Thursday, May 31, 2007

Las Vegas - Stardust Relic

Short on time today. Here is a shot looking past the remains of the Stardust sign. This was the main entrance, the main driveway, but now without the building in the way, Palace Station can be seen in the distance. The absence of The Stardust has also liberated the Rio and the Palms, to be seen; at least until construction of Echelon Place once again limits the view.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Sahara - A VW MiniBus - Broken Sunglasses - 100 Degrees

I bought a pair of IronMan sunglasses last week. The left arm broke off in less than 7 days when I touched them gently. Sunglasses are important in Las Vegas. It gets very bright, and I feel cooler, when it seems darker, even if it is a hundred or a hundred fifteen degrees. (By the way, we are now reaching 100 degrees F as the daily high. The television news says it is only 99, that we haven't reached 100 yet. So I am to be credited with breaking this news flash...we have already hit 100, and the TV news specialists can go back to sleep until next year.)

You would think that the official IronMan sunglasses would last more than a week. Not in Las Vegas. Not when the arms are plastic without any metal center as a bone. The plastic got weak in the heat, and now I wear my IronMan sunglasses with only a right arm.

I have been trying to find a suitable replacement, (actually an upgrade), but everyone is selling garbage this year. Foster Grant is making their regular sunglass line with FG written largely on the arms. From IronMan to FG. What is wrong with them?

I went to the RIO, just to hang out. Upstairs I walked past a few stores selling "Las Vegas Style Sunglasses." The deal was buy two pairs at $10 each, and get a third pair free.

The Rio is a wonderful place, and I really enjoyed the Masquerade show, as I always do; but don't expect to buy good sunglasses there. I don't even understand what they meant by Las Vegas Style Sunglasses. They looked like crap to me.

A few years ago, I heard a story from some friends in New York. They went to Arizona, and saw a place which had a sign advertising New York Style Potato Knishes. They were served a bagel, sliced in half, with mashed potatoes dumped in it from an ice cream scooper.

The guy behind the counter assured them that that was a New York style knish. My friends screamed that they were from New York, and threw the mashed potato bagels against the wall, and walked out.

IronMan Sunglasses?

Las Vegas Style Sunglasses?

New York Style Knishes?

The labels don't mean anything. It's marketing without any substance. It's a claim without any validity. It's garbage!

I went into the Sahara a day or two ago. Just inside their north entrance on Las Vegas Boulevard, there is an old VW bus. It is done up with 60s designs, PEACE etc. It was not clear to me why the bus was there, but I am honestly not sure why I was there either.

A little while ago I visited the Sahara website, and I saw something about a 60s Party Pit. I clicked to find out about it, but the link never came through.

Even if the Sahara had a very clear sign on the bus explaining why it was there, I am not sure that I would believe it. Labels have not been good to me this week.

If I had more time, I would make up a story about how the VW bus is how the Sahara will be picking up their high rollers. But I do not have any more time, and I do not know why the bus is there.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Las Vegas - Sahara - Bonanza

Another look at the changing area of Sahara and Las Vegas Boulevard.

To the left is a new residential building. It is still dark, but will be open soon. On the right side of the photo is The Stratosphere, which opened in 1996. Down where the arrows are pointing is the Bonanza souvenir shop. In the post below this one, I present the concern that the valuable real estate of Bonanza might lead to it's closing.

This intersection will change significantly.

The empty lot at the bottom of the accompanying photo was where the ORIGINAL El Rancho was located. It burned down on 17 June 1960. The site has been cleared, but nothing has been built on that location since the fire.

It would be nice if a Las Vegas nostalgia park would be built there. Nice but not lucrative. Speculation of a hotel opening at that location has circulated recently.

Bonanza - World's Largest Gift Shop

On the northwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara is the most famous gift and souvenir shop in Las Vegas...


It is diagonally across from the Sahara Hotel, and two or three blocks from The Stratosphere. Most souvenir shops in Las Vegas compete on price, but Bonanza competes by being the largest.

Bonanza, much like the Gamblers General Store is an attraction in itself. But how much longer will it last?

While I have not heard any news concerning Bonanza specifically, the real estate itself has got to be worth a few hundred million.

The entire area is being developed and redeveloped with tall buildings; many of them are upper end condominium towers. This particular intersection (Sahara and The Strip) is particularly ready for redevelopment.

Much of the property of Bonanza is a parking lot. It strikes me as similar to The Frontier which had much of its land in the form of ground level parking. Land which recently sold for 33 million dollars an acre.

I would be very surprised if no one was right now actively trying to buy the land on which the World's Largest Gift Shop sits.

