Las Vegas Strip - Inside the Venetian Palace Area

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The Venetian Hotel is located on the grounds of what used to be known as the Sands Hotel and Casino of 'Rat Pack' fame. An early pioneer in Vegas entertainment, attitude and culture, the Sands was imploded, leveled and covered over by the Venetian.

The Venetian is a worthy Las Vegas type successor to the heritage of the Sands. The concept of course was to recreate the Venice that is such a popular tourist destination with many of the features which are popular about Venice.

Thus we see an exact replica of St Marks as kind of the representative icon of this resort. All of the other features are also detail specific and detail exact.
The planners and designers of the Venetian did spare too many expenses in trying to accomplish the similarity. The result is definitely worthwhile seeing. The promenade area inside the Venetian is built around a canal system which extends to the outside and front of the hotel.

For a small fee you may take a ride through 'The Canals of the Venetian' on a real gondola with a gondolier who usually takes his job very seriously and tries to stay in character throughout.

The ceilings throughout the interior promenade are done in the typical Las Vegas style with soft clouds and a soft blue sky background.

There is a lot more to the promenade are than just the canals. There are restaurants and several shops in the area also.
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They try to 'class the place up' whenever they can. This includes ceilings that are not in the canal area and are found above entrances and certain places in the casinos.

On the right is a really great shot of what looks exactly like Michelangelo's Last Supper but it is really a picture of  the buffet at Caesars Palace ... 

Well anyway they have art embellishments which do give the place an air of what Venice might have to offer.

Some critics in the past have said that the reality which Las Vegas tries to create about a place is based on Hollywood imagery as opposed to the real thing. In point of fact many of the re-creations found in Las Vegas are authentic to the nth degree. Great pain is taken to make certain of the exactness and quality of the reproductions. The interior and exterior designs at the Venetian are a good example of this fact.

What you see at the Venetian is likely to be an exact duplicate of what is it supposed to represent.

Cost were often not spared at the expense of authenticity. Expense was elaborated in order to have authenticity. There is a Las Vegas style beginning to emerge evident here also.
It is basically the result of the unique circumstance of Las Vegas, being in an area where controlling the environment is necessary. Thus indoor environments are developed. Early on the quality of the indoor environment was limited and focused on keeping the huge - by earlier standards - casinos cool from the hot summer sun.

The famous 'walls of air', a fixture in downtown casinos, kept out the hot air and made it possible to not have doors around the casino floor. The wide open entrances had about an 8 to 10 foot space between the casino floor and ceiling and the casino and the outside. Air was forced between the ceiling and the floor and thus kept out the hot air. This did seem to work because then for years the air inside the casinos gained a reputation for being dark, dank and stanky.

This atmosphere did not work well when the large luxury resorts came into town. As part of the indoor engineering efforts which have resulted from the casino designers needing to create an indoor environment that was attractive and appealing, some characteristics are becoming common to almost all Las Vegas casinos and resorts.

The hallmarks of this Las Vegas indoor environment style are to scale reproductions of row house sided streets with facades resembling the specific motif of each resort. The Venetian has facades that resemble side streets in Venice. Caesars Palace uses facades from Italy in ancient Roman times (with a little help from Hollywood).
This feature is usually 2 or 3 stories with all the features articulated but not necessarily real. For example the windows look real but there probably isn't anyone back there.

Hidden on the roof are various types of lighting that illuminate a painted sky. If you squint your eyes it almost looks like the sky was painted on the ceiling. The paintings themselves look great. The artists that do these ceilings are quite skillful at this. The problems are still in the corners where 2 planes meet at angles that show shadows. Nothing the painter or even the lighting people can do. The shape of the ceiling is hard to design for. An interesting 'adaptation' to the corner issue is at Sunset Station in Henderson with its surrealistic rounded ceilings.

Note the similarities to the scene depicted on the right with similar scenes inside Caesars Palace. The only difference is that at the Venetian they are all wearing cowboy hats - this photo was taken during the 2001 National Finals Rodeo and then town filled with cowboy hats then.

There should be similarities because Caesars is supposed to be earlier in time but in the same general 'area'. Note the pedestrian who insisted on being in the center of this shot apparently to avoid stepping on  cracks as he was having terrible luck in the casino and probably didn't want take  any more chances on anything.

There similarities are superficial and only amount to a reflection of the necessary. The place has to be indoors, has to be different, people have to love it and all kinds of things have to be positive for these indoor cities to work. They 'work' because they are authentic little fantasy towns filled with visitors both from Las Vegas and from everywhere else.

Where else can you have lunch or dinner on a sidewalk cafe next to a canal? Probably in Venice. The combination of motif, attention to detail, quality and design give the Venetian a unique and very appealing atmosphere. 

You won't be greeted by Marc Antony and Cleopatra at the Venetian, but you will be greeted by a great atmosphere with great surroundings. Who could complain eating at a sidewalk cafe next to a canal with gondolas floating by? Maybe that guy trying to avoid the cracks?

The Venetian Hotel has recently expanded these facilities. The gondola rides still look great.
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