Yesterday, I wrote about the new Las Vegas, and how I didn’t like it. Today was a day to revisit the old Las Vegas.
We started off at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets (North), where my wife wanted to do some shopping at Le Sportsac. Once that errand was dispatched and my pocketbook was lighter, it was off to downtown Las Vegas.
The first stop was lunch at the Paradise Buffet in the Fremont Hotel. We chose there because it was cheap, and we were looking for cheap eats that you can’t find on the strip. It was good, but I miss the days of casino coffee shops, the keno board working, and keno girls and cocktail waitresses in the cocktail bars. There was none of that; the keno displays were on but not running,and there were no crayons at the table. We walked around Fremont St. for a bit afterwards, and even found a few classic coin slots at the “D”. I lost all of 4 quarters.
After that, we walked over to Stewart Ave to visit the Mob Museum. This is a three story museum that studies the history of organized crime in America, and the role of organized crime in Las Vegas. Very detailed and excellent presentations. It does cover the early days of Vegas quite well, and even touches on what ended the mob era in Vegas — a man named Howard Hughes. The museum is relatively up to date, including information on Whitey Bulger. Note that this is different than The Mob Attraction at the Tropicanan, which is twice the price and glorifies the mob more.
After the Mob Museum, it was off to the Neon Museum. This was extremely neat. It included a guided tour around the boneyard (and the tourguide was really good and put up with all my interruptions). I took loads of pictures, but I’m not uploading them all yet (but I am uploading one for the post). There were signs from most of the major hotels in Vegas, including early signs from the Sahara, Stardust, Royal Nevada, Golden Nugget, numerous small motels, Caesars, the Desert Inn, the Aladdin, Treasure Island, and much more. Well worth the money.
Now it was time for dinner, and we found a really good Venezuelian place near the Stratosphere. Some of the best BBQ chicken I’ve had. Yum.
Lastly, it was off to the Pinball Hall of Fame. This was less a museum and more a gigantic pinball arcade. Each pinball machine had a small card explaining its history, and most of them were working. Now this was a good excuse to spend some quarters! It took me back to the days of Music Odyssey in West LA, and going upstairs to play pinball in the 1970s. I played about $6 worth for old time sakes. I may go back.
From there, it was back to the hotel and writing this up. Tomorrow… nothing during the day, Zumanity in the evening, and then picking up Erin at the airport.