Las Vegas - Answer and Question


The Riviera, and the Deuce Bus.

Where am I unlikely to be found any time soon?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Not The Las Vegas Sign

This is not the Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada sign. At least it is not the one which everyone goes to on Las Vegas Boulevard.

This sign is on Boulder Highway, near Tropicana. It is not as large as the famous sign. I've never seen anyone standing at this one to have their picture taken.

Silver Nugget - Tito Flores

Two debuts herein for the RoyVegas blog.

1-Tito Flores

2-The Silver Nugget

I don't know much about either, but I was there to take these pictures and that has got to count for something.

According to the sign,

Tito Flores and an orchestra will be performing at The Silver Nugget tonight, Saturday 26 May 2007. Doors open at 8pm.

The Silver Nugget is located far north of where most tourists venture. If you are going to go there, (or anywhere in North Las Vegas) have a car. It is a different world than The Strip and Fremont Street.

If you want to locate it on a map, plug in:

2140 Las Vegas Boulevard North
North Las Vegas 89030

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Romantics - Sunset Station Tonight

The Romantics are scheduled to perform at Sunset Station tonight, in the intimate Club Madrid. Tickets are very reasonable. Sunset is in Henderson, about 7 miles from McCarran Airport. I wouldn't fly in just for The Romantics - just giving a geographic landmark. Sunset Station is a good, clean, well managed place, and has some good resturants.

StripBurger - Opening June 2007 - Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

StripBurger will open June 2007.

"Burgers, Shakes & Cakes"

Location: SouthWest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Fashion Show Drive. This intersection has:

1-The Fashion Show Mall


3-Frontier (less than two months left)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Las Vegas - Lana Whats?

When the sign is seen from a distance, it looks like it says something else.

What it says is - and what it is is a fashion shop.

It is located on Las Vegas Boulevard, two or three blocks north of The Stratosphere Hotel.

At the top left of the photo you can see the edge of the Stratosphere tower, so that gives you an idea of where Lana Fuchs fashion shop is located.

I do not know what the hours of the shop are, and would suggest calling ahead if you plan to visit. The area is slightly creepy depending on the time of day, so bring your boyfriend, or me.

(I am like kryptonite to creeps!)

North Las Vegas - Welcome Indeed !!!

Few tourists venture to North Las Vegas. I rarely venture there myself. It is not too far from familiar places though - in distance. In some ways however, North Las Vegas is very far away.

To put the distance in perspective. If you were to take Main Street from The Stratosphere Hotel to the area of Fremont Street (Main Street Station Hotel area etc.), and then continue on Main Street for the same distance again, you would then be greeted by North Las Vegas.

What does one see when arriving in North Las Vegas?

One sees a Welcome To North Las Vegas sign overhead; (at Owens).

And to the forward left there is a shopping cart encampment by a bus stop.

Welcome to North Las Vegas? Indeed!

Las Vegas - Project City Center - Glass

Las Vegas, Nevada

Project City Center

A look at Project City Center which has begun installing glass in at least one of their buildings. Its an interesting development as seeing the glass provides a greater picture of what is being constructed.

Project City Center is located on Las Vegas Boulevard (actually between Las Vegas Boulevard and Industrial) north of Monte Carlo and south of Bellagio.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Las Vegas - Your Last Chance

The thing which is unfortunate about the progress of Las Vegas, is the significant eradication of anything old. For those who visited Las Vegas over the last 15 years, they to varying degrees were able to see a mix of old and new on The Las Vegas Strip.

In early 1996 it was possible to visit The Mirage, even the Stratosphere when it opened in April 1996, and also visit The Sands.

Also at that time, The Luxor could be visited, but right next door the Hacienda. Not as famous as The Sands, but still a smaller, older place which has since been replaced by Mandalay Bay.

Some of these new places might be much better than some of the older places. More comfortable. More exciting. More incredible. Yet there was for a certain period of time the very unique mix of old and new on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Now though, it is a much more lopsided mix. Much more new, much less old. And so I suppose the period of old and new is not over, but pretty close to it.

Much like there was a time when horse and buggies shared the streets with automobiles, there was a time when nostalgia still lived as open businesses alongside the newer hotels in Las Vegas.

There are still other old areas of Las Vegas, but for the purpose of this article I am limiting my thoughts to The Strip, which I belive is the most well known and visited part of Las Vegas.

Here accompanying these thoughts is a photo taken before the implosion of The Stardust. I have numbered several items.

1-Encore (under construction and part of Wynn).

2-Stardust (since imploded).

3-The Frontier (closes in less than two months).

4-Trump (opens in February 2008).

The old is going, and if you visit Las Vegas, you must pay attention to it, because it is your last chance.

