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Evel Knievel's motorcycle.
Evel Knievel's stars-and-stripes motorcycle.

Celebrity Hotel: Relics on Display

Field review by the editors.

Deadwood, South Dakota

Deadwood celebrities have usually been of the Wild West variety: gunslingers, grizzled prospectors, bordello madams, colorfully-named drunks -- all of them dead for at least 100 years. So when the Celebrity Hotel and Casino opened in town in 1998, its displays of entertainment and pop culture paraphernalia introduced a weirdly modern vibe to a 19th century town. The Hotel closed in 2018, but all of the exhibits were kept, and were still in place when the Hotel reopened under new management in 2019. Apparently Deadwood tasted modern fame, and decided it liked it.

Exhibits in the Celebrity Hotel.
Dinner plate from the Titanic (the movie) and other pop culture treasures.

Roughly 80 artifacts are scattered among displays and glass showcases around the hotel lobby and slot machines. These include a stars-and-stripes Evel Knievel motorcycle, Charlton Heston's chariot race tunic from Ben Hur, Arnold Schwarzenegger's bullet shredded leather jacket from Terminator 2, and, in a nod to local pride, the gold nugget vest and suit worn by Al Swearengen in the Deadwood TV series.

Perhaps the smallest but most significant relic at the Celebrity Hotel -- if you believe in cloning -- is a lock of Elvis Presley's hair saved from his 1958 Army Induction buzzcut. Elvis was never the same after his stint in the military, so if he's brought back using the Celebrity Hotel hair, he would be the younger, thinner, hard-rockin' Elvis.

Also see: Deadwood Round-Up

Celebrity Hotel: Relics on Display

629 Main St., Deadwood, SD
Downtown, on the east side of Main St, just north of the intersection of Wall St.
Save to My Sights

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