Saturday, May 25, 2019

360 Vintage Vegas: Luxor






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Luxor changed my life.  It can be credited as the property that brought me to Vegas for the first time with a theme that made me say "I have to go see that". The inspiration for this show, my love for just about all things involving the city including becoming a student of it's history can all be traced back to this property.  While it’s true, over the years, I’ve not spent a lot of time at Luxor.  In fact, I haven’t stayed at the property since my first trip.  I can still say with no exaggeration that I love Luxor.  This is the story of the 1st pyramid built in the desert in over 6,000 years.

For more information on Luxor, Bill Bennett and Mandalay Resorts, check out



Saturday, May 18, 2019

E-301: Highest Functioning Autistic EVER



Random Vegas 
When bill acceptors were added to slot machines in the '90s, it generated a 30% increase in the amount of money played. (@VitalVegas via Natasha Dow Schull) 


Twitpic of the week 



The story of Rio is a tragic tale.  When it opened, it was a monster success, pioneering the move to fine dining and celebrity chefs.  3 years after opening in 1990, the property was so popular that it built and opened a 20-story expansion tower, showcased this week by @LuckysLasVegas.  In 1997, at a cost of about $200 million dollars, it unveiled the “Masquerade in the Sky” show.  When Harrah’s Entertainment decided to relocate their corporate headquarters from Memphis TN to Las Vegas in the late 90s, they didn’t feel they owned a property that was worthy to setup operations in.  So they purchased the Rio in 1999 for $888 million and established it as their corporate headquarters.  And so began its downfall.  Years later, after all the celebrity chefs left, CEO at the time Gary Loveman would admit that they made the mistake of thinking they could run Rio with the same way they run Harrah’s.  Despite making Rio the home of their prized acquisition, the World Series of Poker, the property has noticeably not received any of the renovation love that has been given out to all its sister properties.  While Rio has been at the middle of many sale rumors, the latest claiming it will be demolished so a baseball stadium can be built on the land would not only be its final indignity, it would be its most egregious.  The irony isn’t lost on me that a sport infamous for its many cheating scandals wants to move to a city that originally identified the importance of insuring that the games had to be fair to the player only to recently adopted the practice of hidden fees.   

News


Saturday, May 11, 2019

E-300: FSE Dimmer Switch



Random Vegas 
The NYNY skyline is a collage of 12 NY skyscrapers approximately one-third the size of the originals with a 150-foot-tall Statue of Liberty (super casino) 

Twitpic of the week 



It’s fascinating to me that @Cosmopolitan_LV does more with 4.4 acres of land than City Center is able to do with 19 time that real estate.  Don’t get me wrong, the City Center campus is attractive.  It’s just, who really wants to vacation in an office park on the strip.  I know that sounds like a knock but it isn’t intended to be in this case.  It’s more a testament to how special the minds who think up such concepts are.  As critical as I can be towards some of the decisions made by the people running the casinos I love, I always try to keep in mind before voicing that opinion, especially a negative opinion, is could I do any better.  And the answer is no.  Then again, that’s not my job.  I’ve never claimed to know how to build a better resort.  I make a point to stay in my lane and share insight I feel I can offer educated commentary on.  Speaking of, let me give a little insight into what’s going on today in Vegas.  Vegas has historically been recession proof, or at least virtually.  After feeling the impact of the Great Recession, everything, including long standing established protocol, is under scrutiny by industry leadership.  History shows us that Vegas may be the first company to follow the software development philosophy known as Agile.  A practice that gives businesses the ability to try out new concepts while still giving them the freedom to pivot from the original plan when market feedback does not respond favorably.  Today, we are at that juncture.  Just like the patience one needs to exhibit when telling a child not to do something for the millionth time, now is the time to stay resolute because the hardest thing for a company to explain to shareholders is eliminating a source of revenue for the betterment of the company.  Keep complaining about resort fees, paid parking and CNF charges.  Reward companies like Wynn and TI who are beginning to eliminating such fees with your patronage.  Support them for pioneering the change back to a Vegas that can be experienced by all income demographics.  

