Outdoor Nevada S3 Ep8 | Come on In, Jump on Out

Seventy million acres
of wide-open

Nevada is untouched…
a place where the
desert comes to life.

The ground holds
the history,

and nature perseveres.
“He built his childhood
home for himself,
“his mom and dad
and his brother.
It’s a modest
“two-bath home,
and it had
“a three-car garage
and the original barn.”
In the heart of Las Vegas,
I visit one of its
most iconic residences.

“Don’t you feel like
you’re doing something
“important by
taking care of it?
-I am. Somebody’s got to
take care of history.”
I’m in for a treat
at the Hammargren

Home of Nevada History.
“Well John, once
we get you to the top,
“it will be 1,081 feet
above Las Vegas.
“I hope you’re ready.
-You’re an evil woman.
“I’m convinced.
You’re just terrible!
-I’m all about
the bucket list, John.
“I’m all about exciting.”
And then I go up
the Stratosphere

for a thrilling
way down.

“Pretty spectacular,
isn’t it?
“Nevada is like that.”
I’m John Burke.
Join me as I explore
the seventh-largest

state in the nation
here on Outdoor Nevada.
(John Burke)
The “Live Entertainment
Capital of the World,”

Las Vegas has seen many
artists come and go.

Not only did Wayne Newton
put down roots here,

his house became
a gatekeeper

of Las Vegas’ most precious
show business history.

Sherri, nice to see you.
-Nice to see you.
-Thanks for
meeting me today.
-My pleasure.
-When did this whole
estate become born?
(Sherri Pucci)
Mr. Newton bought
the property,
originally five
acres in 1965,
and then over the years
he was able to buy
more acreage to build
everything on the property.
He built his childhood
home for himself,
his mom and dad
and his brother.
It’s a modest
two-bath home,
and it had
a three-car garage
and the original barn.
And then over the years,
he was able to design
his mansion which is
right behind us.
He started designing it
and building it in ’74,
and it was
completed in 1976.
It’s over 8,700
square feet.
-Now, he still
visits occasionally
but he doesn’t live here
today; is that right?
-That’s correct.
He lives off property
about two miles away.
Wayne Newton’s
Casa de Shenandoah

spreads over
52 acres of land

in the heart of
the city showcasing

Mr. Las Vegas’ mansion,
vintage cars, wardrobes,

Arabian horses,
exotic animals

and a special collection
of USO memorabilia.

We have a museum
that houses his jet.
His USO section has
a lot of memorabilia
from Vietnam
to present day,
the times he’s gone
to Vietnam, Beirut,
Bosnia and Iraq.
-Near and dear to
his heart, isn’t it?
-Yes, it is,
it really is.
He’s done a lot for our
troops over the years.
-When people come in
and see that collection,
it must be emotional.
-It is.
We have a lot
of people come in
and actually start
tearing up
and cannot believe how
much he’s done for them.
From time to time,
the Midnight Idol

has stepped off
the Las Vegas stage

to entertain our troops
inland and overseas.

His dedication goes
back to the first grade

when Newton performed
for the first time

in a USO show.
Tell me about
the classic cars,
because that’s what
gets my heart going.
-He has 12 classic
cars in there.
A lot of them are Bentleys
and Rolls Royces,
and we have a Mercedes
and an H2 Hummer.
We have an
Essex Terraplane
that was Mr. Newton’s
very first car
when he was 16 and
he bought it for $50.
Then somebody
was able to buy
another one for him
and refurbish it.
It’s quite a classic car.
-And one that belonged
to Lucille Ball?
-Yes, it was actually her
“incognito car.”
She would ride around,
just like all ladies
like to go shopping
and buy shoes,
and she couldn’t
go out anywhere
with that bright
red hair.
She had to have
an incognito car
and put her hair in
a scarf, sunglasses,
and she had her
chauffeur, Frank,
of 30 years
take her around.
The singer of “Daddy,
Don’t You Walk so Fast”

sure likes his rides.
The remarkable car

hasn’t stopped me from
noticing something else.

