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Winning the Pot

Fremont
Dennis McBride Collection

As the Strip boomed and neighborhood casinos became more common, Downtown Las Vegas continued to reinvent itself.

In 1995, Fremont Street was transformed into the pedestrian-friendly Fremont Street Experience, whose paved walkways were topped by an overhead canopy.

The hourly light show has become a tourist favorite and has contributed to the ongoing revitalization of this historic area.

invite

invite
MGM Mirage Corporate Archives

Bellagio
Bill Willard Collection

Steve Wynn set the bar for casino luxury even higher with Bellagio, which opened in 1998.

Even the opening festivities had gone upscale; these are the first pages from a 12-page invitation to the debut gala, which came encased in a deluxe velvet-lined box embossed in gold.

 

 

 

 

When this pre-opening photo was taken, the property's signature water feature was still under construction.

Beach
Mandalay Bay Promotional and Publcity File
Pools have always been essential elements of successful casino resorts, but Mandalay Bay took the Las Vegas pool to the next level with Mandalay Beach, a surf and sand beach with a wave pool.
Hard Rock
Hard Rock Promotional and Publcity File

While upscale resorts transformed the Strip, off-Strip operators continued to innovate.

The Hard Rock Casino, which opened in 1995, promoted itself as a hip hangout with ads and artwork that showed the casinos as a fun, sexy place...and, in the eyes of some, pushed the boundary of good taste.

palms
Palms Promotional and Publcity File
Like the Hard Rock, the Palms brought a younger demographic to Las Vegas casinos. Positioned as a resort that would appeal equally to tourists and locals, the Palms was one of the first casinos to embrace reality TV, as it was the setting for MTV’s Real World. This is a publicity still of a design model released shortly before the casino's opening.
Wynn
Wynn Resorts Promotional and Publcity File

Las Vegas finished off its first century by marking a new beginning.

Wynn Las Vegas, which opened on April 28, 2005, would have astounded those who attended the railroad auction on May 15, 1905.

 

After 100 years of progress, the future of Las Vegas gaming is looking as bright as ever.

 

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Last modified Monday, 30-Aug-2010 13:41:34 PDT