News

Saturday, May 4, 2019

E-299: Lesidency



Random Vegas
The La Concha Motel lobby was designed in 1961 by Paul Revere Williams, the first African American elected Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.  To this day it is considered one of the best preserved examples of 1950s googie architecture, a style featuring upswept roofs, curvaceous geometric shapes and its use of neon. The La Concha lobby is now the Neon Museum's visitors' center (Neon Museum & Research) 

Twitpic of the week



It’s quite simply one of the best marquees that has existed in Vegas history.  A truly mesmerizing sign whose presence was not only grand but glorious.  Shared this week by @summacorp aka vintageLasVegas on instagram, this whole style of architecture resonates with me in an unexplainable way.  I find the swooping curves breathtaking, get lost in the sparkle of the lettering and could spend hours watching the lights cascade back and forth.  It’s a special thing when signage becomes iconic.  While I like that owners of the small dive casino bar west of Lucky Dragon have resurrected the name and installed a smaller version of this marquee, make no mistake, the Mint has not returned.  That being said, here’s hoping that this is the start of a new era in Vegas where unforgettable brands return to the landscape. 

News

Saturday, April 27, 2019

E-298: Icahnification



Random Vegas 
In the Fall of 94, Martin Scorsese began filming the movie Casino in Las Vegas.  Bob Stupak was cast in a non-speaking role for the movie.  At one point, he approached the director and asked for a larger role with lines.  When his request was declined, he demanded a speaking role.  His demand caused his part in the movie to be recast.  Bob would later joke "I guess I overplayed my hand" (No Limit) 

Twitpic of the week


I will forever be torn by my affection for the Fremont St Experience canopy and my love of what downtown looked like without it.  I dream of the day when it evolves into something of a transformer; retracting itself in between shows at night revealing the glory that is neon signage bouncing off a sky background.  Oh, or have all the hotel towers facing Fremont St cover themselves in LED like the side of Palms instead of having a canopy.  Oh, if not that, how great would it be if the first commercial use of a time machine was so you could visit the various eras of downtown Las Vegas.  So many things I’d love to see.  The Sundance in the early 80s, an operational Vegas Vic and Vegas Vicki and possibly the greatest exterior incarnation of the Golden Nugget, with the bullnose corners, after it first took over the entire block between 1st and Casino Center Blvd.  I dream of seeing the best use of neon in history, the Mint marquee, and even though it replaced said beloved marquee, see Binion’s version of the bullnose corner, shared this week by @Summacorp.  If only we all looked this good in old pictures.

News


Saturday, April 20, 2019

E-297: Does Mom Know?



Random Vegas
In 2007, the Brand Ranking survey saw Las Vegas rise to America’s number two brand, behind only google (The Strip – Las Vegas and the Architecture of the American Dream) 

Twitpic of the week 



Glorious is one way to describe the Galaxy Bar at Vegas World.  Vegas as fuck is another.  Say what you will about Bob Stupak, he got it right with this amenity.  Potentially inspired by what I can only imagine every brothel in Pahrump looks like inside, the use a mirrored ceiling to capture the reflection of the light feature creates the illusion of infinity.  Trapped in tacky you say? We should all be so lucky. That being said, I can’t help but think everything you see in the picture shared by @summacorp is sticky.

