Saturday, June 15, 2024

E-491: Just Let Him In

 Random Vegas 

Justin Timberlake was paid $6 million dollars to perform at Fontainebleau opening night.  That night, he stayed at Wynn. (VitalVegas) 

TwitPic of the week 

You’ve heard me talk about it before, the Stardust.  Here we got a picture from @_GrandPaD showing off the entire property, including the old Royal Nevada that they rebranded the Stardust Auditorium.  It also shows the properties first hotel tower that existed between the two properties, connecting them together.  Next you can’t help but look at all those motel units behind the Stardust Frontage.  And lastly, you’re reminded this is in the middle of a desert by the Barron wasteland that stretched beyond the resorts reach. All silhouetted with the beautiful mountains. 

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Saturday, June 8, 2024

E-490: No Fucks to Give

 Random Vegas

The five biggest jackpots ever won in Las Vegas history (@VegasIssues)

1.     $39.7 million – Excalibur, Mar 2003

2.     $35 million – Desert Inn, Jan 2000

3.     $27.6 million – Palace Station, Nov 1998

4.     $22.6 million – Bally’s, May 2002

5.     $21.3 million – Caesars Palace, June 1999


TwitPic of the week

I don’t know if its common knowledge but Bellagio has a hell of an ass on her.  You don’t think of her as a tri-tower because that frontage is all anyone remembers but she is in fact a tri-tower, showcased spectacularly by @Maverickheli.  I don’t think this aspect of her is as appreciated as it should be.  I know I didn’t until we moved and I made the drive from the west to the strip via Flamingo Road.  She unveils herself as you come over the freeway.  It’s very distracting and elegant and a beautiful addition to our Twitpic of the week collection.

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Saturday, June 1, 2024

E-489: Loopholes

 Random Vegas

The largest American flag every flown was displayed over the Hoover Dam on May 1st, 1996.  Each star on the flag was 17 feet high. (@LasVegaslocally)


TwitPic of the week

My growing affection for this property rivals only Keren’s dislike for it.  The world famous, Caesars Palace, here showcased in 1974 by @summacorp.  Here we can see the properties 3rd hotel tower under construction, the Roman tower expansion.  Something that used to annoy me about Caesars was the piece mail cobbling together of different eras.  Now its what I find charming about it.  How many places can you visit on the strip that are the same structure they were in 66.  It’s remarkable and why I’ve selected to celebrate her evolution with this week’s winner.


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Friday, May 24, 2024

E-488: Mr. Fritada

Random Vegas

It’s been stated that the Mirage changed everything.  Specifically, in the 10 years that followed its opening the city of Las Vegas doubled visitor volume from $17 million to $35 million, room inventory from 61k to 124k, air passengers increased from $16 million to $36 million and gaming revenue from $3 billion of $7.6 billion.  (@OllyLovate)


TwitPic of the week

Simply put, it’s a picture of the Mirage under construction shared by d.  Never has a single property so impacted the Las Vegas market.  It’s somewhat comforting that the building will basically remain the same although with virtually all of the public spaces refreshed.  Odds are we won’t recognize the Mirage once Hard Rock is finished with it, which is a good thing.  Possibly the most disappointing thing is that we are losing another iconic name on the strip.  No longer will we love a place with palaces called Dunes, Sands, Stardust or the Mirage.

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Saturday, May 18, 2024

E-487: Cox Aren't For Everyone

 Random Vegas

When the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign was installed in 1959, the population of Las Vegas was about 70,000 people.  Today, 65 years later, that number is 2.3 million (@lasvegaslocally and research)

TwitPic of the week

It is the way of the world.  The only constant is change and the city of Las Vegas embodies that more than any city in the history of civilization.  The Tropicana is currently being demolished and the Mirage will be rethemed to Hard Rock.  At least we can be grateful that the stain glass ceiling at Tropicana is going to be saved, showcased by @lasvegaslocally.  Here’s a choice for you.  The Mirage Volcano or the Tropicana stain glass ceiling, if you could only save one, which would it be?

