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Casinos abandon theme park look

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The new look of Las Vegas, which skips the kitschy themes of the past, has both admirers and detractors, observers say.

Some big themes such as Egypt and Treasure Island adventures at hotels have given way to straightforward luxury, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Monday. The new, stripped-down look is the latest trend replacing the old, theme-park look.

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The MGM Grand has abandoned its yellow brick road. Treasure Island's famous skull-and-crossbones sign is now in a museum. Nefertiti's Lounge is a thing of the past.

"Things have changed and Las Vegas has a pretty good case of copycat-itis," Felix Rappaport, president of Luxor, told the newspaper.

"I think it's moving away from the themes, big time," said Anthony Marnell, the son of Tony Marnell, who designed The Mirage and Treasure Island.

But "the families love the themes," said Mark Adams, who runs a Web site dedicated to casino construction.

"They want to come and play in adult Disneyland, bring their kids with them. Everything is chichi and cool now, but how many modern chichi hotels can the city support?" Adams asked.

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