Posts tagged “Las Vegas

Shutterbugs on Holiday

Posted on August 16, 2012

In Eric Fischer’s representation of Las Vegas, the Strip appears as a large red boomerang.  Fischer’s “Locals and Tourists” Flickr set, which expands upon his Geotaggers’ World Atlas, is a fascinating window into where tourists and locals spend their time in more than one hundred cities around the world. Based on public Flickr and Picasa APIs, Fischer’s maps graphically represent the so-called “tourist bubbles” that geographers have long described in cities.  As he explains in his methodological statement, there is room for interpretation of these geocoded representations of picture-taking activity, but his analysis lines up very well with what we know about these cities. In the case of Las Vegas, it suggests the relative popularity of the Strip versus Fremont Street, Vegas’s much older downtown…

Fun Las Vegas Infographic

Posted on July 31, 2012

Would you believe that all the hotel rooms in San Francisco would fit inside just four Las Vegas resorts? Or that the 15,000 miles of neon tubing that illuminate the Strip would, if connected end to end, result in a continuous neon tube framing the outline of the Lower 48? These are just a couple of the fascinating pieces of trivia in the following infographic, titled “7 Reasons Nothing Leaves Las Vegas” by Frugal Dad. Taken together, the graphically represented factoids really hammer home the impact of one of the nation’s preeminent tourist destinations.

Neon Nostalgia

Posted on May 28, 2012

Fremont Street in Las Vegas. Best known these days for its four-block, LED-canopied pedestrian mall (Fremont Street Experience), the Nevada city’s pre-Strip focal point for casino gambling has also become something of a memory machine. For well over a decade, the Neon Museum has been building its collection of significant but unwanted signage. Las Vegans did not invent neon signs. That honor goes to an early 20th-century French inventor, Georges Claude, who pioneered the electrification of neon in glass tubes. But nowhere has neon been more central in forging an image than in Sin City, which wowed midcentury visitors with garish, larger-than-life signs that towered above the low-slung architecture of the casinos and motels they advertised. As Las Vegas entrepreneurs added ever more elaborate…

Tourists Trampling Gotham?

Posted on May 25, 2012

The latest post on the blog Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, “Attention High Line Tourists,” demonstrates well one kind of reaction to the impact of tourism in cities: signs warning tourists to tread lightly in surrounding neighborhoods. The High Line, of course, refers to one of the most decidedly “in” places to “do” in Manhattan: a former elevated railroad right of way recast as a linear green space three years ago. The High Line works as a tourist attraction not just because it affords a new perspective on the city but also because it passes through neighborhoods that promise steady use and points of interest. Yet the High Line isn’t an unalloyed success in everyone’s eyes. If artists are often the spark that ignites gentrification,…

Citifying Atlantic City and Las Vegas

Posted on May 12, 2012

In 1976 Atlantic City, New Jersey, took a fateful step in an effort to be more like Las Vegas. It legalized casino gambling in hopes that casinos would breathe new life into a city that had lost much of its appeal as a resort across the 20th century. By the 1990s, in contrast, the ever successful southern Nevada gambling mecca seemed to have wrung all it could from gaming. Its promoters recast it as a family entertainment destination to try to counter expected impacts from so many new gambling venues in other states. A decade later, Las Vegas reasserted its image as an adult playground with the now famous line “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.” Now the United States’ two most famous…

Invention and Imitation

Posted on April 22, 2012

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it is also highly lucrative. Imitation is an ironic hallmark of an industry that on one level is predicated on destinations’ ability to offer a unique experience. Tourists seek novelty for its potential to grant a sense of discovery, but it does not take long for entrepreneurs to recognize a good idea and attempt to replicate it as nearly as possible. Along with tourists’ restlessness when the extraordinary becomes mundane, imitation is a prime reason for tourist destinations to embellish their attractions or reinvent themselves. Early railroad-age travelers hoped to see “real” Indians as a way of eluding the reach of crass, market-oriented America (symbolized by the industrial cities from which many tourists hailed), but their…

Drawing Water, Drawing Tourists

Posted on April 21, 2012

It’s almost Earth Day again. Each year, on the appointed day, thousands of Americans make a ritual of caring for the planet: planting a tree, picking up litter, or simply stopping to smell the roses. Yet the interest, of course, goes far beyond that for many, even reshaping leisure pursuits. Growing trends in ecotourism and agritourism do not necessarily signal a transformative new mindset about the environment, but the surging popularity of visiting working farms, farmers’ co-ops, and public markets and patronizing farm-to-table-minded restaurants suggest more than a passing fancy for seeking bonds to the natural world around us. Traditional tourist destinations seldom figure prominently in any discussion of environmental tourism, but they should. Take water, for instance. Near- and long-term concerns about water…

Starship Vegas

Posted on April 14, 2012

The Las Vegas Strip, for all its appearance as the ultimate postmodern city, is actually a suburban landscape. Like suburbs elsewhere, over time the success of the automobile-friendly Strip drained energy away from downtown Las Vegas, so much so that many Americans fail to realize that the Strip is not the center of the city. Las Vegas leaders have worked for more than forty years to bolster their downtown. The original Glitter Gulch got a major boost in the 1990s when the barrel-vaulted, neon-canopied Fremont Street Experience transformed the city’s old main street into a futuristic pedestrian mall. But, as The Goddard Group Blog recently revealed, downtown almost got something much more monumental – a full-size replica of the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek! The…