A million dollars doesn’t buy what it used to, but it’s still something that people want to see. That’s the thinking behind the revival of one of Las Vegas’s most beloved tourist attractions — a display of $1 million in cash that tourists can use as a photo prop.
The money was first assembled at the Horseshoe Casino in 1954, then sold when cash got tight in 1959, then reassembled in 1964 — this time as 100 $10,000 bills inside a six-foot tall horseshoe. Visitors could get their pictures taken for free in front of it — an estimated 5 million Polaroids over the years — until it was sold in 2000. Money problems were again the reason, and the casino itself was shut down in 2003.
But now it’s back, this time as Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel. The $1 million in cash was unveiled on August 21. We called the front desk, which told us that the $10,000 bills are gone — they were worth more as collectibles than as cash — and that the new display consists of piles of smaller bills “stacked up really nice” within a theft-proof plexiglass cube. The casino once again will take photos of people posing with the cash, but only members of Binion’s Slot Club (you can sign up on the spot).
The notion that Las Vegas would bring back anything is heartening, given that the city routinely plows under its tourist attractions. But the $1 million looks to be a safe bet to stick around, and if you wait a few months until the hoopla dies down, and ask politely, there’s always a chance that you may be able to get a souvenir snapshot even if you’re not a member of the Slot Club.
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