I love Las Vegas. The first time I visited was in 1985, and in the 30+ years that have passed, things have changed dramatically.
At that time the Las Vegas Strip was populated with neon signs, and most of the hotels and casinos that currently populate the 4 mile stretch of land didn't exist. The mega resort boom that started with the construction of the Mirage was still a few years away.
(On my first night in Las Vegas I remember walking from the Tropicana [on the right side of the first picture] to the Dunes [at the far left edge of the same picture] and realizing it was a much further walk than I had anticipated.)
Fremont Street was exactly that; a street you could drive through. Ten years later it was branded as the Fremont Experience with a 5-block section of the street closed off to traffic and an LED canopy with light and music show presented nightly beginning at dusk.
I don't remember any magic shows being advertised in 1985. Now there are shows on almost every block. David Copperfield at the MGM, Criss Angel at the Luxor, Mac King at Harrah's, Matt Franco at the Linq, and Nathan Burton at Planet Hollywood are just a few of the many names appearing on a nightly basis on the Las Vegas Strip.
My favorite magic show in Las Vegas can be found off The Strip at the Rio where the immensely popular Penn & Teller perform.
On any given night you can see street magicians plying their craft on both The Strip and on Fremont Street.
And if you're looking for a Las Vegas magician for hire, there are dozens of entertainers who perform at the never ending stream of corporate events found day in and day out in the city that never sleeps.
Las Vegas truly is the magic capital of the world.
(About the Author: Lou Serrano is a magician for hire and often performs at corporate events in Las Vegas.)