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Sunset For Liberace, Sunrise For Wayne Newton?

You may have heard by now that the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada, will be closing forever on October 17, 2010 (It would be surprising if you haven’t, since the mainstream media has been all over the story).

Star Spangled Liberace Mannequin.The museum will certainly be missed (although we thought they’d made a crucial misstep when its new owners removed the Liberace mannequins with starfield hair). And it really has had a good, long run for a celebrity museum, especially when you consider that Liberace has been dead for 23 years.

But all that glitters may not be gold dust in Vegas with the passing of the Liberace Museum. Word is out now that Wayne Newton, the reigning King of The Strip, wants to open his 38-acre heart-of-Las-Vegas estate as a tourist attraction!

It’s an approach that hasn’t been seen since the fabled Twitty City, a Tennessee attraction where awestruck fans could tour the home of country superstar Conway Twitty while he still lived there. Wayne Newton’s vision is remarkably similar: a multi-media Wayne Newton museum and dinner theater, then a shuttle bus ride across the street, through the gates, and into his walled Xanadu, where adoring “Wayniacs” could visit his private jet, his private zoo, his private herd of Arabian stallions and, who knows?, maybe even meet Mr. Danke Schoen himself as he relaxes on his veranda or sits by his pool.

Liberace car.Newton’s rich neighbors are aghast at the idea. But neighboring businesses are delighted, and there doesn’t appear to be any zoning ordinances that can stop it.

If this is a cruel karmic trade-off — Liberace Museum for Wayne Newton’s version of Graceland?

But not so fast.  The Las Vegas media is now reporting that irate fans are holding protests outside the Liberace Museum, claiming that its demise is a result of bad management, not a lack of Liberace fans, and demanding that the museum remain open.

Could it happen? A Las Vegas with both a Liberace Museum and a Wayne Newton tour-topia? That would be a rhinestone jackpot too fabulous to imagine.

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Liberace Museum

I-15 exit 37, then east on Tropicana Ave.; or I-515 exit 68, then west on Tropicana Ave. On the southwest corner of Tropicana Ave and Spencer St.
Closed. RIP Liberace Museum 1979-2010.

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