"继《拉菲1app在线登录平台》之后,《拉菲1app在线登录平台》之前: The Early Corporate Era of Nevada Casinos and the Shifting Visual Landscape of 拉斯维加斯" by 大卫G. 施瓦兹,拉菲1app在线登录2020年常驻学者. 

拉斯维加斯 赌场的历史 is often divided into the “classic” or “Rat Pack” era and the “corporate” or “megaresort era.” Classic Vegas st艺术s in the early 1950s as the burgeoning gaming industry established itself on the Strip and can be said to end in 1967, when Howard Hughes’ purchase of five casinos signaled the st艺术 of a new regime. The megaresort era st艺术ed in 1989 with the opening of The Mirage, and the time between Hughes’ arrival and Steve Wynn’s game-changer is typically brushed over as a mere precursor to the massive changes of the 1990s.

But the two decades between 1967 and 1988 don’t fit neatly into either period and deserve further consideration in their own right. 而“新”维加斯的某些方面也出现了, 比如专注于大型酒店, 拉斯维加斯旧时的许多元素仍保留了下来. Defined more by expansions to existing properties than new resorts, this period saw a shift in the visual language of signage and uses of new technologies and strategies to identify establishments. 通过研究早期的企业时代, we can gain insights into how the 设计s of casinos evolved in 拉斯维加斯 and better appreciate the distinctness of the eras that came before and after it.

The modern era of Nevada gaming st艺术ed with the relegalization of “wide-open” casino gaming on March 19, 1931. The first gambling halls (they were not nearly so pretentious as to style themselves “casinos”) in both Reno and 拉斯维加斯 were tiny, with two to three gaming tables and perhaps a dozen slot machines each. 宾果和基诺也是流行的赌博形式. 

The first true casino resort on what would become the 拉斯维加斯 Strip (then known simply as Highway 91 or the Los Angeles Highway) was the El Rancho Vegas, 4月3日开幕, 1941. 这个度假胜地, 由加州酒店老板托马斯·赫尔建造, set the pattern for the first generation of Strip resorts: a central building housing the casino, 剧院, and 餐厅 surrounded by rooms housed in several expansive, 低层建筑. Most of the resorts of the classic period adhered to this model, 至少在最初建造的时候是这样, though the Riviera (1955) was a nine-story high-rise and Caesars Palace (1966) had a far more elaborate theme than anything else in town.

从里维埃拉时代开始, 长街上的第一代赌场增加了酒店塔, 但保留了他们的基本取向. 在接下来的十年里, 撒哈拉沙漠, 沙丘, 金沙, 星尘号, 和沙漠客栈向上扩张, combining low-rise “garden rooms” with high-rise accommodations. 

这些更大的设施需要更大的资本支出, one beyond the traditional small syndicates (often with links to organized crime-affiliated individuals) that owned most 拉斯维加斯 casinos. The 金沙, which opened in late 1952 with 200 rooms, cost $4.500万美元. 里维埃拉的价格是8美元.5 million, and the Tropicana, which debuted in 1957 with only 300 rooms, $15 million. The $19 million it cost to build Caesars Palace represented the limit of traditional finance in 拉斯维加斯—even with a pipeline to the Teamster Central States’ Pension Fund, 凑集那么多钱几乎是不可能的.

The need for more capital—and the increasing importance of gaming-based 旅游 to the state of Nevada—greased the skids for changes in the state’s gaming laws that allowed, 第一次, 拥有和经营赌场的公开交易公司. 在十年内, “outside” corporations like Hilton and Lum’s (which renamed itself Caesars World) had bought in, while longtime Nevada gaming operators like Harrah’s and Showboat went public.

The new access to capital allowed for the construction of even more towers on the Strip and forced a fundamental shift in the relationship between a sign and the business it ostensibly signified. 

最初, 拉斯维加斯 neon signs were more visually striking—both up close and at a distance—than the buildings they represented. 当时大多数赌场最多只有两到三层楼, signs allowed them to stake their claim on passers-by attention. 

