Posts Tagged ‘vegas’

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Las Vegas-CitiCenter Design

February 11, 2010

CitiCenter in Las Vegas is an 8 billion dollar sprawing complex that has and is still under construction. Three towers opened by New Year’s 2010 and I toured the area that is banking on the futuristic architecture and design to draw a new generation of tourists. Here are some pictures taken one afternoon. The above shot is a picture of a tiled floor from a balcony.

The spired entrance to Aria.

The monorail between towers.

Reflection of a tower within a tower.

Part of a massive waterfall.

A full wall advertisement in the Crystals Mall.

Crystals in the Crystals Mall

Steps detail

Partial front view as it is impossible to get all of CitiCenter in one picture.

Claes Olderburg’s Eraser

Ceiling detail.

Floral strip in Crystals Mall

Mandarin Tower

Showroom detail.

Water tornado garden.

Underside Restaurant detail.

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THE LAST SNOWSTORM OF THE SEASON

March 24, 2009

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NIGHT AND DAY THROUGH THE STORM’S EYES

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SNOWFALL AT “LITTLE FALLS” IN MT. CHARLESTON

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THE SNOW SQUALL MOVES IN

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IT APPROACHES CATHEDRAL ROCK

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THE HAND OF THE SQUALL COMES FROM BEHIND

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IT OVERWHELMS AND CONQUERS THE MOUNTAIN

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THE WHITEOUT FINALLY ARRIVES

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THE MIGHTY SUN BREAKS THROUGH

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I SEE DEAD CELEBRITIES….

September 27, 2008

On the 56th floor of The Palms Casino on Flamingo Road, the Ghostbar has become the ultra-slick social spot for celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Ashlee Simpson, the Kardashian family, Mario Andretti, Kid Rock or Pam (never at the same time), Avril Lavigne and more.  The modern furniture outside and the incredible view of the city from all points is breathtaking.  If that’s not enough, walk over and stand on the glass floor and look 55 stories straight down.  It’s a rush whether you’ve had a few or not.  The fun part is you, yes little old you, can go there and hang with your friends and enjoy yourselves drinking the special “Ghostini” to prepare you for an enchanting experience. 

The name of the joint derives from the ceiling over the lounge by the bar, that has an intended ghostly appearance.  You might see Bruce Willis or Halley Joel Osment without a ‘sixth sense.’  It’s a hip place that fills up on the weekend so if you are not into crowds go during the week, however the ‘stars’ come out at night and one will never know who you will see.  Across the street, the Rio’s Voodoo lounge was the hotspot years ago, but the change in ownership years ago turned a hot property with many firsts (first dance club, first wine bar, first ‘Show in the Sky,’ and many others) into a ho-hum sorta place.  The Palms is the new hot spot, but no matter where you go here in Vegas, there are so many deals with vouchers for food, gaming, and hundreds of dollars for return trips, the time to come here is now while they are discounting everything because of the credit crunch.  Just go online to Vegas.com and they are all there. If you’re in for a vacation no matter what the economy is doing, this is the place for value for your dollar.  And one last word; if it really is the end of the world, well this is the place to party into oblivion.  Hopefully, it will just be fun and worth the trip without the angst of reality.

It the words of Jeff Spicoli;   Party on, Dudes!

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Welcome to Las Vegas, You’re On Your Own

July 16, 2008

We have the seventh busiest airport in the world here in Las Vegas and what began as a small terminal with portable steel stairs has evolved into a giant morass of four major terminals with more to be built.  In this expansion the McCarran Airport Director, Randall Walker has been surrounded with controversy concerning inappropriate criminal land dealings (“I wasn’t informed to them and had no knowledge of them”); questionable vendor awards with connections to Las Vegas officials for businesses inside the airport;  and other business dealings that have failed to sully his reputation.  His most memorable legacy will be the complete idiocy, stupidity, and incompetence of the construction of roads and signage leading to and from this airport that will guarantee that you will do the “airport loop” at least once until you finally get the reckless courage to take on the cabs and buses that will cut you off before you can make an intelligent decision to have to move four, yes that’s four lanes to get into a correct lane for either Departures or Arrivals.  Then that’s no guarantee that you will be in the correct lane for very long. 

