LEVEL 1: BEGINNER
Each correct answer is one point.
1. The words “las vegas” are Spanish for:
A.) The desert
B.) Big springs
C.) The meadows
D.) What happens here stays here
2. The Las Vegas Valley’s population is:
A.) More than 2 million
B.) Less than 2 million
C.) Hard to pin down, with so many leaving due to foreclosures
3. Nevada’s motto is:
A.) Silver is King
B.) Battle Born
C.) Independence First
D.) It’s a Dry Heat
4. The oldest historic building still standing in Las Vegas is _____ years old.
5. True or false: Gambling was once illegal in Nevada.
6. Mayor Oscar Goodman is a spokesman for:
A.) Bombay Sapphire gin
B.) Trojan condoms
C.) Men’s Wearhouse
7. True or false: If you need to get to a Strip property quickly, the fastest way is to just take the Las Vegas Strip.
8. Which three casinos were robbed in the 2001 version of Ocean’s Eleven?
9. What’s the name of the team of Elvis-impersonating skydivers who appeared in Honeymoon in Vegas?
10. Which of these locations, named after Las Vegas notables, does not exist?
A.) Dean Martin Drive
B.) Frank Sinatra Drive
C.) Wayne Newton Boulevard
D.) Danny Gans Boulevard
E.) Sammy Davis Jr. Festival Plaza
11. What 2007 video game-based movie featured a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas?
12. What was the name of the fictional hotel-casino on the NBC TV series Las Vegas?
13. Name the TV game-show host who once worked as a performer at MGM Grand Theme Park.
14. What circular casino bar did Hunter Thompson tumble out of in his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?
15. Who said, “The answer is not to bite,” and when did he say it?
16. Which of these Broadway hits has not been brought to a Las Vegas Strip property?
A.) Avenue Q
E.) The Producers
17. Match these hotels to the year they were imploded:
1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2007
18. Which former lieutenant governor has a recreation of Stonehenge and the Fremont Street Experience on the roof of his home?
19. Jesse James is to Sandra Bullock as Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons is to ______________.
20. True or false: Everyone knows President Obama took a lot of flak from local lawmakers when he told bailed-out companies in 2009, “You can’t go take that [corporate junket] to Las Vegas.” Fortunately, he never slighted Las Vegas again.
ANSWERS 1–C. 2–A. 3–B. 4–155. It’s the Mormon Fort, built in 1855 and which stands at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Washington. 5–True. In 1910 an anti-gambling law went into effect, lasting three weeks. Gaming was legalized in 1931. 6–A. 7–False. Smart locals approach from back streets such as Frank Sinatra Drive or Koval Lane. 8–Bellagio, Mirage, MGM Grand. 9–The Flying Elvi. 10–D. 11–Resident Evil: Extinction. 12–The Montecito. 13–Wayne Brady. 14– Carousel Bar inside Circus Circus (now closed). 15–Don King, after the Mike Tyson “Bite Night” heavyweight bout with Evander Holyfield, June 28, 1997. 16–C. 17–Dunes, 1993. Landmark, 1995. Sands, 1996. Hacienda, 1997. Desert Inn, 2001. Boardwalk, 2006. New Frontier, 2007. 18–Lonnie Hammargren. 19–Dawn Gibbons. 20–False. In early 2010, in a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, Obama said, “When times are tough, you tighten your belts. You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.”
LEVEL 2: INTERMEDIATE
Each correct answer is two points.
1. The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign was created by:
A.) Betty Willis
B.) Howard Hughes
C.) Pat McCarran
2. The Venetian is home to ___________ ______________________, a Vegas-based designer who has dressed Eva Longoria, Beyoncé and Vanna White.
3. Which rock ’n’ roll legend said Elvis came to Las Vegas “to die”?
A.) Jerry Lee Lewis
B.) Chuck Berry
C.) John Lennon
D.) Bruce Springsteen
4. The shortest celebrity marriage in Las Vegas lasted ______ hours.
5. Which Vegas-based restaurant was started by a local teenager using part of his college funds?
C.) Bagel Café
D.) Metro Pizza
6. Which Cirque du Soleil show did Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd’s characters attend while tripping on mushrooms in Knocked Up?
7. True or false: Killers frontman Brandon Flowers once worked as a limousine driver for Caesars Palace.
8. What local historic landmark was visited by the main characters in both Vegas Vacation and Beavis and Butt-head Do America?
9. In the United Health Foundation’s list of the healthiest states in 2009, Nevada ranked ____th.
10. Steve Wynn once described the Fashion Show Mall “Cloud,” the metal structure that faces the Strip, as what?
11. Which of these world-famous architects, past or present, has not designed a building in Las Vegas?
A.) Frank Gehry
B.) Rem Koolhaas
C.) Helmut Jahn
D.) Rafael Vinoly
E.) Frank Lloyd Wright
12. True or false: Nevada voters have rejected proposals to legalize marijuana three times.
13. Where could you get the following?
Peanut butter and jelly ravioli:
Frozen hot chocolate:
Catfish sloppy joe:
14. Which hotel implosion left some onlookers coughing up dust from the property for days afterward?
15. What short-lived CBS drama starred Rob Lowe as an in-house casino physician?
16. Growing up, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman was a fan of which Major League baseball team?
17. As a 9-year-old, Andre Agassi once beat what NFL legend in a tennis match, winning a $500 bet in the process?
A.) Joe Namath
B.) Jim Brown
C.) Jerry Rice
D.) Terry Bradshaw
18. Which Las Vegas headliner turned back the role of Sandy in the film version of Grease?
19. Which Runnin’ Rebel recruiting prospect was shown wearing a UNLV hat in news footage of his arrest during an undercover drug raid in Brooklyn?