There’s something
very touching here,
and it’s a letter
from Elvis.
Can you tell me
about that?
-When Elvis Presley
was here in 1976,
it was one of his very
last performances
at the Las Vegas Hilton.
It was kind of a
sad point in his life.
He went upstairs
into his suite
and was writing
this letter.
It basically says he
feels so alone at night,
he wished he could sleep,
he probably will not.
He talks about
I have no need for this
and there was
a bunch of scribbling,
and it says
help me, Lord.
And he wads it up
and throws it away.
A housekeeper found it
the next morning,
looks at it and thought
it was a cry for help,
so she gave it to one
of his security people.
Security gave it
to Colonel Parker,
and he kept it
for many years
and then put it up
for auction.
Mr. Newton
bought that note,
and he wrote a song
called “The Letter.”
If you ever have
a chance to hear it
or at least read
the lyrics,
I guarantee it will
bring a tear to your eye.
-That’s touching.
-It is,
it is very touching.
We had no idea what
kind of a dark spot
Elvis was in at that
point of his life.
-And Wayne
wasn’t just a fan.
I mean, they were buddies.
-Very good friends.
Wayne’s passion for music
could only be compared

to his passion
for horses.

Six generations
of Arabian horses

have been bred here
at Casa de Shenandoah.

What is their demeanor?
-Very kind,
soft-hearted, gentle.
That’s what
Mr. Newton breeds for.
They’re not a high-strung
horse at all.
-Do they know
when he’s here?
-Yes, they do.
When a mare’s getting
ready to foal,
they’ll call Mr. Newton,
give him a 24-hour
to let him know
she’s about ready
to give birth.
He wants to be here
on property.
He’s here about 98%
of all births.
So when he’s here and
he’s getting the foals
ready to come out,
he guides the foal
out of the birth canal,
holds on to her,
wipes it down, sings to it
and talks to it.
It’s called imprinting.
So every time Mr. Newton’s
here on the property
and comes into the barn,
they know he’s here
and it’s just deafening,
the sounds of
the whinnying they do.
They want his attention.
-That’s incredible.
-It is.
-How do they prepare
for being shown?
-They have a show shaver,
and they get their
show makeup on.
Whether it’s
a male or a female,
they will still
shave their faces.
They put on this almost
like a Vaseline salve
and sometimes it will
have glitter in it,
and they’ll put it
over the eyelids
which makes their eyes
sparkle and pop
so it draws
attention to them
so the judges
can see them.
They also make
a funny sound
when they’re out
and about.
They make this
snorting sound,
and the first
thing you’ll do,
you’ll turn around
and say what is that?
And that the judges
look at them for that.
-And they know that,
they like the attention.
-Oh, yes,
they love attention.
The more attention
you give them,
the more
they’ll perform.
-Boy, they really
are beautiful.
Of the 700 foals
born here,

at least 96 have
won championships

throughout the country.
In 2007 Wayne received a
Lifetime Achievement Award

from the Arabian Horse
Breeders Association.

Sherri, who is this?
-His name is Boo.
He’s our resident
capuchin monkey.
He’s 5-1/2 years old,
and his BFF is Honey,
a one-year-old
He prefers dogs
than monkeys.
The other monkeys
scare him.
He has 97% human DNA,
so there’s nothing
he can’t figure out.
-Well, I’m only 97%
human DNA as well,
so I think we have
something in common.
-He goes home every
night with Robin.
He gets a bath,
gets his diaper on.
He gets his own dinner,
he has his own bedroom
and his own earbuds.
He has his own
Netflix remote,
and he watches
Animal Planet.
-Was this Wayne
Newton’s idea
to have these
exotic animals?
-Yes, he loves animals,
all animals.
and they love him.
There’s just something
about Mr. Newton
that animals just
gravitate to him.
Whether they’re
a two-legged feather
or four-legged furry,
they all love him.
Boo shares the exotic
animal section

with penguins,
African crown cranes,

ducks, swans, peacocks,
some smart parrots
and sweet wallabies.

Who are these guys?
-This one is Lucky.
It’s a dama or
Bennett wallaby.
It comes from
New Zealand.
The little guy
up on your shoulder,
his name is Simon.
He’s one our many exotic
parrots we have here.
-Well, I feel very
lucky to be here
and be around you
and do this today.
Thank you so much
for everything.
I really appreciate it.
-My pleasure.
I’m glad you were
able to come
and take part
in our ranch here.
-Thanks, Lucky and Simon.
Danke schoen.

-Danke schoento you.
Next time you’re
driving down

Wayne Newton Boulevard,
take a detour

to Casa de Shenandoah
and catch a glimpse

of Newton’s
fascinating life.

