VegasTripping Interview With Mark Adams from Vegas Today and Tomorrow
Talkin' Shop With Future Vegas' Amerigo Vespucci
Amidst the flotsam and jetsam of websites that are devoted to Las Vegas, very few offer information to readers that stray from corporate approved marketing copy. Of those that offer an alternative viewpoint on Las Vegas, very few of them carve out a niche for themselves that is their own. Vegas Today and Tomorrow, is one of those handful of websites that does something different and presents it in an intelligent, down to earth way. Thank goodness.
Born during the run up to the opening of Wynn Las Vegas, at the height of the Vegas condo craze, Vegas Today and Tomorrow has catapulted from obscurity to being a go to guide for anyone seeking information about current, future and imagined construction projects in Las Vegas. Mark Adams - the one man research, cartography and web design crew behind the operation - is an dedicated super sleuth, powered by a passion for resortitecture, real estate, map making and, most importantly, Las Vegas. His tireless devotion to all nighters doing research, photoshopping and Sketching Up the the streets of Google Earth orange, maroon, mauve, fuscia and lime have earned VegasTodayAndTomorrow.com the respect of a world wide legion of Vegas freaks, architecture nuts and the watchful eye of The Gaming Biz.
I headed down to a Starbucks in Costa Mesa, California (using the map he sent me, that I've perverted above) to meet Mark and talk about map making, intellectual property, Cease and Desist Orders, and the many projects and ideas that he has documented on Vegas Today and Tomorrow.
VegasTripping: Hey Mark, thanks for taking the time to chat with us... let's get right into it, shall we? Did you grow up in Southern California?
Mark Adams: No, I grew up Michigan actually.
VT: And when did you move out here?
MA: About 22 years ago.
VT: What brought you out to California?
MA: The weather, some friends. It was a good time to escape Michigan.
VT:How long after you moved out here did you head out to Vegas?
MA: About six months. I didn't realize that we were that close. The quick four hour drive... hell yeah, it was a no brainer.
VT: Tell me about your first trip to Vegas.
MA: My first trip to Vegas was in 1969 with my parents, I was 13. It was the Rat Pack days. Danny Thomas was at the Sands, Louis and Keely were singing at the Sahara, we saw Robert Goulet at the Sahara, and we stayed at the Sahara. I was wide eyed - a 13 year old kid in Las Vegas back in the 60s - kids weren't jaded back then. It gave me a passion for large hotels, architecture and the desert. I went back to Michigan after that and started drawing hotels and wanting to be an architect and started to pursue that. One thing led to another and as I got older I went other ways, but the architecture thing was in the back of my head as a love and a passion. So when I went back there and went back to Vegas in 1985, there was a lot of changes. When I was there the first time, right behind Caesars Palace - you've seen the photos - it was desert, there was no freeway. You could walk out of your room and see the desert vista. In 1985 I retraced my old routes, went to the Sahara, went to the Sands and saw the differences in those properties. Since then, I've been there well over 50 times, I lost count a long time ago.
VT: What was the event that inspired you to build Vegas Today and Tomorrow?
MA: Well Steve Wynn started it for me. When he announced Wynn Las Vegas, I think it was 2003 when he announced it.
VT: Le Reve?
MA: Yeah, it was called Le Reve at the time. I immediately started to do research, I wanted to see renderings of the hotel. All Steve gave us was a paragraph promising a fabulous resort but never really released any renderings or details. So, I started to Google it and everything else. I found out who the architects were, who the construction company was, went to their websites hoping to see some renderings or detailed plans but there was nothing. The more I researched, the more I discovered that since his announcement other things had been announced, The Augustus Tower, Allure, Sky, Turnberry was talking about a project and so on and so forth. In my weekly research, I came to a point where there were so many projects announced, I thought it was ridiculous that there wasn't one website that had compiled it all. I was looking for that website, that was my goal then. Where is the website where all of the construction photos, all of the renderings and all of information about this huge building boom. The more I looked for it the more projects I found.