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The 1970s ushered in "new era" of Vegas. Circus Circus opened in 1968, built a 15-story, 400-room hotel tower and 850-seat showroom that opened in 1972. The International Hotel with 1500 rooms opened in 1971, only to be sold to Hilton. It re-opened in 1973 as MGM Grand Hotel. The MGM Grand had a newly built 26 story tower that housed 2,084 rooms and with 2.5 million square feet and a 2,000-seat showroom set new standard in defining mega-resort. Nothing was as thrilling as arriving under marquee with thousands of lights beaming down. Corporate money had entered scene. The 70s also ushered in days of Elvis and his long-term performances.
In 1980s, a new name came on scene in guise of Steve Wynn who ushered in a wave of luxurious hotels and casinos, as world had never seen. The Mirage opened in 1989 and Steve Wynn's name went down in history.
Baby Boomers who had kids in tow by 1990s thought it would be great fun to take their kids to Vegas. The hotels responded and built "kid friendly" attractions. Wet n Wild water slides, cartoon characters, humongous swimming pools and video arcades ushered in "kiddies era". Hello, what was everyone thinking? If you're pushing baby strollers you sure aren't gambling and you've changed atmosphere from exciting and different to old hometown. The Bellagio Hotel (another Steve Wynn masterpiece) opened in 1998 (with distinction of being most expensive hotel - at time) banned any persons under age 18 who were not registered guests of hotel. The Stratosphere hotel (tallest building west of Mississippi) opened in 1996. 1997 brought New York, New York with its roller coaster. Mandalay Bay opened in 1999 with 3,300 rooms. In 1999, phase one of Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino opened with 3,036 suites. And in 1999 Paris Las Vegas Casino opened.
Rod Stewart, Bette Middler and Tina Turner, Las Vegas "Boy Wonder" Wayne Newton and other notable stars ushered in millennium.
With long awaited opening of Wynn Las Vegas, Steve Wynn scores once again with a new level of opulence, this may not be biggest hotel in town, but it's only one with a full-service Ferrari and Maserati dealership and it's own museum and art collection. Wynn also features a 100-foot mountain overlooking a 3-acre lake, what must Howard Hughes be thinking?
The turn of century has brought Las Vegas back to its senses, once again sin is in, main attraction is alive and well! Who knows what next hundred years will bring?
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Joan Ewart, an artist, a writer and world travler, devotes many hours to authoring and maintaining major travel web sites. Publishes many articles on travel spots around the world. You'll find this and much more Las Vegas Information at www.lasvegas-wow.com