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NeonParadise.Com Updates

 

The Return to Las Vegas

 

07/20/2014

 

After almost a year and a half absence from Las Vegas, NeonParadise.Com was able to make a return thanks to the generosity of The Wynn to marvel at all of the changes that have occurred since the last time we were there!    We received"on the house" treatment at The Wynn--the first time we ever stayed at the 5 Star resort--we definitely want to go back!  Among the many updates we visited during late May, 2014:  we checked out the changes happening at Treasure Island--sadly, the Sirens of TI show Is no more (and won't be replaced); instead, mall shops are being installed on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Spring Mountain; this is part of the new Las Vegas-wide plan to cater to visitors with more restaurants, nightclubs and shops, and depend less on gaming revenue.  The Linq had opened since our last visit, and we have photos of the new shopping area (see last sentence) with the High Roller Wheel, now operating.  We checked out the new Cromwell (formerly Bill's Gamblin's Hall, formerly the Barbary Coast); discovered changes at the Tropicana (no more Mob Attraction; no more Bagatelle); looked at the renovations at the MGM Grand; the LVH appears to be getting a new name; and we visited Downtown to see the new Downtown Grand (formerly the Lady Luck).   Bally's has torn out the rotating light display (red, green and blue) at the entrance on the Strip, for a new shopping adventure (see three sentences back).  It's unfortunate that it appears many of the freebies  that drew visitors to Las Vegas are being demolished in exchange for the "restaurants, nightclubs and shops" angle that is being embraced by most of the casinos (Sirens of Ti Show; Ballys' light display, MGM Lion Habitat, etc.)--we can only hope that Vegas isn't shooting itself in the foot.  Visitors on vacation love to get that little extra value--by seeing a free show or event.   Time will tell if the marketing people know what they're doing.   Another disconcerting bit of news is the health of Lake Mead; at the time this is written, the lake is 39% full!  There are conflicting news stories in the media stating that Las Vegas has plenty of water for years, and that things are going to run dry in just a few years!  Development continues in Vegas--with a new 4.5 billion dollar casino resort planned, and new homes being built; the area continues to grow.   Again, time will tell whether Vegas runs out of water, or not.

 

 

The Big Wheel on the Strip

 

11/21/2013

 

 

Thanks to several friends (Robert "Vegas Bob" Swetz, Lisa Barkett and Ardee Jagt)  for sharing their photos of the High Roller Wheel with NeonParadise.Com as we're able to track the various stages of construction on the attraction throughout 2013.   Ardee was also instrumental in providing shots of the renovations occurring at Bill's Gamblin' Hall and pictures from the 2013 Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Marathon held on November 16th and 17th.    

 

 

New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip

 

01/31/2013

 

NeonParadise.Com celebrated the arrival of 2013 on the Las Vegas Strip!   We stayed at the Flamingo, and took a number of new photos along the Mid Strip area that will be added to various pages (including being on the Strip New Year's Eve night--which can be found on the Home Page sidebar).  On a previous New Year's (Jan. 1, 2008), we visited the Las Vegas Hilton and took in the now defunct Star Trek:  The Experience.  We hadn't been back to the hotel (now, the Las Vegas Hotel) since then, so on New Year's Day, we stopped in again and took a number of photos of the Star Trek remnants still in place, as well as the giant sports book found on the premises.  We rode the monorail a lot!  Got photos of the construction of the High Roller observation wheel being built behind the Quad and the Flamingo.  In October, 2012, we attended the Frankie Moreno show at the Stratosphere and became instant fans!  We got stage-front seats on January 2 and enjoyed seeing Frankie's first show of the new year.  Photos of the Frankie Moreno show (and soon a video) can be found on the Home Page side bar and also on the Stratosphere page.  And, we finally got an opportunity to visit the Mob Museum in Downtown; photos from our visit can be found in the Downtown section and (soon) in the Attractions area.   Other new photos include interior shots of the Quad and Casino Royale; pictures of the Hacienda near Hoover Dam, and Railroad Pass near Boulder City, and we even visited Terribile's Casino at Flamingo and Paradise Rds.  Photos of the Bellagio Conservatory and the Venetian decorated for the holidays are also being added to those respective pages.  For Zombie and horror fans, we visited Zombie Apocalypse near Chinatown and the Goretorium at the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Harmon.   During a brief trip in October 2012 (mentioned above), new photos from the Stratosphere Tower were taken both during the day and at night (with a video of tower visitors using the Sky Jump); we were also fortunate to be at the D in Downtown just in time for the grand opening celebration, and we took photos of the 2012 renovation of the Golden Gate.

