HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT: Las Vegas Details You Never Noticed

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Posted on: January 26, 2024, 02:08h. 

Last updated on: January 27, 2024, 11:20h.

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There are immoderate absorbing specifications astir Las Vegas that moreover its astir seasoned visitors astir apt ne'er noticed, and that’s because nan municipality doesn’t peculiarly want them to.

Magicians aren’t nan only group who create illusions connected nan Las Vegas Strip, arsenic nan wrap atop this Venetian building demonstrates. (Image: Scott Roeben/Vital Vegas)

They’re correct there, though. You conscionable person to cognize wherever to look.

The St. Regis Tower

In 2008, Las Vegas Sands Corp. was engaged constructing a 3rd building — a 50-story condo that would guidelines betwixt its Venetian and Palazzo properties. Then nan Great Recession said, “No, you’re not.”

The financially struggling institution had already sunk $180M into nan St. Regis Tower, and each 3 evident options disposable to it astatine that constituent were arsenic bad:

1) Paying $600M, it nary longer had to decorativeness building a slew of million-dollar condos that wouldn’t sell

2) Only somewhat little expensively dismantling what it started

3) Allowing respective stories of disfigured alloy framing to rust successful nan elements for who knows really long

So, Las Vegas Sands invented a 4th option. In 2011, for nan costs of $1 million, it covered nan exposed model successful an artist’s rendering of a vanished building.

Look closely. It’s still there.

The Marina Hotel

In 1989, MGM bought and demolished nan Marina Hotel to build its caller MGM Grand. The aged MGM Grand, tainted by the second-deadliest edifice occurrence successful American history, had by past go Bally’s and, since 2022, has gone by Horseshoe Las Vegas.

Except, MGM ne'er demolished nan Marina. It simply gave it a greenish tegument and built nan caller MGM Grand astir it. Few recognize that MGM’s westbound helping erstwhile stood unsocial arsenic this 714-room edifice opened successful 1975.

The 714-room Marina Hotel opened successful 1975 and still stands arsenic portion of nan MGM Grand. (Image: Vintage Las Vegas)

If you’ve ever wondered why nan rooms location are smaller and little expensive, now you know.

The Dimmer Luxor Beam

When it opened successful 1993, nan Luxor light, powered by 39 xenon lights pinch 7,000-watt bulbs, emitted 42.3 cardinal candela of light. To put that into perspective, a modern lighthouse emits astir 1 cardinal candela. So … 42K lighthouses pointed straight up.

The supra paragraph was written successful nan past tense because nan Luxor ray has been dimmed by half since 2008. The dimming was implemented by MGM Resorts to prevention power and money successful nan dream that nary 1 would notice.

Except for occasional articles for illustration this that constituent retired nan light’s dimming to only nan exceptionally agleam group who attraction astir specified things, it worked. Almost nary 1 noticed. And, moreover astatine astir 21 cardinal candela, nan eventual high-beam atop nan Luxor is still believed to beryllium nan world’s brightest light.

From a distance, particularly by day, these look for illustration regular windows connected nan Bellagio. But nan little ones are really three-story groupings of six windows each. The precocious ones are two-story groupings of 4 windows each. (Image: Wikipedia)

The Window Trick

Architects of galore Strip hotels person utilized an optical illusion designed to fool you into reasoning that a building is smaller and, therefore, a shorter locomotion from your existent location connected nan Strip than it really is.

The Bellagio, for example, appears to person 16 stories, but really, it has 36. That’s because each model connected its first 4 “floors” is simply a grouping of six-room windows spanning 3 floors. You can’t really show unless you look from adjacent up astatine night, pinch capable interior lights turned connected since nan heavy tinted windows obstruct daytime viewing.

For its adjacent 12 “floors,” each Bellagio model serves 4 rooms spanning 2 floors.

Treasure Island and Caesars Palace besides employment nan model trick. And nan Wynn and Encore’s rotation connected it is to spot 1 dividing stripe each 2 stories.

Part of nan original pinkish motion and a woody wall from nan Mint tin still beryllium seen arsenic you locomotion down to nan Whiskey Licker Up Saloon astatine Binion’s. (Image: Scott Roeben/Vital Vegas)

Signs of nan Original Mint

In 1988, nan legendary Mint downtown was absorbed into nan neighboring Binion’s Gambling Hall, past called Binion’s Horseshoe. Binion closed each 365 of nan Mint’s edifice rooms successful 2009, including Room 1850 successful nan tower, wherever astir of nan action successful Hunter S. Thompson’s novel, “Fear and Loathing successful Las Vegas,” supposedly took place.

One beyond-intrepid Australian writer recently trespassed connected nan shuttered building by taking an elevator to nan tile of nan adjoining Hotel Apache and climbing down a occurrence escape.

All we are consenting to counsel you present is that nan little information of nan original pinkish Mint motion and an aged wood wall from nan classical edifice tin beryllium seen successful nan stairway starring down to Whiskey Licker Up Saloon astatine Binion’s.

The Train That Created Las Vegas

The Plaza’s Amtrak position (above) is now a break room for edifice labor (below). (Images; Wikipedia and Google Street View)

The mobility occurring to conscionable astir everyone driving to Las Vegas for nan first clip — why this crazy metropolis exists successful nan mediate of obscurity — is answered by nan freight trains that diesel alongside Interstate 15, duck underneath it successful Sloan, Nev., and chug a mates of blocks westbound of nan Strip, mostly unnoticed, earlier branching northeast to Utah.

Those trains usage nan original statement that erstwhile shuttled passengers from LA to Salt Lake City earlier commercialized flights aliases moreover mass-produced cars were things.

Las Vegas wouldn’t beryllium without that obstruction line.

When nan San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad was completed successful 1905, its owners decided to create a extremity halfway done nan agelong haul and build a municipality to make that extremity worthwhile. Las Vegas, named successful nan 1700s by a Spanish trader aft nan meadows created by underground springs, would do. It was location only to a fewer ranches and an abandoned Mormon fort astatine nan time.

The railroad bought nan ranches closest to its railroad stop, past sold parcels astatine an auction connected Fremont and Main Streets connected May 15, 1905. The first was astatine 1 Fremont St., which nan builder of nan Hotel Nevada purchased for $1,750. Today, that edifice still stands arsenic nan Golden Gate and still has nan town’s very first telephone connected display. (It’s telephone number was “1.”)

A information of a mural hidden wrong nan Plaza Hotel suggests nan indebtedness Las Vegas owes to this historical site. (Image: AMrsh82/imgur.com)

The original railroad position was demolished successful nan precocious 1930s and replaced pinch an Art Deco update successful 1940. That position was demolished successful 1971 and replaced by today’s Plaza Hotel, primitively called Union Plaza, successful deference to nan railroad.

Because rider trains shared nan statement pinch freight trains then, nan edifice constructed its ain position retired backmost — nan only 1 successful nan US located wrong a casino. By then, nan statement was tally by Amtrak. Its past rider way from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, nan Desert Wind, was discontinued successful 1997 owed to debased ridership. (Because nan tracks were shared, a rider train stuck down a freight train could easy return 8 hours from LA to Las Vegas, much than doubly arsenic agelong arsenic driving did.)

Though its branding and furnishings are gone, nan Plaza’s Amtrak position still exists by nan tracks. It’s now an worker break room and retention area. But an Amtrak mural tin still beryllium recovered betwixt a Subway and a gym astatine nan extremity of a hallway.

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