Yearning for the Vegas of yesteryear? These vintage treasures do the trick.
Few cities can conjure images of old-school decadence as much as the casino city of Las Vegas. Synonymous with some of the biggest names in retro-cool, Vegas has been enjoyed a deserved reputation as the party capital of the world for more than 70 years.
Many visitors turn to this city of stars hoping for a retro treat, but find times have changed, and end up resorting to visiting the modern and slightly sterile mega-casino hotels. But fear not gentle reader, there are plenty of other pockets of old-school charm existing in Las Vegas that will let you live your dream of being a modern day Frank, Dean, Sammy, Angie, Mia, or Marilyn.
Opening in 1941, the El Cortez Hotel and Casino is the longest continuously-running casino in Las Vegas, and is one of the last places in the city where you can still use real quarters to play (and win) at slot machines. Once owned by the mobster Bugsy Siegel, the casino has never changed its exterior façade, making it one of the best sites for you and your crew to take some retro photos in Sin City.
This retro hotel opened in 1956 and is easily located as the 4 corners of the Fremont Street Experience hotels along with the 4 Queens, Golden Nugget and Binions.
Nearby you can visit with massive neon cowboy “Vegas Vic” who’s been loitering at 25 E Fremont Street since 1951. Although Vic has been used for controversial political purposes in recent years, it’s nice to find that the games inside the Fremont Hotel appear to have stayed resolutely old-school.
A Wild-West themed casino on Boulder Highway opened in 1979, Sam’s Town may be a youngster compared to the others on this list, but we were compelled to count it in since the venue was immortalized in rock n’ roll history by being the name of an album by the indie rock band The Killers, making for excellent selfie-shot moments.
Having appeared in countless movies and TV shows since its opening in 1946, it’s a real pleasure to find that casinos like Golden Nugget are still operating in the 21st century. And whilst online gaming sites like Lucky Nugget Casino may pay a modern tribute to these vintage gambling halls with their pokies games, there’s something about places like Golden Nugget that’s irresistibly old-school.
Though its iconic flashing sign was retired in 1984, new weird and wonderful attractions like a three-story shark tank show there are some things that smartphone technology can’t emulate – yet!