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Archive for nevada

The World’s Highest Wheel

By Linda Tancs

There are plenty of high rollers in Las Vegas, but one High Roller is getting all the attention: the 550-foot-tall observation wheel commissioned by Caesars Entertainment.  Debuting in March, the wheel promises unparalleled views of the Strip.  At 51 stories high, it bests the Singapore Flyer, the Star of Nanchang and the London Eye, making it the world’s highest observation wheel.  As usual, Vegas will not be outdone by anyone.

The Mob Mentality in Las Vegas

By Linda Tancs

In the heart of downtown Las Vegas is a former federal courthouse and U.S. Post Office included on both the Nevada and National Registers of Historic Places.  Hearings on organized crime were conducted in this building at a time when legendary mobsters ruled The Strip.  Nowadays it’s better known as the Mob Museum, where theater presentations, artifacts, and interactive exhibits capture the struggle between organized crime and law enforcement.   Nothing but the truth prevails here, if you can handle it.

Nevada’s Oldest Thirst Parlor

By Linda Tancs

Since 1884 the notables–and not so notables–have been quenching their thirst at the Genoa Bar and Saloon on Main Street in Genoa, Nevada.  The state’s oldest saloon was built in 1853, sporting curiosities like a trap door next to the pool table (the cold storage cellar), a red oil lamp (lit every year on New Year’s Eve) and a mirror from the 1840s layered with diamond dust.  Famous visitors include Mark Twain, Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt, Carol Lombard, Clark Gable, Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash.  If only the walls could talk.

Into the Stratosphere

By Linda Tancs

In Las Vegas, the rides at The Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower will make your head spin, as actors Michael Douglas and Mary Steenburgen discovered while shooting the movie Last Vegas.  They rode the X-Scream, which propels you over the edge of the Stratosphere (866 feet above the ground) for that cherished bird’s-eye view.  Stunt double, anyone?

The Lowest Place in North America

By Linda Tancs

Springtime may be the best time to visit California and Nevada’s Death Valley National Park, but the upcoming autumn season is relatively uncrowded and a great time to visit some of the park’s most stunning features.  Badwater Basin, for instance, is the lowest place in North America at 282 feet below sea level.  Despite its name, the park is alive with historical landmarks, like Scotty’s Castle, a hideaway from the Roaring ’20s, and beacons to industry like Harmony Borax Works and Keane Wonder Mine, one of the most successful gold mines in Death Valley.

A Golden Nugget in Nevada

By Linda Tancs

There’s more than one golden nugget in Nevada worth a visit.  Just eight hours from the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas is the Nugget Rib Cook-Off in Sparks, a family friendly barbeque boasting a rib-eating tournament drawing the world’s most competitive chowhounds.  Now through 5 September, this annual event claiming over 500,000 visitors features one of the largest arts and crafts fairs in Northern Nevada.  The tournament is tonight at 6 p.m.; don’t worry, there will be plenty of ribs left to feast on at Rib Village, a VIP area offering unlimited ribs and drinks for up to 10 people per party.

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A Place for Rock Hounds

By Linda Tancs

There’s a crimson tide just 15 minutes from Las Vegas.  No, it’s not an algal bloom.  It’s a massive rock formation made red by the accumulation of iron oxide.  The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area receives 1.2 million visitors a year.  Part of the Mojave Desert, the 13-mile scenic loop drive features sandstone, limestone Indian roasting pits, waterfalls, Indian “handprints” and pictographs at Willow Springs.  The conservation area is home to about 200 different mammals like burros, coyotes, bighorn sheep, red tailed hawks, wild horses, bobcats and mountain lions.  Enjoy life on the wild side–without the neon lights.

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The Curious Class in Vegas

By Linda Tancs

Nearing a whopping $4 billion, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opened in mid-December.   A new luxe resort on The Strip, they aspire to cater to what they refer to as the “curious class.”  Are you curious?  Given the low fares to Vegas these days, you can afford to indulge it.

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Family Friendly Las Vegas

By Linda Tancs

It’s easy to think of Vegas as an adult playground.  But don’t forget all the kid-friendly details like Adventuredome at Circus Circus, the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and the arcade at New York New York.  Hotel deals offering as much as 50% off mean the whole family can enjoy a Vegas jaunt.  And why not now, with temperatures averaging 14 degrees celsius.

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Hoover Dam Celebrates 75 Years

By Linda Tancs

The Hoover Dam, located 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas on the Arizona/Nevada border, was a landmark at its inception 75 years ago in 1935, when it was built to control the flow of the Colorado River and generate power.  Now this tourism staple has another dimension to offer visitors:  a concrete arch bridge bearing the distinction of being the largest in the Western Hemisphere.  Built for national security reasons, the imposing bypass bridge offers enviable panoramic views at an elevation of 900 feet.  In addition to a sidewalk on the north side of the bridge for optimum viewing of the dam, the project will ultimately include a parking lot, trail, and interpretive plaza.

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