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.

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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. 

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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.


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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.


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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

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