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|LAS VEGAS / "The Biggest Little City in the World"|
|Topic Started: Apr 21 2012, 08:58 AM (514 Views)|
|mouser||Apr 21 2012, 08:58 AM Post #1|
The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is a Las Vegas Strip landmark funded in May 1959 and erected soon after by Western Neon. The sign was designed by Betty Willis at the request of Ted Rogich, a local salesman, who sold it to Clark County, Nevada.
The sign is located in the median at 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South, north of the historic stone pillars of the old McCarran Airport on the east side, and across from the Bali Hai Golf Club and the (closed) Klondike Hotel & Casino on the west side
You know the old saying, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? ("It's the devil speaking, saying "anything you do here won't be found out, so let it all hang out baby"-credit to Starrr ) When Taylor Hicks takes the stage in the Indigo Room at Bally's beginning June 26, 2012 and ending August 18, 2012 , all those who have attended will want to take their experience home with them will BIG BIG smiles on their faces.
HISTORY OF LAS VEGAS
Prehistoric Southern Nevada was a virtual marsh of abundant water and vegetation.
As eons passed, the marsh receded. Rivers disappeared beneath the surface. The once teeming wetlands evolved into a parched, arid landscape that supported only the hardiest of plants and animals. Water trapped underground in the complicated geologic formations of the Las Vegas Valley sporadically surfaced to nourish luxuriant plants, creating an oasis in the desert as the life- giving water flowed to the Colorado River.
Construction workers in 1993 discovered the remains of a Columbian mammoth that roamed the area during prehistoric times. Paleontologists estimate the bones to be 8,000 to 15,000 years old. Hidden for centuries from all but native Americans, the Las Vegas Valley oasis was protected from discovery by the surrounding harsh and unforgiving Mojave Desert.
Mexican trader Antonio Armijo, leading a 60-man party along the Spanish Trail to Los Angeles in 1829, veered from the accepted route.
While Armijo's caravan was camped Christmas Day about 100 miles northeast of present day Las Vegas, a scouting party rode west in search of water. An experienced young scout, Rafael Rivera, left the main party and ventured into the unexplored desert. Within two weeks, he discovered Las Vegas Springs.
The exact date is unknown, but Rafael Rivera became the first known non-Indian to set foot in the oasis-like Las Vegas Valley.
The abundant artesian spring water discovered at Las Vegas shortened the Spanish Trail to Los Angeles, eased rigors for Spanish traders and hastened the rush west for California gold. Between 1830 and 1848, the name "Vegas," as shown on maps of that day, was changed to Las Vegas which means "The Meadows" in Spanish.
Some 14 years after Rivera's discovery, John C. Fremont led an overland expedition west and camped at Las Vegas Springs on May 13, 1844.
His name is remembered today in neon as well as museums and history books. The Fremont Hotel-Casino in Downtown Las Vegas bears his name as does Fremont Street -- the main thoroughfare through the heart of casino-lined Glitter Gulch.
Mormon settlers from Salt Lake City traveled to Las Vegas to protect the Los Angeles-Salt Lake City mail route and in 1855 began building a 150-square-foot fort of sun-dried bricks made of clay soil and grass, a substance known as adobe.
The Mormons planted fruit trees, cultivated vegetables and mined lead for bullets at Potosi Mountain. Mormon pioneers abandoned the settlement in 1858, partly because of Indian raids. A portion of the "Mormon Fort" has withstood the ravages of time and is an historic site today near the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard North and Washington Avenue. Scientists began an archeological dig on the site in November 1992.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) currently make up about 12 percent of the Southern Nevada population and in December 1989 dedicated a Mormon Temple in Las Vegas. The temple spires are visible in the foothills of Sunrise Mountain to the east of the city.
RAILROAD TYCOONS START BOOM
By 1890 railroad developers had determined the water-rich Las Vegas Valley would be a prime location for a stop facility and town. More than a quarter century earlier, Nevada, known as the Battle Born State, had been admitted to the Union in 1864 during the Civil War.
Work on the first railroad grade into Las Vegas began the summer of 1904. The tent town called Las Vegas sprouted saloons, stores and boarding houses.
Rails were connected with the eastern segment of track in October 1904. The San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, later absorbed by its parent the Union Pacific, made its inaugural run from California to points east on Jan. 20, 1905.
