Category: The Strip

On This Date: December 31, 1967 Evel Knievel Attempts to Jump Caesars Palace’s Fountains

December 31, 2014
Evel Knievel failed attempt to jump the fountains at Caesars Place on December 31, 1967

Evel Knievel failed attempt to jump the fountains at Caesars Place on December 31, 1967

On December 31, 1967, Daredevil Evel Knievel attempted to jump over the water fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Knievel’s jump was a 141 foot attempt and his longest to-date.  When he hit the takeoff ramp, he felt the motorcycle unexpectedly decelerate. The sudden loss of power on the takeoff caused Knievel to come up short and land on the safety ramp which was supported by a van. This caused the handlebars to be ripped out of his hands as he tumbled over them onto the pavement where he skidded into the Dunes parking lot. As a result of the crash, Knievel suffered a crushed pelvis and femur, fractures to his hip, wrist, and both ankles and a concussion that kept him in the hospital for a month in a reported coma for 29 days.

The Caesars Palace crash was Knievel’s longest attempted motorcycle jump at 141 feet. After his crash and recovery, Knievel was more famous than ever. ABC-TV bought the rights to the film of the jump; paying far more than they originally would have had they televised the original jump live. Ironically, when Knievel finally achieved the fame he had always wanted, and fortune now a distinct possibility, his doctors were telling him that he might never walk without the aid of crutches, let alone ride and jump motorcycles again.

On September 15, 1980, Gary Wells gained much media coverage, and much physical suffering, when he unsuccessfully tried to jump a motorcycle over the water fountains at the Caesars Palace. He sustained injuries to many different parts of his body.

April 14, 1989, Robbie Knievel, Evel’s son, successfully completed what his father could not do years before by completing the fountain jump.

On May 4, 2006, Mike ‘The Godfather’ Metzger jumped the Caesars Palace’s fountains that included a back flip.

 

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On This Date: December 30, 2007 The Palazzo opened on the Las Vegas Strip

December 30, 2014
Palazzo-at-night

Palazzo Luxury Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas opened December 30, 2007

The Palazzo located on the Las Vegas Strip, is a luxury hotel and casino resort situated between Wynn and The Venetian Hotels on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. South (the Strip) and Spring Mountian Road.  It is currently (2014) the tallest completed building in Nevada and with its 3,068 suites, the hotel offers luxury in a modern European ambiance.

The hotel and casino are part of a larger complex, operated as one hotel, comprising the adjoining Venetian Hotel and Casino and the Sands Convention Center, all of which are owned and operated by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. The completed complex is 8,108 rooms with 3 towers 52, 37 & 14 floors.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Date Taken: February 25, 2009

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On This Date: December 26, 1946 The Flamingo Opened on the Las Vegas Strip

December 26, 2014
The Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas

The Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas open on December 26, 1946

On this date, December 26, 1946 the Flamingo opened on the Las Vegas Strip, which was called highway 91 back then. Mobster Bugsy Siegel and his “partners” opened  the Flamingo Hotel & Casino at a total cost of $6 million on December 26, 1946. Billed as “The West’s Greatest Resort Hotel,” the 105-room property and first “luxury hotel” on the Strip and the third resort to open on the Strip after the El Rancho Las Vegas and the Last Frontier.

Currently the Flamingo property offers a 77,000 sq. ft. casino along with 3,626 hotel rooms. The 15-acre site’s architectural theme is reminiscent of the Art Deco and Streamline Moderne style of Miami and South Beach, with a garden courtyard housing a wildlife habitat featuring flamingos.  The Flamingo is located on the Las Vegas Blvd or the “Strip”  directly across from the Caesars Palace.  Today, the third resort on the Strip competes successfully with the new megaresorts with a health spa, wedding chapel, shops, rent-a-car, fine restaurants, and popular musicals and celebrity shows. The property is now owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment and is the oldest resort on the Strip still in operation today.

Photo By: Wikipedia.com

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On This Date: December 18, 1993: MGM Grand Las Vegas Opened

December 18, 2014
MGM Grand Hotel & Casino

MGM Grand Las Vegas Opened on December 18, 1993

The MGM Grand Las Vegas  opened on December 18, 1993. The hotel casino is located on the Las Vegas Strip on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Tropicana Ave. The MGM Grand is the second largest hotel in the world by number of rooms and the largest hotel resort complex in the United States, ahead of The Venetian. When it opened in 1993, the MGM Grand was the largest hotel in the world.

Owned and operated by MGM Resorts International, the 30-floor main building is 293 ft. high. The property includes five outdoor pools, rivers, and waterfalls that cover 6.6 acres, a 380,000 sq ft. convention center, the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and the Grand Spa. It also houses numerous shops and night clubs, restaurants, the Grand Garden Arena and the largest casino in Clark County, which occupies 171,500 sq ft.

The original hotel that existed on the current site before the MGM was built was the Marina Hotel. The Marina with was incorporated in to the new design and makes up the west wing of the hotel.  The MGM Grand name was originally used for the MGM Grand on the Flamingo Road and the Strip which was renamed when it was bought up by Bally’s Inc.

Originally, the main entrance on the Strip was inside the mouth of a giant cartoon-like version of MGM’s mascot, Leo the Lion, but this entrance feature was changed to a more traditional entrance; many Chinese gamblers avoided the casino or entered through the back entrance, due to the feng shui belief that entering the mouth of the lion was “bad luck.” In 1998, a large bronze statue of Leo was added above the entrance to keep with the MGM Lion theme.

Photo by: Wikipedia

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On This Date: December 15, 1952, The Sands Hotel & Casino Opened

December 15, 2014

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

Sands Hotel & Casino

Sands Hotel & Casino A Place in the Sun

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: December 10, 1996, The Hacienda Hotel Closed

December 10, 2014

Hacienda Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip

The Hacienda was a hotel/casino that operated on the Las Vegas Strip from 1956 to 1996. The Hotel was closed on December 10, 1996 and later was imploded on New Year’s Eve in 1999.

The Hacienda, while being designed, was called  the Lady Luck (not to be confused with the downtown’s Lady Luck), but before it was finished it was sold and eventually opened as the Hacienda in 1956. The Hacienda resort initially opened in 1954 without a casino. The hotel owned its own fleet of airliners for its ambitious air travel promotions, it was located directly across from McCarran Air Field.  The Hacienda was also one of the first Strip hotels to market to families and budget travelers. After the implosion, the Mandalay Bay Resort and Hotel was built on the old Hacienda site.

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