It’s clear that
Wayne Newton
is very passionate
about sharing his gifts
from the stage,
but he also knows
his place in Las Vegas
history and culture,
and he’s willing to
share that with anyone
who wants to come here
to Casa de Shenandoah.
Whoever has the most
things when he dies…
-Wins what?
-The contest, forever.
-I didn’t know
I was in a contest.
-Well, as far as
I’m concerned,
I’ve already won.
-Yeah, I think
we’re all fighting
for second place now.
Born on a Christmas
morning in 1937,

Lonnie Hammargren has
lived the gift of life

to the fullest
and collected

along the way.

What if I told you
that I have found
one of Nevada’s most
fascinating residents?
I mean, he has tens
of thousands of items
in his house that
you have to see.
He’s got a dinosaur,
he’s got a buffalo,
he’s got
a big chili pepper
and he’s got the space
shuttle in his driveway,
and it’s all courtesy
of Dr. Lonnie Hammargren.
A transplant from
Harris, Minnesota,

this eccentric

found in Las Vegas
a home for himself

and for everything else
he needed to have.

I’ve seen a lot of
collections in my day,
but now I’m
getting overwhelmed.
You’re blowing me away.
What is this here?
-It’s my stage.
-Of course, every
man needs a stage.
-Of course.
-Where did you get it?
(Dr. Lonnie Hammargren)
Well, pieces and parts
from everywhere.
The big Showboat was out
on Boulder Highway,
and that piece came
from the Showboat.
A lot of the rest
of this didn’t,
came from
different things,
but that little
place there,
that was
the valet booth
and that’s where
they parked cars from.
So I got that
the first thing
and then later on,
I negotiated
and acquired pieces
of the Showboat.
Then a lot of these
I used the same name,
the Hammargren
Home of Nevada History.
-That’s a good one.
One of Las Vegas’
most famous residents,

Hammargren built his
first home here in 1969.

As the collection grew,
he acquired two
adjacent properties.

In 2017 the original home
went into foreclosure,

forcing him to auction
most of his items,

but there’s still
plenty to see.

When you buy these things,
do you dicker with people
or do you just say,
I’m taking it?
-Oh, both ways.
It depends on
how bad I want it.
If I want it, I’ll
dicker until I get it.
Otherwise if I say
oh, that’s a little
too rich for me,
then I’ll say fine.
-You’ll move on?
I’ll say call me back
when your price goes down,
and half the time
the price will go down.
-I know a lot of this
is curiosities,
but a lot of it is really
cool Nevada history.
-It is Nevada
and world history,
just like the
spacecraft down there.
It’s a piece
of world history;
it isn’t just
Nevada history.
-And don’t you feel
like you’re doing
something important
by taking care of it?
-I am. Somebody’s got
to take care of history.
I live in
the here and now;
however, I look at
the future and say
if I lived 100 years,
I’d still want that.
An estimated 10,000 items
continue to tell his story.

Every year
on Nevada Day,

Lonnie opens his
“Home of Nevada History”

for public tours.
Doctor, I want
to talk about you
and your relationship
to Nevada.
How much do you love it?
-I love it totally,
love it all.
-I notice as
I’m walking through,
there’s things
about space
but you also have signs
about Nevada itself.
That’s important to you?
-Oh, yes, sure.
I traveled all over Nevada
when I was in office
as lieutenant governor
and when I ran for governor.
I traveled
the whole state.
-And what did you learn
about the state
as you traveled
through it?
-How big it was.
That’s the
unbelievable part.
From being a NASA
flight surgeon

to one of Nevada’s
lieutenant governors,

Dr. Hammargren has
accumulated experiences

in all arenas,
and the memories

of a lifetime well
spent continue

to pile up in his
1,800 square-foot home.

