We don't "get" Vegas. We first went to Las Vegas on Ellen's 21st
birthday. We drove eight hours arriving late Friday night. Back then
Circus-Circus seemed really cool. So before bed we walked over to
"see Vegas". We got ripped off for $200 from a scam company that
rented space from C-C. They sold us costume jewelry masquerading as
high quality. We spent all day Saturday getting money back for us
and for an old couple from New York. Then we went to bed and drove
home on Sunday.
On our second visit we stayed at the old MGM Grand before it burnt
down. We did see Siegfried and Roy before the tiger ate Roy. That
was a good show. Since then we have been through Vegas a dozen
times on the way to somewhere else. We know people that love Las
Vegas, but why? Our friends Jon and Pam Wilson like to watch the
NASCAR races. Other friends like to gamble. Melissa likes to party
with her friends. But we can't find anything we like . . . except we
did enjoy the architecture.
All these un-retouched photos were taken by Ellen from the back of
the ScooterShip while moving! What a credit to our Sony Cybershot
camera. The photos really don't need captions as you can see the
hotel and casino names. But we do include the description so our
Search feature can find this page. Enjoy the creativity of these
: First built by mobster Bugsy Siegel in 1946. With
105 rooms it was the first luxury hotel on "The Strip". The cost was
6 million dollars. Today it is the Flamingo
. Previous names
were The Flamingo
, The Fabulous Flamingo
and the Flamingo
. Very art deco, today it has 3,626 rooms on 15 acres.
The original land purchase was on 40 acres at a cost of $8.75 per
acre (yes, 8 dollars and 75 cents!).
: Built in 1973 and renovated in 1992 and 1997, it is
one of 17 hotels in the Harrah's chain. It is owned by Caesar's
Entertainment who also owns the Flamingo.
: Built by Steve Wynn in 1989 at a cost of $630
million dollars.The golden colored windows get their tint from
actual gold dust. This hotel is credited with bringing Vegas "back
to life". It had been declining around the time that Atlantic City,
New Jersey came on the scene.
: The Palazzo is the tallest completed building in Las
Vegas. Each of its 3,068 rooms has at least 720 square feet, about
twice the size of the MotherShip. Guinness Book of World Records
names it as the largest hotel in the world. At 6,948,980 square
feet it beat out the Pentagon as the largest building in The United
: The Stratosphere tower at 1,149 feet is the
tallest structure in Nevada and the tallest freestanding observation
tower in the U.S. On the top of the tower is the Big Shot, the
highest thrill ride in the world. 16 people get strapped in and shot
from the bottom to the top of the arrow. In 2001 our daughters
Melissa and Emily wanted to ride to the top. However, Melissa was
not old enough, so Pete rode with Emily. Emily had the thrill of a
lifetime, Pete, not so much.
Actual representation, not a dramatization.
: The "Riv" was the first high-rise in Las Vegas built
in 1955. Major investors were Harpo and Gummo Marx. It has a
history of multiple bankruptcies, the first just three months after
opening. Eventually it was purchased by the Las Vegas Convention and
Visitors Authority. It closed in 2015 and is slated to be
demolished to accommodate more convention and meeting facilities.
: Built in 2005 by Steve Wynn at a cost of 2.7 billion
dollars! The 2,716 rooms range from 640 to 7,000 square feet.
Situated on 215 acres the Wynn is the first high-rise to feature an
automated window washing system.
: TI was built in 1993 under the direction of
Steve Wynn. Its original focus was families with a pirate theme
including battles in the on site lagoon. When popularity with
families lessened, the resort was remodeled with a more adult
format. The lagoon pirate battles ceased in 2013 to make way for
shopping and entertainment center.
: With a plethora of high-end hotels, Casino
Royale was built in 1992 for "low rollers". Gambling include slots,
craps and black jack tables with very low minimum bids. Most of the
larger hotels have 2,000 to 3,000 rooms. Continuing with the
low-roller theme, Royale has only 152 rooms and a Denny's. But, not
to be outdone, it also has an Outback Steakhouse.
