Monday, April 12, 2010 | 5:35 p.m.
Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley made a visit today to that most Las Vegas of Vegas attractions – the celebrity pawn shop.
Perhaps only in Vegas would a place where those seeking to make a buck hawking their precious junk make such compelling television.
Here, several nights a week on the History Channel, the state of the Las Vegas economy can be seen in 30-minute segments. The autographed baseball jerseys, sculptures, an old car – all being sold or pawned for cash.
On a recent episode, a landlord pawns a broken glider tenants left to pay the rent on their house in the desert.
“Pawn Stars” is based on the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in the heart of Berkley’s Las Vegas district. Berkley stopped by Monday afternoon to celebrate Gold and Silver’s popularity and thank the Harrisons, the owner-operators, “for helping to promote Las Vegas tourism through the success of the program which is seen by millions of History Channel viewers.”
The show is so popular, wrote the Sun's John Katsilometes, that it at times seems to be more stage setting than a shop these days, with up to 1,000 visitors every 24 hours. Velvet ropes keep the crowds at bay.
When times are tough, as they are in Las Vegas, leave it to a pawn shop to bring out the hometown pride.