Las Vegas celebrities and stars from the last 30 years, captured in time by photographer Robert Scott Hooper at Vegasretro
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Vegas Visitors 1968
Vegas Visitors 1969
Vegas Visitors 1970
Vegas Visitors 1971
Vegas Visitors 1972
Vegas Visitors 1973
Vegas Visitors 1974
Vegas Visitors 1975
Vegas Visitors 1976
Vegas Visitors 1977
Vegas Visitors 1978
Vegas Visitors 1979
Vegas Visitors 1980
Vegas Visitors 1981
Vegas Visitors 1982
Vegas Visitors 1983

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Vegas Visitors
"Fresh Faces on the Cover"

The late sixties brought a new brand of entertainment to Las Vegas in the form of the Circus Circus which opened in 1968.  But 1968 wasn't a winning year for everyone, including Evel Knievel who failed in his attempt to jump Caesars Palace Fountain and the Nevada desert which hosted three US Government nuclear tests that year.
Vegas Visitors 1968



The Vegas Visitor was the premiere entertainment publication in Las Vegas from the mid-60's to the mid 80's. From 1968 on the tabloid featured a sexy girl on the cover. Hooper was the exclusive photographer of that cover. Published weekly, the magazine had fans around the world that collected that cover. We figure there were over 700 Hooper covers over the years. Keep coming back to this section because we plan to publish them all again...eventually.

Las Vegas saw the opening of two hotels in 1969, the Landmark and the Las Vegas International.  The International brought "the King" Elvis Presley back to Las Vegas after 13 years and the Checkmates LTD were the hottest lounge entertainment in the year of '69.
Vegas Visitors 1969



The spring of 1970 marked the first appearance of BB King at Caesars Palace and the birth of Andre Agassi in Las Vegas.  By the end of the year Howard Hughes leaves his fortress at the Desert Inn Hotel for the Bahamas, never to return again.
Vegas Visitors 1970



Sam Boyd opened the Union Plaza Hotel in downtown Las Vegas on the site of the old railroad station in 1971, adding new life to <i><b>glitter gulch.</i></b>  <i><b>Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas</i></b> by Hunter S. Thompson begins appearing in installments in Rolling Stone magazine  in November 1971.
Vegas Visitors 1971



The Osmonds were opening for Petula Clark at Caesars Palace in 1972 and George Hamilton married Alana Collins in Las Vegas that same year.  The big event in 1972 was the ground breaking ceremony for the MGM Grand Hotel which was hosted by Raquel Welch, Cary Grant and fireworks.  Growing fast, but not as fast as it would a couple of decades later. The population of Las Vegas reached 273,000 in 1972.
Vegas Visitors 1972



The worlds largest resort, the MGM Grand opens in 1973 and June Carter and Johnny Cash sing to standing room only crowds at the Las Vegas Hilton every night of their gig.  Sadly, Bobby Darin makes his farewell appearance at the Hilton that year as well.
Vegas Visitors 1973



Everyone loves Vegas in 1974.  Liberace because he signed a 2.5 million dollar contract for 25 weeks in Vegas and Patty Hearst because it was a good place to hide out for a few weeks.  "Hallelujah Hollywood" opens at the MGM Grand that year and the name "Runnin' Rebels" is coined in 1974 by sports information director at UNLV Dominic Clark.
Vegas Visitors 1974



The good news in Las Vegas in the year 1975 was the opening of the first 'Sports Book' in town at the Union Plaza and it was the first year Nevada gaming revenues cracked the $1 billion mark.  The bad news was the worst flash flood in the city's history hit the strip, washing cars away and causing millions in damage and taking two lives.  Speaking of damage, in 1975, officials who would later oppose the project passed a resolution in support of a nuclear dump in Nevada.
Vegas Visitors 1975



"Times They Are A-Changin" and Las Vegas felt some of them in 1976.  Howard Hughes died on his way to Houston and a 21 day culinary workers strike crippled the strip that year.  In 1976, when casino-style gaming was legalized in Atlantic City, NJ, casino owners began to rethink what else Las Vegas had to offer.  Bigger things were on the horizon and the opening of the $10 million dollar Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts with Neil Diamond showed Vegas was ready to go for it.
Vegas Visitors 1976



Sadly, 1977, was the year we lost Elvis, but it was also a year that Vegas put on a new face.  The Sahara, Flamingo, Riviera and Tropicana all opened additions and the Stardust and Golden Nugget did extensive remodeling. The Main Street Station opened downtown and the boutique hotel The Maxim opened just off strip.  The most curious event, and indication of the changing "face of Vegas" was the opening of the waterpark Wet n' Wild on high priced strip land.
Vegas Visitors 1977



Wayne Newton's on hand in 1978, for the re-opening of the plush, upscale new Desert Inn Hotel, and Leon Spinks is on hand to dethrone the great Muhammad Ali at the Las Vegas Hilton.  The big news in 1978 is ABC's "Vega$" weekly primetime television show starring Robert Urich that brings Las Vegas home to the nations viewers.
Vegas Visitors 1978



In 1979 statistics showed Las Vegas had the highest number of churches per capita of any US city. Sin city was branching out with other kinds of entertainment such as the Liberace Museum which opened in 1979 as well as the OmniMax Theatre at Caesars Palace.  Caesars also hosted the star studded party celebrating Frank Sintra's 64th birthday and 40 years in show business.
Vegas Visitors 1979



Las Vegas celebrated its 75th birthday in 1980 as tourism became the world's second largest business beind the oil industry.  Although there were no major hotel openings that year, the Flamingo Capri became the Imperial Palace which brought more international tourists to Las Vegas.  The year was more marked by tragedy when the MGM Grand fire in November of 1980 took the lives of 84 people.
Vegas Visitors 1980



The most expensive show ever produced in Las Vegas opened at the MGM Grand in 1981.  The Don Arden production was a $10 million dollar spectacular.  New entertainment abounded that year with Siegfried & Roy opening "Beyond Belief" at the Frontier, Dolly Parton making her Vegas debut at the Riviera and the opening of the famed Imperial Palace Auto Collection.
Vegas Visitors 1981



Always looking for new entertainment venues, Las Vegas welcomed Formula One racing in 1982.  Danny Sullivan won the Coors Can Am race at Caesars Palace but Formula One never came to Las Vegas again after that single race.  The old Thunderbird Hotel (1948) opened that year as the new El Rancho after a $25 million renovation.
Vegas Visitors 1982



A new 9,370 seat stadium opened in Las Vegas in 1983 with an exhibition game between the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.  The Cashman Field complex also housed a new convention facility and was the beginning of many renovation and new projects that would take place in the Las Vegas downtown area over the next several years.
Vegas Visitors 1983



 
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