If you are picking someone up, be mindful that if you follow the signs you will end up in long term parking, have to go all the way through the long term parking garage with your ticket, proceed to the exit where you explain to the attendant, who has heard this story a hundred thousand times and just opens the gate for you to drive back to the chaos of switch-crossings and death-defying maneuvering without even acknowledging your existence.

If you are heading to Departures be mindful that you will hit a concrete embankment if you proceed by the signage so stay right (but not too far right) drive close to, but without actually plowing into the bridge, and if you miss the Departures turnout, it will then take you out of the airport’s frustrating confusing circuitous route and drop you out on Tropicana Avenue if you don’t get in the correct lane in less than 3.5 seconds after you finally get four lanes over fighting those cabs and buses that are doing 50 miles an hour on a 25 mile an hour roadway blocking your every move to do so. Got all that?  Did you remember to carry the one?

The pure arrogance of Mr. Walker, who by the way is the brother-in-law of Henderson’s Mayor James Gibson (he doesn’t want anyone to know that, I’m sure) is his statement years ago in the press that read “The roads weren’t built for residents, they were built for tourists who use the cabs and buses, and the cabs and buses know which way to go.”  My last statement is simply, Mr. Randall Walker as you begin to prepare to go to work for a private company that did millions of dollars of work for McCarran Airport and now will be a part of the new airport being planned in Ivanpah near Primm, where you will undoubtedly screw that system completely up; we residents here in Las Vegas know as “the cabs and buses know where to go,” where you should go as well.  And it’s much hotter there than Vegas in August with no hope of a monsoon or fall weather.   Ahh, arrogance always induces pride before the fall.  Don’t let a bus run you over.

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Las Vegas Lists

July 12, 2008

I was doing some research the other day and stumbled across lists of things about Las Vegas that I thought might interest readers.   For the whole history of Las Vegas in Wikipedia go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Vegas,_Nevada

Here are a few interesting anomalies for you:

LIST OF THE NAMES OF CASINOS THAT NEVER OPENED

“Addams Family” Themed Resort, Asia Resort and Casino, Beau Rivage, Caribbean Casino Cascada, City by the Bay Resort and CasinoCountryland USACrown Las VegasDeVille CasinoHarley-Davidson Hotel and Casino, Jockey Club Casino, London Resort and Casino, Montreux ResortMoon Resort and CasinoPalace of the Sea Resort and Casino, Titanic (that one would have hit a few snags), Unnamed “Haunted House” Casino,  “South Beach” Casino, World Trade Center (that would have been a real bad idea),  World Wrestling Federation (that one came close), Xanadu, and my own fantasy favorite “The Unknown Comic Casino” where everyone wears bags on their heads with holes for the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Movies Shot in Las Vegas

1960 Ocean’s Eleven

1964 Viva Las Vegas

 

1971 Diamonds Are Forever

 

1982 Things Are Tough All Over

 

1984 Starman

 

1986 Desert Bloom

 

1988 Rain Man

 

1992 Cool World

 

1992 Honey, I Blew Up the Kid

 

1994 The Stand

 

1995 Casino

 

1995 Leaving Las Vegas

 

1995 Showgirls

 

1996 Mars Attacks!

 

1997 Vegas Vacation

 

1997 Con Air

 

1997 Fools Rush In

 

1997 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

 

1998 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

 

1998 Lethal Weapon 4

 

1999 Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box

 

2000 Pay it Forward

 

2001 Rush Hour 2

 

2001 Ocean’s Eleven

 

2001 Rat Race

 

2001 The Mexican

 

2001 Memento

 

2001 America’s Sweetheart

 

2002 Getting There

 

2003 The Cooler

 

2004 Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

 

2005 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

 

2005 Lucky You

 

2006 Rocky Balboa

 

2007 Ocean’s Thirteen

 

2006 ‘21’

 

10 Famous Weddings in Las Vegas

1.  Perhaps the most famous wedding ever to commence under the Vegas sky was between the King himself, Elvis Presley, and Priscilla Anne Beaulieu.

