THIEF! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artist

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THIEF! character, Vince Eli

Monday, January 25, 2010

Slick's Las Vegas Then & Now: 10th in Series

McCarran Airport

On December 20, 1948, McCarran Airport was named after former Nevada senator, Pat McCarran, who played a major role in developing aviation nationwide. In 1963 McCarran Airport moved from Las Vegas Blvd. to its current location on Paradise Road. I remember back then all you had to do was park your car on the side of the road and wait for a plane to land. You exchanged waves with the person you were meeting as they exited the plane. Above Feft: McCarran Field around 1965. Above Right: Slots in McCarran baggage pickup area.

Who’d believe that twenty-five years later I’d be sitting at the Borders Book store at McCarran International Airport terminal watching hundreds of people walk by as I sign my first book, Thief?

Today the airport grounds cover 2,800 acres and include four runways. In 2008 McCarran ranked 15th in the world for passenger traffic, with 44,074,707 passengers passing through the terminal. It ranked 6th in the world for aircraft movements with 578,949 takeoffs and landing. The top five largest scheduled airlines at McCarran in number of passengers are Southwest, U.S. Airways, United, Delta and American.

McCarran Airport has more than 1,300 slot machines, so a customer can go broke before he even hits the Strip. Through the years, many have done just that.

In case anyone is interested in the timeline history of McCarran Airport, check out the website Fast Facts:

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