Abandoned is a good word for it. This has been incredibly difficult to track down, with minimal results. Scouring the Clark County Assessor’s records of the land at the northwest corner of those two streets revealed nothing; the parcel in question was consolidated in 2009 (#139-35-211-121), so no official individual record exists of the corner slice where the tower stands. Further, none of my normal sources had any idea what it was. Standing in front of the tower and staring at it for an hour did no good, either. I came up with some funny conspiracy theories (perhaps it’s used to “deliver happiness”) to amuse myself. But in reality, I hit a dead end.
Until last week, when DTLV editor Geoff Carter was on a Downtown fact-finding mission and Derek Stonebarger shared some info with him. Stonebarger says that an old Vegas cat from the neighborhood around his nearby (and yet to re-open) Atomic Liquors claimed that the tower is an old oil derrick. Decades ago, it was intended to be used as a neon signpost (á la Jerry’s Nugget) for a never-built casino. Sounds plausible to me, but if anyone out there can corroborate, negate or fill-in the story, let me know.
What is your favorite easy escape from Las Vegas?
The obvious answers are places like Red Rock Canyon and Mount Charleston. It always surprises me how many people who have lived in Las Vegas for years have never ventured out to one of these spots. In our hectic city, one should not neglect the rejuvenating aspects of the great outdoors. A similar, less-dusty alternative is a jaunt out to Boulder City. Its small-town, gambling-free, outdoorsy vibe really tricks the brain; it’s like driving 30 minutes from the Strip and arriving in Colorado or Northern Arizona. Brewpubs brush up against art galleries, and old favorites such as Art in the Park and the Back Stop Sports Pub mesh perfectly with newer bars like the Dillinger. Put it all together, and Boulder City has a growing cool factor, even as it remains our nearby escape to small-town America.