Wind your way down Joe W. Brown Drive behind the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, and look just to the west where the Las Vegas Country Club sits now. If you squint, you might be able to see the backstretch of what once was Las Vegas Park.
In retrospect, hosting a thoroughbred meet in Las Vegas — even in the relatively placid weather of October — wasn’t a winning proposition. Racebooks already dotted the Strip, and for visitors from Southern California used to Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar, a racetrack was far less novel an experience than casino gambling.
That didn’t stop Joseph M. Smoot from trying. With other people’s money.
Twelve years ago this month, the 56th annual NBA All-Star Game roared into town, triggering a mega-wild weekend highlighted by a citywide party, a globally-viewed game and the NBA’s immersion in the Las Vegas community through numerous charitable endeavors.
AIN’T NO FOUNTAINS HIGH ENOUGH: A daunting jump over Caesars Palace waterworks couldn’t deter Evel Knievel — but the water won, Dec. 31, 1967
Jump-suited fountain-jumper (well, almost-jumper) Evel Knievel’s crazy-man stunt over the Caesars Palace fountains still stands as an extreme sports milestone 51 years later, even though Knievel, his bike and the pavement had an unfortunate rendezvous.