Vegas vs. Reality

When you think of Las Vegas, you probably think of the over-the-top hotels and casinos that line the iconic Strip. If that’s not what you think of, just play along like it is. That said, there are several different types of casinos on the strip that might pop into your mind. There are old classics like Circus Circus, The Flamingo, and Tropicana. There are fancy new properties like Aria, and The Cosmopolitan. And then there are the casinos that are based on an actual place. They are generally named for a place, and try to replicate the look and feel of that place. These are casinos like Paris, The Venetian, New York New York, and the Luxor. All of these properties attempt to duplicate famous monuments, buildings, and even entire cities in a single hotel/casino. How close do they get to the real thing? Below are some side-by-side comparisons.

Paris, France vs. Paris Hotel and Casino

Paris vs. Las Vegas

The real Eiffel Tower stands at 300 meters (986 feet) high. The Vegas version is about half scale, with its observation deck at 165 Meters (541 feet) above ground level. They did a great job with the tower, and I think it was smart to focus on one landmark rather than trying to re-create an entire city (I’m talking about you, New York New York).

New York, NY vs New York New York Hotel and Casino

New York Vs. Las Vegas

It’s a tough task to try to recreate an entire iconic skyline as a single building, and this is great proof of that statement. In order to get the Statue of Liberty and all of the actual New York landmarks into the same structure they really had to stretch reality, and the result is a building that misses the mark. I imagine life long New Yorkers cringe at the sight of this hotel. But I also imagine they enjoy the roller coaster and wish that the real New York City had one.

Venice, Italy vs. The Venetian Hotel and Casino

venice vs. Las Vegas

Looking at the real Venice next to the canal shops at the Venetian hotel and casino makes you realize that they kind of nailed this one, but at the same time it kind of feels wrong. Something about the cartoonish blue water and the scaled down perfectly clean facades of centuries-old buildings is just off putting in a way that is difficult to describe, but easy to feel. Odd feeling aside, the canal shops are pretty cool, and you shouldn’t miss it if you’re visiting Vegas.

Egypt vs. Luxor Hotel and Casino

egypt vs. Las Vegas

Comparing the Great Pyramids of Giza to the Luxor Hotel and Casino makes one thing obvious… Ancient Egypt really could have used a monorail. The designers of the Luxor definitely took a few liberties with their modern re-imagining of the Pyramid and Sphinx, but the people of Las Vegas are grateful for that because they successfully avoided a whole bunch of plagues in getting it built.

Are there any native New Yorkers, Parisians, Egyptians, or Italians who have been to the Vegas versions of your home? What did you think?


Photo Attribution

  • luxor hotel/casino – photo by Michael LoCascio
  • paris hotel/casino – photo by Mike Russell
  • eiffel tower – Photo by J.M. Schomburg http://www.jm-schomburg.com
  • venetian hotel/casino – photo by Svein-Magne Tunli http://www.tunliweb.no/SM/English/sm_eng.htm
  • venice – photo by Håkon Bogen
  • Manhattan Skyline – photo by Tjeerd Wiersma http://www.flickr.com/photos/tjeerd/2892922/
  • New York New York hotel/casino – photo by High Contrast

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