The Las Vegas Strip dimmed its lights late Wednesday night to honor legendary University of Nevada, Las Vegas men's basketball Coach Jerry Tarkanian who died Feb. 11 at the age of 84.
The major Las Vegas Strip casino-hotels plus a few off-Strip properties and local casinos dimmed their exteriors for three minutes starting at 10:30 p.m. local time, following UNLV's home game against Boise State.
One by one the Las Vegas Strip's casinos and downtown Las Vegas shut off their lights for a few minutes, leaving ghostly shapes of buildings from a distance.
It's a tribute that gained steam via a social media campaign and one the destination has only made for several other people and on a few occasions.
A darkened Strip has honored the legacies of Las Vegas entertainers including, in order, Elvis Presley, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, George Burns and Frank Sinatra after their deaths, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963 appears to have been the first time the area's casinos paid tribute in such a uniquely Las Vegas way. Ronald Reagan's death in 2004 marked the second time a president had been eulogized with a dimmed Las Vegas Boulevard and the last time the tribute was reserved for a notable person.
Prior to the game, the university brought out a chair from the 1990 Final Four -- when Tarkanian led the Runnin' Rebels to their only national championship -- and placed a folded towel on it, just as it would have been left for Tarkanian, who continually chewed on a damp towel during games. The chair remained on the sideline and unoccupied during the game.
Fans were given commemorative white towels with the word "TARK" printed on them inside of a black circle with a shark fin in place of the "A''. Tarkanian was popularly known as "Tark the Shark" and the arena was known as the "Shark Tank."
A five-minute video tribute included references to Tarkanian's prolonged legal battles with the NCAA. It also showed his induction ceremony into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.