2.  A mere four years before her untimely death, actress Judy Garland married Mark Herron in 1965.

3.  In the spring of 1989, rock star Jon Bon Jovi married Dorothea Hurley in the heart of Las Vegas.

4.  Ringing in the 1990’s was heavy metal legend and king of procrastination Axl Rose marrying Erin Evelyn at Cupid’s Wedding Chapel.

5.  Former NBA superstar and rebounder extraordinaire Dennis Rodman married actress and supermodel Carmen Electra in November of 1998.

6.  In one of the most unlikely weddings imaginable, Billy Bob Thornton tied the knot with Tomb Raider goddess Angelina Jolie in Vegas on May 5, 2000.

7.  Famous Actor Mickey Rooney married Eva Gardner in January of 1942.

8. Film star and Vietnam War protestor Jane Fonda made headlines in 1991 when she married billionaire TV mogul Ted Turner.

9.  In 1966, Rat Pack member Frank Sinatra entered into a year and half long marriage to Mia Farrow in Las Vegas.

10. In 1989, 26 tear old NBA icon Michael Jordan married 30 year old Juanita Vanoy at the Little White Wedding Chapel.

Las Vegas Personalities

  • Andre Agassi Native tennis player philanthropist
  • Ashlyn Gere Pornography Star of the late 1980’s
  • Bobby Baldwin Non-Native poker player and casino executive 
  • Benny Binion Non-Native owner of the Horseshoe casino
  • Joey Bishop Non-Native entertainer The Rat Pack
  • Sam Boyd Non-Native casino owner
  • Toni Braxton Non-Native recording artist
  • David Brenner Non-Native comedian
  • Kurt Busch Native race car driver, NASCAR 
  • Kyle Busch Native race car driver, NASCAR 
  • Charlie Callis Native comic 
  • Charisma Carpenter Native actress 
  • Daveigh Chase Native actress 
  • Spencer Clark Native race car driver, NASCAR 
  • Rico Constantino Native wrestler
  • Randall Cunningham Non-Native football player
  • Tony Curtis Non-Native actor 
  • Jay Cutler Non-Native IFBB Professional Bodybuilder Mr. Olympia
  • Laura Dahl Native fashion designer
  • Moe Dalitz Non-Native developer casino owner/executive (Desert Inn)
  • Ricky Davis Native basketball player 
  • Sammy Davis, Jr. Non-Native singer and entertainer The Rat Pack
  • Becky Delos Santos Non-Native model, Playboy Playmate
  • Leah Dizon Native model, singer 
  • Brandon Flowers Native musician The Killers
  • Siegfried Fischbacher Non-Native entertainer Siegfried & Roy
  • Tony Fredianelli Non-Native Musician Third Eye Blind guitarist
  • John C. Fremont Non-Native explorer
  • Danny Gans Non-Native Impersonator
  • Brendan Gaughan Non-Native race car driver, NASCAR 
  • Jason Giambi Non-Native baseball player 
  • Oscar Goodman Non-Native attorney defense attorney for mafia figures, Mayor of Las Vegas
  • Mikalah Gordon Native  American Idol contestant
  • Hank Greenspun Non-Native Newspaper publisher newspaper publisher and land developer
  • Matthew Gray Gubler Native Actor
  • Lonnie Hammargren Non-Native doctor, politician 
  • Carey Hart Native Pro Bmx Dirt Rider, motorcycle stunt rider 
  • Clint Holmes Non-Native singer, songwriter 
  • Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn Non-Native entertainer Siegfried & Roy
  • Howard Hughes Non-Native  billionaire casino owner and land developer
  • Jenna Jameson Native porn star
  • Corinna Harney Jones Non-Native actress Playboy playmate
  • Morris R. Jeppson Non-Native Second Lieutenant Enola Gay bombing of Hiroshima
  • Gladys Knight Non-Native singer, actress 
  • Jimmy Kimmel Non-Native comedian Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • Meyer Lansky Non-Native  mobster financier
  • Peter Lawford Non-Native actor The Rat Pack
  • Robin Leach Non-Native writer TV show host
  • Jerry Lewis Non-Native entertainer 
  • Liberace Non-Native entertainer 
  • Larry Johnson Non-Native basketball player, NBA
  • Stephanie Louden Native golfer, LPGA
  • Greg Maddux Native pitcher, Major League Baseball
  • Shawn Marion Non-Native forward, National Basketball Association played for UNLV
  • Dean Martin Non-Native singer and entertainer The Rat Pack
  • Angela Melini Non-Native actress, model, Playboy Playmate, entrepreneur
  • Pat Morita Non-Native actor
  • Vince Neil Non-Native singer Mötley Crüe
  • Wayne Newton Non-Native singer
  • Paige O’Hara Non-Native actress 
  • Elvis Presley Non-Native singer 
  • Debbie Reynolds Non-Native entertainer 
  • Sig Rogich Non-Native political consultant founder of R&R Advertising
  • Stephanie Romanov Native actress
  • Kevin Rose Native actor founder of digg.com & Rev 3
  • Frank Rosenthal Non-Native sports handicapper, casino manager 
  • Jay Sarno Non-Native developer Caesars Palace and Circus Circus
  • Adam Seward Native football player
  • Bugsy Siegel Non-Native mobster developer of the Flamingo
  • Frank Sinatra Non-Native singer The Rat Pack
  • Anthony Spilotro Non-Native Mafia enforcer
  • Shannon Stewart Non-Native model, Playboy Playmate
  • Mark Stoermer Native musician The Killers
  • Bob Stupak Non-Native Casino developer Stratosphere, Vegas World
  • Jerry Tarkanian Non-Native Basketball coach former UNLV Men’s Basketball Head Coach
  • Brian Thornton Non-Native developer of DoubleClick technology company, technology advocate
  • Robert Urich Non-Native actor television actor (Vega$)
  • Ronnie Vannucci Native musician The Killers
  • Del Webb Non-Native developer 
  • James Ronald Whitney Native film and television director
  • Don White Non-Native real estate developer 
  • Steve Wynn Non-Native developer The Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas
  • Barry Zito Native baseball player 