 

     

Neonparadise.Com is Back and Intact

 

 10/24/2012

 

The website is back and intact for the first time since April, 2012.  A devastating move to the new Microsoft webhosting caused the loss of 2,000 photos ... all which had to be reinserted into NeonParadise.Com one by one.  Some tweaking and updating will now follow, but the website is back in business for all its visitors to enjoy!

 

 

 

O'Shea's is Closed; Fitzgeralds is "D"; Lady Luck is Downtown Grand

 

05/05/2012 

 

The website is down for a number of weeks as the transition is made to the new Microsoft webhosting venue.  During the migration, some small changes will be made to the site--but, essentially NeonParadise.Com remains the same.  While off-line, O'Shea's on the Strip closed (its page has been moved to the Defunct Vegas section); it will be demolished to make way for Caesars' new Linq pedestrian mall to be located between the Imperial Palace and the Flamingo--a 550' observation wheel will also be assembed behind IP and Flamingo.  Also, Fitzgeralds on the Fremont Street Experience was bought by the owner of the Golden Gate and renamed "D"--which is the nickname of the principal owner of the former.  The former Fitzgeralds is undergoing a major makeover.  Meanwhile, Lady Luck (which has stayed closed for a number of years with the promise of re-opening someday, refurbished) has been renamed the Downtown Grand.

 

The Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort

01/01/2012 2:15 PM

Ironically, Las Vegas had its beginning as a Mormon outpost in 1855.  The Mormon Fort is located north of Downtown at the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Washington Ave.    The fort was abandoned  just two years after it was founded and changed ownership a couple of times before becoming the epicenter of the City of Las Vegas in 1905.  The Mormon Fort page can be found in the Downtown section. 

 

Lunar Crater, Valley of Fire, Neon Boneyard, Area 51, Oktober Fright Fest!

12/31/2011 6:30 PM

 

Neon Paradise.Com visited Nevada from October 26 through November 2, 2011.  New additions to the website include updates to the Area 51 page!  We spent the night at the Little A'le'inn and took lots of pictures; saw a UFO; and explored the entrances to the famous Top Secret base!  Also, being that remote from Las Vegas, we decided to add a page devoted to Lunar Crater in the Side Trips section.  230 miles north of Las Vegas is a volcanic crater; very remote and off the beaten path.   On the heels of visiting Red Rock Canyon in 2010, this time we explored Valley of Fire--again found in the Side Trips page.  It was Halloween time, and we hung around a lot in Downtown during the 3rd annual Oktober Fright Fest ; you'll find pictures and videos currently on the Home Page on the upper left hand side (this will eventually be moved to the Downtown section).  We finally got around to visiting the Liberace Museum--and it was closed--as in:  for good.  Got photos of the outside of the defunct venue--and that's where you'll find the pictures:  Defunct Vegas.  By a stroke of luck, we were able to get a tour of the Boneyard without a reservation!  New pictures of the old neon signs can be found on the Boneyard page.   A new feature is the Visitor Photo Album (also found on the Home Page to the upper left):  visitors to Las Vegas can have their personal photos added to this page and share them with the rest of us!  If you want to show everyone what a great time you had in Las Vegas (recently, or many years ago), e-mail Jay (Contact US).   There are a number of smaller additions--new photos added to various pages--new pictures are being added all the time. 

 

Sahara Tribute, Masquerade Show in the Sky, Silverton Mermaids, Chinatown and More!

