Mysteries of Las Vegas: The Luxor Hotel & Casino
Like any place that has been around for a while, Las Vegas also has its legends and mysteries, and none are more enigmatic than stories surrounding the Luxor Hotel & Casino.
The fear or love of the unknown is something that all of us have. Nothing is better than diving into a juicy mystery steeped in folklore and legend. When it comes to secrets and myths, Las Vegas is no different to any other place.
One of the most enigmatic locations in Sin City is the Luxor Hotel & Casino. By day, this glitzy resort represents one of the top hotels in Vegas, renowned for its trademark glass pyramid and a colossal sphinx that guards its entrance. At night, the most powerful light beam on Earth shoots skywards from the pyramid’s apex, piercing the evening sky.
In a nutshell, the Luxor is a mixture of marvel and myth, with a good dose of tall tale and mystery.
The History of Luxor Hotel & Casino
Circus Circus Enterprises, renowned for flying trapeze artists under its casino big top, built the Luxor in 1993 as the new icon on the Las Vegas Strip. Named after the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor and modelled after the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Vegas pyramid stands 30 stories high and is three-quarters the size of its original counterpart.
With the onset of the “family-friendly” era in Vegas, Sin City strived to remould itself into something the entire family could enjoy. The Luxor features slanting walls that make up the biggest atrium in the world, housing the casino, restaurants, hotel, show venues, and an IMAX theatre. Neon hieroglyphics decorate the atrium walls, and thousands of slot machines feature ancient Egyptian pictographs and symbols.
The Luxor was finished in under 18 months, and its diagonally moving elevator, known as the inclinator, is an engineering masterpiece. Since it first opened, the casino resort has had its fair share of upgrades, following numerous construction site deaths, faulty inclinator accidents, and peculiar obstructions. At one stage, the building started to sink into the desert floor, something that had never happened before on the Las Vegas Strip.
Over the years, the strange incidents and bizarre happenings would continue, leading some to believe that the Luxor was cursed.
Ancient Egyptian Curse?
Back in the early days of Las Vegas, casinos were little more than overdone saloons with Old West themes. After the megaresort explosion in the 1980s, few themes were gaudy and tacky enough to draw in the crowds. Fake volcanos rumbled and spewed red light, gondoliers glided through imitation Venetian canals, and every decade or so, a casino got levelled and rebuilt on the same spot.
Designers planned the Luxor as a replica of ancient Egypt, with a lighter feel to attract the entire family, while being luxurious enough to pull in a few high rollers as well. At one stage, the Luxor had a replica of Tutankhamun’s tomb authorised by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. But with all the attention to detail, could the constructors of the casino have inherited an ancient Egyptian jinx?
To support such claims, years of unusual tragedies in the Luxor whispered rumours of a curse. During the rush to complete the Luxor on time, the builders ran into a few snags along the way. Locals say that seven workers died during the construction due to the treacherous techniques used to build at a 39-degree angle.
In 1996, a woman jumped off the 26th floor of the Luxor Hotel and perished. She wasn’t carrying any identification on her and was simply listed as Jane Doe. The reason for her death was never ascertained, with locals still creating urban legends around her death. A few years after this incident, a man fell to his death from the 10th storey. The reason for his death was also listed as unknown.
Some superstitious people say that the Luxor is cursed because it was modelled after a tomb. Many individuals refused to set foot inside the Luxor after discovering it was built over a likely burial site that contains the remains of mob victims. And then there’s a theory that the pyramidal shape of the central tower attracts dark energy.
Ultimately, whether you believe in spirits, ancient Egyptian curses, or rushed construction work, the Luxor still slices through the night sky with its powerful light beam that burns at an astonishing 42.3 billion candelas. And visitors continue to flock from far and wide to this unique Vegas property like moths to the flame.