We looked into a portfolio of post tour reviews and retrieved a report from some time ago. The day’s tour of Downtown had special historical significance – a one last chance to see and experience a part of Fremont Street that would be gone after the weekend. It provided a chance to say goodbye to a collection of unique places that had anchored the first block of Fremont Street for years. This history moment was not lost on our tour goers: a couple from Detroit, itself a city being rejuvenated but with an eye to its architectural heritage; and two young teachers from Illinois/Alabama who seemed attentive to any lessons of history at hand.
And so, the morning offered a salient visual moment that traced the outline of the historic Las Vegas Club, a faux- stadium structure topped by a giant bronzed statue of a baseball slugger, the only Las Vegas casino hotel to feature a fantastic collection of sports memorabilia.
Down the road, the Bayou, known for its nickel slot machines, an historical site that was once the Northern Club, the first gambling establishment in Las Vegas to be granted a gambling license. Across the street, Mermaids, famous for its deep-fried Oreos, once known as Sassy Sally’s. And next door, the zany exuberance of the Golden Goose poised atop the proverbial Golden Egg. Then the great neon diva of Downtown, Vegas Vickie, still kicking up her heals, metaphorically anyway, after all these years. It is hard to imagine this corner without all of this. Here is a spot that confirms the assertion of historian Alan Hess, that “Las Vegas is an outdoor museum of American popular culture.”
It was a memorable day and a memorable tour, with a most appreciative group, a tour that gets put in our own album of Special Days.