End of An Era: Mayor Oscar Goodman Passes the Torch
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You know how people use the expression, “It’s the end of an era,” but you kind of know it’s not really the end of an era? Well, today marks the actual end of an era, at least in Las Vegas.
At about 9:30 a.m. today (July 6), charismatic Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman swore in a new mayor, his wife, Carolyn Goodman.
The “Mayor Oscar B. Goodman Biography” page on the City of Las Vegas Web site was updated, sans pomp, to reflect the passing of the torch, or perhaps more appropriately in the case of Mayor Oscar Goodman, the passing of the martini.
Oscar Goodman, the self-proclaimed “Happiest Mayor in the Universe,” has been the colorful, sometimes controversial, cheerleader for Las Vegas since he took office in 1999.
As mayor, he was rarely seen in public without being flanked by showgirls, and was never shy about his love of a stiff cocktail (even striking an endorsement deal with Bombay Sapphire gin).
This blog had a number of brushes with Oscar Goodman during his three terms in office. We snagged an exclusive photo at a recent event honoring Rio headliners Penn & Teller for their philanthropic efforts. Read more.
This blog will always fondly remember Oscar Goodman’s reign as mayor. He was outspoken (he once suggested graffiti vandals should have their thumbs cut off) and steadfastly unconventional. Many credit him with revitalizing downtown Las Vegas, despite the mayorship being largely a symbolic post.
We’ll always remember hanging out with some friends at a blackjack table as the mayor happened to breeze through. He shook hands with each person at the table and proclaimed, “The dealer’s going to bust. If not, I’ll refund all your bets!” The dealer didn’t bust, unfortunately, and the mayor’s wallet was out immediately to make good on his promise. We didn’t take him up on the offer, but he gave us all a night to remember. Goodman followed up with, “All right, then, I’m buying everyone a round of drinks.” At a blackjack table. In a Vegas casino. Classic.
No matter what one’s feelings about the particulars of Oscar Goodman’s stint as mayor, no one can dispute his unflagging passion for Las Vegas. Perhaps not surprisingly, we hold that perspective in very high regard.
Oscar Goodman is expected to continue to help promote Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau, among other pursuits.
Thanks, Mayor Goodman, for the laughs, the gasps, the inspiration and the undying devotion to the city we all love, Las Vegas. Other towns have mayors. Vegas had an icon.