Archive for November, 2012

Anniversary of MGM Hotel Fire Reminds Las Vegas of Tragic Past

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Today marks the 32nd anniversary of a wild fire that emerged at the MGM Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas back in 1980.  This particular casino is known as Bally’s today, after MGM sold the re-opened venue in 1985, and subsequently constructed a new casino on Tropicana Avenue.  The fire caused a lot of controversy for MGM at the time because it was discovered sprinklers had not been installed when the hotel was first constructed.  As a result, the fire cost 87 people their lives, and injured 700 more.  Inspections onsite after the fire uncovered 83 building code violations.

The fire began early in the morning on November 21, 1980 within a wall, where after several hours of ablaze it finally burned through the wall.  Within little time, all floors of the hotel were filled with smoke, and it was soon discovered the cause of death for most victims was a result of inhaling too much smoke.  Hotel room guests were at first unaware of the fire because the fire alarms had not been pulled to warn people.

The aftermath of the fire resulted in numerous changes to how Las Vegas hotels would be constructed in the future.  In particular, sprinklers became a mandatory installment for all hotel operators after it was made public knowledge that MGM did not install sprinklers to save $190,000.  Today Las Vegas hotels and casinos are considered to be among the safest in the world after the lessons learned by the deadly blaze.

The fire not only resulted in changes for the casinos, it helped change how firefighters would enter burning buildings.  The aftermath of the MGM fire resulted in a public campaign to provide all firefighters with air packs.  This helped give firefighters protection from dangerous smoke fumes, which were discovered to be a more serious threat than flames as a result of the 1980 fire.

UFC Returns to Hard Rock after Beef with Palms

Monday, November 19th, 2012

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is proving to be a favorite destination for Las Vegas entertainment over the next few months.  Several iconic rock bands have been using the Joint inside the Hard Rock to kick off major comeback performances.  Now the casino will once again serve as host for live UFC fights when the mixed martial arts company hosts matches in Sin City.

The UFC had relocated events from the Hard Rock into the Palms Casino Resort in 2007 to showcase its live Ultimate Fighter finale matches.  However, UFC President Dana White has said there has been irreparable damage between UFC Management and the Palms Casino, which he says was in part due to a decline in his line of credit with the casino.

“I had a little beef with the Palms, and I ripped the UFC out of there.”

The UFC President was suggested to be a big spender inside the Palms Casino.  When White was in Las Vegas, he would regularly dine at the Palms and be a generous tipper for staff.  One source inside the casino suggested that White would leave as much as $10,000 in tips for waiters and dealers.

However, White decided to remove all UFC operations as soon as the decision to lower his credit was made.  As a result, the next Ultimate Fighter finale scheduled for December 5 will be occurring inside the Hard Rock casino.  It will be the first time the UFC has hosted a fight inside the Hard Rock in nearly six years.

Caesar’s Palace Greeted by Shania Twain and 40 Horses

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Shania Twain is still the one to make a grand entrance.  The world famous country singer touched down in Las Vegas earlier this week to announce the beginning of a two year headlining act at Caesar’s Palace, which will open on December 1.  However, the way that Twain made her appearance in the city perhaps will generate as much talk as her many shows at the casino.  Riding into town flanked by 40 horses, the opening act was a reminder to locals and tourists to expect the unexpected in Las Vegas.

The 40 horse brigade was referred to by some locals as a stampede, but there were a number of wranglers on hand to keep the horses from getting out of control.  As Twain was arriving, her famous song “Still The One” blasted on speakers as the horses approached a red carpet already laid out.  Shania’s arrival drew many gamers from inside Caesar’s Palace outside to the fountains as she stepped down onto the red carpet and addressed the crowd on a stage that had been set up by the fountains.

“After many years of not seeing each other on the live stage, I look forward to that reunion!”

Shania has been absent from the music scene for the last few years.  After going through a painful divorce, she withdrew from recording and instead focused on other projects.  However, she has been busy recording her newest album for the last year and a half, having released the first single from the album in June, 2011.

Shania will be performing in Caesar’s Colosseum, which is capable of hosting a crowd of over 4,000.  The headlining act in Las Vegas is expected to be a triumphant return for the country singer to the performance stage.