Colegrove Photography
Colegrovian Empire
Imploded Las Vegas

Las Vegas doesn't celebrate it's past. It blows it up. I guess if you make your living on the next roll of the dice history is history. A few places that are no more:


Flattened to make way for the New Aladdin, which has had the same bad luck as the old Aladdin.


Flattened to make way for the Mirage. The old Showboat on Boulder Highway changed its name to the Castaways and then went broke.


Dunes Hotel and Casino was the first of the big strip hotels I ever visited so when someone mentions a casino in Las Vegas I think of the Dunes. It was kind of run down but I could tell that a lot of money had been spent on the design. There was a lot of custom wood work like aluminum and wood columns that matched the profile of the light fixtures, which mached the shape of the building.

The buffet was served in the show room from rolling steam tables. Caesars used to do the same thing for their famous Sunday brunch.

On a later visit I saw that one of the escalators had been carpeted. I guess the cost of keeping it going was too high. The Dunes had the dirtiest felt on their blackjack tables and the oldest slot machines in Vegas.

I stayed at the Dunes one night after the announcement that it would be blown up. It was really run down. There were fire sprinkler pipes running down the ceilings of the hallways. After the MGM Grand fire all the hotels put in sprinklers but old concrete slab construction high rises like the Dunes Diamond tower had no option execept to put pipes down the ceilings. The cielings in the Sahara are low for the same reason.

El Rancho Vegas

There still is no activity on the big lot next to Circus Circus. The lot has been empty as long as I have been coming to Las Vegas. It is where the El Rancho Vegas used to stand. The El Rancho Vegas burned down in the 1960 due to a sudden buildup of incriminating evidence. The name El Rancho is still cursed. The hotel of the same name across the street from the old location has been closed for years.

El Rancho

I went to the closing sale for the new El Ranco, across the street from the original El Rancho. It was kind of cool going through the old cages and money counting rooms. I didn't buy anything. When it was open it was really dirty and poorly maintained. I cleaned up on a video poker machine that kept paying out too many coins due to a broken hopper out sensor.  It was bought by the Turnberry Place condos and blown up.


Blown up to make way for Mandalay Bay


I never went to the top of the Landmark. I regret that I didn't.


It wasn't blown up. It is the front tower of the new MGM Grand

MGM Grand 1.0

Bally's used to be the MGM Grand. The financier Kirk Kirkorian made a pile of dough setting up junkets to Las Vegas. He bought the MGM studios and then sold it and bought it again and sold it again and in the process he built the original MGM Grand hotel which he sold to Bally. It caught fire once and a lot of people where killed. Las Vegas hotels now have fire sprinklers. They still change their names after something bad happens, as in Primadonna becoming Primm Valley Inn after a child was strangled in a restroom there.

Orbit Inn

The Orbit wasn't blown up. It just changed its name to some bland chain. The Orbit was the first hotel I stayed at in Las Vegas. They had two blackjack tables and terrible dealer. One dealer kept accidentally showing me his hole card so I cleaned up.


The Sands, home of the Rat Pack, was the hipest hotel on the strip for a short while around the time I was born. If the universe is fair, which it probably isn't, the Venetian, which now stands on the Sands, should have lousy luck and go broke for blowing up the Sands.