The railroad yards were located at the birthplace of a partially paved, dusty Fremont Street. Jackie Gaughan's Plaza Hotel, located at Main and Fremont streets in Downtown Las Vegas, today stands on the site of the original Union Pacific Railroad depot. Freight and passenger trains still use the depot site at the hotel as a terminal -- the only railroad station in the world located inside a hotel-casino.
Advent of the railroad led to the founding of Las Vegas on May 15, 1905. The SanPedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, owned by Montana Senator Williams Andrews Clark, auctioned off 1,200 lots in a single day in an area which today is casino-lined Glitter Gulch.
NEVADA GAMBLING GLITCH
Nevada was the first state to legalize casino-style gambling, but not before it reluctantly was the last western state to outlaw gaming in the first decade of the 20th Century.
At midnight, Oct. 1, 1910, a strict anti-gambling law became effective in Nevada. It even forbid the western custom of flipping a coin for the price of a drink.
The Nevada State Journal newspaper in Reno reported: "Stilled forever is the click of the roulette wheel, the rattle of dice and the swish of cards."
"Forever" lasted less than three weeks in Las Vegas.
Gamblers quickly set up underground games where patrons who knew the proper password again jousted day and night with Lady Luck. Illegal but accepted gambling flourished until 1931 when the Nevada Legislature approved a legalized gambling bill authored by Phil Tobin, a Northern Nevada rancher. Tobin had never visited Las Vegas and had no interest in gambling.
He said the legalized gambling legislation was designed to raise needed taxes for public schools. Today, more than 43 percent of the state general fund is fed by gambling tax revenue and more than 34 percent of the state's general fund is pumped into public education.
Legalized gambling returned to Nevada during the Great Depression. It legitimized a small but lucrative industry. That same year construction started on the Hoover Dam Project which, at its peak, employed 5,128 people.
The young town of Las Vegas virtually was insulated from economic hardships that wracked most Americans in the 1930s. Jobs and money were prevalent because of Union Pacific Railroad development, legal gambling and construction of Hoover Dam 34 miles away in Black Canyon on the Colorado River.
World War II stalled major resort growth in Las Vegas. But the seeds for future expansion had been planted in 1941 when hotelman Tommy Hull built the El Rancho Vegas Hotel-Casino on what is now vacant land opposite the current Sahara Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.
During World War II, nearby Nellis Air Force Base grew into a key military installation. Originally built to train B-29 gunners, it later became the training ground for the nation's ace fighter pilots. Many key military personnel assigned to Nellis during World War II later returned as civilians to take up permanent residency in Las Vegas. Today thousands of people are connected to Nellis in the form of active duty personnel, civilian employees, military dependents and military retirees.
WORLD-FAMOUS STRIP STARTS
The success of the El Rancho Vegas triggered a small building boom in the late 1940s including construction of several hotel- casinos fronting on a two-lane highway leading into Las Vegas from Los Angeles. The stretch of road evolved into today's Las Vegas Strip. Early hotels included the Last Frontier, Thunderbird (Still standing as the Arubu Hotel & Spa) and Club Bingo.
The El Rancho Vegas was razed by fire on June 17, 1960. As time passed, many other first-generation Strip resorts lost their identity through absorption by new owners, demolition, extensive renovation and name changes.
By far the most celebrated of the early resorts was the Flamingo Hotel, built by mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, a member of the Meyer Lansky crime organization.
The Flamingo with a giant pink neon sign and replicas of pink flamingos on the lawn, opened on New Year's Eve 1946. Six months later, Siegel was murdered by an unknown gunman who fired a shotgun blast as Siegel sat in the living room of the Beverly Hills, Calif., home of his girlfriend, Virginia Hill.
Siegel's life was the subject of a 1992 movie entitled "Bugsy." Although the historic accuracy of the movie is questionable, the movie prompted the Flamingo to open the "Bugsy Celebrity Theater" in November 1992. The Flamingo, after numerous ownership changes, is now owned and operated by the Hilton Hotel Group. Its proper name is the Flamingo Hilton.
While the El Rancho Vegas and other 1940s resorts followed a western ranch-styled theme, the Flamingo was what Siegel called a "carpet joint." It was modeled after resort hotels in Miami. Only the Flamingo Hotel name has survived the 1940s era of Las Vegas Strip development. The final end of the Flamingo as Bugsy knew it was announced early in 1993 when Hilton Corp. revealed plans to construct a $104 million tower addition at the Strip resort -- the last of a six tower master plan. The addition opened in the spring of 1995.