Opening date was August 5, 1966 and
since, Caesars has been renovated five times. The Colosseum with
4,296 seats has been the entertainment venue for Celine Dion, Cher,
Elton John, Gloria Estefan, Bette Midler and others. But probably it
is most famous for Evel Knievel's December 31, 1967 attempted
141-foot jump over the fountain. His jump ended in a crash breaking
over 40 bones in his body. Twenty-two years later, on April 14,
1989, Evel's son Robbie completed a 170 jump over the fountain.
: Another hotel owned by Caesars Entertainment is
Ballys. It built on the property that was originally the Three Coins
Motel in 1963. Owners and names changed to Bonanza Hotel and
Casino, MGM Grand Hotel and Casino and now Ballys. In 1980 the MGM
fire, one of the worst high-rise fires in U.S. history killed 85
guests and employees. We had been guests at the MGM in 1979.
Paris and Planet Hollywood
: We took several photos of Planet
Hollywood and somehow the Paris balloon was always in the way.
Paris, another hotel with nearly 3,000 rooms is also owned by
Caesars Entertainment. It's architecture includes reduced-scale
replicas of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the La
Fontaine des Mers (fountain). Planet Hollywood, yet another
Caesar's property, began as the Tally-Ho in 1963. From there it
become the King's Crown, the Alladin and now Planet Hollywood.
Harley Davidson Cafe
: A 28 foot tall Harley comes busting out
of this cafe which features an American flag made from 44,000 chain
links. Of course, we couldn't see the flag or taste any of the yummy
meals as we flew by on the Burgman, our Harley Killer! We learned
in 2007 at Outdoor Resorts in the Ozarks (by Blue Eye Arkansas),
that we own a Harley Killer. This name comes from the fact that we
can beat a Harley Davidson off the line with our automatic while the
HD driver is busy shifting!
: Yawn, just another 3,002 room hotel owned by MGM
New York New York
: MGM also owns NY NY. It is designed after
the 1940's New York skyline and includes replicas of the Statue of
Liberty, Solders and Sailor's Monument, Whitney Museum of American
Art, Ellis Island immigration building and Grand Central Terminal.
: MGM again! With 4,008 rooms the castle-themed
Excalibur has more rooms than most.
But not as many as the MGM Grand
with 6,852 rooms!
: Circus Circus purchased the Hacienda in 1995.
The name was changed to Mandalay Bay in 1998 and in 2005 is was
purchased by guess who? That's right, MGM.
: The original Egyptian theme is obvious although it has
far less Egyptian artifacts and decor today. This 4,407 room hotel
includes four permanent shows and ten restaurants. On May 7, 2007 a
car bomb exploded killing one! There was no damage to the parking
garage or hotel and business continued as usual. And of course,
it's owned by MGM.
This hotel is actually part of the
Mandalay Bay tower. We guess they just wanted to keep the historic
name Four Seasons when they built Mandalay Bay?
Outdoor Resorts Las Vegas
: Now for "our" resort. This is the
part of Las Vegas we have enjoyed twice. In 2006 it was our first
up-scale RV resort, then known as Outdoor Resorts Las Vegas. Today
it has a much more grand name of Las Vegas Motorcoach Resort.
In this photo you see some of the over 1,000 palm trees and a few of
the 400 top-rated motorhome sites. Pricey? Yes, but we received a
free 3-day trial coupon at an FMCA rally.
We really enjoyed our stay at the motorcoach resorts, but otherwise
don't know what to do in Vegas. Maybe you can help?
What do you like to do in Las Vegas, besides eat, gamble and go to
shows? If you have any suggestions, maybe you can help us enjoy
"what happens in Vegas and ... stays in Vegas".
Love, Pete, Ellen and Mandy
[Editor's Note: Other than our personal knowledge, the majority of
the facts here came from Wikipedia.com.]