Saturday, November 22, 2008

Las Vegas's Bonanza Gift Shop: The whole kitsch and caboodle!

No trip to Las Vegas would be complete without a visit to the Bonanza Gift Shop, the world's largest (and perhaps most taste-challenged) gift shop. It's a strip mall the size of a Vegas city block full of deliciously awful "gifts" and souvenirs. Need a Royal Flush potholder, fake vomit, squirting slot machine or a plush parrot that hurls obscenities at passersby? They got 'em and lots, lots more! I've always loved junky souvenirs and this place is the Nieman-Marcus of tasteless wares. It amazes me that a prime piece of Vegas strip real estate (Sahara and Las Vegas Blvd.) could be occupied by this old-fashioned kind of a place. It dates back to 1980 but feels more like a place I'd consider one of my favorite roadside attractions when I was a child back in the sixties. It's wonderful and a connoisseur of crappe such as myself could spend all day here. According to their website, the place is a "virtual cornucopia of Las Vegas souvenirs and gifts with a little bit of everything else thrown in. Over 40,000 square feet of shopping hysteria. The bizarre, the unusual, yes even the weird all available in one giant place." Celebrities who have visited the place include Angelina Jolie, Michael Jackson, Condoleezza Rice, Cindy Crawford and Ringo Starr. As they say, when in Rome, buy fake Elvis sideburns like the Romans do. Here's their website:


Anonymous said...

I like the fact that each section has their own wackenhut security officer :)

They need high-profile security as many homeless type people who frequent that area of the Strip used to steal the valuable nick-naks and resell them to tourists outside for a whistle.

Big black market on seashell decorated egg timers.

Gunnar and Sherry said...

You're right... I did notice a lot of security there. And even though the items may be cheap and junky, they're not necessarily cheap!