Architectural plans included razing the outmoded, motel-style buildings at the rear of the property, dooming the fortress-like "Bugsy Suite" and bullet proof office used by the gangster before his death in 1946. In December 1993, the last remnants of Bugsy Siegel and his residence were destroyed when the hotel bulldozed the Oregon Building that held the suite in which the gangster once lived.
BUILDING BOOM SWEEPS LAS VEGAS
Resort building continued to accelerate in Las Vegas in the 1950s. Wilbur Clark, once a hotel bellman in San Diego, Calif., opened the Desert Inn in 1950. Two years later, Milton Prell opened the Sahara Hotel on the site of the old Club Bingo. The Sands Hotel opened that same year, 1952. Those hotel names have survived but the properties have undergone numerous ownership changes.
In 1955, the Riviera Hotel became the first Strip highrise in at nine stories. Previously, Wilbur Clark's Desert Inn had offered guests the highest unobstructed panoramic view of the Las Vegas Valley from the resort's third-floor Skyroom, a cocktail and dancing haunt of visitors, residents and celebrities.
Other resorts that opened during the building boom begun in the 1950s included the Royal Nevada, Dunes, Hacienda, Tropicana and Stardust hotels on the Strip and the Downtown Fremont Hotel-Casino. The Royal Nevada later was absorbed into the adjoining Stardust Hotel property.
In another part of the city, the Moulin Rouge Hotel-Casino opened in 1955 at a time when blacks were not welcomed guests at Strip casinos and black entertainers were required to live off- premise while entertaining Strip audiences. The Moulin Rouge, frequented by all races, was built to accommodate the growing black population.
Joe Louis, the late heavyweight champion of the world, was a Moulin Rouge owner-host. The Moulin Rouge has had a stormy past, closing and re-opening many times over the years. As times and attitudes changed, Louis became a much loved casino host at Caesars Palace on the Strip. The Moulin Rouge was declared a national historic site in 1992 when plans for its revival were announced.
City and county community leaders also realized in the 1950s the need for a Las Vegas convention facility. The initial goal was to fill hotel rooms with conventioneers during slack tourist months.
A site was chosen one block east of the Las Vegas Strip and a 6,300-seat, silver-domed rotunda with an adjoining 90,000-square- foot exhibit hall opened in April 1959 on the site of the current Las Vegas Convention Center.
The silver dome was demolished in 1990 to make room for convention center expansion to a 1.6-million-square-foot facility of which 1.3 million square feet is exhibit space. It is currently one of the largest single-level facilities in the world.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, supported mainly by room tax revenues, today is a major player in attracting more than 28.2 million visitors to Las Vegas in 1994, including more than 2 million convention delegates.
ENTERTAINMENT IS LAS VEGAS
Entertainment, along with gambling, built Las Vegas' reputation as a playland getaway of the world. People began to flock to the city not just to gamble, but also for the fantastic entertainment that Las Vegas shows provided.
When the El Rancho Vegas was the only resort on the Las Vegas Strip in 1941, singers, comedians, strippers, instrumentalists, dancers and a wide variety of performers were booked to entertain hotel guests in the resort's small, intimate showroom.
The hotel-casinos that followed copied the successful star format for a number of years.
The Stardust was the first hotel to break with the star policy by debuting a stage spectacular as its main entertainment feature. The resort imported the Lido de Paris from France. It was acclaimed by critics as a more spectacular version than the Paris original.
The Lido had a 31-year run at the Stardust Hotel. It was replaced in 1991 with a new spectacular entitled Enter The Night.
The success of Lido encouraged other resorts to adopt a production show policy.
The Dunes, which disappeared from the skyline in a fiery, dusty staged implosion in 1993, engaged Minsky's Follies in 1957, the first time that topless showgirls debuted on the Las Vegas Strip.
The Tropicana Hotel bought the American rights to the spectacular Folies Bergere. It remains a showroom favorite to this day. Backstage tours are a hot Las Vegas attraction.
During the 50s and 60s, casino lounges also provided continuous entertainment from dusk to dawn at no charge to the customer except the cost of a drink. These lounges, which became major entertainment attractions in their own right, spawned the names of Don Rickles, Buddy Hackett, Shecky Greene, Alan King, Louis Prima and Keely Smith, the Mary Kaye Trio and many others.
