The Signs They Are A’Changin’

lvh sign and hotelI will start with the LVH because when it was the Las Vegas Hilton, it was my favorite hotel to stay in when I visited Las Vegas. It was pure luxury and and the prices were always reasonable for my temperamental budget. My Aunt Joyce and I would visit the Hilton regularly for a girls’ weekend away, and she is the source of one of the funniest “I’ve had too much to drink oh god let me die” stories ever.

According to KTNV Channel 13 local news, a new company, Westport Resorts, has acquired the LVH (as it’s now known although we old-timers still call it “The Hilton”) and at the time that I’m writing this, the old LVH logo will be removed from the sign and replaced with a new one. I don’t know what the new one is, but rumor has it that it will read Westport Resorts. Yeah. I could get behind that.

The sign at the Hilton – excuse me, *the LVH* – is the largest free-standing sign in the world. The year it was constructed was one of the worst wind years in Las Vegas. That happened to be 1994, the same year I moved to Las Vegas. The wind storms that year were pretty awful, and the original tallest free-standing sign in the world came crashing down. Mostly.

It was rebuilt and when it was unveiled – okay, it’s hard to “unveil” a sign that’s 279 feet tall – it had the same basic look, but a different, more wind resistant configuration.

Once upon a time the newly renamed Westport Las Vegas was the International Hotel, where Elvis performed for 58 straight sold out shows and broke all kinds of records. In the early 1970s it was acquired by the Hilton Corporation and renamed the Las Vegas Hilton. So you can see why that when it was changed to the overly boring name of Las Vegas Hotel in 2012, it was greeted by a collective yawn. I’ve only been there a few times in the last couple of years, and the Bordeaux tasting a couple of months ago was one of my favorites.

Old photo found on Garry Mac site. http://www.garrymac.com/garry.htm

Old photo found on Garry Mac site. http://www.garrymac.com/garry.htm

Another bit of history is that it was the other hotel that had a major fire after the MGM Grand Hotel Fire in 1981. While 85 people died in the MGM fire (which, to confuse you even more, is now Bally’s and the MGM with the lion on Tropicana used to be the Marina. Clear?), only 8 people died in the International fire.  According to the Clark County Fire Department, the lessons learned at the MGM fire saved lives when the arson fire broke out at the International.  A head-shaker is that in both fires, people continued to sit at the slot machines and play despite the chaos. You can’t rescue stupid.

THEHotel-Vegas-Las-Vegas

The other sign that I’m mentioning in passing is that THEHotel is officially the Delano, but the new sign isn’t quite there yet. But look for it!  According to reports, the Delano’s sign will be changed in August, with the official opening September 1.  The rebranding began in 2013.  I haven’t yet gone to THEHotel this year to see the progress of the work, so I’m pretty excited.  I thought it looked great before with a brown and off-white early Hollywood/Film Noir kind of vibe, and from what I can see from the different websites, that won’t be changed.  THEHotel, by the way, is just south of the Mandalay Bay and is quite luxurious.  While it may never fit my always-pouting budget, I’m looking forward to exploring it a month or so after it opens.

So there you have it.  Las Vegas rebrands itself. Again.

 

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