News

Saturday, April 13, 2019

E-296: Bill Cosby Head Shake



Random Vegas
Per a recent press release, since opening in 1995, the Joint @Hard Rock concert venue has hosted 709 shows, 14 residencies, 42 comedy shows, 45 Rap / Hip-Hop / R & B Acts, 52 Country Acts, 392 Rock ‘n’ Roll Acts, played 2,127 hours of music and sold 1.14 million tickets (@VitalVegas

Twitpic of the week



An Arthurian representation of wealth housing a den of vice for those who are not wealthy.  An icon of the Vegas strip that declares without saying a word that there is something for everyone in the city to enjoy.   Selected this week, not only for the view it shared but the joke attached to it.  @Bluestorm2000‘s cleaver wordplay delivered with a regal accent that would make the queen proud somehow permeates even via text.  Apropos considering the inspiration for the concept.  The longer I live Vegas the more I feel the responsibility to find out the great answers mankind has sought after, like what is in that center tower?  Is it office buildings? Is it storage? What kind of storage? You know, the hard-hitting sort of journalism that changes the world.  If you're thinking to yourself, “What was the joke attached to the picture?”  I guess you’re just gonna have to go to twitter yourself and see. 

News


Saturday, April 6, 2019

E-295: Anticahn



Random Vegas 
Before Vegas World was done with construction, Bob was approached by the Nevada Culinary Union who attempted to pressure him to hired dues paying members.  When he wouldn't do as they requested, they began to picket the property.  In response, Bob organized the Vegas World staff and had them picket the union with signs proclaiming their practices were unfair.  At one point, Bob offered to resolve the matter and sign the union contract if the organizers could beat his carnival trained roosters at tick-tac-toe.  Eventually the Union was ordered to stop their illegal protest in front of the property in 1980 (No Limit

Twitpic of the week


I think this is the appeal of Lonnie Hammargren’s houses, a pile of things you can’t help but wonder “How the hell did this all get here?”.  Not just how did this physically get here but what’s the story?  Because there is no way there isn’t a story behind how this came to be here from wherever it came from.  Unlike Lonnie’s house, the Neon Museum keeps things that have a million different stories of memorable moments and legendary hot streaks, depending on the person telling the story. While they may all have a memorable tone they are intimately unique.  Perhaps more than any time in the recorded history of the adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” has the retort, “Who the hell thinks any of this is trash” ever been more apropos.  You can thank @arivetinglife for inspiring the recognition this moment.

News


Saturday, March 16, 2019

E-294: Patting the Soft Helmet



Random Vegas 
In 2002, Stratosphere owners proposed a roller coaster attraction that would depart from the base of the pod, drop passengers to the ground at a top speed of 93mps before curving at the bottom into a misshapen "U" track that would cross Las Vegas Blvd.  The project was blocked by residents claiming it would not only be a distraction for traffic but would undermine plans to revitalize the area by discourage new residents from moving in. Almost 20 years later, the revitalization plans have yet to materialize (No Limit

Twitpic of the week 



This week I realized I will not be able to get a helicopter pilots license; because there is a 100% chance that I’ll be too distracted enjoying views like the one shared this week by @MaverickHeli and die in a fiery crash.  That being said, what a way to go.  If I could only guarantee that I’d crash into a remote area so I was the only one hurt.  But again, I can’t, because I’d be too distracted looking at views like the one shared this week by @MaverickHeli.  Something else this picture forces me to realize is I need to work on my patience so I can take a Helicopter ride over Vegas, or many of them.  Or maybe not so I can continue to be captivated every time someone shares a unique view.  Shit, now I have dueling patience issues. 

News


Saturday, March 2, 2019

360 Vintage Vegas: Bill Bennett and Circus Circus




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Looking at the same thing everyone else sees and seeing it in a way no one else before has is just one of the many reasons he took a property that failed almost the day it opened and turned it into the most successful gaming company in Vegas history.  Yet, despite all he accomplished, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never even heard of a man referred to by many as one of the most influential in the evolution of Las Vegas.  This is Bill Bennett’s story. 

