Saturday, April 28, 2007

Las Vegas - Wynn - 2 Years Old Today

This is what was on the Wynn sign board two years ago today; opening day. No more Avenue Q.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Wynn Las Vegas - Opened 2 Years Ago Tonight

A lot of what I present in this blog are side issues, or side items. Sometimes non-items (such as my night at The Riviera).
Everyone reports the obvious, (such as The Stardust was imploded). While I did cover that, I also covered the dust storm which followed.
So, like The West Wing, which presented the five minutes before and after The President "goes on" this blog often covers the less seen moments. I am usually not interested in presenting postcard perfect shots of the main view of (insert name of hotel). I have them, but so does everyone else.
This preamble brings me to the accompanying photo which is of people waiting on line a few hours before Wynn opened in 2005. Tonight, this photo will be two years old, and so will Wynn.
As the Wynn garage was not open, people parked everywhere else nearby; (Stardust, Frontier, etc). There were two lines on Las Vegas Boulevard. The south line extended to near where Palazzo is now; and the north line was out of sight. Across the street, crowds sat on the steps of The Fashion Show Mall.
The event of the opening was hyped a lot, but ultimately it was just an opening. At midnight the Wynn sign counted down, and when it reached 1, it said "we're open."
We're open?
Sort of like having thousands of people pay to watch a sold out boxing match on closed-circuit in an arena's annex, and then wheeling out a 13 inch black and white. Can you see okay in the back row?
The lines moved very slowly. I waited across the street for almost two hours, until the line was small enough that I crossed LVB and minutes later entered Wynn for the first time. It was beautiful and clean and new. But not magical. I don't know what I was expecting. I was open to surprises, but none were there.
The hype in the lead-up to the opening was so strong that anything would have been appreciated. Maybe even just a cheap pen that said Wynn Grand Opening. Or an informative brochure from one of the beautiful greeters. After waiting as long as some people did to get in, I'm sure an oreo would have been appreciated.

Most places were closed. We could walk around, and see the closed places, but really only the gaming was going on.

A lot of people like Wynn. And I do not doubt that the experience of staying there, or clubbing, or whatever, is very good. My comments here are limited to the actual opening event. It was a let down.
It was the reverse of what went on with The Stardust implosion. With the event of The Stardust implosion, we were undersold and overdelivered. With the event of the grand opening of Wynn, we were oversold and underdelivered.

The best I can say about the grand opening is that the event was incredibly hyped, the place was beautiful, yet most of it closed, and nothing special was done.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wynn - Almost 2nd Anniversary (And A List!!! ) !

The 2 year anniversary of the opening of Wynn occurs as Friday the 27th of April becomes Saturday the 28th. Wynn officially opened to the general public at the very start of Thursday 28 April 2005.
People lined up on Las Vegas Boulevard hours early, on the evening of Wednesday 27 April 2005 for the midnight opening.
Here is a shot from 2 days before Wynn opened.
At the time of this photo:

1-Wynn was not yet open.
2-Trump Las Vegas was not yet begun. [Now near complete.]
3-Trump sales office was still being built.
4-Stardust was still open. [Since imploded.]
5-Westward Ho was still open. [Since demolished.]
6-The Ho (Industrial addition) was still open. [Since demolished.]
7-Barbary was Barbary. [Sorry.]
8-Double decker buses were not yet on The Strip.
9-Boardwalk was still open. [Since imploded.]
10-Bourbon Street was still open. [Since imploded.]
11-Klondike (Strip location) was still open. [Closed but standing.]
And a lot of other stuff which I haven't the time to think of.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Las Vegas Boulevard - Bicycle

Something odd about seeing a bicycle in the middle lane of LVB.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

Queen Of Hearts Hotel - Las Vegas, Nevada

The Queen Of Hearts Hotel
I don't know much about The (defunct) Queen Of Hearts Hotel. It is a few blocks from The Plaza, but set back a little and goes unseen by most. I read that it is owned by the same entity which owns The (defunct) Nevada Hotel.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Las Vegas From Henderson

This photo, taken on Monday, shows a portion of The Strip as seen from the southeast in Henderson. From left to right:

1-The Venetian

2-Palazzo (still under construction)

3-Trump Tower (still under construction, but nearing completion)


Monday, April 9, 2007

Vegas Grand Prix - Opening Salvo

The first Vegas Grand Prix was on Sunday 8 April 2007. I attended, and took photos from various points along Main Street, between Bonneville and Carson.

