Eadington Fellow Colloquium: Playing Paradise


Jan. 18, 2018, 3pm to 4pm

Campus Location

Office/Remote Location

Goldfield Room
Gaming Research Colloquium Poster


“Playing Paradise: The California Hotel and Hawaiian Tourist Imaginaries”

Dana Herrera, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology, and Cynthia Van Gilder, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology, St. Mary’s College of California

Unbeknownst to most visitors, Las Vegas is home to a unique niche tourism: it is overwhelmingly the vacation destination of choice for residents of the state of Hawaii, even affectionately termed the “Ninth Island.” It is estimated that 1 in 10 Hawaiians visit Las Vegas at least once per year, primarily selecting The California Hotel, nicknamed, “The Cal,” as their preferred sleeping, gambling, eating, and socializing venue.  Located near Fremont Street, the exterior of The Cal still reflects its original identity as a California-themed establishment, however, the interior reflects its forty-year history of transformation into a Hawaiian home-away-from-home, with island themed décor, banquet rooms labeled in the Hawaiian language, and multiple eateries offering Hawaiian favorites.  

In this presentation, Herrera and Van Gilder look at the “tourist imaginary” created at The Cal through an examination of the hotel’s history and built environment. Their recent research in Special Collections & Archives provides a context for understanding the relationship between the Boyd Gaming Corporation, which developed and owns The California Hotel, and its Hawaiian gaming clientele.

Plesae RSVP. If you have any special accommodation needs, please contact Lonnie Marshall in University Libraries Administration in advance at 702-895-4517 or lonnie.marshall@unlv.edu.

Admission Information

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP requested.

Contact Information

University Libraries
Lonnie Marshall

More info on this event

External Sponsor

University Libraries and UNLV Center for Gaming Research