Several casinos along the Las Vegas Strip plan to dim their lights this week in honor of former UNLV head basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian.
Tarkanian, who led the Running Rebels to 509 victories and one national championship in 19 seasons at the school, died last week at age 84.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, hotels along the strip, including the The Cosmopolitan, Stratosphere, Tropicana, The Venetian and The Palazzo, plan to dim their lights at 10:30 p.m. after UNLV’s home game against Boise State.
The lights have been dimmed only eight times since 1963, the last being in 2009, with a commemoration of Earth Hour. The other times the lights were dimmed were after the deaths of John F. Kennedy, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, George Burns, Frank Sinatra and Ronald Reagan. The lights were also dimmed after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
Scott Gulbransen, a 1995 UNLV graduate, along with a friend set up a Twitter account and Facebook page asking casinos to honor Tarkanian.
"The response has been amazing, but I’m not surprised," Gulbransen said. "It’s absolutely the right thing to do."
Jerry Tarkanian was a legend in this town," Caesars spokesman Gary Thompson added. "He won a national championship and gave UNLV and Las Vegas such a boost."
- Scooby Axson