I have a question for you.
You got anything
-Yup, all kinds of good,
fun, unusual things.
Here’s a model of
an Apollo spacecraft.
It also goes together.
Oh, here’s the car that
I was telling you about.
Look at this.
-Now, that I like.
Russian stuff…
and just a big old
nasty snake.
Here’s western butterflies
which I collect.
Now, if you take a look,
but here are
the butterflies
I collected when
I was a little kid.
I remember mounting those
and collecting those.
-You know,
it’s interesting.
The more I listen
to you talk,
you don’t look back
You don’t live with
a lot of regrets,
do you?
-Not at all, no.
I can’t think of really
anything I’ve done
that I’ve regretted.
-Do you think all this
would be here
if it wasn’t for
these butterflies?
-No, that’s how
I started.
Then I realized
along the line,
hey, that’s sort of fun.
-You know what?
You’re fun.
You’re amazing.
I don’t have many regrets,
and I don’t regret
coming here today
and talking with you.
This has been
I’ve heard
so much about you,
and you blew it away
in spades.
You took it
to another level.
You’re a super-collector
on steroids,
and I want to thank you
for letting us in today.
-You’re very welcome;
thank you for coming.
From planes,
space shuttles

and roller coasters to
a notorious paddle wheel

and a sarcophagus
with a purpose,

Lonnie’s home takes you
on an overwhelming ride.

You’re left wondering
about places he’s been,

the things he’s seen,
and the meaning behind

every little thing
he has kept.

This is the type of day
that leaves you breathless.
Everybody knows when you
travel the state of Nevada,
you see these
amazing landscapes
but today was a day
when you’re reminded
that Nevada’s best
resource is its people
and the stories
they tell.
My assignment today
is to go to the top
of the Stratosphere
and sample all the rides
they got up there
but I warn you,
what goes up
must come down.
Traveling across Nevada
you get to be no stranger

to adventure,
but those adventures

typically keep your feet
planted on the ground.

Not today.
We’re venturing to the top
of the Stratosphere,

over 1,000 nerve-wracking
feet in the air.

Hey Kim, how are you?
-John, nice to meet you,
Welcome to the Stratosphere
Tower Las Vegas.
-Well, thank you, no other
place I’d rather be.
How long has the
Stratosphere been here?
-Since April 30, 1996.
-I understand you have
some attractions
at the top of
the Stratosphere.
-We do.
Besides the tower,
we have four
attractions upstairs
and an elevator ride
you just have to catch.
-Tell me about
the elevator ride.
What are we about
to do?
(Kimberly Huff)
We have the world’s
fastest double-door,
elevators in the world.
We’re talking 1,800 feet
per second, John.
You get a ride before
you even get to the top.
-You don’t start
slow here.
-We never do here
at the Stratosphere.
Since 1996 the
Stratosphere has stood,

at 1,149 feet,
as the tallest

freestanding observation
tower in the U.S.

Hey, when you see
a mountain, you climb it.

When you find the tallest
structure in Las Vegas,

you rocket to the top.
So to get from
where we were
to where we’re going
takes how long?
-About 38 seconds
up to the top.
We’re fast,
we’re very fast.
-It’s a little
unnerving because
you can feel
yourself going up,
and you’re thinking
I gotta come down.
When the Stratosphere
was originally

planned in 1989,
it was meant to have

a 1,000-foot-tall neon sign
for the hotel-casino below.

The original idea would
have robbed visitors

of a breathtaking view
of the Strip.

I’m feeling it.
I’m like all right,
where are we?
-You’re currently on 112
which is about 980 feet
above Las Vegas, and no,
it’s not the top, John.
This is the entrance
to “Big Shot,”
and you’re already
white-knuckling it.
You’re worrying me,
-I’m so clammy.
My hands are just–
all right, so where
do we go from here?
-From here we’ll
head up to level 113
which is where you’ll
load for Big Shot.
And John, once we
get you to the top,
it will be 1,081 feet
above Las Vegas.
I hope you’re ready.
-You’re an evil woman.
I’m convinced
you’re just terrible.
-I’m all about
the bucket list, John.
I’m all about exciting.
-Tell me about
the people and where
they’re from.
-All over the world,
John, I have guests
from everywhere.
-And there’s how many?
-About 1.3 million a year.
-Well, I didn’t come
all the way up here
just to talk.
-I agree, John.
-Let’s get some action.
-Let’s do this.
Visitors coming
to the Stratosphere

will find more than
just rides at the top.

Enclosed along with
the observation deck

are shops, a lounge and
a five-star restaurant.

And for those who are
really seeking danger

and thrills,
there’s a wedding chapel.

Now, I’ve driven
through Las Vegas a lot,
always seen this and
thought, never doing it.
How did I get here?
I’m about to be
shot up to 1,081 feet.
To put that
in perspective,
I’m looking down on
the high-rise casinos.
It’s “Bring Your Fear
to Work Day.”
The Big Shot is the highest
thrill ride in the U.S.

and second highest
in the world.

