In Las Vegas, old hotels never die. They are put to death in a massive
implosion, done with fanfare, as only Las Vegas can do.
I will always mourn the Dunes' sign. The sign was the first thing we spotted
as out plane started to land. The neon and the glittering lights was old Vegas. The casino inside pretty much sucked, in the last years it was nearly empty. But the sign beckoned me in every time. I'm not mourning the Dunes, because my favorite hotel, the Bellagio took its place. I just miss the sign.
The Hacienda made way for Mandalay Bay. The old Hacienda housed some amazing acts: magician Lance Burton when he was starting out, the late Red Foxx and Cook E Jarr ruled the lounge and the casino in his leopard spandex. The casino was full of cigar smoke, but I miss the atmosphere. The buffet was horrible,but hey, they served free wine.
The Desert Inn was imploded to make way for Wynn's. The Crystal room at the DI was THE place to see a Las Vegas. I remember seeing Frankie Vallie and the 4 Seasons. The room was gorgeous, but you had to go through this claustrophobic tunnel to reach the showroom. The showroom manager led me to the best seat in the house WITHOUT a tip! Guess he liked me or it was easier to shut me up by seating me!! At one time, staying at the DI was the hottest room in town. Wynn's took its place with the most expensive to build hotel rooms in Las Vegas.
And who can ever forget the Sands, with their round towers? It was the home of the Rat Pack, Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. I regret I didn't go there during the Rat Pack heyday. You still hear stories of how Sinatra would deal cards after a show in the casino and pay off all the losers. The Sands was a fun place, I still have a lot of the old Sands cups and mugs they gave away just for walking in the door. And it was the home of the original "Viva Las Vegas" afternoon show that was ALWAYS packed. The wood in the casino was dark, ceilings were low and full of chandeliers, unlike today's ultra modern casinos. Today, the marble palace, the Venetian stands in its place. I wonder if their ghosts haunt the Venetian? Wouldn't that be a fun haunt?
I found this page on Vegas.com that shows the old hotels and their implosions. Its a fun look at the old hotels going down!