I’ve only visited Las Vegas once, which was enough…trust me!!! I could go on and on about the “$20 sandwich trick” that got us a room upgrade (a corner 2 bedroom suite on the 32nd floor) on top of the discount we already had due to knowing a professional poker player (who we were traveling with on this trip). The cheap Jew in me was excited to be paying, like, $50 a night for a $1000 room. You think that would make me like Las Vegas, but this bright light city did not set my soul on fire. Even when my friend won $5000 at the Bellagio. Although we were there for only 5 days (which was enough….trust me!!!) I had to do something cultural. The Strip’s indoor shopping malls and yard drinks and groups of old, fat people playing slot machines gets kinda old after a few hours (trust me!!!) so luckily, we had a car so we could venture out to see other things, like museums. We paid a visit to the National Atomic Testing Museum in Paradise (no joke), which one day I will write about in a post, but not today.
Instead I want to tell you about the other museum we saw on our trip. Once located in a strip mall (which is basically the landscape of Vegas…trust me!!!) but is now in a standalone building, the Pinball Hall of Fame and Museum is…you guessed it…about pinball machines…oh, and arcade games too. Organized by the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club, the museum is run by Tim Arnold, a veteran arcade operator who ran “Pinball Pete’s” in East Lansing. The museum features over 400 different pinball machines from all eras, as well as classic video arcade games and other novelty machines. The place is free, but you have to drop some quarters to play the games, which is tempting because there are so many good ones. So remember to bring your coin purse. The oldest (Heavy Hitter and Football, both manufactured in Chicago) date from the 1940s. And there are so many bands, you’d think you were at a pinball concert, from Kiss and Ted Nugent to AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses (see the photo above of its old fashioned revolver and rose plungers). I highly recommend this place if you need a break from the Vegas Strip. How is this any different from mindlessly pulling the lever of a slot machine? If anything, pinball probably takes more concentration. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this bit of reminiscing on my part (oh, and the back of me playing Paperboy). Cheers!