by Jeff Gillan
Monday, May 20th 2019
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — For Grant Philipo, accomplished Las Vegas producer, the show will go on, and what a show it is, spanning decades.
“1948. And that's from the ice follies,” Philipo said, pointing to a petite black sequins outfit on a mannequin. It’s one of the rarest and oldest costumes in his Las Vegas home, part of his shrine to all things showgirl, stuffed with boas, sequins and outfits.
He and his backers, who include the former owners of the Tropicana, had hoped one day to call the old Reed Whipple home.
As we told you last week, another slice of Las Vegas history beat the Las Vegas Showgirl Museum to it. The Neon Museum will expand there instead.
So, this city's other calling card, one of glitz and glamour, will go someplace else.
“The new facility that we're interested in, we're right now in the process of negotiations, over 200,000 square feet,” he tells me. “Once it’s all put together it’s going to be phenomenal, but we also don’t turn down any other possibilities.”
He's keeping the location secret for right now, but he'll need every square foot he can get.
Under his care currently are 40,000 artifacts, enough for four warehouses.
“You have to realize it isn't just costumes, and it's not just jewelry. It is programs from all over the world, it's actual original design sketches, sets, curtains from almost every major showroom in town,” Philipo says.
Right now, a chunk of it is on display in Philipo's house. To see it, it's by appointment only, but someday he hopes this piece of Las Vegas' history will be available for everyone to see.
“Everybody from around the world knows that Vegas is associated with the showgirl,” he says.
It's history, waiting for another bow.