Posted on: May 6, 2023, 09:57h.
Last updated on: May 6, 2023, 10:15h.
The further elevation of Las Vegas as a sports mecca comes at the cost of one of its connections to pop culture. The 49-acre former Wild Wild West casino site — selected by the Oakland A’s to build their $1.5 billion new Las Vegas ballpark — housed one of the filming locations for “The Hangover” until that location was torn down last fall.
Filmed around town in 2008, “The Hangover” remains one of Las Vegas’ most readily identifiable associations with the big screen. Judging from social media photos and videos, hundreds of tourists still mecca to Las Vegas every year, hoping to commune with the 2009 comedy’s most iconic settings.
Here’s a handy guide…
3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Though all the scenes at the valet and registration desk were obviously shot on location, please, leave your chickens and tigers at home. You can’t recreate any “Hangover” scenes inside the fellas’ luxurious Caesars Palace suite, because it never existed.
The suite was modeled on Warner Bros.’ Burbank soundstage after two of the resort’s Forum Tower suites, one of which served as a location for the 1988 movie “Rain Man.”
Why wasn’t a real suite used?
“Because no hotel wants their property destroyed by live animals,” replied Danette Tull, production and communications manager for the Nevada Film Office. (Were we really dumb enough to ask that question? Well maybe, but you wondered it, too!)
The scenes featuring Caesars’ hallway and elevator lobby, site of the so-called “wolfpack walk,” were very real, however, and are still located on the 24th floor of the Augustus Tower.
Speaking of “Rain Man,” “The Hangover’s” homage to Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise’s escalator ride down to the casino floor was filmed at the Riviera, as were its gambling scenes, not at Caesars Palace. The Riviera was demolished in 2016.
One famous scene from “The Hangover” that was both real and filmed at Caesars Palace was the rooftop Jagermeister/Rohypnol toast that kicks off the wolfpack’s night. It was shot atop the Forum Tower. However, this scene is not advisable to recreate, since the roof is off limits to guests and security is extremely wise to guests who ignore the prohibition. Doing so might get you not only a lifetime Caesars ban, but a tour of the actual Las Vegas jail (not the LA police headquarters that stood in for it in the movie).
Wild Wild West (former location)
3330 West Tropicana Ave.
Station Casinos (now Red Rock Resorts) at first rejected the production’s request to film a scene at the motel at the rear of its Wild Wild West casino. The rundown, two-story property was hardly indicative of the company’s newer assets. And the idea of it standing in for the apartment of an illegal prostitute — to whom three groomsmen return a baby the morning after a wild bachelor party — did not seem like a stellar PR opportunity.
According to the Nevada Independent, the producers badly wanted to use the motel, though, because it offered direct sightlines of the Strip across Interstate 15, which clearly established setting. So the producers upped their offer to include a location fee, and reimbursement for the time the motel was forced to turn away customers, and Stations reluctantly reconsidered.
Last fall, Red Rock demolished the casino and its motel, which had been operated by Wyndham for several previous years as a Days Inn. If all goes according to plan, the Las Vegas Athletics stadium will be built on its former site.
1236 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
A fake building front adorned what was then known as the Hostel Cat, disguising it as the “Best Little Chapel,” site of the previous night’s drunken nuptials. By the way, accidental drunken weddings can’t happen In Las Vegas. That’s a popular Las Vegas myth.
Mandalay Bay Road & Giles Street
This is the site of the film’s wildest and most memorable scene. And, despite booming development on the southern Strip, this empty lot — and the one across the street — remain empty. However, both are fenced off, perhaps to discourage exactly the type of re-creation you were considering.
Jean Fuel West Shell
1 Goodsprings Road
This gas station — where Zach Galifianakis’ character read “The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book” and threatened to “hit an old man in public” — was rebranded “Gas n Gulp.” Producers and directors typically use fake brands to avoid the hassles of obtaining licensing clearances and accusations of product placement.
Jean Dry Lake
While you’re out in Jean, might as well check out the nearby location of the famous ransom swap with Mr. Chow. In real life, the site is popular for off-roading as well as ransom swaps.
Oh, and the secret meeting between Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci’s characters occurred here in 1995’s “Casino.”