With its neon flashin’ and one-armed bandits crashin’, this bright light city is bound to set your soul on fire. Gambling. Glitter. Sexy entertainment. Gourmet restaurants. Swanky shops. Nightclubs galore. It’s all here in a 24/7 desert bacchanalia that on occasion makes Dionysus and his pals come off like amateurs. And when the tumblin’ dice reward you with stacks of chips that are oh so nice, you’ll sing “Viva Las Vegas!” Alex one of my best friends who lived in Las Vegas when he was working in Biotech Water Researchers team. He was very impressed with the night life of Las Vegas so he suggested me to visit this place.
Vegas is constantly reinventing itself, discarding the old and donning the new. The King swivel-hipped his way out of the building long ago, of course. Liberace is gone. So are Siegfried & Roy. And the storied casinos of Sin City’s ’60s and ’70s heyday have been dropping like flies lately. The latest casualty is the Riviera hotel, a favorite haunt of the Rat Pack and a filming location for movies ranging from the original “Ocean’s 11” to Martin Scorsese’s “Casino.” After a 60-year run the hotel closed its doors for good in 2015 to make way for a future expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Prior to “The Riv” biting the dust a different approach was taken with the legendary Sahara hotel, shuttered in 2011. Instead of a date with dynamite, the old girl’s bones were dolled-up and reanimated as the glitzy SLS Las Vegas resort. Unlike the 1990s when old casinos were being demolished left and right, remodeling and repurposing make financial sense in today’s tough economy.
Witness the gentrification of downtown’s Fremont East District. Less than 10 years ago the sketchy corner of Fremont and 6th streets was no man’s land, frequented only by the most dedicated of budget gamblers playing at the vintage El Cortez casino. Nowadays the intersection is crammed with old buildings-turned-nightspots. Steps away, hipster-geared shops and eateries inhabit the metal, cargo-shipping bins of the Downtown Container Park. UNLV college students and adventurous tourists have largely replaced the shady-looking street urchins who once plagued the area.