Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Aladdin remodel eliminates Middle Eastern theme

Some distressing news about the Aladdin Hotel with the Middle Eastern theme. When I stayed there just a few years ago it had just opened. I enjoyed the frescoes of Middle Eastern history, the Moroccan shopping environment, and the Middle Eastern cuisine in the Spice Market buffet. I read yesterday that it was acquired by Planet Hollywood, Inc. and is being totally remodelled into a boxy, sterile, Hollywood-themed venue. I can't help but suspect it is in response to our current administration's ridiculous paranoia about anything reflecting Islamic culture. How disgusting! At least I am thankful that I had an opportunity to enjoy it before it is swept away. I also see they are planning to partition the Aladdin's Center for the Performing Arts into smaller theaters - probably to feature the usual Vegas fare of comedians, impersonators, and magicians. This is also unfortunate as I thoroughly enjoyed the Broadway musical "Beauty and the Beast" that I attended in their existing theater. I also read that the pirate ships in front of Treasure Island are headed for the scrap yard to be replaced by Pirates vs. Sexy Sirens! Casino owners apparently have not been satisfied with their ROI since Vegas started catering to families several years ago. Now, I guess, they've decided to forget that strategy and go back to their usual bawdy bread and butter shows.

At least one bit of interesting news stated that a new hotel with an Australian theme shaped like the Sydney Opera House is in the works. It has potential but I was hoping for something with a Moscow theme myself.

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Friday, September 03, 2004

Picturesque Street Light Beside London Bridge

On our vacation this past Spring, I took a 19 mile diversion off of Arizona Interstate 40 to get a chance to see London Bridge. I was a little disappointed that the magnificent guard towers were no longer on the bridge. I was told they were retained in Great Britain. However, it was a beautiful morning and was very relaxing to stroll along the lakeside plaza beside the bridge. There are little shops to browse and I did buy myself a little chip from the original bridge stone to commemorate my visit. I would have liked to have had at least tea and crumpets at the little English restaurant but they were not yet open.

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