You haven’t felt
anticipation until

you’ve listened to that
prelaunch countdown,

assuming of course
you can hear it

over your own heartbeat.
I should be fishing.
I’m telling you,
I should be
fishing or hiking…
This isn’t my strong suit
but I’m here
giving it a shot–
a big shot!
(hissing sound)
Oh, jeez!
Whoa! Whoa!
Oh, going back up!
Going back up!
Whoo! Oh, yeah!
Oh, my gosh!
All right, I’m good–
no, I’m not good at all.
All right.
Okay, so I’ve got
good news.
It’s official:
The world is round.
excitement awaits

at the top of
the Stratosphere.

My heart has barely
stopped pounding

from the Big Shot before
the next ride beckons.

All right. This one’s
called “X-Scream.”
You know,
“scream,” get it?
When this day started,
my hair was jet black,
I’m telling you.
You sit in these cars
and apparently we go
until we just
head over the Strip.
Good times.
Oh, boy. Oh, man.
Too late
to back out now.
Oh, jeez!
Oh, jeez! Oh!
Oh, this thing moves!
I didn’t know
this thing moved!
I thought we’re just
going to sit here.
All right.
At least that’s over–
no, we’re going again.
We’re going again!
Oh, that’s terrifying!
Okay, that’s good.
I think we made
our point.
Right, folks?
No, we didn’t
make our point.
It’s not getting
any easier!
I see it. Okay.
That’s my house–
in New York.
that was good.
Oh, that’s
gotta be it, right?
Get me off this thing!
My hair…
Two down, two to go.
The final ride on
the top is “Insanity.”

Dangling precariously
over the Strip,

it spins riders up
to 40 miles per hour.

Take nightmare-inducing
heights and add spinning.

This is not okay!
Oh, that’s terrible.
That ain’t right.
I don’t know who
created this ride,
but they’re sick.
Right now there’s
somebody looking
at us going,
I’ll never do that.
Oh, man! Oh, no!
It’s getting worse!
This is terrible!
This is the worst
one yet!
I feel like
I’m giving birth.
Oh, Outdoor Nevada,
866 feet up!
This is actually
worse than it looks.
The best part about
this ride is it’s ending.
Which way is the bar?
Oh, jeez.
All right, we’re good.
Bring us in.
That was more intense
than any roller coaster
I’ve ever been on by far,
by like a thousand.
That was–
that was terrifying.
I can’t even get out.
Hold on.
Here’s the thing:
The busiest time
for this ride
is about 1:30
at night on a Friday.
No, thank you.
I ain’t doing it.
Three rides down
and I’m still alive,

but I’m not
out of this mess yet.

The craziest challenge
still lies ahead.

I gotta get off
the Stratosphere,

and I don’t think
they’re going to let me

take the elevator.
Kim, I got a progress
report for you.
Are you ready?
-I’m ready.
-I am three for three.
-And they were terrifying.
Now, you have one more
big kahuna for me?
-The ultimate, sir.
The “Sky Jump,”
and here we are.
-What is the Sky Jump?
Tell me.
-It’s a controlled descent,
45 miles an hour,
866 feet above the Strip.
Are you ready, John?
-Are you ever ready?
I’m not one to back
down from a challenge,
and I see you’re
challenging me, Kim.
-I want you to walk
the plank, John.
-I’m walking the plank.
This may be the last time
I get to say this.
You’re awesome,
and thank you
for taking me around.
-Anytime, sir.
-As Leonardo da Vinci

“Once you’ve
tasted the sky,

“you will forever
look up.”

Romantic words
that push me on

towards that
open-air precipice.

If I don’t make it
through this,

dear viewers,
thanks for watching.

-Let’s get this started.
-Okay, let’s do it.
-The first step out
right here. Ready?
I’ll let you know when.
Oh, man!
What does it take
to get an Emmy?
Whoo! Whoo!
Am I alive?
This is it? I did it?
(cheering and laughing)
You know what the best
part of this day is?
I don’t ever have
to do that again!
One last question:
Who’s next?
Support for
Outdoor Nevada

comes from Jaguar
Land Rover Las Vegas

and Jaguar
Land Rover Reno,

inspiring the spirit
of adventure

with confidence in any
terrain or conditions.

Information at JLRLV.com
or JLRReno.com.

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