Las Vegas - Palazzo Progress Comparison

Palazzo, which is next to The Venetian, and across Las Vegas Boulevard from Treasure Island is scheduled to open late this year. Here I present to you a comparison of how the site looked in early 2005, and how it looked last week. The shot is from roughly the same location, with my back to Wynn.

When the early shot was taken, Wynn was still 3 or 4 months from opening. Now it has been open for two years. As well, when the early shot was taken, this intersection was still crossed be pedestrians, at street level. Since then, the escalator crossovers have been opened, and there is no more crossing at street level.

Las Vegas - Rio Daylight Comparison

After putting up the last post showing the Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel with the temporary nad partial neon oddity, I thought that I ought to also present a similar shot from daylight for those who are not as familiar with how the place looks.

In the event that you do plan to visit Las Vegas, may I suggest that you plan to attend the free Masquerade In The Sky show at the Rio, which takes place several times throughout the afternoon and early evening.

Las Vegas - Rio Neon Oddity

On the night of Friday 18 May 2007 it was observed that The RIO was only partially lit. The larger of the two buildings only had some of it's neon lit for some time in the early night, though later it was seen to be on completely. This reporter is not aware of the reason for this lighting oddity.

By the way, I believe that I ought to mention here that I believe The Rio in Las Vegas to be one of the hottest places, a must visit.

Las Vegas - Mirage - For Your Convenience

For those who are not in Las Vegas this weekend, but would like to be, a simple sign from a room at The Mirage.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Las Vegas - Fantasy Changes (Part 3)

...continued from earlier...

7-Run the monorail down the center of Las Vegas Boulevard, but use larger better trains. For pure fantasy purposes a subway would be very cool; there could be a New York New York station.

8-There used to be a cheap luggage and souvenir store somewhere near the Sands (near where the Venetian is now). Does anyone remember this? Luggage - suitcases stacked up out on the street in front of the shop. Bring it back. I like luggage. Luggage is good.

9-Build a Rio Rocket. A neon lit supertrain that shuttles from Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo, straight to the Rio.

Las Vegas - El Rancho Sign Is Gone

I keep forgetting to post this.

Even though the place is gone, the El Rancho sign has remained for quite a while. It had been covered with ads for Turnberry most recently. Those ads came down in a windstorm, and for many months the old El Rancho sign was visible again, across the street and a little north of Circus Circus.

About 2 weeks ago the El Rancho sign was taken down. No big fanfare like with The Stardust sign. Still though, it was a relic of sorts, and an indication of where something was. The sign was nostalgia.

I have much better photos of the EL Rancho sign, but I wanted to get this post up fast while I was thinking about it again; and this was the first photo I found.

As with my recent comments about The Frontier. And certainly my Stardust final days series, this sign makes a point.

Stuff (buildings, signs, stores, hang outs) disappear in Las Vegas. You have got to see it while you can.

Las Vegas - Fantasy Changes (Part 2)

This is part 2.

If you missed part 1 you can scroll down a few posts and find it.

I will now continue where I left off.

4-Get rid of the CVS drugstore next to the Monte Carlo, and bring back the gas station which used to be there. The one which had the sign Free Aspirin And Tender Sympathy. That is classic Las Vegas.

5-Bring back the Las Vegas Helicopter heliport on The Strip at Harmon, across from The Aladdin (now Planet Hollywood).

6-Bring back the Sands. Maybe put it right back where it was. What to do then with the Venetian? I don't know. I'm not sure. Maybe it could just wait. Or perhaps it could find a spot somewhere near the Hawaiian Marketplace.

To be continued...

Las Vegas - Stardust From The Frontier

Remember when you could see The Stardust from The Frontier?

59 days left to visit The Frontier. It's not a great place compared to the new stuff. Doesn't matter. Go there. Visit for one hour. Check out the Sigma Derby relic. Take photographs. Then go on about your weekend visiting the much more cool and current spots. By doing it like this, you will not regret the inability to go back in time and see what it was like.

Have you seen the movie Bachelor Party Vegas? At the beginning they present a fast trip on The Strip. You can see The Frontier, and across the street, a Standard gas station, where Wynn now stands.

It was a different place then, and The Frontier is a relic. If you come to Las Vegas while The Frontier is still open (less than 2 months left) you really must visit, if only for a walk through and few photos.

Las Vegas - Fantasy Changes (part 1)

I was thinking about how Palazzo will be, (as Cosmo Kramer might say) architecturally incorrect. It faces north instead of south. With exceptions of varying degrees, The Strip seems to be cumulatively designed for a person to see if they were travelling in a car from the famous WELCOME sign near Mandalay Bay, to the Stratosphere. Palazzo though seems like it will be passed and looked back at over ones right shoulder.

