and he suffered lung problems throughout his life.

Survived by four sons and a daughter.

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