Las Vegas is known around the world as the ultimate destination for entertainment, nightlife, and excitement. From the bright lights of the Strip to the dazzling casinos and world-class restaurants, the city never fails to deliver on its promise of fun and excitement. But beneath the surface, many hidden and bizarre secrets make Las Vegas even more fascinating.
Here are three surprising and intriguing things you probably didn’t know about Sin City.
The First Topless Shows on the Las Vegas Strip Date back to 1956!
The first topless show in Las Vegas, “Minsky’s Follies,” opened in 1956 at the Dunes Hotel and Casino. The show was a controversial but popular attraction that paved the way for many other adult-themed shows in the city.
The Minsky brothers had been promoting burlesque shows in New York City since the early 1900s. In the late 50s, they brought their unique entertainment to sin city, and the rest is history! The show was popular with locals and tourists, and it helped establish Las Vegas as a destination for adult entertainment. In fact, many of the performers who appeared in Minsky’s Follies went on to become major stars in the entertainment industry, including Gypsy Rose Lee, Blaze Starr, and Lili St. Cyr.
Janet Airlines: The secret Las Vegas airline, that takes secret government workers to a secret base in the middle of the desert!
Janet Airlines is a mysterious airline that operates out of Las Vegas and serves the infamous, top-secret government facility Area 51. The airline is shrouded in secrecy and has become the subject of speculation and fascination.
According to legend, JANET is an acronym for “Just Another Non-Existent Terminal”. It is believed that the airline was founded in 1972 and is owned by the United States Air Force. A private contractor operates it and serves a small number of government employees working at Area 51, located in the Nevada desert.
The airline operates a small fleet of unmarked Boeing 737 and 737-600 aircraft, which are painted white with a red stripe. The airline’s flights depart from a private terminal at McCarran International Airport (no, we are not calling it Harry Reid Airport) in Las Vegas. The terminal is located from the main airport and accessible only by a secure road.
Despite the airline’s secrecy, it has become a popular subject of speculation and interest among conspiracy theorists and aviation enthusiasts. Many people believe that the airline is used to transport aliens or other top-secret government projects to and from Area 51.
We once had atomic bomb-watching parties, where people watched top-secret nuclear tests from Casino Rooftops!
Believe it or not, in the 1950s and 1960s, atomic bomb tests were conducted just 65 miles from Las Vegas. And Vegas being Vegas, casinos in the city offered “atomic cocktails” and rooftop Atomic Parties as a way to capitalize on the public’s fascination with nuclear weapons.
Many casinos incorporated atomic themes into their marketing campaigns, using terms like “atomic,” “nuclear,” and “radiant” to create a sense of excitement and danger. Some even went so far as to build lounges with names like the “Nuclear Lounge” and the “Miss Atomic Bomb” beauty pageant, a popular event at the Sands Hotel and Casino.
Vegas casinos also used the atomic tests as a selling point for their hotels, claiming they were safe from the radiation because they were far away from the blast zone. This assurance was often touted in advertisements and promotional materials, emphasizing the safety and luxury of the hotels.
We even have a bar that was inspired from the testing. Atomic Liquors is a historic bar in Las Vegas that has become famous for its connection to the city’s atomic testing history. The bar first opened its doors in 1952, at the height of the Cold War, and was named for the atomic blasts that were taking place just 65 miles away in the Nevada desert.
In 60s, Atomic Liquors gained a reputation as a favorite watering hole of the Rat Pack, and it wasn’t uncommon to see Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr at the bar. Over the years, Atomic Liquors has changed hands several times and undergone several renovations. But to this day, the bar celebrates its atomic heritage. Today, it is one of the city’s most popular bars, and it continues attracting visitors interested in its unique history. While many of the city’s iconic landmarks have been demolished or replaced, Atomic Liquors has stood the test of time and remains a beloved part of Vegas lore.