Over the history of gambling in a local casino, some casinos have come and gone. In that line, the Neon Museum in Vegas dedicates its space to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting casino signs of casinos that have closed or are no longer in use. Visitors come far and wide to take a 45-minute guided tour through the museum, with English-speaking guides leading the way.
Now, the casino has adapted the Spanish language with guides using the language the whole of this month. Previously, interpreters used to translate from English to various languages depending on the group touring the museum. However, during this month, guides will use Spanish exclusively.
Speaking to Las Vegas Sun, the executive director of the museum Aaron Berger welcomed the Spanish addition. Berger added that using one language did not welcome all participants who did not understand English. With the Spanish addition, the executive director believes more people will get a chance to learn, explore and enjoy navigating through the museum.
According to 2020 Census data, Nevada has over 3 million people. 29.2 percent of these are Latino or Hispanic. Looking at a smaller region, Clark County in Southern Nevada has over 2.3 million citizens, with 31.6 percent Latino or Hispanic. According to the country’s Census Bureau, 18.5 percent of the population is Latino or Hispanic.
The museum felt it was crucial to add Spanish as a guiding language to satisfy the significant population that uses the language. According to a training supervisor, Matt Martelo, having Spanish-language guided tours will help Neon Museum share its wealth of information with people who understand the language.
Some of the Casino Signs in the Museum
Neon Museum is a non-profit facility that launched in 1996. It is north of the downtown Las Vegas casino district. Most of the signs collected by the museum are so iconic that they once stood above Glitter Gulch.
One of the signs that were in downtown includes the Golden Nugget from earlier years. The brand’s legacy has several founders whose names are associated with the history of the Las Vegas Valley. One of these is Guy McAfee, who was the founder and vice-captain in Los Angeles who launched the gambling hall following World War II.
The other owner is Steve Wynn, who was associated with the first mega-resort in 1989. Steve is behind the opening of the Mirage Hotel and Casino located on the Strip, considered the first mega-resort.
Today, Golden Nugget is owned by Landry’s Inc., a private company based in Texas. Its CEO is Tilman Fertitta who also owns NBA Houston Rockets. MGM Resorts owns the Mirage. With the change in ownership, the previous signs had to be discarded, with Neon Museum saving them.
Other Signs Exhibited By the Museum
The museum has several other casino signs of properties that once existed on the Las Vegas Strip but closed. These include Stardust and Riviera.
The Stardust stood where World Resorts Las Vegas stands today. A New York-based journalist, Nicholas Pileggi, wrote a book titled Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas. The author referred to Stardust but changed the name to Tangiers to avoid legal repercussions.
Riviera was also the center of another book titled Las Vegas Babylon by Jeff Burbank. Some scenes in the Godfather trilogy were shot at the resort. Riviera was shut in 2015.
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