Sunday, June 06, 2004

Getting Warm

Looks like it’s finally getting warm around here. The weather strip in the newspaper – that section on top of the weather page that shows what it’s going to be like for the next week – showed over 100 for every day last week. This coming week is scheduled to be a little cooler – around 98F every day, but that’s mainly because of the predicted 35mph winds.
We went to another Jazz in the Park concert last night, and it was down to 105 when the music started at eight. It probably cooled down to 101 by the time the music was over. There was a light breeze, and it was very pleasant.
We had some friends over a few weeks ago, and we gave them an abbreviated tour. John had broken his foot, and we mostly pushed him around in a wheel chair, but he could use crutches to move locally. Because of that we didn’t take him on our ‘standard’ tour of the strip casinos. They are all too big to get around in if you aren’t walking. But we took them downtown to Freemont Street, and an afternoon show at the Stratosphere. Here’s what the Stratosphere casino looks like.

Compared to the big ones south on the strip it looks rather old fashioned. I sat down at the machines with John while the ladies went up to the top of the tower to look around. They didn’t try the rides, just looked.
Here is what those fancy cups look like in action.

You can almost see the cherries floating around. I think one is a margarita, the other a pina colada.
We went downtown to Freemont Street. Freemont Street is a little different than it was years ago.

The street is closed, and a large canopy is overhead. This is the area most older movies had the chase scenes in. No more driving here now.
Anyway, the canopy is covered with lights, and they put on a show every night. It’s been up for years, but they just changed from small light bulbs to real tiny led sets. They are much smaller than the bulbs, and there are about twenty times as many. It’s like having a giant computer screen overhead. Most casinos on the strip use the giant tv screens out front to attract you, but those are only about 50 to 100 feet across. This one is as wide as the street and three blocks long. During the day it’s just a white roof overhead, but at night

it’s colorful. During the week the show only goes off on the hour, and we just missed some. So these are just pictures between shows.
The old casinos are still here.

The Freemont Casino is probably the oldest. It’s owned by Boyd’s group now, most casinos are part of large corporations.
Binions Casino is also an old one, but it went bankrupt a few months ago, and the MGM Group bought it, mainly for it’s World Series of Poker championships.

Whenever we came to Vegas in the past I liked staying at the Golden Nugget downtown. I liked to have a half dozen big casinos close by. But the last time we stayed in a hotel we hit the Luxor. That's the pyramid at the south end of the strip. I think the casino inside is probably about as large as all of the Freemon Street casinos put together. It is about the most impressive building to enter that I've ever been in. You enter the front doors, and the whole inside of the pyramid is one big room - with the roof meeting up at the point over thirty stories above. The rooms are all around the outside of the pyramid, with balconies facing the center. You can look straight down from the top floors all the way to the casino floor below. It is a hugh room. Take the virtual tour on the web site, it's not as impressive as being there, but it shows some of the space.


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