Posted by: nedpelger | February 5, 2009

Just a Wandering in Sin City

The Beautiful Wife (TBW) and I spent the day walking the Las Vegas strip. It’s been 30 years since I’ve been here. My weird engineering brain sees the biggest change has been switching the signage from neon to LEDs. The downtown has a Neon Museum that showcases lots of the flashy and flashing neon signs I remember from the 1970s. The photo below is one of my favorite examples:

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Today, though, millions of tiny LED lights make screens that show video. In a few years, all those screens will be laser high definition and almost indistinguishable from what our eyes see as reality. Which, as Woody Allen noted, is the only place you can get a good steak.

I heard all the construction had sputtered to a halt on the Strip, but saw otherwise. Lots of crews and cranes were building projects I can barely imagine.

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The buildings seem to be getting about 10 times bigger from my last visit as well.

I read an article in Engineering News Record about the MGM Mirage City Center $9.2-billion development. The GC’s self-performing concrete crews moved some rebar from planned locations due to rebar congestion. They didn’t get the structural engineer’s approval, though, and the Building Official rejected the work (long after more work has been built on top). To avoid an expensive re-design, and because the condo units weren’t selling well anyway, the Owners chopped the project from 49 stories to 24 stories. I bet that hurts them in the old Pro Forma.

As TBW and I walked miles, we tried to steep ourselves in the culture of the place. Some of you may assume I’m a cultural cretin, but I enjoy art. In fact, TBW suggested this photo of me admiring some of the wonderful artwork in Las Vegas:

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I’ll try to post tomorrow about my experiences at the World of Concrete and eventually get to the Hoover Dam tour. It’s been a great visit so far.

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