February 1, 1997
My Visit to Virtual New York, New York!Betty Roth, Staff Writer for Mother Wired
LAS VEGAS DESK - There's a new roller coaster in town. And 900,000 people took quite a ride on it the first day it opened. The ride attracted so much interest that opening night seats were auctioned off with the proceeds going to the local Make-a-Wish Foundation.
The auction bids totaled $50,000. But the ride was over much too fast for that kind of money. It took just four minutes though some said it seemed like an 'eternity' and traveled through gravity-defying loops, twists, and a sudden negative-G sliding-roll very like a NASA test pilot's rocket sled going out of control.
One of the new hotels in Las Vegas is the New York-New York which is your basic virtual metropolis theme park hotel.
Its a collage of buildings right out of the New York Sky Line along the East River and Manhattan. Somehow it has given the sky line of Las Vegas a distinctive New York look. Its identifiable as the New York skyline. Well, sort of.
Something is missing, Though, everything seems to be there. There is the Empire State Building, the Chrysler buildings, Trump Tower, the Seagram's, AT&T, Lever House, and the CBS building. But, something just isn't right. Maybe its the desert that surrounds the New York skyline. Maybe its the 3/4 scale. Maybe its the Coney Island-type roller coaster spanning the buildings.
But, when you walk into New York, New York its like entering a time machine and coming face-to-face with America in the 1940's. There's a short little bell-boy singing-out 'Call for Philip Morris!'
Everything is built out of neo-Modern and Art-Deco genres. And everywhere you look there is graceful Deco italic type face and signage. There are even elevator waiting areas and tiled subway entries in bright and shiny red, white and black.
Inside the hotel, it is Manhattan. The 84,000-square-foot casino is surrounded by the virtual Central Park complete with unpolluted stream, an immaculate pedestrian bridge, fancy wrought-iron and trees that never need watering.
For old time's sake, there is also Times Square" with its virtual moving-billboard.
Today's Las Vegas is now filled with billion-dollar hotels. The largest is still the MGM Grand with 5,005 rooms, more than 100,000 square feet of casino, a mammoth showroom starring major talent like David Cassidy, who recently replaced "The Phantom of the Opera's" Michael Crawford.