(The intersection of Main Street and Carson is one block south of The Fremont Street Experience, across from The Plaza, and near the Golden Gate valet parking.)

No admission was required, though there were bleecher seats if one wanted to pay for a ticket. many people took advantage of the free Plaza rooftop garage party.

It was somewhat difficult to walk around due to fences, security borders, obstructions, etc. There are alleys behind the old buildings which are along Main Street. These alleys go behind some vacant old buildings such as the Queen Of Hearts Hotel. Normally it would not be a tourist friendly area, but many people were walking these alleys during the Grand Prix.

I thought that it was unacceptable that some sections of fence on Main Street were covered with dark material, which prevented a viewing of the race opposite a grand stand. The streets are public, and it is enough that the public accepts an inconvenience and disruption to facilitate the race. Making private, the ability to see the street from a particular point on a sidewalk is nonsense and completely wrong.

The sound of the cars passing was interesting to hear. Particularly there was a fascinating sound of distant engines as the cars left Main Street and the sound filtered through the Golden Nugget garage.

Here is my opening salvo of photos from the Vegas Grand Prix. For the record, the green car with yellow highlights (car #5) was driven by Will Power, and won the race.

The closeup I present here of car #5 was on Bonneville as the car turned left to go north on Main Street. (Photo was from one of the final laps, several minutes before the end of the race.)

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Race Day - Las Vegas Grand Prix

Today, Sunday 8 April 2007 is the Las Vegas Grand Prix. The main race will be at 1:00 p.m. (1300 hrs.) pacific time, and will last approximately 2 hours. It will be broadcast live on television in many areas.
The race will begin and end at a point which is away from anything familiar to tourists; on Grand Central Parkway, halfway between Ogden and Bonneville. For the many people in the area of The Fremont Street Experience, the end of the race will probably feel odd; they will feel as if they are at the center of attention (every drunk on Fremont Street feels this way) but the cars will simply stop driving by, and the end will be somewhere else.
In person though, the excitement will probably be the sound of the engines and the site of the cars racing by, rather than the race as a whole. What I mean to say is that for most people along the route of the race, certain elements of the race will be more exciting than the race itself.
People on the streets inside the circuit of the Las Vegas Grand Prix will be limited from crossing to the area outside of the race, (and vice versa). In effect it will be like a Las Vegas Grand Prix internment camp.
Something else noteworthy happens today, at least I think it will happen today. The return of the Las Vegas podcast Five Hundy By Midnight. Show # 113 is expected to be up some time today, and is bound to be particularly good as it will be a post trip show. The website is
For the Grand Prix check out:
That's it for today.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Las Vegas - The Sign On Grand Prix Weekend

Tomorrow, Sunday, is the main race of the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Downtown streets will be severely interrupted. Don't park in the confines of the race, if you will need to get out. The race will be (roughly) 1pm to 330 pm, and will be televised nationally - we will see how complete that saturation is.

The race is downtown, not at all near the Welcome sign on The Strip. This photo shows a wider view of the welcome sign, and that it is very common for people to walk up to it and take pictures.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Las Vegas Grand Prix Weekend...

...starts today, Friday 6 April 2007.

Today is Friday 6 April 2007

-Starting today, and going on every Friday for the next year, The Tropicana is going to have special Friday events to celebrate their 50th year. The Tropicana turned 50 on April 4th, I think.

-Today, tomorrow, and Sunday is the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix. It will take place downtown (Fremont Street etc) and the area will be a traffic jam.

-The Plaza, which is located on the west (Main Street end) of the Fremont Street Experience will allow anyone who wants to come, to attend a garage rooftop party and watch the race from there. They will have food from Memphis Championship Barbecue. From the rooftop of The Plaza garage, a significant portion of the course can be seen.

The Plaza looks nicer at night now that they light it up blue (I miss that from The Stardust).
Many streets in the area will be closed, including Main Street going past The Plaza.

It strikes me as very cool that as other nearby hotels have supposedly voiced stricter and more militant garage regulations for the time period of this event, The Plaza has found a way to be friendly and capitalize on the event and the inconveniences which go along with it.

