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Las Vegas Nostalgia

Modern tourists don’t know what they’re missing. Sure, the Sin City we know and love today is an entertainment Mecca with a surplus of shows, clubs, and other venues that few other American cities could come close to matching, but the city is constantly changing, and long gone are the classical days of the Rat Pack and Elvis Presley. With the closing of the Sahara Hotel and Casino in 2011, tourists witnessed the final push to eradicate Old Las Vegas from all sections of town save for the small stretch of Freemont St. Since the closing of such establishments as the Sands and the Aladdin, Las Vegas has been going through constant change and transformation to the point where it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the city. If time has told us anything, from nightclubs to stage performances, nothing in Sin City is safe.

No matter how popular an establishment is, if it has been around for quite some time, chances are the powers that be will look to overhaul the interior and re-open it as something fresh and new. Back in 2011, the Mirage Resort and Casino closed the doors to one of Las Vegas’ more popular nightclub establishments, JET, to make way for a new establishment hailing straight from New York City. JET was still a happening place- but there was need for a renovation that brought about the modernized lounge / nightclub hybrid 1OAK (One of a Kind). Another popular hangout that found itself on the receiving end of the wrath of Vegas was Body English, which was a popular hangout for Las Vegas locals and regular tourists. Though the establishment later re-opened, upon its closure, many devoted patrons of the toned down establishment were left with the option only to move on.

It’s easy to get nostalgic in Las Vegas, especially with the high turn over of establishments. Included in the long, sad list of places naught to be graced again are Christian Audigier at Treasure Island, Planet Hollywood’s Prive, Wasted Space at the Hard Rock, and Risque at the Paris Resort. Surely, these establishments had long, healthy runs where the crowds kept coming – but as with anything, all good things come to an end. Las Vegas nostalgia can stretch beyond just the nightclub scene, though. Strip clubs, too, find themselves succumbing to a newer age, as was seen with Jaguars, Crazy Horse 1 and its successor, Crazy Horse 2. Sometimes, though, it’s just a matter of revamping, which is where establishments like Crazy Horse III and the newly re-opened Body English come in. One exception to the rule of closing legacy nightclubs is the long standing TAO nightclub, which has outlasted many other nightclubs on the Strip.

As previously stated, nothing in Sin City is safe, including the vast assortment of stage performances that grace the city. The history of Las Vegas is a long one, as is the number of shows that have been pulled from their performance schedule. Much like Broadway, the length of a shows run is dependant on popularity and, of course, the contract the show has with the venue. Shows like “Mamma Mia!” and “Phantom of the Opera”, while generally popular in nature, have since been closed despite the notoriety their names carry. Along with these long-gone productions, those getting misty-eyed and nostalgic over Las Vegas history may remember other shows like “Marriage Can Be Murder”, “Lance Burton”, and “Fashionistas”. From small performances to large stage productions, Sin City’s listing of shows is ever-changing, and even those that are dominating the market now, such as “Evil Dead: The Musical 4D” and any of the many Cirque du Soleil shows, will find themselves falling victim to Las Vegas’ ever changing atmosphere.

Looking out at Sin City nowadays is a lot like looking over Times Square. Where Las Vegas once housed a classical look that helped it stand out amongst a crowd of other popular city’s, its transformation into the city it is today leaves it blending in with the rest of America’s popular metropolises. Luckily, places like Fremont Street still exist, where those looking for a taste of Old Las Vegas can escape to for a spell. Despite its metamorphism, though, Sin City still easily clings onto its title as an ever-burgeoning entertainment city.

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