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LETTER: Closing of The Mirage tugs at the heart

The news of The Mirage’s closing led me to the hotel key that’s been on my chain for 28 years. I was on a trip around America in my 20s, and dad flew from Louisiana to meet me in Vegas for a couple days. He booked us a room at The Mirage, which was relatively new. Pop prided himself on knowing the new things in Las Vegas and catching them on the rise.

I had been driving around the West on a budget. Dad treated us to a lush room overlooking the Strip, and I ordered a parfait from room service for breakfast. It was the summer, and the NBA Finals had just ended. Dad came excitedly to find me so I could spot Dennis Rodman walking through the hotel.

When my time with dad in Nevada ended, I kept The Mirage key on my chain. The palm tree logo has faded over three decades, yet it remains the most distinctive key on my ring. The other 12 keys are for the mundane — house, car, work.

Dad and I went back to Vegas one last time before he died. It was six years ago, and we went for a holiday season LSU basketball game. Dad delayed a necessary surgery so we could make the trip. We went to Aria this time. I kept the key card and saved it in a box. I’m not sure who makes metal keys anymore for hotels.

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