Here’s a photo of the Hacienda hotel getting blown up in order to make way for the construction of Mandalay Bay. I couldn’t stop trying to put my trips in chronological order in my head, and I believe I’ve come to the conclusion that I stayed here on my fourth trip to Las Vegas.
I stayed here with my sister Karen and my friends Mike and Alison. What I remember the most about this time in Vegas was the MGM Grand. It had just opened recently and we went there to eat at the buffet, of course. To this day, my sister talks about how much Mike and I ate at that buffet. I don’t even think it was that good. We probably just wanted to pig out so that we could get the most for our money.
The Hacienda wasn’t a great hotel, but it wasn’t horrible, either. What I remember most about that hotel was standing at a urinal when I looked over to realize that Edmonton Oilers head coach Ted Green was peeing beside me. I guess that would put the date around 1991. If hockey season was over, then it was probably May. I wasn’t in school, either, so that sounds about right.
I do remember that the walk to the Hacienda was a big deal because it was so far down the strip. I can recall visiting the Tropicana and seeing the big Easter Island heads that used to sit in front of the hotel. I also remember going to a gift shop where New York, New York now sits and seeing lots of desert scorpions and tarantulas entombed in resin key chains and paperweights — so classy!
Other than that, I don’t remember many more details of this trip. It’s funny, though, that my memories of trips to the buffets seem to be the thing that’s sticking with me.