NO HOLDS BARRED
In the initial years of the Las Vegas Strip, "no" was a big word -- no cover, no minimum, no state speed limit, no sales tax, no waiting period for marriages, no state income tax and no regulation of gambling as it is known today. In modern times about the only "no's" remaining are no state income tax and no waiting period to obtain a marriage license. No cover charge is still the rule in some casino lounges.
The state legislature has imposed sales taxes and strict gambling regulation laws. The federal government has forced Nevada, as well as other states, to adopt highway speed limits.
Nevada gambling styles, games and machines evolved to keep pace with more sophisticated, affluent players. Baccarat, known in France as chemin de fer, appeared in high-roller Strip casinos. Keno writers no longer used black indelible ink brushes to mark tickets. Mechanical slot machines, once affectionately termed "one- armed bandits," became antique collector items in the age of electronic gaming.
Blackjack dealers no longer dealt single decks but switched to "shoes" that held multiple decks. Silver dollars, once the coin of the realm in Nevada, disappeared and were replaced in casinos with silver-dollar-size tokens.
In the 60s, multiple coin slot machines debuted. Mechanical penny and nickel slot machines that took one coin at a time evolved into the popular computerized dollar slot machines capable of accepting multiple tokens simultaneously. High-roller slot players today can find machines that accept $500 tokens. The size of jackpots grew from a few hundred dollars to $10 million dollar progressive jackpots paid on a computerized statewide network of slot machines.
In the 70s, video machines that substituted television screens for reels, were introduced. Computerized slot machines now feature poker, keno, blackjack, bingo and craps.
Some slot machines accept credit-card style gambling. Casinos continue their evolution toward high-tech wagering with every applicable breakthrough in modern technology.
DAWN OF MEGARESORTS
In 1976, when casino-style gaming was legalized in Atlantic City, N.J., it became apparent to Las Vegas casino owners that Nevada no longer could claim exclusive rights to gambling casinos. It perhaps hastened the beginning of another era for the Strip -- the megaresort.
Hotel-casinos began the race to become full-blown destination resorts for travelers, vacationers, gamblers, conventioneers and all members of the family.
Circus Circus Enterprises Inc., in October 1968 already had opened a circus-tent-shaped casino complete with midway games and rides for youngsters. A hotel was added in 1972. Owners of the resort have developed a $90 million water theme park called Grand Slam Canyon on five acres adjoining the Circus Circus Hotel-Casino.
The entertainment park, a takeoff on the Grand Canyon, includes 140-foot mountains, a 90-foot Havasupai Falls, and a coursing river where the adventuresome can assault river rapids, plunge over a 50-foot waterfall, fly through the canyon and caverns in a double-loop, cork-screw roller coaster or lounge on beach- rimmed, lagoon-like pools.
Grand Slam Canyon, which opened Aug. 23, 1993, is climate- controlled and enclosed by a vented pink space-frame dome.
The 3,049-room Mirage Hotel-Casino opened in the fall of 1989 at a construction cost of $630 million. It features a white tiger habitat, a dolphin pool, an elaborate swimming pool and waterfall and a man-made volcano that belches fire and water.
Mirage owner Steve Wynn, who also owns the Golden Nugget Hotel-Casino in Downtown Las Vegas, constructed the 2,900-room Treasure Island adjacent to The Mirage at a cost of $430 million. The hotel features Buccaneer Bay where a full scale pirate ship and British frigate engage in a battle of cannon fire. In the end, the pirates blast the British and the frigate slowly sinks beneath the churning waves.
With Treasure Island, which opened Oct. 27, 1993, and the Mirage side by side on the Las Vegas Strip, Wynn has nearly 6,000 rooms on a 100-acre site.
Additionally, Wynn purchased the 164-acre Dunes Hotel and Country Club on the Las Vegas Strip for $75 million in 1992. He spent $1 million renovating the country club on the golf course. In October 1993, the flamboyant casino owner staged a $1.5 million spectacular in which the north tower of the Dunes Hotel was imploded and the famous Dunes Hotel sign destroyed amid a shower of fireworks never before equaled west of the Mississippi.
More than 200,000 people crowded onto the Strip to witness the spectacular.
