Category: The Strip

Las Vegas – History of Water Parks

July 4, 2014

Roulette Rapids on Boulder Highway

Roulette Rapids- late 70′s. Man made dirt hill with 3 concrete chutes, with plywood berm protectors. At some point- helmets became required. place was awesome. I remember, my best friend getting a paint chip under his finger nail while sliding down.

Hydrotubes - Was located at the Clark County Community College. Three 6′ tall tube on a 3 story steel structure.

Wet n’ Wild - (Las Vegas Strip Wet ‘n Wild was a 27-acre water park located on the Las Vegas Strip. The park opened in 1984 and closed in 2004.

Wet’n’Wild- West side of town (Spring Valley /South Summerlin area) opened May 25, 2013

Cowabunga Bay – Henderson, Opened July 4, 2014

Wet'n'Wild Before opening in May of 2013

Cowabunga Bay (Henderson) wave Pool getting ready to open up.

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On This Date: July 2, 1969 The International Hotel in Las Vegas Opened

July 2, 2014
Las Vegas Hilton

Opened as the International, then renamed to the Las Vegas Hilton, LVH then Westgate

It opened in 1969 as the International Hotel, and was known for many years as the Las Vegas Hilton, then briefly as the LVH – Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. It was renamed the Westgate Las Vegas on July 1, 2014. Elvis Presley performed for 58 consecutive sold out shows, breaking all Vegas attendance records, with stellar reviews coming from both critics and the public.

On the night of February 10, 1981, just 90 days after the devastating MGM Grand fire, an arson set fire to the Las Vegas Hilton on the eighth floor. The fire burned through the east wing of the hotel and spread to higher floors. Eight people died in this fire. In 1982, Philip Cline was sentenced to eight life sentences for his role in starting the fire. The hotel is now known as the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

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On This Date: July 2, 1958 The Stardust Hotel & Casino Opened


The Famous Stardust Hotel & Casino Sign

On this Date, July 2, 1958, The Stardust Resort and Casino opened along the famous Las Vegas Strip. When the hotel opened, it had the largest casino and swimming pool in Nevada and the it was the largest hotel in the Las Vegas area. Although most of the modern casino complex, including its main 32-story tower, was built in 1991. The Stardust was originally a outer space themed hotel with planets, stars and galaxies on its facade.

Stardust Postcard

Stardust Postcard With the Orginal Spaced Themed Facade

But most remember the 188 foot tall neon sign that represented a shower of stardust around the words STARDUST. In 1991, the Stardust sign’s spaced themed lettering was replaced with a subdued typeface.

The Stardust officially closed on November 1, 2006 after operating continuously for 48 years. It was imploded on March 13, 2006

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On This Date: June 30, 1996,The Sands Hotel & Casino Closed

June 30, 2014
Sands Hotel & Casino

Sands Hotel & Casino A Place in the Sun

On this date the Sands Hotel & Casino Closed, June 30, 1996. The Historic hotel was the seventh hotel to open on the famous Las Vegas Strip on December 15, 1952. The Sands was was owned by Howard Hughes in the mid 1960′s.


Sands Hotel & Casino witht the Famous Rat Pack names on the Marquee

The original movie, Ocean’s 11 was filmed at the Sands and during this time movie stars Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford performed at the Copa Room. This is considered the birthplace of the “Rat Pack” and it was called the “Summit at the Sands”.  Another Famous lounge act was that of Louis Prima who performed at the Sands in the ’60s and early ’70s. The hotel was closed on June 30, 1996 and later imploded on November 26, 1996. The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino now resides at the Sands former location.

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On This Date: May 23, 1955 The Dunes Hotel Opened

May 23, 2014
The Dunes Hotel and Casino
On This Date: May 23, 1955 The Dunes Hotel Opened in Las Vegas

The Dunes was the tenth resort built on the Las Vegas Strip and opened on May 23, 1955. The resort included a 18-hole Championship golf course which ran from Tropicana Ave .to Flamingo Road, it was called the Dunes Miracle Mile. In its early years, the Dunes was known for the 35 ft tall fiberglass sultan that stood above its main entrance. Many top performers, such as Dean Martin, Jayne Mansfield, Liberace, George Burns, Pat Cooper, Judy Garland, Violetta Villas, Phyllis Diller and Frank Sinatra performed at the hotel.

The Dunes Hotel closed it doors on January 26, 1993. It sat where the now famous Bellagio resides on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Flamingo Road.

Photo By: © 1983 Larry D. Moore (CC-BY-SA)

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On This Date: April 30, 1996, The Stratosphere Las Vegas Opens

April 30, 2014
Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas

Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas at 1,149 feet tall.

Stratosphere Las Vegas is a tower, hotel, and casino located on Las Vegas Boulevard just north of the Las Vegas Strip. Its tower is also the tallest observation tower, and the 9th-tallest freestanding structure in the United States, as well as being the tallest structure in Las Vegas.

The Stratosphere was conceived by Bob Stupak as an addition to his Vegas World casino. At the conception of the project, one of the planned rides was to be a giant ape that would carry riders up and down on one of the tower’s columns. The original plans envisioned the Stratosphere exceeding the height of the CNN Tower at 1,815 ft., making it the world’s tallest freestanding structure at that time. However, due to possible interference with nearby McCarran International Airport, and any possible flights that come through Las Vegas, the Tower’s proposed height shrank multiple times, bringing it to its current height of 1,149 ft. On August 29, 1993, the Tower caught fire while still under construction. No one was injured, but the fire forced repairs and rebuilding that led to numerous delays in the construction of the Tower.

Photo By:  Timjarrett at en.wikipedia
Date Taken: November 2003

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