12 Las Vegas Things We Want Back Right the Hell Now

There’s no sense living in the past, so they say. Nevertheless, there are things about Las Vegas we miss a lot, and we want them back, now.

1. The Stardust

Seriously, they imploded a perfectly awesome hotel and casino in 2007 to replace it with a steaming pile of suck? Here’s a new policy for Las Vegas: If you can’t pay for the new thing, don’t knock the old thing down.

The good times should be present tense, not past.

The good times should be present tense, not past.

2. Holly Madison

Technically, Holly Madison hasn’t gone anywhere, but we still want her back, immediately if not sooner. There are rumors she’ll be coming back to The Strip with a new show, but honestly, you can’t touch yourself to rumors.

Don't think about childbirth, don't think about childbirth, don't think about childbirth.

Don’t think about childbirth, don’t think about childbirth, don’t think about childbirth.

3. Show in the Sky

For years, the “Show in the Sky” was one of the best free shows in Vegas. It made every list. But it closed in March of 2013, a victim of cost-cutting and an acute lack of imagination. Over time, the show had evolved from a cheesefest to a bona fide Las Vegas production show, featuring Chippendales stud Jaymes Vaughan. And it was free. At least bring back the floats, already.

The fate of "Show in the Sky" was up in the air for some time before it closed.

The fate of “Show in the Sky” was up in the air for some time before it closed.

4. The $1 Buffet

Las Vegas wasn’t just build on gambling, it was also built on cheap eats! In marketing parlance, they’re known as “loss leaders.” You entice guests with food or entertainment, then make it up with gambling revenue. We want to be enticed again!

Oh, how we pine.

Not just an urban myth.

5. O’Sheas

Sure, they’ll tell you O’Sheas is coming back as part of The Linq, but they’re not fooling anyone. It won’t be as cheap, and it certainly won’t smell the same. We miss this old-school boozefest-slash-den of sin, and we demand to have it back, pronto.

Let's look into how that parking garage might be un-imploded, shall we?

Let’s look into how that parking garage might be un-imploded, shall we?

6. Slot Machines With Coins

The use of ticket-in/ticket-out slot machines was one of the worst ideas in Las Vegas history. Sure, it’s cheaper for casinos, but does everything now have to be what’s easiest or cheapest for the casinos? We like getting grimy when we gamble! Of course, there are still slots that use coins around town, but we want them back on The Strip, too.

Kudos to The D, downtown, for keeping the coins flowing.

Kudos to The D, downtown, for keeping the coins flowing.

7. The Fountain at Paris Las Vegas

It had to be one of the most-photographed statues in the world, but it was removed to make room for the Sugar Factory. Nothing against sugar, of course, but we wish they’d stop tearing out Las Vegas landmarks in the name of commerce.

We could do, like, 80 laps in that thing.

We could do, like, 80 laps in that thing.

8. Nile Riverboat Ride at Luxor

When the Luxor opened in 1993, there was a Nile River boat ride. (Photo below.) It was intended to transport guests to their elevators (“inclinators,” actually), but the attraction had problems from the start. Another attraction was developed, the “Adventure Boat Ride,” but never came to pass.

The Luxor missed the boat on this one. Thanks to Todd Patterson for the pic.

The Luxor missed the boat on this one. Thanks to Todd Patterson for the pic.

9. The Sahara

We get it. New boutique hotel (SLS Las Vegas) and nightclub are on the way. We don’t care. We want our Sahara back. Great values, low table limits, one of our favorite steakhouses in town, and lots of Vegas history are gone for good.

Club Bingo originally stood on the Sahara site. We'd like that back, too, although we have no idea why.

Club Bingo originally stood on the Sahara site. We’d like that back, too, although we have no idea why.

10. Atomic Testing

Hear us out. Atomic testing was awesome. During the 1950s, people would come to Las Vegas from around the world to see our mushroom clouds. There were themed cocktails, parties and keepsakes. Nevermind the fallout, atomic tests were a blast. To learn more, visit the National Atomic Testing Museum.

Forget about "making it rain" in Vegas, at one time, they made it glow.

Forget about “making it rain” in Vegas. At one time, they made it glow.

