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Old Mar 29, 2008, 4:36 PM   #1
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From Prohibition days till a reform-minded governor "cleaned it up" in the late 1960's, Hot Springs was America's premiere destination for illegal casino gambling. It's hard for us to remember now, but at one time Nevada was the only state that had legalized casinos. They weren't legal in Hot Springs, but "supper clubs" like the Vapors below featured Las Vegas headliners such as Vic Dana, Phyllis Diller, Dinah Shore, and Rosemary Clooney. It's even a legend that Tony Bennett tried out the song "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" at the Vapors before taking it to California. No one really thought, though, that people came from across the country for the steaks.
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 4:39 PM   #2
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Today the roulette wheels, crap tables, and slots are gone and the only "headliner" can barely be seen in this photo at the right, where it says "Jesus is Lord."
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 4:51 PM   #3
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I'm loving this challenge, excellent now and then example!

Bob
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 7:05 PM   #4
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As you can tell, Bob, I'm having a lot of fun with this one. Of course, since history is one of the subjects I teach, it's not that much of a suprise.

Paul
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 7:19 PM   #5
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That's quite a change--an illegal casino to a church. It reminds me of a building located near Beaverton, Oregon. It was originally a traditionally styled wooden country church. Now it is an Army surplus store. If you go inside, you can see where the pulpit used to be, now filled with surplus gear. Looking to the rear, you can see a choir loft that I think is now used for office space or storage. Customers are not allowed up there.

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Old Mar 30, 2008, 12:06 AM   #6
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The "Vapors" seems to have sublimated and left behind some of God's work.

That's one of the oddest reversals of fortune I have ever seen. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Aloha
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