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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 designs.

Flamingo: 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 Hilton. 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!).


Harrahs: 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.


The Mirage: 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.


Palazzo: 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 States.


The Stratosphere: 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.


Riviera: 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.


Wynn: 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.


Treasure Island: 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.


Casino Royale: 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.


Caesars Palace: 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.


Ballys: 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!


Monte Carlo: Yawn, just another 3,002 room hotel owned by MGM Resorts International.


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.


Excalibur: 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!


Mandalay Bay: 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.


Luxor: 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.


Four Seasons: 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.]