Wynn plans to build a resort named Beau Rivage on the Dunes site and has announced a deal with Gold Strike Resorts to construct a hotel/casino on another part of the property north of the Tropicana Avenue and the Las Vegas Strip intersection.
The Excalibur, a 4,000-room colossus, opened June 19, 1990. The imaginative medieval "castle" was developed by Circus Circus Enterprises Inc. for between $260 and $290 million. Some floors are devoted solely to non-gambling entertainment for children and the young at heart. Court jesters perform in public areas. The showroom features jousting on horseback by knights of King Arthur's court. William Bennett, founder of Circus Circus Enterprises Inc., constructed the 2,526-room, pyramid-shaped Luxor a quarter mile south of the Excalibur.
The Luxor, a modern marvel which cost $375 million dollars to build, is linked to the Excalibur by monorail.
The Luxor features a full-scale reproduction of King Tut's Tomb. The world's most powerful beam of light shines from the top of the pyramid. It is visible to planes 250 miles away in Los Angeles. The atrium in the middle of the pyramid could hold nine Boeing 747s stacked one atop of another.
The most ambitious resort project in the history of Las Vegas is located at the intersection of the Las Vegas Strip and Tropicana Avenue. It is the MGM Grand Hotel & Theme Park -- the largest resort hotel in the world and the dream of pioneer Las Vegas hotel developer and multimillionaire entrepreneur Kirk Kerkorian.
The $1 billion, 112-acre resort hotel, casino and theme park highlights the MGM Hollywood image. With the 33-acre theme park as the center piece, the 5,005-room hotel boasts a 171,500-square-foot casino, 12 theme restaurants, a 1,700-seat production showroom, a 630-seat production theater, three swimming pools, five tennis courts, a child care center and a 215,000-square-foot, 15,200-seat special events arena for concerts, sporting events and exhibitions. The MGM Grand Hotel and Theme Park opened Dec. 18, 1993.
In August 1994, MGM Grand Inc., and Primadonna Resorts Inc., revealed a joint venture to build a 1,500-room hotel/casino on 18- acres at Tropicana Avenue and the Las Vegas Strip. The $300 million resort, named New York, New York, will highlight the best the "Big Apple" has to offer. The property's skyline will feature replicas of such New York City landmarks as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. The resort is scheduled to open sometime in 1996.
The huge hotel conglomerate ITT Sheraton Corp. made it's first foray into Las Vegas and gaming in 1993 when it purchased the Desert Inn Hotel Casino from Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp.
Late in 1994, Sheraton announced a deal to purchase Caesars World Inc., the parent company of Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip for $1.7 billion. The deal was expected to be finalized sometime in 1995, pending approval from a host of state and federal regulatory agencies.
When New Year 1994 dawned in Las Vegas, the dusty railroad town that started its race toward the 21st Century in 1905 boasted more than 86,000 hotel and motel rooms and had become home to 13 of the 20 largest resort hotels in the world. By the start of 1995, the city was awash with more than 88,500 rooms.
DOWNTOWN BOOMS AGAIN
Downtown Las Vegas, where it all began, has launched an extravagant project to keep pace with the booming Strip. The multimillion dollar project is called "The Fremont Street Experience." The Nevada Legislature passed enabling laws in 1993 to make the project financially feasible and construction was started in 1994. The project is scheduled to be completed by September 1995.
The Jerde Partnership, a firm specializing in creating lively urban centers, plans to wrap the entire downtown area in light and sound. "The Fremont Street Experience" is a public/private partnership between the Fremont Street Experience Company -- an entity owned and operated by a group of Downtown casino operators -- and the city of Las Vegas.
The $63 million project consists primarily of a space frame that will rise nearly 100 feet and stretch approximately 1,500 feet along Fremont Street from Main to Fourth streets.
Set into the inner surface of the space frame will be 1.5 million lights. The lights will come to life nightly in a multi- sensory show that will be combined with such theatrical effects as smoke, fog and robotic lights.
The Fremont Street Experience also calls for landscaping and patterned paving. Street performers will entertain patrons enjoying sidewalk cafes or viewing goods on festive pushcarts and kiosks. Enhanced security and cleaning will help contribute to a safe, enjoyable visit.
Also planned is a Downtown parking building for 1,500 vehicles with an entertainment-style retail shopping plaza.