Make no mistake about it, Bill Bennett was a genius; a true pioneer in gaming. While history will forever glorify the legacy of Steve Wynn and Kirk Kerkorian, Bill Bennett is the reason Las Vegas is as popular and diverse as it is today. Before him, no one in Vegas seemed to care about the majority of the people who listen to shows like ours. While some argue things have changed for the worst and lament for the days of old when tuxes and gowns were required attire for an evening in Las Vegas, Bennett saw that it was a place that should be enjoyed by all.   While he never cared much for self promotion or the kind of attention Wynn embraces, ultimately he did want credit for what he did.  While historians recognize him as one the most important figures in the cities history, we honor his memory by making sure you, the listener, die-hard lovers of Las Vegas, know this as well.

If your interested in learning more about Bill Bennett, check out "Forgotten Man"

Saturday, February 23, 2019

E-293: Icahnic Evil



Random Vegas 
3 years after the 1993 Dunes implosion destroyed one of the most iconic strip marquees in Vegas history, the Neon Museum nonprofit was officially launched after 16 years of planning.  One of their goals, prevent anything like that from happening again (VegasSeven.com) 

Twitpic of the week 



What most people don’t realize, is that, like most things, snow in Las Vegas isn’t the same as it is everywhere else.  It’s better.  Here, it's just mother nature's contribution to the spectacle.  And just like the decorations on display promoting whatever random celebration is going on that week, the following week, you’re unable to find a trace of the past.  Watching snow fall here is just as magical as it is everywhere else without any of the residual issues that come with a prolonged winter season.  @NickyFurmage shared our favorite picture of snow falling around the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign this week.  I was hoping for a great picture of Luxor covered in snow but unfortunately all that were shared looked like they were taking with a Motorola razor flip phone.

News

Saturday, February 16, 2019

E-292: It's Magnets, Keren


Random Vegas

To draw traffic to his casinos during traditionally slow times, Jackie Gaughan, best known as the owner of the El Cortez, would give out up to 70,000 boxes of candy on any given holiday; Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. 
Twitpic of the week



Magical.  I can think of no better way to describe it.  I don’t bemoan the evolution of Las Vegas. It’s that creative evolution that drew me to the city in the first place.  It’s the lack of creativity currently being showcased that disappoints me.  I’m the last person to criticize the excitement of using new technology. That being said, knowing what all of these LED signs can do, I look forward to the time when they stop being used as giant TVs playing an endless loop of commercials and start getting creative like the neon signage of old, showcased this week by @Summacorp a la Stardust Circa 1959.  However I fear this may be similar to the endless conversation I have with my beloved wife. Attempting to show her all the bells and whistles, shortcuts and efficiency enablers available on her apple devices only to be disregarded and scolded for not allowing her to utilize them in the way that works for her.  Shaking my head in defeat, I’ll never understand the resistance to better.   

News

(Thanks @GamblinMcGoo)

Saturday, February 9, 2019

E-291: Liquor Up and Down



Random Vegas 
All the custom videos advertising the rebranded name “The Strat” have something gold in them, a call back to their new owners, Golden Entertainment (Vital Vegas) 

Twitpic of the week



There isn’t enough massive signage at the street level.  Like signage so close you could jump up and touch it with your hands.  Then again, I imagine that’s exactly why you can’t find signage you can touch anymore.  While Neon lights don’t get hot, they weren’t the only source of exterior illumination utilized in the Fremont signs of yesteryear, shared this week by @TonyIllia, flashing lightbulbs do get hot.  And while I think the generations of the last 40 years have cornered the market on lawsuits resulting from being stupid, just like sex, recent generations didn’t invent stupid.  Signs like these are the reason why I visit the Neon Museum so often.  There’s something about being surrounded by massive signage that reminds me just how small and insignificant I am in the grand scheme of things.  And yet, all those signs were made by people.  So maybe we are a little bigger than that.



