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As We See It

Looking back at Las Vegas in 1997

Standard & Poor’s reported last week that Las Vegas housing prices had sunk to 1997 levels. To give you a little perspective, here’s a look at Las Vegas in 1997:

•Unemployment rates hovered around 5 percent.

•Then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich came under fire for ethics violations. Our two representatives, both of whom voted to reprimand Gingrich and impose a $300,000 penalty, were ... John Ensign and Jim Gibbons. Both men’s careers were later dogged by ethics violations of their own and ended in disgrace. And Gingrich? Well, you know.

•New properties: New York-New York, Sunset Station.

•Things we didn’t have yet: Wynn (2005), Encore (2008), CityCenter (2009), Penn & Teller (2001), Celine Dion (2003), Facebook (2004), Twitter (2006)

•Gas prices: $1.30 to $1.42.

•The infamous “bite fight” between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.

•To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Crazy Girls, the Riviera unveiled the bronzed sculpture of the famous “buttocks” shot. It’s since become one of the Strip’s most photographed—and rubbed—attractions.

•Water levels at Lake Mead were expected to rise 12 feet before the end of the year, causing headaches for marina owners.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Weekly's associate editor, having previously served as assistant features editor at the Las Vegas Sun ...

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  • The new Main Street store will have an updated industrial look—and your used jeans, of course.

  • "That’s the part I probably will miss the most: being at the center of the flame for a red-hot genre."

  • Seriously, the 2 next to the 5? This is Las Vegas!

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