20. Which Las Vegas mogul owns a 1926 REO Speedwagon bus?
A.) Kirk Kerkorian
B.) Jim Rogers
C.) Sheldon Adelson
D.) Bill Boyd
21. What does the phrase “Oscar’s River” refer to?
ANSWERS 1–A. 2–Camille Flawless. 3–C. 4–55, the number of hours Britney Spears’ marriage to Jason Alexander lasted in 2004. 5–B. 6–Mystere. 7–False. But Flowers was once employed as a bellman at Gold Coast. 8–Hoover Dam. 9–45. 10–B. 11–E. 12–False. It’s actually been before voters twice, first in 2002, then in 2006. There was a failed attempt to get it on the ballot in 2004. 13–Chicken-fried lobster, Binion’s Ranch Steakhouse. PB&J ravioli, Simon. Frozen hot chocolate, Serendipity 3. Catfish sloppy joe, RM Seafood. Bacon martini, Double Down. The Bobbie, Capriotti’s. 14–Stardust. 15–Dr. Vegas. 16–Brooklyn Dodgers. 17–B. 18–Marie Osmond, who was uncomfortable with the script’s adult content and that her character would have to “turn bad” to get Danny. 19–Lloyd Daniels, 1987. 20–B. 21–A fountain in the Centennial Plaza Downtown.
LEVEL 3: ADVANCED
Each correct answer is three points.
1. Identify the Strip properties where the following carpet to the right is found.
2. Las Vegas received its name from:
A.) Antonio Armijo in 1829
B.) John C. Fremont in 1844
C.) The Mormons in 1855
D.) The Rat Pack in 1960
3. What drove the mob out of the casino business?
A.) A stepped-up and increasingly sophisticated effort by law enforcement
B.) A change in the law allowing corporations to hold gaming licenses as well as individuals
C.) The changing times, as savvy visitors began avoiding mob-influenced properties
4. Finish this sentence: “Howard Hughes’ favorite dessert was …”
5. In 2Pac and Snoop Dogg’s song “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted,” Snoop wants to open a casino like whom?
6. If you eat at Rao’s at Caesars Palace, you’ll likely be greeted by the restaurant’s beloved doorman ___________________________.
B.) Bobby Smalls
7. UNLV’s basketball program has had ______ head coaches since 2000.
8. Which cast member of The Real World: Las Vegas has gone on to star in such films as The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning and Ninja Cheerleaders?
9. South Point Arena director Steve Stallworth was once a backup to what famous former Rebel athlete?
A.) Basketball star Larry Johnson
B.) Baseball star Matt Williams
C.) Football star Randall Cunningham
10. Which Strip entertainer once challenged a showroom of 250 people to a fight after a performance?
A.) Bobby Darin
B.) Redd Fox
C.) Andrew Dice Clay
D.) Tom Jones
11. As young man, Steve Wynn took part in which outdoor activity at the ranch owned by famed Clark County Sheriff Ralph Lamb?
12. In the mid-1980s, the Ramones played which Las Vegas venue?
13. Finish this sentence: “Spanish Oaks is to B.B. King as Summerlin is to _____________ ____________________.”
14. Which elected official made it possible for an underage Wayne Newton to perform at the Fremont Hotel?
15. During the second half of UNLV basketball team’s games at the Las Vegas Convention Center, what was known to descend on the court?
16. What Las Vegas sports team once worked out in the Riviera parking lot?
A.) UNLV softball team
B.) Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL
C.) Las Vegas Posse of the CFL
D.) UNLV rugby club
E.) Las Vegas Stars Triple-A baseball team
17. What nationally recognized event took place in the federal building that will become the Mob Museum?
18. What artist created the “Flashlight” sculpture on the UNLV campus?
19. The man at the center of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada scare, in which 40,000 patients were put at risk for HIV and hepatitis strains B and C, is ______________ ___________________.
20. U.S. Senator John Ensign, caught in an affair with a staffer’s wife, had his parents give the woman and her family $______________.
ANSWERS 1–A, Mandalay Bay. B, Luxor. C, Encore. D, Wynn. E, Tropicana. F, Treasure Island. G, MGM Grand. 2–A. 3–Trick question! Mostly B, but, in some form, all of the above. 4–Banana-nut ice cream. 5–Bugsy Siegel. 6–C. 7–Four: Bill Bayno, Max Good, Charlie Spoonhour, Lon Kruger. 8–Trishelle Cannatella. 9–C. 10–A. Darin, at the Flamingo. 11–Steer roping. 12–Moyer Student Union at UNLV. 13–Smokey Robinson. 14–Gov. Mike O’Callaghan. 15–Cigarette smoke. 16–C. 17–The Kefauver hearings. 18–Claes Oldenburg. 19–Dipak Desai. 20–$96,000.
0-38: Check for a pulse, dude. When tourists know the town better than you do, it’s time to make a change. Read this test over again and you’ll have doubled your Las Vegas knowledge.
39-77: New in town, eh? Oscar Goodman hasn’t seen numbers this low since the last city budget update. Which probably isn’t ringing any bells, right? Start by grabbing a newspaper, then go exploring.
78-116: Nice job. You’ve obviously been here awhile. You know the Strip and your neighborhood. Now, it’s time to venture beyond your usual line-up. You just might be surprised what you’ve been missing.
117-156: Congratulations! You are a true Las Vegas know-it-all. Feel free to laugh at your friends when they get stuck in Strip traffic. You know better. Grab an extra helping of crab legs at the buffet. You’ve earned it!
Note: Question 17 in the Beginner section was originally published with the Stardust casino-hotel listed. The hotel listed should have been the Hacienda. The correction has been made above.