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When he built the tropical-themed, volcano-fronted Mirage in 1989, Steve Wynn lit the fuse on a renaissance that would see Las Vegas Boulevard virtually rebuilt within 15 years. The city awoke from a long dormancy—the years when it was popular with those slightly embarrassing friends of your parents'—and began to deal in high-volume density. Soon populist attractions began to spring up all along the Strip (effectively the stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South between the classic 'Welcome' sign and Sahara Avenue). Now glitzy high-rise hotel-casinos such as the Cosmopolitan have dwarfed earlier giants like Bellagio, and old Vegas's neon has given way to brighter-than-bright LED screens. As Vegas goes vertical, it seems the entire ethos of the city is shifting as well.
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