For many locals the idea that elected officials are trying to turn Las Vegas into another Los Angeles or some other California city might sound ridiculous, but others do not want to argue that possibility.
Las Vegas, billed as a twenty-four hour city or the city that never sleeps, is a myth; most major grocery stores now close by nine at night, yet some are a little more generous, staying open until midnight; the only businesses open around the clock are the casinos.
Years ago when casino dealers used to dress impeccably and were proud of their white starched, well ironed shirts, there were drycleaners, as well as barbershops and beauty salons, that were open twenty-four hours a day.
Men’s clothing stores and boutiques also were opened when some of the major shows and reviews ended at two in the morning.
The Checkmates, one of the most popular musical groups of the time, had a show at five in the morning and the line at the lounge where they used to play was all the way to the front door at Caesars Palace.
BB King, Nancy Wilson, Sammy Davis Jr. and many other famous entertainers used to be part of the audience at the packed lounge.
Sometimes people eating at the famous Tower of Pizza did not know if it was two in the morning or two in the afternoon because the place was always packed.
Who can forget the PussyCat-A- Go-go? A well known discotheque (now it would be called a club) on Las Vegas Boulevard and Spring Mountain Road where few people could be found at two in the morning, but at five in the morning it was jammed and the line was all the way to the parking lot.
Everybody was there at 5 a.m.: casino dealers, cocktail waitresses, showgirls, dancers, hookers, pimps and pimp-wannabes, pit bosses, bell persons, you name it; that was the place to be.
Today Las Vegas is the only city in America that does not have a power Company with access to clients; it must be because the power company has so many alias: Nevada Power, a.k.a Nevada Energy, a.k.a NVEnergy, and who knows how many other names. Executives are not interested in customers from Las Vegas.
Nevada Energy, which merged with Sierra Pacific Power, and its subsidiary Sierra Pacific Resources and Nevada Power, a.k.a Nevada Energy, a.k.a NVEnergy, are only interested in grabbing the money from Las Vegas residents, but are little concerned in giving customer services to the Las Vegas area.
All utility companies — Southwest Gas, Las Vegas Valley Water District, the telephone company (which in years past was called Bell Telephone Co., Centel, Sprint, and Embarq and is now called CenturyLink) and Nevada Power used to have offices in downtown Las Vegas, but today the closest utility office to downtown Las Vegas is the water company on Charleston and Valley View Boulevard. The phone company used to have an office on Las Vegas Blvd. and Fremont where people could conduct business with its representatives on a one-to-one basis. Then, they had a building on Valley View and Alta where you could conduct business half way, but now if you need to solve some problems with the company you are directed to a house phone against a wall and get no physical contact with a live person at all.
Las Vegas is the only city that has the Social Security office in the middle of nowhere; if seniors need to conduct business at the Social Security office and do not have a car they will have to take an hour-long ride on an RTC bus that only runs every half hour or every hour.
Newspapers are not too much different; the only daily newspaper of our city used to be on Main and Bonanza Road, and the Las Vegas Sun, when it used to be a real newspaper (today it’s just an insert inside the LVRJ), was on Main and Clark, until a fire forced them to move to Highland Avenue, which is known as Martin Luther King Blvd., but later moved to Henderson.
That is another thing; in California when you ask someone if they live in Los Angeles they get insulted, claiming they live in Beverly Hills.
In Las Vegas when you ask anyone if they live in Henderson, they get Irritated and tell you “NO, we live in Green Valley,” but they don’t know who the Mayor of Green Valley is because Green Valley is not a city; it is just a suburb of Henderson and does not have its own mayor.
The same thing is happening with Summerlin; even if they built a “Summerlin downtown,” Summerlin is not a city. There are people who actually get offended if told that they live in a subdivision of Las Vegas with a city councilman who sits in Las Vegas City Hall and that they share their mayor with the city of Las Vegas.
There are actually some people who believe they live in the City of Summerlin. I know of someone who lives in Summerlin and while traveling, if asked if he lives in Las Vegas, he has the naïve mentality to say: “No, but we need to go through the Las Vegas airport to get to our city of Summerlin.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
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Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at 702-272-4634.