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
The planners and designers of the Venetian did spare too many expenses in
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.
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
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.
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).
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
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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