This led to my speculating on some changes or what ifs. Here then, is a partial list of Las Vegas Fantasy Changes.

1-Reopen the Klondike. As long as you are going to drive past it, it may as well be lit up. And anyway, it was a good spot to park your car when going to visit the Welcome sign in the middle of The Strip.

2-Switch the locations of Excalibur and the MGM Grand. The Coca Cola place, M&M world, and Excalibur belong together. And with the MGM Grand as part of the triad of Luxor and Mandalay Bay, it could be a very hot nightclub corridor.

3-Bring back the Boardwalk because I don't think that Steve Wynn should be the only clown on The Strip.

To be continued...

Welcome To Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada
Friday 18 May 2007

It just turned Friday a few minutes ago. In Los Angeles, people will leave work early to make the drive. In New York, people took the day off in order to arrive at the airport a few hours early to catch an 11am or 2pm flight. The temperature will be at or near 100 F in the sunlight, and the night wil be among the most beautiful.

Welcome to Las Vegas. Have one of the greatest weekends of your life!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Las Vegas - Encore - Dramatic

First there was Wynn. Now there is Encore (under construction, just north of the main Wynn building).

My photo progam says that the black and white edit is "dramatic."

I present the original (merely reduced in size), and the black and white dramatic, for your enjoyment.
It is very possible that the dramatic edit, is more appreciable by being displayed along with the correct, real life colors.
This is the view from standing on Las Vegas Boulevard in front of The Frontier which is closing in 59 days.

Las Vegas - Project City Center - Brighter

That last shot was rather dark. So here is one of Project City Center lightened up a bit. Again, this is from the Industrial side (not The Strip side). To the distant left can be seen Paris on The Strip.
- - Taking you places and giving perspectives the mainstream media doesn't care about...because they do not care about anything anyway.

Las Vegas - Project City Center At Dusk - Security Man

There wasn't going to be a post until much later, but unexpected events have provided this moment of opportunity to make a short post.

Here we see a view of the progress of Project City Center at dusk, as seen from Industrial. (The more commonly viewed perspective is from Las Vegas Boulevard.

Congratulations security man, you have made it into the world famous

Wednesday, May 16, 2007



Frontier Closing in 60 Days

Last chance to visit The Frontier (The New Frontier). It has been announced that The Frontier will close in 60 days (mid July 2007).

Their website is

But only visit them, after you bookmark this blog. Okay?
Palazzo photos group b - below. Group C forthcoming.

Las Vegas - Palazzo Progress (Group B)

Here, my dear reader, I present without much fanfare or brilliant writing, Group B of my Palazzo Progress photo series.

There will be a group C, on Thursday hopefully.

By now I suppose that many of you have heard of The Frontier's imminent closing. Apparently it is true this time. The Frontier is set to close in 60 days (the middle of July 2007).

The Frontier is located across the street from Wynn. If you visit Las Vegas in the next two months, do not miss the opportunity to visit this historic and last small place on The Strip.

Las Vegas Progress - Encore, Wynn, Palazzo, And A Lush

Here is an interesting shot I took of [from left to right] Encore, Wynn, and Palazzo. Before taking this photo I was disrupted by a local lush who stumbled along from Las Vegas Boulevard, apparently heading to the area of Industrial. He wanted to ramble about something that was in his head, some nonsense. I curtly explained I was busy - because I must get these shots out to you dear reader - and the stumblebum continued talking to the air as he walked into the darkness which is the west running road between the former Stardust and the soon to be former Frontier.

Another batch of Palazzo progress from closer up is forthcoming. I wanted to get this wider perspective shot out at this time.

Behind me as I took this photo, is the site of the former (imploded March 2007) Stardust. It will become Echelon Place.

In March 2007, a week before The Stardust was imploded, there was a 9 story garage which was imploded on the property owned by Wynn. That garage was located on the left side of the building (Encore) which you see on the left side of the accompanying photo.

Wynn, the middle of ths 3 buildings shown has recently passed it's 2 year anniversary of bring open.

Palazzo, which is sort of an extension of The Venetian is under construction, and is the buildign on the right side.

Not shown in this photo, but actually to my immediate right, is The Frontier. (Does anyone really call it The New Frontier anymore?) The Frontier is in the news again with rumors of it being closed imminently.

And as well I ought to mention that also out of view in this photo, but also to my immediate right, is Trump's first Las Vegas Tower, which is scheduled to open in February 2008.

