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As We See It

Battle of the attractions: Gold and Silver Pawn vs. The Fountains of Bellagio

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Listomania: USA Today readers rank this sight the best in Las Vegas (Trip Advisor begs to differ).

You’d think Big Hoss was giving away puppies at Gold and Silver Pawn, the way the line snakes down Las Vegas Boulevard. It’s bound to get even longer now that a poll of USA Today readers ranked the shop the city’s best sight—over the Fountains of Bellagio, which recently topped a Trip Advisor list of best landmarks nationwide.

These and other usual suspects (Mirage volcano!) leapfrog around major media “best” rankings to the point where no authority stands out. So to pick between the pawnshop and the dancing water, we turned to average gripers and hyperbolizers on Yelp.

How are there only 658 reviews of Bellagio’s water show when Americans love it more than the Lincoln Memorial?! The fountains mostly get 5 stars from Yelpers like Richard R.: “There’s a magical quality to this show that makes you feel, if just for a few minutes, that the world is good and everything will be okay.” Whoa. But Cherie C. helps bring down the average a half-star with this observation: “Proof that we haven’t progressed that far from being entertained by jangling keys as a baby.”

Gold and Silver Pawn has about half as many reviews and a three-star average that doesn’t reflect the joy of visitors like Amy O., who loves the opal necklace she got for $65 and thinks disappointed reviewers have crazy expectations: “What were you expecting? Chocolate fountains and hugs from the Old Man upon entering?” She has a point. It’s just not as good as Mark F.’s: “I want my faulty mystique back.”

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Erin Ryan

Erin got her first newspaper job in 2002 thanks to a campfire story about Bigfoot. In her award-winning work for ...

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