Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Strip (Las Vegas: Part 2)

"Ours was the first and will doubtless be the last party of whites to visit this profitless locale." -Lieutanant Joseph Christmas Ives in 1857, on sailing up the Colorado River to a point near the present location of Las Vegas.

A remnant of the old Las Vegas Strip, before things like this muscled in...
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The island of Manhattan has been transplanted here, complete with traffic.
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In 1970 there were slightly more than 20,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas. The number today is a staggering 151,000 and rising: another 11,000 are under construction, with a whopping 35,000 more on the drawing board. Vegas already has almost two times the hotel space as New York City. In fact, 15 of the world's 20 largest hotels are found in Las Vegas! The number of tourists has risen from 21 million in 1990, to 39 million in 2006. And they arrive ready to empty their pockets: tourists spent $15 billion here last year, and only 40% of that was in the casinos.

Where is some of that money spent? Let me show you...

Evidence of the secret tradeoff that allowed America to build Euro Disneyland in France

The MGM Grand is the largest hotel in the world with 5,000 rooms.
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An exact reproduction of Hofbräuhaus München, with beer brewed in Munich according to the German Purity Law of 1516.
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Maybe they have this on their blogs too? Lobby ceiling at the Bellagio.
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Left: "The bodies of these birds are comprised of feathers and thousands of fresh Statice flowers. The legs are covered in mixed bird seed."
Right: Somebody should tell the Bellagio about this bug...even fantasy gardens require a good blast of pesticide.

"Well, Edna, that was a bit fancier than back in Des Moines."

Las Vegas Blvd., a.k.a. "The Strip" by night

Video of the hourly fountain show outside the Bellagio.
Does anyone remember we're in the Mojave Desert?

What better way to instill the love of gambling in your children than to combine it with a fairy-tale castle?
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End of the day

Next: The Old Spanish Trail