The Fremont Street Experience will become a center for festivals, holiday celebrations and live entertainment when completed, according to planners.
Fremont Street was officially closed to vehicle traffic Sept. 7, 1994. On Sept. 8, state and city officials, prominent Las Vegans and members of the Fremont Street Experience participated in a "cruise through history," in a line-up of classic cars from the Nevada Car Club Council that made the last vehicular ride down Fremont Street to celebrate the next step in the evolution of Glitter Gulch.
The Public grand opening of the Fremont Street Experience was on December 14, 1995. The Fremont Street Experience features Viva Vision, the world's largest video screen which is 1,500 feet long, 90 feet wide and suspended 90 feet above the urban pedestrian mall. Viva Vision features nightly spectacular light and sounds shows with 12.5 million LED lights and a 550,000-watt sound system. Fremont Street Experience is a one-of-a-kind venue which includes free nightly concerts and entertainment on two stages. With direct pedestrian access to 10 casinos, more than 60 restaurants and specialty retail kiosks, Fremont Street Experience attracts over 17 million annual visitors.
From the modest beginnings of Las Vegas, Fremont Street initially was in the forefront of the gambling industry. It became the city's first paved street in 1925, the first street to have a traffic light and it is the site of the first Downtown highrise -- the Fremont Hotel, built in 1956.
The Apache Hotel on Fremont Street in 1932 was the first Las Vegas resort to have an elevator. The Horseshoe was the first casino to install carpet. And the first gaming license was issued to a Downtown Fremont Street gambling hall.
Downtown Las Vegas already had 36 years of history by the time the El Rancho Vegas became the first hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip in 1941.
some of the above information provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau
|mouser||Apr 23 2012, 11:01 AM Post #2|
TOP 10 REASONS TO VISIT VEGAS / Georgia Sunday Paper
Top 10 reasons to visit Las Vegas
Cirque du Soleil Beatles show LOVE start at $99 if you're booking ahead but if you're actually in Las Vegas you can get great discounts.
hamilton spectator file photoSome people hate Vegas, some can’t live without it. Count me somewhere in between. I’ve visited many times over the last 20 years, both for work and pleasure, and never fail to enjoy myself.
I try to visit during the twice-yearly retail sales in late July and January for some amazing price reductions (room rates tend to be lower then, too). And even if you visit for just a night or two, Vegas is the ideal base to explore the natural wonders of the Southwest (I think the most memorable trip I’ve ever taken was a circle trip from Vegas to the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Monument Valley, and Mesa Verde, staying in the iconic national park lodges).
Everything — shopping, nightclubs, shows, restaurants, museums — are within an easy walk of each other, and except in high summer, the weather is pleasant. Plus, unless there’s a big convention in town, airfares remain more than reasonable almost any time of year.
1. They’re practically giving away luxury hotel roomsDid the bank cancel your Platinum Card when you weren’t looking? Whatever, because you no longer need to go into debt to do Vegas right. Check this: Published weekday rates of $169 at Wynn Las Vegas, $129 at Bellagio. Are where else can you stay at a Four Seasons Resort for $200 per night plus tax, plus get a $100 resort credit? (Not for nothing is the Vegas property rated No. 1 on TripAdvisor.) Only in Vegas, baby.
2. You deserve some pamperingThe home of the groaning buffet is also a major spa capital. Sophisticated facilities such as the Qua Baths at Caesars and the Bathhouse at Mandalay Bay’s THEhotel are a must. Many resorts are discounting spa experiences.
3. Retail therapyAlthough Vegas is supposedly all about “gaming,” for many visitors it’s really all about shopping. Six Louis Vuitton stores within a few blocks of each other? Only in Vegas. The malls attached to the major casinos (e.g., the Forum Shops at Caesars) are a huge draw but so are the outlet malls, such as the Las Vegas Premium Outlets South (with 140 stores) and North (150 stores). If you don’t mind leaving the Strip, head for the Fashion Outlets Las Vegas in Primm with over 100 stores (you’ll need a car to get there). Major price reductions at the end of July and during holiday markdowns. Leave room in your suitcase.