The lists could go on and on but that’s all for now.

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Too Close For Comfort

June 29, 2008

           

Pictures from my balcony deck

I was standing on my deck overlooking the mountains when a small plane, a Piper-Cherokee, came in over the tree tops not 100 feet away from my house.  It was apparent that they were attempting to make an emergency landing. If they had been able to travel another 300 feet they might have made it to the Mary Jane Falls trail parking area, but the left wing hit an electrical pole and that pulled the plane left and down into the ground and it exploded instantly.  Fuel went into the air and started fires over a hundred feet from the crash site.  By the time a fire truck was on the scene many more were needed and it got out of control quickly.  Metro police didn’t arrive until much later, and there was chaos everywhere with tourists running through the woods right next to the fire.  The plane was completely charred and almost unrecognizable. The heat from the fire was oppressive and I could feel the intensity over 300 feet away.  I watched as 90ft. pine trees went up as if they were doused in gasoline.  

It is apparent we are not prepared as well as we should be up here in Mt. Charleston on the weekends with the large increase in visitors and no local authorities patrolling. I gave up complaining at town meetings years ago.  Nothing was ever done because there were too many entities that thought the other ones should be responsible, so essentially no one did anything. The Forest Service, the Metropolitan police, the State Parks person, the Mt. Charleston committee, the Clark County Commissioners..etc. (Get the idea?) In the snows of winter, utter chaos ensues. Why?-No patrols.  In the summer, an overload from the Vegas valley below.  Families will pull into vacant houses and use them as if they were their own, setting up a barbeque and using the outdoor patio, tables and chairs.  If we neighbors didn’t police ourselves no one would. 

Eventually, we were told to evacuate the scene at approximately 6pm and I left rather than chance the possibility of smoke inhalation if the wind had shifted in the night.  There were no survivors of the four people in the plane. 

Only in Nevada do we allow unpatrolled large recreational acreage that is also extremely fragile and extreme fire hazards as well.  Only in Nevada do we allow the sale of fireworks in a dry desert on the week preceding July 4th, and allow airspace above impossible terrain to maintain, to be used by anyone that can fly a plane.  This one came within a hundred feet to have destroyed my home and many others around me.  So where’s our protection?  You can’t smoke in a bar without the health police fining the establishment, but you can destroy an entire fragile environment with the government’s blessing.  It’s a wayward cowboy mentality.  Use it, abuse it, and the hell with anyone else.  If there was a single desert tortoise involved, holy hell would break loose and there would be a bevy of BLM busybodies bitching and bellowing.

