The resort opened on May 3, 1999 with flutter of white doves, sounding trumpets and singing gondoliers, with actress Sophia Loren joining The Venetian Chairman and Owner, Sheldon G. Adelson, in christening the first motorized gondola. Built at a cost of $1.5 billion, it was one of the most expensive resorts of its kind when it opened. — Wikipedia

As was mentioned in the Tussaud’s post, the Venetian is the megaresort that replaced the legendary Sands hotel in 1996. The Sands and Desert Inn hotels were in close proximity to each other and were for a long time properties of Howard Hughes.

There is a funny story about Howard Hughes, the Desert Inn, and Banana Ripple ice cream. Hughes went through a phase where he loved Banana Ripple ice cream. Because of this, his handlers secured a very large bulk order of the flavour from Baskin-Robbins’ in California. When the ice cream arrived, they discovered that Hughes no longer liked it. Because of this, patrons at the Desert Inn received free Banana Ripple ice cream for over a year.

But I digress…

Unlike most of the megaresorts on the strip, the Venetian does not have a Cirque du Soleil show. Instead it has two of the more renowned/popular shows in Vegas history: Blue Man Group and Phantom of the Opera.