05/01/2011 11:40:00 PM

With the Sahara closing on May 16, we didn't want to miss the chance to stay in the historic, venerable hotel at least once and document how it was before it ceased operation.  At the time this is written, it's not known what the future holds for the Sahara:  Will it be imploded and replaced by a new resort?  Will it be renovated?  Will it just be mothballed for a number of years?  Many new photos of the Sahara have been added to the ones that were taken in 2008, along with short videos of the Sahara sign and Speed the Ride.  Also, NeonParadise.Com finally made another visit to the Rio after a four-year absence; new photos and video were taken of the all new Masquerade Show in the Sky; new pictures and video will be found on both the Rio page (found on Off-Strip) and the Masquerade in the Sky page in the Attractions section.  Plus, we made visits to the M Resort, as well as long-overdue visits to a number of the Coast properties.  And, we snuck into the Silverton Lodge & Casino and took photographs and video of the mermaid swim that happens in their large aquarium.  We visited Chinatown at night and took a few more photos, too.     

 

Videos of Bond and Ziplining on the Fremont Street Experience

04/05/2011 10:00:00 PM

Three videos have been added:  Bond at the Cosmopolitan has a pulsating light display for an entrance; a photo of it was placed on the Cosmopolitan page but there's nothing like actually watching it in action ... so, you can!   Ziplining under the canopy of the Fremont Street Experience is a new attraction in downtown; there are photos on the FSE page, but now there is a video as well (near the bottom of the page).  And, there is also a video of the FSE in action at night. 

 

Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas Mob Experience, and other Updates

04/05/2011 12:12:00 AM

Three months after it opened, we finally got an opportunity to visit the new Cosmopolitan--WOW! is the only word that comes to mind.  The Cosmopolitan page has been filled with photos.   The Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Tropicana was also visited the day after the Grand Opening; there are two sections with photos--one on the Tropicana page, and the other on the LV Mob Experience page in the Attractions section.  The site for Downtown's Mob Museum was checked out, with new photos added to that page.  Pages have been added to the Downtown section; new photos have been sprinkled about--new pages for the Neon Museum, Fitzgeralds, Mermaids, Las Vegas Club.  On the Strip, besides the updates to the Cosmopolitan, new photos have been added to the Bellagio, Paris Las Vegas, Riviera, Wynn, Encore, Bally's--plus some great shots of the Strip at night from the top of the Eiffel Tower!  Off Strip, we added two Station Casinos:  Aliante Station (in North Las Vegas) and Fiesta Rancho; and added photos to Red Rock Casino.  We are sad to learn about the impending closure of the Sahara--that was one of the big things people were talking about on the Strip.   We'll be adding more photos to the Sahara page in a few weeks (for possible posterity) since it's unknown at this time whether the Sahara will be torn down or renovated; for now it appears the venerable casino is to be "mothballed".   Little additions will be added to the website here and there over the next few days--several additional photos as well as some videos; these will be posted here when done.

 

NeonParadise.Com

03/03/2011 7:32:00 PM

NeonParadise.Net is now also NeonParadise.Com!  The .com Domain name had been owned by someone else on the Internet for at least the past 14 months and were not using the address for a website.   We waited patiently and finally the Domain name became available again ... but not for long ... because it now belongs to this website!  NeonParadise can now be accessed through both .Net and .Com and will continue to do so for as long as the website exists.  NeonParadise now enjoys the best of both worlds ... .Net and .Com!  It should be easier than ever--now--for visitors and fans of NeonParadise, both current and future, to find the website! 

 