Ah yes, the twisted contemporary attitude of the New West.

 Permission to reproduce is granted for any media as long as source and author is provided.

 

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In The Pink in Atlantic City

June 6, 2008

I read a column from an local Atlantic County entertainment paper by Pinky Kravitz, a local personality who is still very active at over 80 years old and is probably the area’s biggest booster there ever was.  He is the Larry Kudlow of Atlantic City in that respect. I have known him from many years of working in Atlantic City and he is a true gentleman.

In his article he quotes facts and figures that he found in a 1925 realtor pamphlet.  I had to share them with you to put in perspective the comparison of Las Vegas and Atlantic City.  Here we go:

“In that year, the permanent population of Atlantic City was approximately 65,000 people. The average population in the city at that time, including seasonal visitors, was about 100,000 people. It was estimated that the annual number of visitors to Atlantic City was 10 million.

There were about 1,000 hotels in Atlantic City in 1925, there were 13 churches of all denominations in the city………The city had six ocean piers. There were 21 movie theaters. There were 400 sailing and fishing yachts and power launches at the various docks in the city. There were two double-track steam railroads, there were two double-track steam railroads to New York.

There were six newspapers. There were three life-saving stations. There were three hospitals in Atlantic City. Within the city‘s limits, there were three golf courses. There were 100 doctors and surgeons who lived in Atlantic City and there were 12 bank and trust companies.”

 

And now….

“Today’s permanent population is down to 45,000. Today’s Atlantic City hosts 34 million visitors (mostly day trippers). There are 14 major hotels and few guesthouses and many less churches.

There are four piers left that extend out over the water now: The Pier at Caesars, Central Pier, Steel Pier and the Garden Pier. The city’s movie theaters dropped from 21 to 1.  There is only one set of rail tracks for trains to Philadelphia; currently there is no train service directly to New York, There is no daily newspaper, plant or office based in Atlantic City; there is one daily that covers the city and the region.

There is a miniature golf course on the Boardwalk, but no more golf courses in the city. The number of doctors and surgeons in the city has dramatically decreased. The number of banks and trust companies has too.

The 1925 realtor pamphlet glowingly stated: “Today we find a gorgeous city … visited by 10 million people yearly, a city [that] personifies the Spirit of America at play. Originally just one of America’s numerous watering places, its sheer superiority makes it supreme as a summer playground, while of late years it has become recognized more and more as the one great winter resort of the North.”

 and now this last paragraph

 “Atlantic City is a city in every sense of the word. It is one of the most interesting ones in America. There are miles of shops to supply every human want, with the wares of Paris and London, displayed side-by-side with the creations of America’s own artisans……. All other world-renowned resorts, piled into one cannot approach it in splendor — and none of them can rival it in interest or comfort. No treatment of Atlantic City’s institutions, however brief, is complete until its wonderful “Beauty Pageants” are brought into the picture. These pageants have become a national institution, attracting worldwide attention……

An airport, a pioneer of the world, and flying field in the south edge of the city, provide an aerial mail station and a good landing field for aircraft. Golf has an all season home here on three excellent and easily extensible courses. These links have acquired such prestige that Atlantic City may, with due modesty, claim to be one of the most important golfing centers of America.”

The irony of it is, that decribes Las Vegas today more than Atlantic City in 1925.  That promotional narrative from 1925 could easily be lifted, Las Vegas’ name inserted, and would be found in any of today’s travel guides.  The pity is that Atlantic City after 30 years and well over a trillion dollars of investment has yet to achieve, at the very least, what they once had.

The ever ebullient and positive cheerleader Pinky Kravitz, God bless his eternal optimistic soul, ends his column with this:

“With that kind of a background, you can understand why those of us who reside here love this wonderful city and its environs.”

To show such pride with the numbers and facts running against you, and the fastidious devotion is something I just can’t criticize; that we should have people here that are so loyal through so many years……