This particular area of The Strip has many construction projects going on right now. If you do visit Las Vegas soon, and The Frontier is open, VISIT IT. It is unlikely that it will be open the next time you come to Las Vegas. While it is not an incredible place, it is an old and historic place, and the clock is ticking.

I will continue my series on the progress of Palazzo, and as well the rest of the progress of this rapidly changing area.

The temperature in Las Vegas is very near or at 100 degrees F. The sky is blue. New neighbors are moving in where I live, and I hope that they are bright enough to not take my assigned parking spot when I go off to take more photos for this very important blog. A blog which is certainly better than the crap you can buy from the drugstore newsrack.
Next post: Palazzo progress continued.

Las Vegas - Palazzo - (Group A)

You can't have a good sandwich without good cold cuts, and I am just not happy with my most recent sandwich. However that should not prevent me from publishing this batch of photos which is a glimpse of the present state of Palazzo (under construction).

This group of 5 photos will be followed by another group or two later today or tomorrow.

Palazzo is being built across the street (across Las Vegas Boulevard) from Treasure Island.

For some reason, I've met a lot of people who are unsure of the location of The Venetian, but they usually do know the location of Treasure Island. Because of this phenomenon, I refer to Palazzo as being across from Treasure Island, instead of next to The Venetian; which would seem to me to be the more reasonable way of describing it's location, but alas there is no reason in a world which makes sandwiches inconsistently.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Las Vegas - Palazzo - a glimpse

This is Palazzo (under construction) as it looked last night. In the background can be seen Wynn. Palazzo is said to be opening this fall.

More photos of Palazzo will be posted in this blog over the next 24 hours.

But first, I must obtain a sandwich.

Las Vegas - Trump Tower - Renter Dilemma

Not on Las Vegas Boulevard, but close enough, Trump's first Las Vegas tower is near external completion. This shot is looking west (toward Industrial). At the right The Frontier hangs on.

Once Trump's building opens, this street which has always been a nice shortcut to eject from traffic and escape via alternate roads, will perhaps become too well known and busy to serve as a traffic escape route.

I read an article recently which mentioned that condo owners in Trumps building will be allowed to rent out their Trump condos when they are not occupying them. I don't care to consider it from a legal perspective, which I suppose is proper. But if I was a full time condo owner and resident in such a building, I would not be comfortable about such a rent out scenario.

While I recognize that the renting out of condos is common, the particular dynamics of life in a major building which is located in a tourist destination could be a concern. In particular I wonder what percentage of dwellings will be occupied by owner residents, and what percentage will be occupied by transients (albeit with enough money to rent).
I expect hotels to be occupied by a constantly changing populace (at least it is somewhat managed from a central point). The emerging trend of of mixed condo and hotel buildings (combined with the condo rent out issue) seems to be interesting for renters, and individuals who wish to make money by renting out.

Las Vegas - The Mystery Button

Unlike old overcrowded cities, Las Vegas tends to fully erase all traces of old buildings and streets. We don't have abandoned subway stations, or othe such modern relics. For the moment however, Las Vegas does have a mystery button.

At the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard (The Strip) and Spring Mountain Road there remains several buttons for pedestrians to press in order to effect the crosswalk traffic lights. This despite the crosswalk having been removed some time ago, when the elevator and escalator crossovers were opened.

This is a rather busy intersection, and was always dangerous for pedestrians to cross. The four corners contain The Fashion Show Mall, Treasure Island, Palazzo (under construction), and Wynn. Fences are up to ensure pedestrians remain on the sidewalk, and use the crossover to cross the intersection.

Nonetheless, the street crossing buttons remain from when this intersection was crossed on ground level.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Las Vegas - Project City Center Across The Street

How much longer?

How much longer will the few small things left on The Strip remain?

I can not argue that the small places are that important; anymore, anyway. But I always did like the way they divided up the content of The Strip.

It is almost all gone.

The gas station which had the sign offering free aspirin and tender sympathy is the CVS drugstore near the Monte Carlo.

Fantasia which was across from The Algiers is gone. The Algiers is gone too.

So is the wedding chapel which was just a little south of The Algiers (the Circus Circus - Riviera intersection).

The helicopter landing pad which was across from The Aladdin is now part of the Project City Center construction site. It was always cool to see the helicopter land and take off from a Strip location. It added excitement.

People walking along The Strip could without a reservation walk up and plunk down $49 to take a short helicopter ride to a little past the Stratosphere and back.

Although the helicopter rides are still available at a different location (airport), it was special to walk past it in the course of going from, say, The Monte Carlo to Bellagio.


Wet N Wild is gone.

So when I see the small shops across from Project City Center (under construction) I wonder how much longer they will last.