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Interesting Vegas Tidbits and Snippets

12 Resorts and 15 Implosions in the last 17 Years
12 Resorts and 15 Implosions in the last 17 Years

Lots of Nevada's land is owned by the federal government - more than any other state. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers nearly 48 million acres of public land in Nevada. BLM public lands make up about 67 percent of Nevada's land base.

Nevada is one of seven states in the USA that does not have state income tax. The others are Alaska, Florida, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. New Hampshire and Tennessee, tax only dividend and interest income.

There have been 15 implosions in Las Vegas since 1993.

The Dunes opened as a low rise resort in 1955. When the North Tower was added in 1964, it was one of the finest and largest hotels on the strip. The South Tower was added in 1979. The resort boasted an 18 hole golf course, a rooftop health spa and a 90 foot-long pool.

Steve Wynn bought the Dunes and started the implosion trend on Oct. 27th, 1993, with the implosion of the Dunes North Tower. With a pyrotechnics show worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, the Dunes met her fiery death.

The Dunes counts as two implosions as the South Tower was obliterated in July of 1994 with no fanfare.

The Bellagio stands in its place.

The Landmark hotel was built in 1963, but didn't open until 1969. It stood tall and proud to be Howard Hughes' vision come true. The Jetsons-esque architecture was both loved and hated in the community.

In 1995 it became the second major property in Las Vegas to be imploded. You can see the actual implosion in one of the scenes from Mars Attacks. It also had its last hurrah a month or two before the implosion by being the outside version of the fictional casino, the Tangiers in Martin Scorcese's film, Casino.

The Landmark was old, in bad repair, and unpopular. The Las Vegas Convention Center needed more parking, so on Nov. 7th, 1995...ka-blamo.

The 22-acre plot is becoming more valuable as time goes on.

The Sands opened on December 15, 1952, as a low rise resort.

Once the home of the Rat Pack, the Sands has a sordid history. The Sands was bought by Howard Hughes for $14.6 million on July 22, 1967. Hughes added a 17-story cylindrical tower, containing 777 rooms.

After several owners and legal matters, the Sands found its way to the building boom era of the 90's. In 1996, with the Bellagio under way and Caesars expanding, Sheldon Adelson bought the Sands and removed the historic landmark to create another.

The Venetian Hotel now sits where Frank, Sammy and Dean once played.

In June of 1956, the 256-room Hacienda opened and sat alone at the far south end of the Strip.

In 1980, the Hacienda opened the 300-room, 11-story addition.

Circus Circus Inc. built the Excalibur hotel in 1990 and with its success, built the Luxor. The Hacienda now had a neighbor. The Luxor's success led Circus Circus Inc. to buy the Hacienda and level it to make way for their Mandalay Bay resort.

The Hacienda was imploded on midnight (EST) Dec. 31st, 1996 (New Years Eve) The Mandalay Bay, Four Seasons and THEHotel grace the site.

From its 1962 beginning, this property seemed to be doomed for failure. This property at times was called "The Vegas Jinx".

There were many owners, name changes, remodels, bankruptcies, closings, openings, and mob dealings throughout the years. The history of this resort reads like the 'who's-who' of the underground world. In 1972 a 19-story hotel tower and a performing arts center were added.

On November 25, 1997, the Aladdin closed its doors forever. The Aladdin was imploded at 7:30 p.m. on April 27, 1998. The performing arts center was the only structure saved.

The new Aladdin mega-resort opened August 17, 2000, but the troubles didn't stop. Another bankruptcy, and much legal mumbo-jumbo led to its sale to the Planet Hollywood folks, who "Planetized" it in 2007.

Another long and changing history plagues this property. In short; It opened in 1948 as the Thunderbird. After many additions and changes it became the Silverbird in 1977.

In 1981, veteran gambling operator Ed Torres purchased the Silverbird, added a Spanish style mission front, and renamed it El Rancho.

In 1983 a new tower was added along with a 52-lane bowling center, a bar and snack restaurant, and a 90,000-square-foot casino.

The El Rancho closed in 1992 and sat vacant until Turnberry snatched it up and blew it up in October of 2000.

The 4000-room, five-star bound, Fontainebleau mega-resort bought by Icahn sits idle on this site.

The first Desert Inn implosion was the Augusta Tower in October of 2001 to make room for Wynn Las Vegas.

The second Desert Inn implosion was the Palms and St Andrews towers in August of 2004 to make room for Encore at Wynn Las Vegas.

On 1/11/06 the Castaways Hotel and casino tumbled to the ground. First named the Showboat, it was the first major "locals" resort. Station bought it in 2005.

At 2:30 a.m. Tuesday 2/14/06, the small Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino became the 11th imploded building in Las Vegas. Harrah's bought up many parcels behind Bourbon Street.

Farewell to the faux roller-coaster and the disturbing clown, after 38 years of business, the Boardwalk became rubble at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday May 9th, 2006.

The Boardwalk opened in 1965 as a Holiday Inn. A six-story room building was added in the early 70's. It was acquired by MGM/Mirage in 1997. The 16-story tower (which was imploded) was built in 1996, it was only ten years old when it died.

With Encore rising behind it, the 9-level parking garage at Wynn Las Vegas had served out its short life. The space left is being used as Encore's main Porte Cochere, and golf course.

The east-most 1/4 of the structure was built in 2003 to house the cars from Wynn's 9,000+ employees. It was the youngest structure to ever be imploded.

At 2:33 a.m., March 13th, 2007, both of the Stardust's towers were imploded. The resort was given a grand sendoff with a spectacular pyrotechnic display. Over ten minutes of fireworks in full, grand-finally mode.

Genting Group’s Resorts World Las Vegas sits on the site of the former Stardust. The Stardust is to be replaced by Echelon Place, a $4 billion multi-hotel mega-resort.

Phil Ruffin sold the Frontier to ELAD, owners of The Plaza New York, who are planning The Plaza Las Vegas.

They closed the Frontier on 7/16/07 and implosion took place 11/13/07 at 2:45 a.m.

WHO Is Next?

There are several supposedly haunted hotels in Las Vegas...

1. The Luxor

Sightings of a ghost have been seen roaming the long room hallways that encircle the pyramid. Three men lost their lives during construction of the pyramid tower. Others say the place is cursed and will remain so until the image of an eye is installed at the pinnacle of the tower, outside.

2. The Flamingo

Some say they see Bugsy Siegel's ghost wandering the gardens near the site of his (long ago demolished) suite, when the shadows grow long, before sunset. Bugsy was killed in LA, but some believe that spirits return to places they love.

3. Bally's

During the fire of 1980 (when Bally's was the MGM Grand), 84 people lost their lives. There have been many reports of sightings in the older buildings of this hotel.

4. Las Vegas Hilton

The ghost of Elvis has been seen lurking back stage in the showroom where he performed

5. Bellagio

Actor Justin Pierce committed suicide in 2000, by hanging himself in one of the Bellagio's rooms.

6. Hard Rock

Legendary bassist for the Who, John Entwistle died there in 2002

7. Stratosphere

Despite alarms, fences, and security personnel, four people have leapt to their deaths from the top of the more than 1,000-foot tall tower.

We all know that whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! But recently what happens in Vegas is happening a lot more in Macau. Most people in the US are shocked to learn that for every $1 spent in Vegas, $7 is spent in Macau!

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