以桑兹为例. The hotel as it was first constituted at opening was a collection of nearly inconspicuous two-story buildings. Its sign, on the other hand, at 56 feet high was the tallest on the Strip. The gigantic “S” alone was taller from top to bottom than its hotel wings. 

Slide of 金沙 Hotel sign, 拉斯维加斯, circa 1950s-1960s

Slide of 金沙 Hotel sign, 拉斯维加斯, circa 1950s-1960s, UNLV特殊集合

Film transparency of 金沙 Hotel, 拉斯维加斯, circa mid 1950s

Film transparency of 金沙 Hotel, 拉斯维加斯, circa mid 1950s, UNLV特殊集合

最初, 金沙牌上只写着赌场的存在, 没有额外的信息. 在这十年的后期, a readerboard announcing the acts currently playing the Copa Room and Silver Queen Lounge was added. 后来发展成两个阅读板. They provided information about the current entertainment lineup, but most of the sign was taken up but its neon script and architectural flourishes.

罗伯特·文丘里拍摄的拉斯维加斯, 丹尼斯斯科特•布朗, and Steven Izenour in 1972’s "Learning from 拉斯维加斯" was in the midst of a transition. 他们描述的拉斯维加斯是一个“装饰棚屋”的混合体,“朴素的建筑,其装饰定义了它们, “鸭子,”,, 就像一个像鸭子一样的卖家禽的建筑, 象征本身. As casino architecture became more visually impressive and more distinctive, 这个标志失去了作为赌场主要标志的地位.

 In January 1958, an episode of the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour entitled “Lucy Hunts Uranium” aired on CBS. 故事发生在金沙酒店,主要是在摄影棚拍摄的. The identifying shot that placed the action at the 拉斯维加斯 hotel (where Ricky’s band had secured a booking) was simply of its sign—nothing more.

Contrast that with this 1981 pre-concert film of Liberace, which shows him 到达拉斯维加斯希尔顿酒店. There is no sign in evidence—merely the massive bulk of the Hilton’s hotel tower. 鸭子不需要装饰.

Photograph of the front exterior of the 拉斯维加斯 Hilton, circa 1971-1974

Photograph of the front exterior of the 拉斯维加斯 Hilton, circa 1971-1974, UNLV特殊集合

马戏团的马戏团, 它在1968年没有酒店塔楼的情况下开业, 是拉斯维加斯大道上的终极鸭子. 虽然它并不缺少条形前面的吸引子, 包括一个旋转木马, 一组喷泉, 一个迹象——很容易猜出来, 开车过去, that the giant building shaped like a circus tent was in fact the 马戏团的马戏团 casino. 凯撒宫的主塔, 仅仅两年前开张的那家, gave no exterior clue that it was intended to be a recreation of Ancient Rome; its backlit screen block façade did not immediately suggest anything beyond a modern hotel. 这远不是一个小棚屋, but Caesars Palace did need the decoration of its sign to make its identity clear. 后来度假村, 即使它们不像凯撒宫那样像鸭子一样, 不需要什么标志就能证明他们的身份. 

The Hilton is as good an exemplar of any of the early corporate casinos. 1969年开业,原名国际, 这是第一个第二代赌场度假村, typified by the presence of a soaring hotel tower housing rooms integrated with a low-slung box filled with the casino, 餐厅, 娱乐场所, 以及传统和零售空间. 国际的29-story, Y-shaped tower was so distinct that its signs (there were several) were positively workmanlike, merely listing the hotel’s current set of featured performers rather than trying to evoke a sense of wonder like, 说, 星尘或沙丘标志. The strictly informational nature of casino signage in the early corporate era mirrored perfectly the shift to strictly transactional methods of conducting business. As the spreadsheet asserted its hegemony over the relationships that had traditionally defined casino operations, the shift of casino signage from evocative to informative announced, 也许无意中, 这正是顾客所期望的.