360FHE

Saturday, February 2, 2019

E-290: The Betty White Affair




Random Vegas

Like Cosmopolitan, due to Luxor’s unique design, it has been a popular place for people to commit suicide.  The most infamous of which was in 1996.  A 23 year old women climbed over the ledge of the 26th floor of the atrium and jumped, landing near the long line to the buffet at the property, causing her body to “burst”.  A hazmat team was bought in to clean up the mess as rumors that the jumper had AIDS spread and social ignorance at the time began to cause panic.  Luxor offered free counseling sessions with a therapist to guests who saw the incident.  The idea of installing Plexiglas on the corridors was entertained to prevent something like this from happening again.  However the fire department informed them it would violate fire code as it would trap smoke in the hallways outside guest rooms.  Another idea was adding wire screens to catch jumpers but that idea was eventually nixed as the nets were not only unattractive, they were distracting and gave a haunting reminder of why they were there. (Book - Super Casino) 

Twitpic of the week 


Come on man, seriously.  Seriously?  @Vegasphotograph just sees and thinks differently from the rest of us.  Rain in the desert is uncommon enough but mix that with Vegas signage and those that love the city can’t whip their phones out fast enough to catch the neon reflections everywhere.  But a picture of the Stratosphere reflected in drops of water is some next level shit.  Reflections in fucking drops of water.  As I reflect on this picture, I feel like it’s a great representation of how my love for this city has evolved since moving here.  Similar to how the love for a spouse evolves and grows deeper than one could imagine over time, living here has given me the opportunity to move beyond the feeling that I only have 5 days or however long I’m staying to enjoy the city as much as possible before I have to go home and transitioned to enjoying every single aspect of it I can possibly think of, further deepening my appreciation for it.  While I’ll never be half the photographer this guy is, I can only hope I write with the same askewed view. 

News

Saturday, January 26, 2019

360 Vegas POV: Casino E-6





In this installment, we continue our analysis of Martin Scorsese's movie Casino by analyzing Ace & Gingers wedding, when Nicky gets put in the black book, the location listed as "Back Home" and when Ace catches Ginger with her former boyfriend/pimp.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

E-289: The Grand Lie



Random Vegas
At 188 feet, the Stardust sign with the shower of stars around the name, was the tallest in the world when it was introduced in 1968 (Neon Museum) 

Twitpic of the week 



Reflections.  With so many glass buildings on the strip there are almost limitless opportunities to catch a glimpse of a distorted reality.  A manifestation of euphoria captured by @evilsamgraham and shared so all can fondly recall those moments when you realize the countdown to passing out has begun and the journey to your room needs to begin immediately.  A dreamlike state in which details will need to be told to you by friends who better paced themselves.  An adventure always worth the price of admission, no matter how much it costs. 




360FHE

Saturday, January 5, 2019

E-288: Opening of the Virgin


Random Vegas 
Next week, the Stevens Group will share the name of first property built from the ground up on Fremont street in almost 40 years.  Interestingly enough, they own that property too.  Today it’s known as the D but it opened in 1980 as the Sundance.  Another interesting factoid, once the new Landmark opens (that’s what I'm guessing it will be named) it will mean the Stevens group owns the oldest and newest building in Las Vegas.  That’s because they also own the building at 1 Fremont St, also known as Golden Gate. 

Twitpic of the week 

My version of “Welcome to Marwen” is this week’s winner, shared by @sam_marques1It’s captures that magical experience of seeing the strip like an incredibly detailed miniature model that will soon be scaled to overwhelming so that you can play in it. But everyone knows there's a catch to magical experiences. In this case its Cinderella-esque in that the experience has a time limit and the clock starts ticking the moment you land.  So does that mean people who live here are stuck in an inception like dream state?  I’ll speak on their behalf of all that live here and say either way, I just hope that top never stops spinning.  

News

Tim Burton-Neon Museum Exhibit
Hard Rock Closing
Nevada’s Black Book gets new members
Wynn Resorts Sues Resorts World
Palms Replaces Vandal with Greene St
RJ-MGM Grand 25th Anniversary Lies
360FHE: Boulder Highway/Boyd Inspired