Oscar Goodman spent his last full day as mayor of Las Vegas in a media blitz of seemingly nonstop television lights and flashing strobes, giving the world one last concentrated dose of the "Happiest Mayor in the Universe."
Today he'll swear in his wife, Carolyn, to take over his duties and his championship of downtown redevelopment.
"It's not sad," he said several times Tuesday when asked about the end of his 12-year stint. "I've had a great run.
"I was lucky and fortunate to have been the mayor of Las Vegas, particularly the first nine years when everything we touched turned to gold."
Goodman spent most of the day doing the things that made him famous -- media appearances at which he could joke about his gin habit, talk up downtown projects, walk around with young, beautiful women, and bask in the attention he receives as the "brand" of Las Vegas, a role he plans to continue with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority after leaving office.
The day ended on a different kind of celebratory note, though, when many of the city's movers and shakers trekked to the studios of KCLV-TV, the city's television station, to pay tribute to Las Vegas' many successes downtown since Goodman took office.
The most Goodman-esque event of the day took place at Binion's on Fremont Street, where the soon-to-be-ex-mayor opened a poker tournament, bragged about his seven-for-seven baseball picks over the weekend and imitated Alfred Hitchcock for a reality television show.
"The only thing I can't do," Goodman said to Binion's owner Terry Caudill, "is have a drink. I have a couple of events after this, and I can't 'schlur' my words."
For the benefit of several cameras, including a crew filming "Casino Confidential," a reality show set in Binion's, Goodman entered escorted by two scantily clad Binion's Cowgirls.
After getting poker players going with the cry of "Dealers, shuffle up and get the cards in the air," he sat down with the television crew and wrapped up with a strange request.
"This is my dream come true," he said. "I want to be the Alfred Hitchcock of mayors."
He then was filmed imitating the filmmaker's plodding walk that opened the classic television series -- and demanded to be in each episode.
"Put me in every segment so that people can say, 'Who's that guy?' " Goodman said, despite knowing perfectly well that people recognize him the world over. He backed up his humorous demand to Caudill: "Hey, Terry. The next mayor may put your liquor license in jeopardy if I'm not in it."
Next it was on to Madame Tussauds wax museum at The Venetian, which has a statue of Goodman in its collection. The statue's tie was traded out for one celebrating Las Vegas' centennial.
Afterward, Goodman reflected on his first day in office in 1999.
"It was a blur," he said. "I had no idea what I was doing. They just threw me the gavel and said, 'It's yours.' "
In the beginning, there were plenty of people who thought Goodman wouldn't make it as mayor. Some of them showed up Tuesday at the city's TV studio for Goodman's final episode of "Town Hall," a live call-in show.
"I was not a believer, initially," said former U.S. Sen. Richard Bryan, who was once Goodman's law partner.
Neither was Don Snyder, board chairman for the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, who said he didn't vote for Goodman in 1999.
"You have earned our respect," he said. "You have earned our thanks."
Said Bryan: "I think this is a commencement. You've graduated. Now there's a lot left to do."
Other guests on the show also were political players and downtown leaders: Rep. Shelley Berkley, condominium developer Sam Cherry, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, Larry Ruvo of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, U.S. District Judge Lloyd George, downtown nightlife pioneers Michael and Jennifer Cornthwaite, "CSI" creator Anthony Zuicker and Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the convention authority.
"This is like 'A Christmas Carol,' " Goodman said at one point. "Christmas past, Christmas future.
"This is overwhelming. I got really lucky because things happened during my watch that I got credit for."
With the Smith Center and the Ruvo Center, those things include World Market Center, Premium Outlets mall, a rejuvenated Arts District, the Fremont East Entertainment District, the Mob Museum, the new City Hall and the planned move of Zappos corporate headquarters downtown.
One goal that wasn't met was snagging a professional sports franchise to move into a new arena that Goodman wanted. He said he is "very confident" his wife will succeed where he didn't.
Goodman keeps adding to the things he might have on his plate after leaving office. He already has announced the convention authority gig, and on Tuesday, a documentary crew was following him around, but they would not discuss what project they were working on.
He might be a judge in a Las Vegas-based courtroom show, he said, in addition to another possible role on "CSI" and other TV and movie projects in which he would play a producer role.
Goodman couldn't go out without a little bit of Old Vegas, and at the end of the "Town Hall" show, he was joined by two showgirls and Elvis impersonator Jesse Garron, who said he was asked recently who was more important to Las Vegas: Elvis, or Oscar Goodman?
The answer is Goodman, Garron said.
"And if you don't believe me," he added, "go ask him."
Contact reporter Alan Choate at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-229-6435.