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Casino Legends Hall of Fame

Reviewed September 15, 1999
by Ted Newkirk

casino-legends-hall-of-fame-tropicana-las-vegas.gif (8262 bytes)Hidden away in the Tropicana is a true treasure called the Casino Legend's Hall of Fame. If you have been coming to Las Vegas for more than a few years, or want a quick lesson on the history of the city, it's all in one place. Implosions, chips, artifacts, Las Vegas related movies, and the men and women who made the town what it is today are featured in all their stunning glory.

The collection of chips and artifacts is outstanding and amazing. More than 738 casinos are represented, 550 of which no longer exist (including the ones imploded this decade). Just the photographs of downtown and the Strip are worth the price of admission. It's truly hard to believe that 4 decades ago, the Strip was a 2 lane highway and Flamingo Rd. (and others) leading off of it were unpaved desert roads. Of particular interest was the Las Vegas sign in 1959 and an aerial view of the Flamingo from 1952 of Flamingo and the Strip. You can still see the narrow strip of land that would one day become the Barbary Coast.

If you are a chip collector, or even have a passing interest in them, your jaw will drop as this collection must be second to none. Glass case after glass case against the edges of this 5,000 sq. ft. museum display chips from the original days of legalized gambling in Nevada, right on through the "mob" years, and all the way up to the present. The focus is on chips from casinos no longer open (The Dunes and Pioneer are just two among hundreds), but they have an incredible collection of themed chips as well. These are real gaming chips issued as commemoratives and themed according to categories like holidays, events, cars, airplanes, and much more.

This is a true Hall of Fame, featuring display and memorabilia from figures that have helped put Las Vegas on the map and made it what it is today. People like Benny Binion, Bob Stupak, the individual members of the Rat Pack, Liberace, Seigfried and Roy, Rich Little, Robert Goulet, Jackie Gaughn, and many, many more. Builders, Visionaries, "Good Guys", Headliners, Movies, Gamblers, and Showgirls -- people in every category are honored.

Many are featured with various photos and artifacts, including the gold statue of Bob Stupak that was inside the Stratosphere, the actual motorcycle that Robbie Knevil did his Grand Canyon death jump with (our visit was 8 weeks ago, and you could still smell the oil and see the dust on the bike), Robert Goulet 1972 contracts with the Sands, Frontier, and Desert Inn (many contracts of famous entertainers are exhibited), portraits of Sinatra with figures ranging from Bob Stupak to Steve Wynn, and boxing memorabilia from fights with Tyson, Holmes, and Ali just to name a few.

Four different video presentations run continuously in various parts of the museum. The first one honors the movies inducted into the Legends Hall of Fame, the second tells the stories (with spectacular video) of the various casino implosions and fires over the past decade, the third is a retrospective on showgirls, and the fourth focuses on the rise and fall of mob influence and involvement.

Admission is $6.95 for adults and $5.95 for seniors. The Hall of Fame is open daily from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM Sunday through Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. We want to make clear that we barely scratched the surface of the exhibits and if just even one of the above topics interests you, the $6.95 will be money well spent and enjoyed. Do yourself a favor and don't schedule this activity when you only have 15 minutes to spare. The odds are you'll stay and enjoy it a lot longer.

Hotel Information: Tropicana Las Vegas
Gamblers Induction Hall of Fame Video: Click Here


 

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