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Mirage Motel

Las Vegas, United States of America
1 of 5

When this hotel was constructed in 1952 at 4613 Las Vegas Blvd S, this "swimming pool with windows" was meant to attract travelers who had just come out of the dusty desert. The only structure on the desert at that time, the Glass Pool Inn was like a "mirage" to travelers exhausted from the heat of the Nevada desert. The Glass Pool Inn was originally named the Mirage Motel until 1988, but sold its name to Steve Wynn who built the Mirage Luxury Resort on the strip.

The Glass Pool Inn offered a feeling of "retro" Vegas. Though it was renovated, the inn's original architectural style still exists; the above-ground pool has glass portholes, making swimmers visible from the outside. The unusual architecture and history behind the Glass Pool Inn has inspired several movies to be shot there. The Glass Pool Inn was demolished in 2004.

Five decades ago, the Las Vegas Strip was nothing but a dusty desert highway from Los Angeles to what is now the downtown cluster of casinos. Back then, tourists would drive without air-conditioning from California and know they were almost in Vegas when they spotted the Glass Pool Inn, standing alone and beckoning the road to give it her tired, her hungry and her sweat-drenched masses.

The Glass Pool, which turns 50 in 2002, was the original Las Vegas "water feature": a stunning 9-foot-deep above-ground tank with huge round windows to peer through and take funny photos of friends. As the city grew up around it, the pool remained a constant relic of the old days and a frequent draw for filmmakers parading scantily clad women around a vintage Vegas image. It was originally named the Mirage, which this kidney-shaped, 54,000-gallon tub must have appeared to be to those road-weary visitors. But Vegas entrepreneur Steve Wynn bought the name from then-owner Allen Rosoff in 1988 to use for his new hotel and company.

The pool once had a diving board and a slide, but they have been removed. Although the water was clear and refreshing, the edges are so grimy that a popular pastime is scratching one's name in the black residue. In 1999 the Glass Pool Inn was sold to Howard Bulloch and David Gaffin for $5.5 million.

Just 4 years later the place is closed, and the next year, it was demolished. Sadly the iconic pool was not saved.

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  1. Roadside Peek
  2. Las Vegas Mikey
mariathuroczy, July 31st, 2014
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