4. It’s cheaper than living at homeSay you hail from New York. Or Boston. Toronto, maybe? San Francisco? Say you want to cut back on your living expenses. Did you know that it may be cheaper to move into a Las Vegas hotel than continue paying rent? Based on published rates that start at $24.95 at the Tropicana or $23 per night at Circus Circus (found via Hotels.com recently), you’re looking at a bill for, say, the month of June, of about $1,350 before taxes. Just think, though — that includes utilities. And daily maid service! A nice pool! You won’t even have to change a light bulb (they have staff for that).
5. Asia without flying to AsiaIt seems weird calling Spring Mountain Road — just off the Strip — Chinatown, seeing as it’s really Asiatown. Name a country or a type of cooking and you should be able to find it. Strong suits are regional Chinese, Japanese (Raku at 5030 Spring Mountain is a must), Korean and Vietnamese, but don’t stop there — Las Vegas is jam-packed with Thai restaurants, many of them better than you might be used to back home, unless home is, say, Thailand. Make your first stop Lotus of Siam, for its tasty Northern specialties menu. Warning: Do not be tempted by the bad lunch buffet (953 E. Sahara Ave.)
6. You’ll feel better about not finishing that home improvement projectYou remember how that last trip to, say, Puerto Vallarta, you noticed all these weathered concrete stubs, complete with rebar sticking out — construction projects at a dead halt, due to lack of funding? My, you said to yourself — that’s so strange that they just leave it sitting there. Well, ha ha ha, that’s Las Vegas these days, both on and off the strip. Check out Echelon at Las Vegas Boulevard and Desert Inn Road, where work stopped months ago on a project that was to include four hotels, including a Delano and a Mondrian, iconic brands dreamed up by Ian Schrager a couple of decades ago. Oh, and what’s that construction project towering over the Doge’s Palace at The Venetian? Nothing to see here — just a half-finished St. Regis Hotel. Whoops, maybe later!
7. 99-cent ’RitasThe Vegas so many of us grew up loving is back in full force, with the craziest drink deals and some pretty terrific happy hours. Of course, at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, right at the corner of Flamingo and Las Vegas Boulevard, happy hour runs all day, and the margaritas really are just 99 cents. Need something slightly more high brow? Hit Las Horas Loca at Agave, a classy Mexican restaurant out by the Red Rock Resort. Every day, from precisely 4:05 p.m. to 6:27 p.m. (for real), they’ve got 25-cent tacos and $1 Coronitas (10820 W. Charleston Ave.).
8. It’s naturally beautifulMaybe not Vegas itself, but minutes from town, you can be hiking in Red Rock Canyon, which certainly hasn’t cut back on its beauty in these tough times, while just north of the city, there’s cool, green Mount Charleston, towering 12,000 feet above the valley floor. Don’t forget Death Valley. Or the Grand Canyon. In fact, Vegas is the perfect jumping off point for a tour of the Southwest’s most memorable natural attractions — the so-called Grand Circle ... Mesa Verde, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and of course the Grand Canyon itself.
9. Don’t gamble? See some museums!Such as the Atomic Testing museum, the Erotic Heritage Museum (where you can “behold and explore the vast array of socio-cultural perspectives depicting our erotic heritage, including a special emphasis on the unfolding of the American Sexual Revolution of the 20th Century”), the Neon Museum, and the recently opened Mob Museum (“dedicated to the thrilling story of organized crime and law enforcement”). More ideas at vegas.com/attractions/indoor.html.
10. The shows must go onThe best ones are still going to cost you — the acclaimed Cirque du soleil show, LOVE (it’s the Beatles one) just recently started offering locals discounts, while for the rest of us, tickets are still running $99 and up. Discounts to O at Bellagio? Don’t even ask. (Yet.) Still, how about 35 per cent off Criss Angel’s Believe (also a Cirque production) at Luxor? Not shabby. Also check out one of the Tix4Tonight booths, scattered around town. So maybe Nathan Burton at the Flamingo isn’t your first pick, but for 50 per cent off the $34 ticket price, you can’t fail.
|mouser||Apr 25 2012, 02:07 PM Post #3|
THE HISTORY OF BALLY'S
1967 : The Bonanza
1973: The MGM Grand becomes the biggest Hotel/Casino in the
world when it opens on the strip, on the 5th of December.
