To the uninformed, looking out their window in Las Vegas on Saturday, March 28 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. may appear like a prelude to Armageddon or perhaps Apocalypse Las Vegas- dark and sinister, with none of the normal blinding neon to excite the senses.
In reality this is not the end of days, merely Las Vegas’ non-hedonistic (say what?) participation in Earth Hour, a global attempt by the World Wildlife Fund to focus worldwide attention on the growing problem of climate change.
So far, more than 2,200 cities and towns in 81 countries have agreed to go dark in this environmental activism movement.
And this year, Earth Hour has particular importance to America: Not only do we have a new president who appears to take climate change seriously, but the U.S. has a chance to redeem itself after former President Bush ceremoniously dissed Mother Earth when he refused to sing the Kyoto global warming agreement in 2005.
In Las Vegas, hotel marquees on and off the Strip and signs (including the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign), Fremont Street Experience, and all businesses and residents are being encouraged throughout the Las Vegas Valley to participate and take a bold stand on climate change using their light switch as a ballot, casting a vote for environmental action in the first global election on climate change- giving Las Vegas a chance to expand our definition of green beyond greenbacks, green felt and Green Valley.
Las Vegas is one of 10 Earth Hour flagship cities. The effort on the Strip is led by Harrah’s, but even MGM Mirage also has agreed to shut off its lights. (Just so no one is misled, it’s just the marquees that will go dark, not the lights in the casinos.)
Here are some Las Vegas locations to capture the experience:
Earth Hour Las Vegas Official Media Center
The VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, offers a stunning view and vantage point of the Las Vegas Strip. VooDoo Lounge will give complimentary admission to all guests until 9 p.m. for those wishing to participate in Earth Hour.
“Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” Sign
Clark County Commission Chairman Rory Reid, Commissioners Steve Sisolak and Susan Brager, and World Wildlife Fund’s Nick Sundt are scheduled to “turn off” the sign at 8:30 p.m. using a six foot tall light switch.
Fremont Street Experience
Lights will go out on the Viva Vision canopy and hotel casino marquees at 8:30 p.m., proceeded by an Earth Hour video presentation and countdown. Glow necklaces will be given to first 5,000 guests.
A list of Las Vegas participants to-date, and additional events and activities can be found at www.earthhourlv.org.