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Saturday, May 11, 2024

E-486: From A Distance

 Random Vegas

The original trains used on the Las Vegas Monorail were from Walt Disney World.  When they debuted, they simply connected Bally’s to MGM Grand. (@LasVegasLocally)


TwitPic of the week

The Queen of the Strip, as she was known, basking in the morning glow of a sunrise shared by @_GrandpaD.  The Stardust Super Pylon marquee was remarkable for so many reasons.  The font, the shower of stars and how the pylons were designed to disappear at night.  They were planted blue to do the same thing during the day but that only worked when there was a blue sky behind it…which is like 200+ days of the year.  If you look close this picture also captures the Silver Slipper, Fronter and in the distance, the Mirage.

News


Wednesday, May 8, 2024

2024 Draft: Vegas Movies

 w/ Josh and Tony

This week, we are drafting our favorite Vegas Movies.  The game is simple.  Pick your favorite Vegas movies. The trick is we are all drafting from the same pool of movies and a movie is only available to be selected by one person.  This is NOT a list of the best movies set in Vegas nor is it a game to select the most valuable movies.  There is no score, there are no winners or losers.  This is just a chance for us to talk about some of our favorite Vegas movies for whatever reason we come up with.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

E-485: Ouch

Random Vegas

The Fountains of Bellagio are not the first dancing fountains to exist in Las Vegas.  The original debuted in 1955 at the Royal Nevada.  They were simply called the Dancing Water’s and consisted of 4,000 jet streams and lights revolving and swaying in sync with waltz music.  They could accomplish heights has high as 50 foot.  The attraction was universally liked however the Royal Nevada thought they could offer this show instead of headliners.  The property struggled and closed 3 years after it opened. (The Strip: Las Vegas and the Architecture of the American Dream)


TwitPic of the week

What’s so great about this picture by @Summacorp is the collection of properties long gone.  Here we see the Landmark tower to the left and the Thunderbird pretty prominently.  What you don’t realize you're looking at is a bungalow at the original El Rancho in the foreground.  You even get a glimpse of the Riviera to the far right.  None of these properties exist today.  In fact, from this perspective, today the only thing you would see would be Fontainebleau.  The rest is a convention center expansion, a parking lot and a concert festival grounds.  I’m grateful for both the original Thunderbird Neon Bird marquee as well as the revised frontage of the property.  This picture isn’t going to dazzle you but it’s a welcome addition to our collection.


News


Saturday, April 20, 2024

E-484: Men's Work

 Random Vegas

In 1968, Las Vegas could lay claim to the 3 tallest electric signs in the world.  The Dunes at 180, the Frontier at 184 and the Stardust at 188 feet tall 

TwitPic of the week

How can you not be proud of that collection of properties?  Specifically, it feels like MGM treats @LuxorLV and Excalibur like unwanted commodities.  Which is funny because they bought Mandalay Resorts, one of the most profitable gaming companies in history, with a portfolio that primarily catered to the middle class.  Since then they’ve sold off Circus Circus and threatened redevelopment to both Luxor and Excalibur.  Instead they should feel psyched that in that string of properties, you make up virtually every demographic you want to attract to Las Vegas.  Not to mention, you are in prime real estate to attract ALL those who attend events at Allegiant and the current wave of sports in Vegas.  Here’s some million dollar advice for free MGM.  Leave Luxor and Excalibur alone.  Sure, update and take care of them inside but leave the architecture alone.  You found this company attractive for a reason.  Stop trying to fix it.

News


Saturday, April 13, 2024

E-483: LOVE Ends

 Random Vegas

Nick Mazzolo.  You may not know the name but you certainly know his work.  Nick was cast as a table games dealer in 3 blockbuster titles.  Rain Man in 1988, Casino in 1995 and Vegas Vacation in 1997.

