Published Wednesday, March 23, 2011 | 12:10 p.m.
Updated Thursday, March 24, 2011 | 10:35 a.m.
The Las Vegas Strip will go dark Saturday night for Earth Hour to send a message about climate change and the importance of energy conservation.
This is the third year several Strip casinos will be dimming their lights for the annual event. The blackout will begin at 8:30 p.m. and will last until 9:30 p.m.
All 11 MGM Resorts International properties on the Strip will participate. The company will turn off all exterior lighting, signage and marquees in observance of the annual event.
“Our company is committed to sustainable practices and this is one very effective way to show our support for sustainability,” MGM Resorts spokeswoman Yvette Monet said.
Caesars Entertainment will be shutting off its exterior lighting at 40 of its properties worldwide, including its 10 Las Vegas properties.
"Caesars’ leadership in the gaming industry and its steadfast commitment to environmental sustainability and stewardship are reflected in our resorts’ continued participation in Earth Hour," Caesars CEO Gary Loveman said in a prepared statement.
Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, when more than 2.2 million people shut off their lights in support of action against climate change.
In 2009, the first year Las Vegas participated in the event, Earth Hour had more than 80 million participants in the U.S. and nearly a billion people worldwide.
Last year, Las Vegas shut off its lights in solidarity with more than 4,000 cities in 128 countries. The city was named a showcase city for the World Wildlife Fund’s annual event.
Clark County also will be participating in Earth Hour by powering down the lights at nine of its buildings, including the Clark County Government Center, the Laughlin Government Center, the Regional Justice Center, Cora Coleman Senior Center, Bob Price Community Center, Hollywood Park Community Center, Paradise Community Center, Cambridge Community Center, and West Flamingo Senior Center.
North Las Vegas will be shutting off the dome lights over the Municipal Courthouse for the event.
Las Vegas, Boulder City and Henderson will not be participating in Earth Hour this year.