Las Vegas Halloween

02/27/2011 8:50:00 PM

October, 2010 was a busy month for trips to Las Vegas.   During the middle of the month, visits were made to Red Rock Canyon, Mt. Charleston, the Fremont Street Experience, a number of the Station Casinos, the Dolphin Habitat and Secret Garden at the Mirage, City Center, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, O'Shea's, the Flamingo, Bill's Gambling Hall, Paris Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, the Bellagio, Eastside Cannery and Lake Las Vegas; we also stopped by the famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop on Las Vegas Blvd.  The trip to the mountains featured photos of Fall colors; and downtown and along the Strip many of the casinos featured Fall and Halloween decorations.  A second trip was made during Halloween weekend which netted some photos of Vegas party-goers in Halloween costumes at the Bellagio; Gil, making a rare appearance in Vegas, did a phenomenal job at taking a panorama view of the Las Vegas Strip at night from Horizon Ridge Drive in Henderson--taking individual photos, he was able to stitch them together to make one large, panorama shot.  Seeing the lights and colors of the Strip in one scene--from Mandalay Bay to the Stratosphere, is for me, always a wonder to behold!   Many new pages have been added to the Attractions section and a number of videos have been interspersed throughout the site (look carefully at the bottom of each page and you may find one!).  Also, new attractions featuring organized crime--The Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Tropicana, and Downtown's Mob Museum--have new pages on the site.  The LVME opens March 1, 2011 with a Grand Opening on March 29, 2011.  The Mob Museum, which will be housed in the historic Post Office and Court House at 300 Stewart Ave, will be opening in December, 2011.  We'll have pictures and more information on both Mob attractions on future trips--as well as photos of the new Cosmopolitan, which opened on December 15, 2010. 

 

 

Haunted Vegas Tour

9/29/2010 9:03:52 PM
A new page dedicated to the Haunted Vegas Tour was created in the Attractions section.  Photos taken at Green Valley Park in Henderson and at the Flamingo Hotel (two of several stops along the tour) are featured.  A photo for the Haunted Vegas Tour has also been added to the Attractions page.
 

Bigger Photos

9/1/2010 6:07:05 PM
All the photos have been enlarged on the site; hopefully this will make visiting NeonParadise.Net even more enjoyable to our visitors!

 

 

New Updates (Phase Four)

8/22/2010 8:24:30 PM

New pictures have been added to Hoover Dam, Luxor, and Laughlin.

 

New Updates (Phase Three)

8/17/2010 7:14:37 PM
In the Downtown section, photos of Main Street Station (inside and out) have been added, as well as inside pics of the Plaza and the California.  On the Fremont Street Experience page, scroll down to the Golden Nugget photos and pictures of the 61 pound, 11 ounce gold nugget (on display near the lobby) will be found.   On South Strip, a new page dedicated to South Point has been added.  More to come!
 
 
 
 

New Updates (Phase Two)

 8/16/2010 7:26:10 PM

 New photos have been added to the Wynn & Encore pages, as well as City Center.  Treasure Island has been updated to reflect the changes that Gilley's has brought about to that resort.  More to come!

 

New Updates (Phase One)

 8/15/2010 8:04:01 PM

 The first of several updates to various pages are ready for viewing:  New photos have been added to Trump International, the Tropicana, and Excalibur.  More to come!

 

 

New Updates (Phase One)

8/15/2010 8:04:01 PM

 The first of several updates to various pages are ready for viewing:  New photos have been added to Trump International, the Tropicana, and Excalibur.  More to come!

 
 
 

Stratosphere Tower

8/5/2010 6:50:34 PM

 Just add a new page to the Attractions section:  Stratosphere Tower. 

 
 

Madame Tussauds & Shark Reef

 8/4/2010 6:43:59 PM

 

Two new pages have been added to the Attractions section:  Madame Tussauds Interactive Wax and Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay.
 
 

Sirens of TI Video

 6/19/2010 2:02:22 PM

 

The Sirens of TI represent out first video on the website; it is a small montage of the show which is performed in front of Treasure Island.  This video was filmed on July 24, 2008 and can be found at the very bottom of the Treasure Island page.   A second video was filmed May 29, 2007 at Harrah's flair bar, Carnival Court--it can be found at the very bottom of the Harrah's page.  Rio's Masquerade in the Sky was shot on May 30, 2007; the video of the parade hanging over the casino floor is located at the bottom of the Rio page located in the Off Strip section.  More videos will be added soon and new photos and updates are coming after our next trip to Vegas in August! 
 
 
 

Zombie Precinct

 4/7/2010 9:02:34 PM

 

Added another photo to New York-New York:  Zombie Precinct--a haunted house attraction that was set up on the Brooklyn Bridge during October, 2009.
 
