Las Vegas – Nevada’s newest ghost town


Las Vegas photographer shares his photographs of an eerie and empty Las Vegas strip.

UNLV Special Collection and Archives / Aaron Mayes

MYSTERY WIRE — For less than a week, the streets of Las Vegas, Nevada and the Las Vegas Strip have been almost empty. Tourists are no longer packing the sidewalks and crosswalks. Some of the few remaining employees have boarded up some hotel, casino, and restaurant doors. It is almost as if we’re getting a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic scenario that we all hope will never become permanent.

There are, however, some people on the strip. They are mostly local photographers, documenting the new ghost town that is the strip and along Fremont St. in downtown Las Vegas.

One of those photographers documenting the eerie scenes is Aaron Mayes. He is curator for visual materials for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives. He recently added the following pictures to his web site along with the following thoughts.

In an effort to slow the march of the COVID-19 infection, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak closed all casinos, bars, and dine-in restaurants in the State on March 17th. What followed can only be described as historic as the Las Vegas Strip was transformed into a landscape void of the usual throngs of tourists, sightseers, hucksters, and the likes. Left in the wake of closure is the free-market super-scape painted with a post-apocalyptic brush.

Aaron Mayes

Built as a space to entice people to come inside, the Las Vegas Strip is like no other entrepreneur paradise in the country. Every inch of valuable Las Vegas Boulevard acreage has been planned and built to move people safely along the casino properties, each putting their best bet out front in hopes of luring travelers from all over the world into their businesses. Shuttered, the space both loses its luster and comes alive with detail usually lost in the clutter of thousands of starry-eyed hopefuls.

Aaron Mayes

These images were photographed to create a collection highlighting the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be archived at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives.

Aaron Mayes

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