Weird Nevada
Weird Nevada
Weird Nevada - By Joe Parzanese

Weird Las Vegas

Map Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109

Map Flamingo
3555 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109

Map Luxor
3900 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, Nevada 89119

The Flamingo on Las Vegas Boulevard
The Flamingo on Las Vegas Boulevard

Ah Las Vegas, the City of Sin. What with several Cirque du Soleil shows, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, hoards of incredible art displays, shops, restaurants, breath-taking architecture most of it period, all of it trying to out do each other, it's sometimes hard to distinguish what's weird here, and what's not. Elvis is said to haunt the Hilton, while his impersonators roam freely around the town. The second largest hotel fire in US history occurred on the site of the Bally's Hotel, causing 84 people to lose their lives. Their ghosts still lurk in the halls of the new casino on the original site.

Then there's the Flamingo. Originally conceived by William "Billy" Wilkerson, he sadly ran out of money during construction allowing Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel along with Meyers Lansky and Charles "Lucky" Luciano, reputed mobsters, to take over the hotel and casino. Its doors opened December 26th, 1946 as The Pink Flamingo Hotel & Casino, named after Siegel's girlfriend Virginia Hill (Flamingo was Siegel's nickname for her).

If the story is to be believed, Siegel had a vision of a large casino for gamblers to come and play. Costs on the building of the Flamingo ballooned from one million up to six million dollars. Rumors of Siegel embezzling funds from the project also arose as the costs continued to sky rocket. After the Flamingo had a rocky opening, Virginia Hill apparently stole the money that Siegel owed the mob and fled to Europe. Bugsy was later shot through the eye shortly thereafter on June 20th 1947 in Hill's Beverly Hills home at 810 N. Linden Drive. The hit was ordered by the mafia, headed up by Luciano and Lansky. Due mostly to the Godfather movie, this is now called the "Moe Greene Special".

The Monument to Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel at the Flamingo
The Monument to Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel at the Flamingo

Bugsy is said to have returned to haunt the casino lurking around what was the Presidential Suite. Although the Presidential Suite was razed in 1993, the ghost is still seen haunting the pool, the Wedding Chapel, and the Ben Siegel Monument. Siegel resided in the Presidential Suite while he was in Vegas. Back in the forties the penthouse had an escape hatch with a ladder down to the bottom floor. Supposedly there was always an escape car waiting at the bottom. At the time of its demise, the Presidential Suite still had a green colored bidet, green colored toilets, and green linoleum. Supposedly these were all hand picked by Bugsy himself who had a fondness for "pistachio green". Of course, tourists are not to be deterred, and the specter of Ben Siegel has been seen in the new penthouse Presidential Suite. Additionally the specter of Ben Siegel still haunts the location of his death, Virginia Hill's old estate in Beverly Hills (which regrettably for Siegel, only has armor plated doors and not bullet proof windows). Ben Siegel is now buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

The Sphinx and Beam of the Luxor Hotel
The Sphinx and Beam of the Luxor Hotel

Originally the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, Las Vegas built there very own Luxor right on the strip. Consisting of a thirty story hollow black pyramid and attached ziggurat towers, the hotel has over 4,400 rooms. In front of the pyramid is a replica of the Great Sphinx and on top of the pyramid is the brightest beam in the world, shooting light straight up into space. The beam is so bright that it can be seen from anywhere in Vegas and even from outer space. The beam is currently operating at a reduced level as previously it could be seen at flight level by air planes leaving Los Angeles and caused a great distraction and flight risk. Additionally, especially in Spring, the beam attracts hundreds upon hundreds of moths, beetles, and other bugs, causing a snow like effect. This smorgasbord of insect life also attracts hundreds of hungry bats that swarm around the light in a feeding frenzy. The guest rooms of the hotel are situated on the outside walls of the pyramid, which basically means that there's absolutely nothing below the floor of your room for however many levels up you are. Additionally special elevators called inclinators were created that travel up the sides of the pyramid at an angle.

The World's Tallest and Largest Volume Chocolate Fountain
The World's Tallest and Largest Volume Chocolate Fountain

As if this monstrous pyramid in the middle of the desert wasn't weird enough, many locals claim the place is cursed. Apparently during the construction, one person died, and many more were injured. Also, several people refuse to work at the hotel because of the curse. Finally the Vegas World Sky Towers, now called the Stratosphere apparently caught on fire and suffered serious damage as the Luxor was being completed. Of course, the curse and bad luck of the Luxor Hotel is to blame for all this. And the curse will hold on the city of Las Vegas until a special artificial eye is placed as a capstone on the beam emitting from the top of the pyramid. The curse is compounded by the fact that the great Sphinx was built facing the wrong direction. It was built facing East towards the rising sun and incoming airplanes. The Egyptians built the original Sphinx facing west. There are some who believe this incorrect facing further curses Las Vegas. Course, as far as I can tell, visitors win and lose the same amount at the Luxor as anywhere else in Vegas.

And what would a weird report be without something large? Bellagio plays host to the Tallest and Largest Volume Chocolate Fountain in the world. It certainly is a spectacle to behold clocking in at twenty seven feet tall moving 2,100 pounds of melted chocolate. Six pumps move what is close to two tons of chocolate of the white, medium, and dark styles. The fountain consists of over five hundred feet of stainless steel piping circulating the chocolate at a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The entire structure took two years of engineering, planning, and design. The Chocolate Fountain is located in the back area of the Bellagio close to the spa entrance.


Last Edited: 2006-08-29


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