Southern Nevadans have a pretty high tolerance for the destruction of the region's history. Hotel implosions were events to watch and cheer, not lament and protest. Old homes, golf courses and businesses that were torn down to make way for newer ones, or newer infrastructure, have not been seen as cultural losses.
Hey, it's not like we were razing structures from the 1600s, here. An "old" building in Las Vegas is 40 years old -- and '70s architecture is seriously overrated.
But pardon us for rolling our eyes at the news that the U.S. Department of Energy has decided to nuke the Nevada Test Site. No, the atomic and nuclear weapons test zone long ago known as the Nevada Proving Grounds isn't being closed. It's getting a new name: the Nevada National Security Site.
The single most important remnant of Nevada's significant contributions toward winning the Cold War is being ... rebranded. New signs, business cards and letterhead for all!
"By renaming NTS the Nevada National Security Site, NNSA (the National Nuclear Security Administration, the renamed outfit that runs the place) is recognizing the expanding, critical and diverse role it plays in our nation's security," a federal news release said.
New Yorkers still don't recognize "Avenue of the Americas" by its feel-good name. To them, it will always be Sixth Avenue. In San Francisco, Candlestick Park, despite several sponsor-driven renamings, was always Candlestick. And thanks to the economic downturn, it is again -- officially.
To all those smart federal employees and politicians who think they know best: The last name change did the trick. The Nevada Test Site will always be the "test site."