TwitPic of the week

In a picture that looks like it was taking on the pool deck of the Plaza years before it existed, this picture, shared by @FSELV definitely captures the best the Las Vegas Club ever looked, years before her transformation into a faux baseball stadium on the roof.  All of Fremont strip was sexy as hell during the 60s, before Golden Nugget absorbed the entire city block they occupy today.  Back when the Lucky Club and California Club shared the space.  But you can’t see any of that here so lets just wrap this up by saying here we also have the Golden Gate with its signage looking as dapper as ever, still sporting the Hotel Sal Sagev signage.

News

Friday, April 5, 2024

E-482: The Rat Pack

 Random Vegas

Tropicana’s nickname was the Tiffany of the Strip because it was said to be the shape of a necklace when viewed from an arial perspective.

TwitPic of the week

This is another property I have an irrational affinity for.  Like the Fontainebleau today, the Landmark was a project that stalled for almost a decade before it was completed.  Unfortunately, she wasn’t finished by someone who had a passion for her and therefore she struggled.  Once it did open it was no longer the tallest building in the city so the cache of that concept was lost.  But still, something about her casino in the sky that just sounds appealing.  Probably why it still exists for high rollers in properties like Encore.  Regardless, I never got to see the Landmark and therefore she will remain idealized to me, like she is in this picture shared by @summacorp, which is probably better than the actual memories I would have made.

News

Saturday, March 30, 2024

E-481: Thank You

 Random Vegas

Sammy Davis Jr was supposed to be in 3 major movies about Vegas. We all know he was in the original Ocean’s 11 but did you know he was supposed to be cast as Elvis’ sidekick in the movie Viva Las Vegas? But producers thought that much star power would distract from the story so he didn’t get the part. The third was Diamonds are Forever, a movie he actually played himself in but it got cut. It can now be seen as a part of the movie’s deleted scenes.

TwitPic of the week

What’s special about this picture, shared by @travis758, is what its missing…Treasure Island. Right down in front, still a huge parking lot on the strip. The next glaring omission is the strip as we know it south of Caesars today. Here we still see the Dunes and their massive golf course taking up real estate all the way down to where NYNY is today. It’s 1990 so we see Excalibur sitting down there with Hacienda, Tropicana and Marina all alone because it doesn’t yet have the company of the MGM Grand as we know it today. The Marina won’t transform into the MGM Grand for another 3 years away from being built. Speaking of Caesars, it looks quite diminutive next to the Mirage and the Flamingo expansion across the street. It would be another 8 years before they added the Palace Tower to better keep up with the mega resorts, a project that would inspire the retheming of the property to an architectural style more Greco roman. Lastly, you can see the Sands and Holiday Casino across the street from Mirage, showing just what smaller properties were competing against.

News

Saturday, March 23, 2024

E-480: Crescendoed

 Random Vegas 

Vegas has been attempting to go smoke free since the early 90s.  The first casino to ban cigarette smoking was at Silver City Casino in 1991. 

Vegas Pic of the week 

It was the original mega sign.  Not quite a super pylon but big enough that it was a statement piece.  The champaign tower at Flamingo, shared by @_GrandPaD, stood as a beacon for the property for years while she was a low-rise building.  The cylindrical structure lit up at night with glowing bubbles that cresecendoed into the revolving name of the property at the top.  Sadly it was removed by Kirk Kerkorian who decided to push the property closer to the road to pull in more foot traffic.  It was replaced in 1968 with the iconic super pylon known as the Flamingo plumb signage. 

News

Friday, March 15, 2024

E-479: Let Me Save You

 Random Vegas

The office of Sam “Ace” Rothstein and the Tangiers sports book in Martin Scorsese’s Casino was filmed on the site of an unopened casino at the Jockey Club (Vintagelasvegas.com)


Vegas Pic of the week

This is a photo I didn’t even know existed and it blew my mind when I found it, like I’m sure it’s going to blow yours.  It’s a picture of the Dunes, mid-evolution from a motel to a high rise.  I found it at vintagelasvegas.com.  Here we still see all the original fa├žade with the Diamond of the Dunes behind it under construction.  It wouldn’t be much longer before the sultan was relocated to the golf course, just off the freeway.  That is until he caught fire due to an electrical short or something, I can’t remember.  I’m just psyched that this picture exits and I can share it with all of you.  Also, it’s not lost on me that this picture isn’t breathtaking it’s just a moment in time I’m grateful we have.


