Updated April 2, 2020 - 8:20 am
Las Vegas Strip resorts unified for a visually powerful message of unity and love Wednesday night, illuminating windows to show hearts and inspirational words including HOPE and WE LOVE VEGAS.
The galvanizing messages graced MGM Grand, Caesars Palace, the Flamingo, Mandalay Bay/Delano, Park MGM, Aria, New York-New York, The Venetian/Palazzo, Wynn/Encore, and the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas and the High Roller at the Linq Promenade.
Former Nevada Gov. and Sen. Richard Bryan said Wednesday that the show of solidarity was crucial to the city’s capacity to overcome the coronavirus outbreak.
“It is a powerful message because historically our resorts have been very strong competitors and have not agreed on every issue. They have had some legitimate disagreements,” Bryan said in a phone conversation. “But we are seeing them rise above any competing issues in a moment like this. It shows their best instincts.”
Bryan had just passed the bar exam two days before President Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, the first time he recalls the resorts going dark in solidarity.
“That was a very traumatizing thing, and a different era of course,” said Bryan, who served as governor of Nevada from 1983 to 1989 and in the U.S. Senate from 1989 to 2001. “But this type of tribute has a long history in Las Vegas.”
The Strip displayed a communal message days after the Oct. 1, 2017, shootings, when Strip marquees dimmed for 11 minutes. Hotels again went dark to mark the one-year anniversary of the tragedy.
Marquees have also been dimmed or displayed uniformed messages in the days after 9/11, and to honor the passing of such Vegas legends as Jerry Tarkanian, Elvis Presley, members of the Rat Pack and Jerry Lewis.
“This really means something, not only in Las Vegas but everywhere,” Bryan said. “The Strip is the symbol, the iconic image, that people around the world have of Las Vegas.”
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian and Palazzo.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.