The property is located on the corner of Flamingo Road and the strip, where
Bally's Hotel/Casino now sits, it replaced the former New Bonanza Hotel/Casino. The 26 story MGM Grand cost $107 million, has over 2,000 guest rooms and suites,
six restaurants, two showrooms, a shopping arcade, a movie theater for classic
MGM films, and an area for spectators to watch, and wager on, live Jai Alai games
Appearing at the MGMGrand : in the 1970's was
Shirley MacLaine headlining and the Jubliee Show ( 1980's ) which still plays at THE BALLY today.
The 1980's got off to a very bad start in Las Vegas when on the 21st of
November a fire broke out at the MGM Grand, killing 85 guests and
hotel employees, and injuring over 700, including 14 firefighters.
MGM Grand on fire.
At the time it was the second largest life-loss hotel fire in United States history.
The fire started on the casino level in the deli, due to an electrical ground fault.
The fire was discovered at 7.05am by an employee who immediately notified MGM security.
Other employees noticed the spreading fire and tried to extinguish the growing flames.
Within six minutes of the time of discovery, the total casino area was involved in fire.
The Clark County Fire Department received the call reporting
the fire at 7.17am, they arrived two minutes later at 7.19am.
Upon entering the casino, the crew observed black smoke emitting from the deli.
They were only 40 feet into the hotel when a huge fireball burst out of the
deli and rolled into the casino, hustling the crew out of the building.
They made it back to the engine as the flames sprang out the front of the entrance.
After the MGM Grand fire , massive changes in fire safety regulations were instituted and
The MGM Grand re-opened on Wednesday the 29th of July, 1981.
Nevada legalized Sports Betting in 1983 and the casinos took advantage.
In December of 1985 an agreement was reached between MGM Grand Hotel Inc, and Ballys
Manufacturing, operator of Ballys Park Place, for the sale of the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.
The sale was completed in January of 1986, and the name changed from MGM Grand to Ballys.
Kirk Kerkorian, the majority shareholder of the MGM Grand was
granted the exclusive rights to the MGM Grand name and logo.
Jubilee was playing at the MGM Grand when Ballys took over, and its still playing
28 year later, which makes it the longest running production show in Las Vegas.
There are around 85 performers, both topless and covered, and
1,000 different costumes made with 8,000 miles of sequins.
The rhinestones used on the costumes are silver plated Swarovski
crystals and the headpieces can weigh up to 35 pounds.
The massive stage is half the length of a football field, and the sets weigh up to four tons.
THIS IS WHERE TAYLOR'S SHOW WILL BE BLAZED IN NEON ACROSS THE VEGAS STRIP.
|mouser||Jul 11 2012, 06:04 AM Post #4|
While Taylor is in residence at Bally's there are lots of famous people sharing the neon lights with him. Taylor mentioned that he would like to "catch some shows" and he will have a myriad of great performers at various Hotels and Casinos on the Vegas Strip from which to choose. Here are but a few of those entertainers ..
1. Flamingo - George Wallace , Donnie & Marie and Vinnie Favorito
2. Riveria - Andrew Dice Clay
3. Tropicana - Dancing With The Stars in Vegas wil be there through July 7, Laugh Factory and Murray Celebrity Magician
4. Caesars Palace - Celine Dion , Aretha Franklin ( 7/15 ) Jerry Seinfeld ( 7/20 - 21 )
5. Mirage - Jay Leno , Ron White , BBKing's Classic Dinner Show and Sigfried & Roy
6. Imperial - Human Nature and Frank Marino's Divas
7. MGM Grand - Cirque Du Soleil , Brad Gilber Commedy Club and David Cooperfield
8. Rio - Penn and Teller and Chippendale's
9. Venetian - Blue Man Group , David Spade ( 8/17 -18 ) , and Tim Allen (8/3 - 4 ), Rita Rudner
10. Treasure Island - Bill Crosby 7/20 Carolos Mencia
11. Harrah's - Legends in Concert / performer who pay tribute to legends
12. Wynn - Garth Brooks
13 Excalibur - Australian Bee Gees - Tribute
14. LVH -Las Vegas - The King - Elvis Tribute
15, Palace Station - Louie Anderson
16. Luxor - Carrot Top
17. Planet Hollywood - Gregory Popovich's Comedy Pet Theater and a Bus Tour with Celebrity Impersonators
18. Orleans - The Temptations ( 7/ 7-8 )
19. Bellagio - Fine Art Exhibition of Claude Monet: Impressions of Light
20. New York- New York - Spirit of the Dance with Special Guest , The Irish Tenors
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