 

Photo Additions to the Stratosphere and Others

 3/20/2010 8:55:00 PM

 

I added four new photos to the Stratosphere page--two points of interest signs, a view down Paradise Rd from the top of the tower; and a view looking down on the south side.
 
On the Off-Strip page, I added a picture of the Greek Isles Hotel.
 
On Harrah's page, two photos of the Toby Keith "I Love this Bar & Grill" are featured.

 

More Photo Additions

 3/14/2010 11:18:08 AM

 

Just finished with adding more photos to various pages.  Among the additions:
 
MGM Grand:  A photo of the lion symbol on the lobby floor.
 
Fremont Street Experience:  Mickie Finnz mermaid and the Old Prospector.  Also, created a link to the Summer of '69 celebration page by clicking on the Binion's dealer photo.
 
New York-New York:  Two pictures of Broadway Burger in Greenwich Village (my favorite fastfood place in the casino).
 
Bally's:  A photo of the casino area and another with me standing in the casino.
 
Monte Carlo:  A second view of the casino area.
 
Flamingo:  Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville.
 
Chinatown:  The plaque at the foot of the Journey to the West statue.
 
Sahara:  Three new photos:  The Alexandria Tower, the minaret, Sahara entrance.
 
Circus Circus:  A photo of the Adventuredome floor map, me at Desperados Hideaway, Robyn in the main concourse, and a scene from the rear of the casino.
 
Off Strip:  An additional photo of a monorail moving down the rail along Paradise Road.
 
Summer of '69:  Three additional photos of the Fremont Street Experience decorated for the Summer of '69 celebration.
 
Harrah's:  Pictures of the valet area and at the rear of the property.
 
Venetian:  Inside pics of Zeffirinio's Ristorante.
 
I hope you enjoy looking at the photos of NeonParadise.Net and I can't wait for my next trip to Vegas--have a list of "to do's" for new additions
 
 

Summer of '69

 3/11/2010 6:11:13 AM

 

Last night I created another new page--this one titled The Summer of '69:  Vegas or Bust--with photos of the observance of the 40-year anniversary of Woodstock during the Summer of 2009 on the Fremont Street Experience.  Since the Summer of '69 celebration doesn't appear to be a recurring event, I placed the page in the Defunct Vegas section. 
 
 

New Page Additions

 3/3/2010 4:12:16 PM

 

On Wednesday, 03/02/2010, I added a few pages to the initial website since its creation.  The additions include a page in the Defunct Vegas section for Kilroy's which closed at the Charleston and Buffalo location.  I will miss Kilroy's since I was planning to eat there at least once on every subsequent trip to Vegas I make; at least I got to eat there once.  There's one remaining Kilroy's south of the Flamingo and Grand Canyon intersection.  Hopefully, it will remain a viable business and I will be able to enjoy their awesome burgers for years to come!  But the other Kilroy's appears to be a victim of the economic recession.
 
In the Attractions section, I've added two pages:  The Las Vegas Drive-In and Casa de Shenandoah.  Drive-Ins are an endangered American icon (though, I've read on the Internet that a few are making a comeback).  I find going to the drive-in movies to be a real treat--and since Las Vegas has one (and Albuquerque--where I live--doesn't), I plan to take-in a movie there every so often when I'm in town.  Casa de Shenandoah, meanwhile, is the home of singer Wayne Newton--whose name is synonymous with Las Vegas.  Yes, Mr. Newton's residence is a home and not really a sight-seeing attraction, but with "Casa de Shenandoah" stenciled on the wall at the Intersection of Sunset and Pecos, it's hardly a secret or an invasion of privacy.  And so, seeing the place (at least from the outside) where Wayne Newton lives may be of interest to someone who loves Las Vegas as much as I do. 
 
I've also added a Hotel Critique section in which I briefly review those Vegas hotels in which I've stayed; this is located on the top navigation bar.   However, I encourage everyone to visit cheapovegas.com for an indepth and exhaustive review of all noteworthy hotels on and off the Strip--their information should help make for a more enjoyable vacation!
 
NeonParadise.Net is a work in progress and more additions will be coming soon. 
 

 

 

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