Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Las Vegas will never be the same.
Friday, February 23, 2007
The official done-deal word of the closing of The Barbary Coast has not been announced yet. I would not bet against it though. Before the end of this month, the much loved Las Vegas Hotel And Casino, The Barbary Coast, will close for several days. When it reopens, it will be named Bill's Gamblin Hall and Saloon.
1-Good parking and road access. Never feeling "stuck" inside a garage.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
- They are preparing to commence construction of Echelon Place in the second quarter 2007.
- They expect to open Echelon Place in the third quarter 2010.
- Echelon Place will have five unique hotels
- The property is designed in such a way that although a large property, vehicle and walking access will be easy.
- There will be seven vehicle arrival points.
- Approximately 9000 parking spaces.
- Approximately 5000 rooms (cumulative from all five hotels).
- 140,000 sq foot casino.
- The pool and recreation area will have multiple levels.
There will also be the expected range of theaters, convention space, restaurants, clubs, and retail space.
As well Boyd is making use of their land in such a way that they will be able to add to the planned construction if and when they so desire, without interrupting their initial construction phase.
As sorry as I was to see The Stardust go, I am very pleased with what Boyd has planned for this site. My expectation now is that they will create a place that may well be the finest on The Las Vegas Strip.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
The Chinese New Year (Year Of The Pig) is being recognized at The Venetian.
On the former site of The Sands, The Venetian has a magnificent outdoor area. Here you can see red banners celebrating The Year Of The Pig.
They style of The Venetian is to not just put up ads or signs, but rather to make their message be art. In this way their property is made beautiful, without a sense of being cheapened for commercial purposes.
A fine example of this is the Phantom Of The Opera art/advertisement which adorned their tower. Art does not have to be limited to a rectangle on a wall, and someone at Venetian knows that and practices that very well.
The official website of The Venetian is:
The Stardust closed at noon on Wednesday 1 November 2006. That night, the wood wall which now surrounds the property, was not yet up. Instead, the closed property was approachable in some areas, and blocked off with yellow construction horses in others. The main driveways on the Las Vegas Boulevard side, were blocked off with orange construction blockades.
All of the lights were still on, and blinking. The gaming machines inside were still lit up, though the slot screens had the ominous OUT OF SERVICE message on them. Music played on the outdoor speakers, just as always. The fountains which for many years had shot small streams of water from one fountain to another were turned off.
For some reason, no one was there (no passersby); at least not for many minutes at a time. Standing there that night was an incredible experience. I had been photographing The Stardust for a while - somewhat intensely. Earlier that day I had marched out of The Stardust, in the exiting conga line. Now almost 12 hours later, the place was pretty much the same in appearance, except that it was closed, and I could not go inside.
If I recall correctly, I was cold that night, and I definitely was tired and wanted to go home, but I needed to take a few photos of a place which seemed to be frozen in time. Out of the entire population of the planet, for a few minutes, I was the only person standing on Las Vegas Boulevard by the main entrance area of The Stardust. I don't think that I was paying my respects. Maybe the experience was just a side effect of being alone, in an area where one could never be alone. I mean, the parking spots were all vacant, no valet, no anyone. Yet the lights were blinking, and the music was playing. And I took pictures, alone, because that moment would not last forever.
[One photo shows the main entrance area, the other shows the north entrance to the keno lounge.]
Monday, February 19, 2007
Five Places To Visit In Las Vegas
Changes often occur unusually quickly in Las Vegas. When people visit Las Vegas for the first time, they often visit the major new places, and go back home. Some time later, those who become more interested in Las Vegas may develop a desire to visit places which existed on their first trip, but alas are no more. This is a very common experience. It has happened to me, and to many people with whom I have spoken.
Two things which are almost certain about a first trip to Las Vegas are:
1-You will not have enough time.
2-Everything will appear closer than it is.
This leads to comments such as:
a) We didn't get to...(insert name of place not visited)
b)I am tired of walking
I can not imagine someone visiting Las Vegas who would not want to check out the New York New York Hotel. It is an incredible place inside and out, and must be visited. However, let me also point out that there are places which may well not be here the next time you come. And if you wind up being interested in Las Vegas enough to come and visit a second time, then you undoubtedly will have some thoughts of places which you had the opportunity to visit, but not sense enough to visit.
This is very easy to understand. The new places, The Venetian, New York New York, and others, are all so obviously incredible, that a smaller older place such as The New Frontier (which is not very new) does not compete well for a newcomers attention. In order that you may one day not wish that you could go back in time, here is a list of places which may or may not be at risk of being due for a "significant change."
