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Fabulous Las Vegas

My sons recently watched Ocean’s Eleven for the first time. They loved it. And now, like their father, it’s their favorite movie.

The movie just speaks to you when you’re born and raised in Las Vegas. It awakens the Vegas Pride.

The other day, I was telling a friend that I’ve noticed a shift in Las Vegas Pride recently.

When I was growing up, it seemed like everyone loved living in Las Vegas. It was the wide open desert alongside the mirage of lavishness. High school dances happened in the school gym and also in five star resorts and restaurants. We enjoyed the mix of small town feeling and international city.

Then something changed.

From 2005-2015, it seemed like so many people were planning their exit from Las Vegas. They would declare that it was just a stepping stone to somewhere else.

In the last five years though, it feels like the Las Vegas Pride is returning. I regularly hear how much people love their home here and the life they have found for their families.

I love to hear it.

I’ve been gathering photos, links and videos that are fun for those who call Las Vegas home. I’ll share a few here for others to enjoy:

Classic Commercials

My friend has a youtube channel that is filled with Las Vegas history. He has collected hours of commercials that ran locally in the 1980s and 1990s. There are clips from Wet-n-Wild and driving on the 95 when it was mostly desert on both sides past Rainbow Blvd.

If you grew up then, you’ll be shocked how many of these live deep within your memory

He also shares clips from the evening news. I loved this one from 1990 that has Colin Cowherd reporting on a UNLV game. Larry Johnson was being Larry Johnson. (And of course, the NCAA is doing NCAA things. Boo!)

The Early Years

My wife and I recently enjoyed a two part special on the founding and history of Las Vegas. It is full of old photos and videos. It’s amazing to see how much of the founding spirit is still found in Las Vegans as well. The two videos focus on the early years and then the 1920s when Las Vegas really started to boom

Bright Lights in the Desert

Many are surprised to hear that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has played a large role in the founding and shaping of Las Vegas. UNLV recently welcomed  Dr. Fred Woods, who has served as a Professor of Religious Education at Brigham Young University since 1998.

Dr Woods gave a one hour presentation called “Bright Lights in the Desert: The Latter-day Saints of Las Vegas” and it is now available online:

Mini Las Vegas

Bellagio – For me, the epitome of Las Vegas casinos

I just love these tilt-shift photos of Las Vegas. Tilt-shift photography is a technique that uses blurring to make real life seem miniature.

These photos are only a few years old, but I can’t help but feel a little nostalgia as I look at them. The current pandemic makes this Las Vegas life feel far away. But Las Vegas will bounce back.

It always does.