Today in the Mojave Wasteland
The Lucky 38
Today - June 25, 2020 - is the birthdate of Mr. House. So I thought I should share some tidbits about the real life Lucky 38, called the Stratosphere Las Vegas, or the "Strat." It is an incredible building, dominating the skyline of the Las Vegas valley. It is the inspiration for my cheeky moniker, the Lucky Thirty Kate.
On the north end of the Strip, the property's signature attraction is the 1,149 ft/350.2 meter tower, the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States. Just like Victor, there is a person who asks where you want to go and pushes the button for you. The elevator is super fast and makes me feel weird. A few summers ago, the employee on elevator duty was the first person to recognize the Vault 21 jumpsuit I was wearing and we had a nice chat about the game for the 45 seconds or so it took to get to the top.
There is a restaurant, lounge, and two levels of observation decks, on floors 107, 108, and 109. People can choose to go on rides and jump off the top, but that is most assuredly not for me. I prefer to eat ice cream cones and watch from inside. There is a presidential suite, a penthouse floor, and of course, the ground floor casino.
The Strat was built in 1992 and overlapped the life of a nearby casino, the Landmark, which was demolished in 1995. The Landmark looked a lot like the Lucky 38 (more-so if you ask me) and was owned by our favorite billionaire Howard Hughes, through the Hughes Tool Company. I never was able to see the Landmark, being a small child when it closed, but I did get to see a tiny version of it at the Neon Museum during the Mars Attacks exhibit last year. Similarly, I was not able to see the Strat's original interior, as it was remodeled since I moved here, but old pictures show it to be similar to the game instead of its new, modern veneer.
I had never been on the outside observation deck before today because I was scared, but I figured for Mr. House's birthday, I would give it a whirl. It wasn't so bad. The view really is amazing. And just like in the game, you can see the tower from nearly anywhere in the Las Vegas valley. It really is an incredible place, for an incredible dude. So, happy birthday Mr. House! I hope you put a tougher password on your lifepod terminal and live to see many birthdays.