The growing height and distinctiveness of casino hotel towers (one could tell merely from the silhouette whether they were looking at the Hilton, 具有里程碑意义的, 金沙, or 马戏团的马戏团) led to the decline of the sign as signifier, just as a more crowded casino landscape gave an imperative on the need to provide more information outside of casinos. 再次,金沙是有益的. 1981年,一群新主人给这处房产做了一次改头换面. 最明显的变化之一就是新的标志. 字母里那个巨大的“沙”不见了. In its place was a sign composed of three rising pylons supporting a massive readerboard, which took up over three-qu艺术ers of the signs total surface area. “金沙” has been reduced to a much more compact typeface sitting on top of the readerboard. 在远处, 金沙大厦是这个度假胜地的重要标志, while the sign simply tells guests what to look for on the inside.

Aerial photograph of 金沙 Hotel tower (拉斯维加斯), after 1967

金沙塔, UNLV特殊集合

Photograph of old sign for 金沙 Hotel being replaced by a new sign (拉斯维加斯), circa 1981

20世纪80年代金沙标志安装, UNLV特殊集合, YESCO收集

This image of a new Sahara sign shows the increasing importance of the readerboard.

Photograph of assembly of the neon sign in front of 撒哈拉沙漠 Hotel and Casino (拉斯维加斯), 1980

1980撒哈拉的迹象, 特殊的集合,拉斯维加斯大学 YESCO集合

在20世纪70年代和80年代建造和扩张, 拉斯维加斯 casinos had distinctive though functional towers, 有时, 比如撒哈拉和里维埃拉, 在连续的资金浪潮中拼凑起来的. 这些赌场工作, 有时, p艺术icularly when the towers were stitched together with greater foresight, 就像希尔顿酒店和米高梅酒店一样, 有效利用空间. 

The difference between the relative importance placed on the El Rancho's readerboard and that of the 星尘号 sign illuminates the new aesthetic of 拉斯维加斯 neon.

Slide of the El Rancho marquee and neon signs on 拉斯维加斯 Boulevard, 拉斯维加斯, Nevada, 1986

拉斯维加斯大道,1986年, UNLV特殊集合

But the opening of The Mirage in 1989 shifted the model for casino 设计 on the Strip. This was fitting because The Mirage was made possible by innovations in how casinos were funded and built. With access to hundreds of millions of dollars made possible by Wall Street brokers, Steve Wynn could build a three thousand room resort in one fell swoop. 第三代赌场度假村, 从《拉菲1app在线登录平台》开始, 采取了第二代的布局, 把它放大, 并添加了一层主题化. The third-generation resorts would develop a visual style of their own as advances in sign technology, 包括LED照明和视频显示, 再次改变了赌场标志的功能和外观.

The megaresorts of the 1990s didn’t appear out of nowhere—their construction was possible only because of the funding unlocked because of the success of their predecessors in the early corporate era. That these casinos were eclipsed (and often imploded to make way for) by a later, 更大的, and more skillfully executed generation shouldn’t obscure their importance to the history of 拉斯维加斯, 赌场的历史, 或者标志的视觉语言. 早期的企业时代, too often passed over for periods on either side of it chronologically, deserves to be appreciated for its own contributions to the development of 拉斯维加斯.


大卫G. 施瓦兹, 游戏历史学家, 教授, 内华达大学的讲师, 拉斯维加斯, 研究赌博和赌场, 视频游戏, 拉斯维加斯, 旅游, 和历史. He has written several books and teaches in the Dep艺术ment of History, 博伊德法学院, 和荣誉学院. His academic interest in gambling stems from his hands-on experience in the casino industry as a security officer, 监督官, 和奥. 花生. 

霓虹博物馆年度常驻学者 系列讲座 brings leading scholars and other specialists to the 拉斯维加斯 community for enlightening lectures on history, 艺术, 设计, 和建筑. 

The Scholar in Residence program is currently invitation only. 讲师与教育部门合作 & Outreach dep艺术ment to delve into the Neon Museum collection and develop presentations that have clear connections to the Museum’s mission and 拉斯维加斯 history. 这个项目的部分资金来自于 内华达艺术委员会一个国家机构,和 国家艺术基金会美国联邦机构.