Evel Knievel Museum Making the Jump to Las Vegas

A museum devoted to daredevil and occasional asshat Evil Knievel is moving from Topeka to Las Vegas.

The museum will reportedly be located in downtown’s Art’s District (1001 S. 1st Street), courtesy of Las Vegas developer J. Dapper, who seemed like a cool guy that time we met him. Hear more from Dapper on the Plaza’s podcast.

While the deal for the museum’s move, first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, isn’t finalized, it’s being described as “imminent.”

Evel Knievel

Evel Knievel still holds the Guinness World Record for most bones broken in a lifetime, 433.

Evel Knievel, of course, was a pop culture icon who thrilled audiences around the world during his heyday in the 1970s.

We love Evel Knievel most for two things: 1) He jumped (sorry, attempted to jump) the fountains at Caesars Palace. 2) He died at age 69.

Reminder: If jokes about death or 69 offend you, you’re reading the wrong blog.

Evel Knievel had many successful jumps, but his fame was largely based upon spectacular fails.

His last big jump was supposed to be in 1977, where he would jump over a tank of sharks for a T.V. special. During rehearsals, he crashed (shocker) and was injured. This sad final hurrah led to the phrase “jumped the shark,” along with Fonzi’s jump on “Happy Days.”

The Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka, Kansas opened in 2017.

We trust it has lasted so long because what the hell else do people have to do in Topeka, Kansas?

Las Vegas, of course, is a little different. There are lots of diversions, including a number of world-class museums.

Still, it looks like Dapper’s taking his chances on Evel Knievel and his legacy.

Evel Knievel portrait

Evel Knievel was proof positive gravity can be a jerk.

The museum in Topeka is said to have one of the largest collections of Knievel memorabilia anywhere.

The museum features all manner of Knievel goodies, including his battered costumes and helmets, Knievel-branded products (at one point, the guy was on everything) and even the steam-powered rocket used in his doomed attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon.

Like so many of our heroes, Knievel was seriously flawed, some would say irredeemably. He was investigated for any number of shady acts, he was a tax dodger, assaulted a movie studio executive with a baseball bat and was reportedly an anti-Semite.

Las Vegas, however, is pretty good at compartmentalizing. For example, we glamorize killers like Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Tony Spilotro and Benny Binion.

In fact, there’s already an homage to Evel Knievel in the form of a pizza restaurant, Evel Pie, on Fremont Street.

Evel Pie

Fun fact: Evel Pie doesn’t serve, you know, pie. The pizza, however, is awesome.

Evel Knievel made a lasting impact on our culture, as well as more than a few landing ramps, so we look forward to seeing this new downtown offering when it arrives in Las Vegas.

The museum space will also include a restaurant, which had better mean there will also be a bar. So, yeah, we’re ready to take the leap.

13 thoughts on “Evel Knievel Museum Making the Jump to Las Vegas

    1. JP

      Caesar’s has to take whatever business they can get at this point. Their fees for everything policy, non-existent drink service on the casino floor, and terrible comps/rewards program has most of their most loyal mid-tier gamblers fleeing for better run casinos.

      In fact one would think this type of person who can’t seem to differentiate conspiracy from reality would be great for them as customers since with their low intellect they are more likely to buy into things like “triple zero roulette gives you more options to bet!”.

      I do feel bad for the employees though. That is going to be a nightmare trying to enforce a mask policy for a bunch of far right extremists. None of them will be vaxxed either. Good weekend to stay away from Las Vegas or take vacations and get out of town if you work there.

      Reply
    2. Michael Alexakis

      I have some doubts this Q convention will go forward, someone is trying to monetize radical extremism, whenever you try to profit from something that is not a solid or objective product you run into complications. Caesars made their choice, now they must both run with and live with it. Caesars’ statement about conventions and mask rules is just silly, Q people are not going to comply with private security when they obviously won’t comply with actual badged law enforcement. If you believe that the other political party in a two party system drinks baby blood, just the fact that a major public corporation will gladly rent you space to further that tripe says a lot about the times we live in…

      Reply
  1. A. Fauci

    I’ve done my research, and yes, Evel was less than a commendable human being. Also, the museum collection is legit.

    Sources: Google

    Reply
  2. Michael Wallace

    Years ago there was supposed to be an Evel Knievel museum at the outlet mall in Primm, but that didn’t come to fruition.

    Reply
  3. William Wingo

    He was played by George Hamilton in the 1971 movie “Evil Knievel” [1], which still shows up on TV occasionally. That includes stock footage of the famous Caesars Palace Fountain jump, reportedly filmed by John Derek’s then-wife Linda Evans [2]. In one of the post-jump-operating-room scenes, the surgeon says (quoting from memory here): “…look at that pin. I put it there three years ago, and it hasn’t moved at all.”
    I was in the Air Force in Korea when that movie came out. A few months before, one of the AF safety journals had interviewed Evel Knievel as a sort of “expert” on motorcycle safety. Motorcycle accidents were a big problem in the AF in those days, and perhaps still are. That was the first time I heard his name. IIRC, it was a pretty good interview, along the lines of “I do this for a living,” and “Don’t try this at home.”
    And concerning Evel Pie, I read (perhaps on this blog) that in the first COVID lockdown they decided to shut down completely rather than remain open for takeout; and having a lot of perishable inventory, they gave free cheese pizzas to all comers–first come, first served, while they lasted. Imagine Caesars doing something like that….

    1. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067069/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_89
    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evel_Knievel

    Reply
    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      Just because a joke doesn’t work doesn’t mean I don’t know the subject matter about which I’m making the failed joke.

      Reply

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