Celebrating the Decades: Explosive growth in the Nineties

Vegas NYE

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The ’90s was a decade of explosive growth for Las Vegas, and in this city, there is only one way to make room for a new hotel: blow up the old one!

As shiny new hotel-casinos sprang up along the Strip, visionaries out west of town were hoping to his the jackpot in this vast area of open desert.

“I remember the governor cut the ribbon on the Summerlin Parkway overpass, and I remember every one of the reporters said the same thing, ‘Well, the road to nowhere is open,'” said Tom Warden, senior vice president of Howard Hughes, Summerlin.

All of this nothingness would become home to over 100,000 residents in the state’s largest master-planned community called Summerlin. The city was named after the grandmother of Howard Hughes, who purchased 25,000 acres of desert back in the 1950s. He died in the ’70s, and his heirs sold the first home in 1991.

Back in town, progress showed no mercy. In 1995, the old Landmark Hotel-Casino near the Las Vegas Convention Center came crashing down to create more parking spaces for conventioneers. The fall of the spacey-looking tower was captured on film by Hollywood producer Tim Burton and used in the cult movie classic ‘Mars Attacks!’

Today, that same parking lot is being invaded with the construction of the new west hall of convention center space opening next year.

Another attack near the Las Vegas Strip in the ’90s killed a popular hip hop artist named Tupac Shakur. Shakur, 25, was shot in his car while sitting at a red light at Flamingo and Koval on the night of September 7, 1996. He died at UMC six days later.

And, the suspicious death of gaming executive Ted Binion in 1998 involved drugs, buried silver and a love triangle. His live-in girlfriend, Sandy Murphy, and her secret lover, Rick Tabish, were charged with his murder, and the televised proceedings became the murder trial of the century.

The two were found guilty, but the verdict was overturned on an appeal. they were retried and acquitted of murder but convicted or trying to steal Binion’s fortune. They are both out of prison.

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