The fastest speed predicted for the race is 190 miles per hour, and I have read that this is believed to occur on Bonneville Avenue.

This will be my only post today (Friday).

Good job Plaza!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Las Vegas Grand Prix - Neon And Wheels

The Las Vegas Grand Prix has events on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (April 6, 7, 8, 2007).

For my money, Fremont Street is blowing The Strip away for excitement, and a Las Vegas feel.

While The Strip has architecture, Fremont Street has neon. I am a little burned out on the covert contest being held on The Strip - the contest to bore me to death with tan brown and beige.

Monte Carlo, Aladdin/Planet Hollywood, Wynn, Caesars Palace, I am talking about YOU!!! Stop tanning me.

The Grand Prix brought me to Fremont Street for the first time in a while, and it was a good change. I have missed the neon intensity. The foul smell at the 4th street side wasn't around this time. Maybe downtown is worth more attention from me.

Okay the pictures. Here we have three photos I took this week. Two of them are of a race car which is parked in front of Fitzgerald's on Fremont Street. The third photo is a look of 4th Street near Fremont Street, with the Grand Prix barriers and fences in place.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Las Vegas Grand Prix - The Streets

The Lady Luck Hotel, (one of my favorite names) has been closed for more than a year to be renovated. I don't think any renovations have taken place; the place just sits there dark. In one of the shots with this post, you can see the street (Ogden) set up for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, and in the background is the dark Lady Luck.

Another shot looks up Ogden toward Main Street, with Ogden barricaded and fenced in for the race. Right now, at every crossable intersection, there is a concrete barrier which is left ajar so that people may still cross the street. On race day the barrier will be moved in line with the others, and crossing will be done by temporary staircase crossovers. These temporary crossovers do not have ramps or elevators or escalators, so for people who have difficulty with mobility there may be problems getting around.

In yet another photo, Fremont looking up to the El Cortez shows half of the street ripped up, and traffic only one way. There is a lot of construction going on in this old area, and combined with the traffic disruptions that will be caused by the Las Vegas Grand Prix, downtown will be difficult to drive around, especially for people unfamiliar with the area.

The streets are very crowded and lively, and aside from the difficulty of traffic, this ought to be one of the better, more exciting times to visit Fremont Street and downtown Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Grand Prix - Fremont Street Experience

The sound and light show at The Fremont Street Experience was themed to auto racing, with frequent in-show ads for The Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Usually there is a rotation of the shows which play hourly in the evening. I only stayed to watch one of them, but would be surprised if they were not ALL related to promotiong the race this upcoming weekend.

Las Vegas Grand Prix - Street Preparation

At the east end of The Fremont Street Experience, 4th Street is walled in with fences and concrete barriers, in preparation for the Las Vegas Grand Prix this weekend. People driving on 4th Street can get a feel for the experience of driving on the race course, as the road is still open to traffic, though it is walled in and has racing related ads on the crossovers.
The Fremont Street Experience Light And Sound Show (at least the one I saw) was all Grand Prix related. It was done well, and I actually liked it for the content and presentation, rather than just the oddity factor.
In another post later today I will display some of the light and sound show. By the way, the crowd on Fremont Street struck me as unusually crowded for a Tuesday night.

Las Vegas Grand Prix - Fremont Street

The Las Vegas Grand Prix is this weekend. On Las Vegas Boulevard in the area of The Strip, there is no sign of the race. I haven't seen any promotions for it there.

On Fremont Street, and the downtown area, it is a different story.

Streets are already closed off, or partitioned off, with concrete barriers and fences, forming the gauntlet which the race will run through.

Here are 2 shots from Fremont Street.

The sign was located near the Main Street end of The Fremont Street Experience(the side with The Golden Gate and The Las Vegas Club). I'm sure the sign is located elsewhere as well.

The race car on display is in front of The Four Queens Hotel.

Today I will be posting a lot throughout the day, as I tend to my laundry and other nonsense.

Of particuar interest may be shots of the streets already walled in for the Grand Prix. Those and others from downtown Las Vegas will be posted today.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Planet Hollywood - Las Vegas - Breaking News!!

Breaking News: planet hollywood sign
The Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, has had the PLANET portion of the rooftop PLANET HOLLYWOOD sign put in place. The sign at this point remains dark at night.
The Aladdin Hotel is becoming The Planet Hollywood Hotel.