News


Friday, March 8, 2024

E-478: Microscope Scrotum Analysis

 Random Vegas

Many of YESCO’s contracts for the signs it manufactured were lease agreements that included service contracts for the life of the lease.  When the lessee eventually removed the sign, the contract stipulated that it be returned to YESCO which either recycled the signs parts or retired the sign to a designated boneyard lot at the outskirts of Las Vegas (Spectacular – A History of Las Vegas Neon)


Vegas Pic of the week

This week’s winner from VintageLasVegas.com is another snapshot in time of Vegas under development.  Specifically, the Mint and Lucky Casino.  The date is April 18th, 1963 and the Mint tower has broken ground behind the casino at the bottom of the picture.  Right across the street, in between the Golden Nugget and Nevada Club, Lucky Casino is installing their record-breaking marquee frontage that will reach 160 feet tall once complete.  It would only have the crown of tallest sign in the city for a year before the Dune’s 180-foot Super Pylon was built on the strip.


News


Friday, March 1, 2024

E-477: Incestious

Random Vegas

In the late 1940s, the state of Nevada’s slogan was “If you can’t do it at home, come to Nevada”. (Spectacular – A History of Las Vegas Neon)

Twitpic of the week

Icons, paired together in a beautiful union.  The Sands cylindrical hotel tower, the classic, original, Sands egg crate marquee with the name Frank Sinatra on it as the headliner in the Copa Room.  For a time, it didn’t get any more iconic than these brands together.  @Summacorp shared a lovely photo of this moment in time, specifically Nov of 1966, just after Caesars Palace opened

News

Saturday, February 24, 2024

E-476: Personal Notes

 Random Vegas

In 2003, Las Vegas tried to buy a commercial slot during the Super Bowl to promote tourism to the city.  The NFL stepped in, citing a contract that allowed it to reject any ad related to sports betting, even though the spot didn’t include any overt references to gambling (Forbes)

Twitpic of the week

It’s amazing to think that today, this is all Circa.  The Las Vegas Club, Golden Goose, Glitter Gulch and Sassy Sally, shared by @_GrandPaD, gone.  Granted Sassy Sally was Mermaid’s at the time of her demise but that’s beside the point.  The point is look how much things change in Vegas, all the time.  On a side note, this is the best picture I’ve seen showing that Vegas Vickie and Sassy Sally are not the same thing.  The typical POV shot of Sally’s and this area makes it almost look like Vickie is sitting on top of the Sassy Sally sign, hence the misconception that Vickie used to be Sally.

News

Saturday, February 10, 2024

E-475: Boo Cancer

 Random Vegas

Built in 1982, the 2-story building that was the Oasis Casino @Dunes was supposed to be comprised of two components, a casino on the 1st floor and a restaurant on the 2nd floor.  The restaurant never opened and the space remained unused until its destruction in 1993 (vintagelasvegas.com)
Twitpic of the week
Here is another @summacorp picture that mesmerizes me with all the history going on.  For example, we know that this is 1968 because they are working on the fountains in front of the new Circus Circus casino. You’ll notice that fountain 5 is being deconstructed.  That’s because they are moving the carousel marquee from the left of the fountains to that location on the right; all so they can make room to build Slots-A-Fun. Next door to that is Westward Ho still 3 years away from adding a casino in 1971.  And next to that is the mammoth Stardust 1,000 motel units all lined up neatly like an OCD dream come true.  If you look to the top left you’ll see both the Stardust casino and the 12-story expansion tower from 1964.  And across the street from it all we have the Riviera with her classic marquee. It’s truly remarkable to think about how much land they needed back in the 50s through to the 70s and even 80s in some cases.  Its no wonder why they all sold for the right price.
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