After 40 years of business, Las Vegas' Westward Ho closed their doors today at 5 p.m. The property was purchased recently by Centex Destination Properties with possible plans to place highrise condominiums on the Las Vegas Strip location.
Today, I started thinking about how much this city has changed. Not just the empty lots being filled or new homes pushing the borders of our burgeoning metropolis but the landmarks. One of my first jobs was at the Dunes hotel as a pool attendant (that was imploded to make room for the Bellagio.) I literally grew up in the middle of the Desert Inn Hotel & Casino's golf course on the tennis courts (that was replaced by the Wynn Hotel & Casino.) I played many tennis tournaments at the Sands Hotel (which is now the Venetian) and the Hacienda Hotel (now Mandalay Bay.) So many of those odd little places have been sentimentally pushed aside as anti-progress only to become the next big thing.
As I think about this, I think about the Westward Ho and its neighbor Slots-A-Fun. As in many cities, cruising your major local street is ritual on the weekend. They had set a curfew when I was graduating to cut down on the traffic. I can still picture what hotels went where in my head. Yet, I know that I won't stop stop thinking of those two hotels as the Wayward Ho and Sluts-R-Fun.