1-The Stardust - The Legendary Stardust closed on 1 November 2006. The ground level buildings have almost all been razed. As I write this, the sign is being taken down. Both hotel buildings have been gutted, and windows removed. It is a skeleton, and is scheduled to be imploded at 0200 on 12 March 2007.
There are major, new places nearby. As wonderful as they may be in their own right, it is quite possible that all that some of the new places will ever be, will never reach the level of all that The Stardust has ever been. Do not miss taking a look at this legend. What is left of it will disappear very soon, and if you are reading this after 12 March 2007, I suppose that it is gone.
2-The New Frontier. Not that you would confuse it with a different Frontier. This is a rather old place on The Strip. The sign might be the oldest on The Strip. It is next to The Stardust, so you can certainly visit both at the same time. There have been several rumors of The New Frontier closing. It stands to reason that sooner or later a small place like this will seek to make something larger on their valuable property.
3-The Riviera. No news here, but it is an older place, and is probably worth a visit.
4-The Las Vegas Hilton. This is the Star Trek themed casino (it is very well done). They have The Star Trek Experience which you must see to believe. As this Las Vegas hotel is off The Strip many people do not make it there. Recently I have heard a rumor that the site may be redeveloped in a year or two. The Las Vegas Hilton is a long block away from The Riviera (up the block from the main entrance of Circus Circus).
5-Circus Circus. I have heard nothing about Circus Circus closing - but it is an older place (with new parts as well) and it would be unfortunate to visit Las Vegas and not experience Circus Circus. It is a true original oddity, and worth a visit.
Las Vegas, Nevada - The NBA All Star Game is over, but Las Vegas still has many remnants of the event, in the form of building advertising.
Here is a shot of the MGM Grand with it's NBA All Star themed Adidas ad. As well, the lion at the MGM grand wore a West basketball jersey, and the Statue Of Liberty at New York New York wore an East jersey.
I will put photos of those up soon.
There is an interesting-enough-to-read article about the game at:
Sunday, February 18, 2007
GroundBreaking Las Vegas Singer, Musician, Entertainer
Mary Kaye sang and played guitar at well known places such as The Sahara, The Tropicana, and the old Last Frontier.
The Mary Kaye Trio was revolutionary in bringing later night, and very early morning performances to the Las Vegas lounge scene. Casinos which at the time had crowds thin out early, remained more lively and packed through the night as a result of this entertainment change - 24 hour Las Vegas.
Thank you and farewell.
For more information on this breaking news item, you may wish to go to:
The NBA and their fans are in Las Vegas this weekend for the All-Star game. Adidas is advertising heavily on taxis as well as entire sides of buildings. And the Klondike hotel which closed in June 2006 has taken life again (sort of) as a parking lot for vehicles with NBA permits.
The Klondike Hotel is just past the Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas sign, and has been closed for about 8 months. Since closing, it has mostly sat dark and fenced in.
The fence has been opened again this weekend so that the parking lot can be used for "NBA Authorized Access - Permit Required."
An odd sort of honor for The Klondike, as it sits long closed, and awaiting it's eventual and apparently delayed destruction.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
On the big sign, Steve lawrence and Eydie Gorme were billed for closing out the main Stardust showroom; the one which had been called The Wayne Newton Theater, until Wayne left some time ago.
In the news, stories were run about how Lawrence and Gorme had the honor of closing out The Stardust. Indeed they performed there on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and then the Theater went dark.
But that Thursday, Friday and Saturday, was October 26th, 27th, and 28th. The final night of The Stardust was Halloween 31 October 2006. And on that night, and into the early hours of Wednesday 1 November 2006 a band called WonderBoogie played in The Stardust's Starlight Lounge.
Lawrence and Gorme closed out the Theater, but Wonderboogie got us all through the last night.
I will be posting about that last night, and Wonderboogie in forthcoming posts.
As seen on Friday night 16 February 2007
It used to say STARDUST at the top of the building, and I suppose that in a way it still does; that is, one can still see where the letters were. Unlike The Castaways Hotel, the letters here, will not ride down with the building at implosion time.
Since the letters are gone, I figured the color may as well be gone too - so this is in black and white.
This shot reminds me of the movie Duel (Steven Spielberg 1971). It is the main entrance of The Stardust.
The area was dark and the shot was taken at 1/6 sec handheld. (1/8 was just too fast.)
The [STARDUST] sign at the top of the building is gone. The main doors can still be seen, though the roof which shielded the main door area is gone.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007