Las Vegas icon Liberace, 35 years after he passed away, will finally get a street named after him in the center of the Las Vegas Valley.
The Clark County Planning Commission voted unanimously to rename Karen Avenue between heavily trafficked Maryland Parkway and Joe W. Brown Drive to Liberace Avenue. The name change will become effective Wednesday, Dec. 14 unless the matter is appealed to the Clark County Commission.
The Commission directed staff to initiate the name change at its meeting Sept. 7 and the change will occur in two phases. The first phase covers the area between Maryland and Joe W. Brown. Phase 2, which may extend from Joe W. Brown Drive to Paradise Road, is planned to be brought forward later.
“It’s been 35 years since Liberace passed away,” noted County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, in whose district the street is located. “This recognition is long past due. Liberace was an incredible pianist and a spectacular showman. He ruled the Las Vegas Strip for four-plus decades and at the height of his fame was the highest-paid entertainer in the world. His impact on Las Vegas and the entertainment industry generally is unquestionable and this is just one small way to acknowledge his contributions.”
Commissioner Ross Miller agreed: “During his tenure on the Strip, Liberace’s show was must-see entertainment. He was ahead of his time with Las Vegas’s first residency. And in 1972, the Las Vegas Hilton paid him $300,000 weekly to perform, the top salary at that time. It reflected his popularity and enduring appeal.”
The name change could give an economic boost to Commercial Center and The Historic Commercial Center District, which is located on the street.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.3 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.