11. Deep Pools and Diving Boards

Safety, schmafety! The deepest pool in Las Vegas is just 12 feet deep? Nice try, Bally’s, but when did Las Vegas lose its big brass ones? We want deep pools back, and diving boards, too. Sin City is all about taking chances, and we’d certainly risk a spinal injury for the opportunity to dive off a high board like they did during the city’s heyday.

Never, ever let lawyers decide anything.

Never, ever let lawyers decide anything.

12. Siegfried & Roy

No, their little Secret Garden at The Mirage doesn’t count. We want the actual Siegfried & Roy back. Why? Because they were Las Vegas, in all it’s over-the-top, smarmy, LGBT-friendly, heavily-retouched glory. The duo performed before millions, and while the magic wasn’t all that great, their larger-than-life personalities certainly were.

This would be a very bad time to be wearing beef-scented cologne.

This would be a very bad time to be wearing beef-scented cologne.

So, what Las Vegas things would you like back?

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  • Upon further examination of the buffet advertisement, that’s not just a $1 buffet… That’s a $1 24-hour buffet! To think, walk in anytime day or night and be stuffed to the gills… Of course, there’s the thought of the food sitting a while during off-peak times.

    Something to keep in mind, that’s $1 back in the days of the El Rancho, which burned to the ground in the 1960s. With the style of the ad, I’d say that’s late 40s to early 50s, meaning that $1 then would be worth about $10 or $12 these days. Considering that buffet food options have expanded dramatically from the crisp salads and cold cuts back then, it’s a wonder that you can go to an off-strip casino like Sam’s Town and have a prime rib buffet dinner for $10.

    • vitalvegas

      Great point! A $10 buffet still sounds pretty good.

      • We should take a moment to marvel at Golden Gate’s shrimp cocktail. 50ยข in 1959, the price has gone all the way up to $2.99 last year. Adjusting for inflation, it costs less now than it did then!

  • Stacia Jones

    First Food & Bar. Has that been gone long enough to demand it back immediately? It’s not kitschy or inherently Vegas in any way, but I loved that place – great food, service and atmosphere. Venetian/Palazzo really screwed the pooch on that one.

    • vitalvegas

      Didn’t make it over there (which might have been part of the problem), but heard good things about it. Thanks for the input, though!

    • jeff

      I agree, that place was so good, and everyone tries to copy it. Pub 1842 anyone? Simon? Park? All copycats.

      • vitalvegas

        Now, we’re missing it and we never got to try it!

  • Misnomer

    That’s my wife’s hand in picture #6. I mean that’s her bucket. Never mind.

    • vitalvegas

      She’s quite the hand model!

  • mike__ch

    Original Treasure Island marquee. What more needs to be said?

    • vitalvegas

      Have you been to the Neon Museum yet? They have the giant pirate head. Watch for an upcoming ass-ton of Neon Museum pics, and it’ll be in there!

  • Ronno971

    I agree with the cheap eats. I frequent Vegas at least twice a year. I never eat anything on vacation that I can get at home (chains). But, eating on the strip really cuts into my gambling budget. Any suggestions on non-chain, cheap (less expensive) eats on the strip? We stayed at the Venetian and at the advise of the staff tried their little hidden food court. It is where the staff would go to eat there. They had a great little place that made fresh food to order on a grill like a diner. Good food and cheap. It has been a while, so I am not sure it is even there anymore,

    • vitalvegas

      Agree about the food courts. They’re reliable and great for budget-conscious dining on the fly.

      • Bad news. Wendy’s food court on the strip will not have a $1 menu.

  • Chris Otte

    I really miss Coke World. Loved tasting the Coca-Cola products from around the world at the end of the tour … I think the tour was only $2?

    • I won’t miss tasting the Beverly. That drink was Horrible.

  • wanker751

    When we last went to the Rio, and saw the show closed, we are so disappointed. The masquerade village was the best place to gamble when the show was going on with all the energy. It made traveling off strip to the Rio worthwhile, made it a different experience. This past trip in July, we did not go to the Rio because now it just feels like “another casino”

  • The show girls. Any show girls. All show girls. Any kind of show girl. Experienced or not. We want them back right the hell now.