Sunday, July 05, 2009


Besides your standard alcohol-induced day-after illness of headache and nausea, there are so many other types that I have been pondering as of late (as I write this with aforementioned, standard hangover). There is a food hangover (which in my case typically follows another medical condition known as "burrito regret"), there is the love hangover (that is, when the unflattering lens of rationality takes hold to reveal irritating idiosyncrasies), there is a movie called "The Hangover" which I haven't heard anything good about so it's probably crappy, and then there's the economic hangover. The economic hangover can take on many forms, and, if one is looking for it, one cannot escape is especially inescapable these days.

The picture at the bottom of this post should provide the perfect symbol of an economic hangover. It is of the failing construction project of the Echelon resort in Las Vegas, an ambitious $4 billion plan to build a casino the size of two football fields, four hotels with 5,300 rooms, and 25 restaurants. Construction was postponed last August for 3 to 4 fiscal quarters (yeah, I'm sure the project will be up and running any day now), and was supposedly set to finish in 2010. The developers fancied it a grand, classy affair, with the hopes of giving the Venetian a run for its money. But before they could get to work, they had a little celebratory destruction, doing it up all-American style, they set some fireworks and decimated the historic Stardust Casino, as it was impeding on their now ill-fated vision.

I shall not shed a tear if the grand plans for the Echelon never come to fruition. Especially not after discovering the following footage of the Stardust's implosion at the hands of the Echelon developers in March of 2007. When it opened in 1958, the Stardust was the largest casino in Las Vegas history, it launched the careers Siegfried and Roy and was a major venue for Andrew Dice Clay and Wayne Newton for years. It's sign became an icon of the strip itself, and of the jazzy '50s Rat Pack-influenced era of Las Vegas itself.

First, witness the excitement of the Stardust's untimely death:

And now, the ultimate hangover, coming to the Las Vegas strip in the form of a completely abandoned construction site:

Hangovers can be a real bitch.

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