Lost Vegas

Don't know what you've got `til it's gone

With the announcement that MGM Resorts International will no longer offer free parking in most of its garages, it seems another mainstay of the Sin City tourism industry has bitten the dust. That’s a sizable chunk of properties on Las Vegas Boulevard—10 individual casinos and City Center, as well as MGM ancillary properties such as SkyLofts at MGM Grand—at which patrons will be paying to park. Whether or not other Strip operators will follow suit is anyone’s guess, but one thing is certain: Change is the only sure bet in this town.

Here, we remember other things that we’ve lost on the Strip, not counting our paychecks:

Showgirls: With the closure of Jubilee! next month, the most famous icon of Las Vegas goes with it—feathers, glitter and all.

Cheap eats: While there are still a few stalwart late-night deals to be scored, the days of the $1 shrimp cocktail are gone.

Coins: Whether of the U.S. mint variety or as branded tokens of each property, once the slots turned to paper-only systems (money and printed vouchers), there was no longer a need for custom casino coins or even the ubiquitous wet toilettes one would find all around the casino to wipe your hands after scooping coins out of jackpot bins. See also: branded casino cups to hold your coins.

Cigarettes: Sure, you can still light up in a casino, but it’s getting harder to find a pack since more and more patrons are quitting. Less smoking has meant the end of some iconic ephemera—branded matchbooks and ashtrays

Family Vegas: Remember when every casino had a roller coaster, arcade or IMAX theater? If you visited or moved her anytime after the Great Recession, chances are, you don’t.