LAS VEGAS, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Las Vegas, a city notorious for its bright lights, has decided to join a global hour of darkness to draw attention to global warming.
Local officials and environmental groups announced at a news conference Wednesday the gambling mecca has been designated a flagship city for Earth Hour 2009. Lights on the Strip will be turned off for an hour March 28 from the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign on.
The Strip has dimmed the lights in the past, as a sign of mourning for U.S. presidents and big entertainers.
"When it means something, turning down lights on the Strip is a very touching tribute, and it can be very effective," said David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gambling Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. "For the Strip to stop anything is a really big deal. The Strip doesn't like to do that."
Some major resorts away from the Strip have agreed to dim their lights as well.