Bizarre finds make shopping fun at Bonanza Gifts World’s Largest Gift Shop

Posted by on Jul 27th, 2012 and filed under Featured, Xtra News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

What do Angelina Jolie, Nicolas Cage, Steve Aoki, the cast of “CSI” and a majority of Las Vegas tourists have in common?

They have all visited the iconic Bonanza Gifts World’s Largest Gift Shop.

Located on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue (near the Stratosphere tower), Bonanza Gifts World’s Largest Gift Shop was built in 1980 and features 50,000 square feet of souvenirs, gifts and all sorts of random doodads.

From Vegas-themed shot glasses and flasks to piggy banks and oven mitts, there’s no way you’ll walk out of here empty-handed. And since it’s open daily 8 a.m. – midnight (with the exception of holidays), you’ll have time to fit this trip into your schedule. In addition, the majority of items are so inexpensive, you’ll have enough to splurge for everyone and have cash left over for your trip.

A favorite among celebrities

On any given day, you might just see your favorite celebrity.

“You  just never know who’s going to walk in,” said Angie Hurt, general manager at World’s Largest Gift Shop.

Hurt said Angelina Jolie came with two of her children last Christmas season and bought  presents for Brad Pitt. Hurt added Nicolas Cage is a regular, and so was the late Michael Jackson. Other celebrities who visited the shop include Cher, Penn and Teller, Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Redd Foxx, to name a few.

Bonanza gifts has also had its share of TV and movie appearances. World- renowned DJs Steve Aoki and Afrojack shot their “No Beef” video here last October.

In addition, CSI filmed here a number of times. The gift shop was also recently featured in a Bollywood movie. Other TV appearances include MTV and the Travel Channel.

Vegas, baby!

We took a trip to World’s Largest Gift Shop yesterday to explore all the items since it had been awhile since our last visit. One of the first things I noticed were the rows of shot glasses. I’ve never so many different ones in my life.

Hurt said the store probably carries 200 t0 300 different shot glasses, which are priced at 99 cents each. She said these are popular since a lot of people like to drink and they’re easy to pack.

“People who are on a budget go directly to our 99-cent shot glasses,” she said. “Anything you can think of that’s Las Vegas-related, we have it.”

Other popular items for 99 cents include magnets and wallets. There are also coffee mugs for $2.50. If you want to go all out and make a statement on the Las Vegas Strip, look no further than the 100-ounce drink container. This is one of the store’s most popular items. It was featured in Steve Aoki and Afrojack’s “No Beef” video.

“Everybody comes in because they’ve seen that – it’s crazy,” she said. “Only in Vegas would you have a 100-ounce drink and walk on the street with it.”

The convenient container comes with a strap so you can either carry on your shoulder or around your neck. When I tried it on, it reached the ground (pictured above). I can’t even imagine if I filled it up — it would be like toting around another me!

If you’re not this extreme but want to cool off during the summer months (or keep your drink warm during the winter season), Hurt recommends the double-paned glasses that come with a straw.

“I like a souvenir that’s practical,” she said. “They’re great because they do keep things cold and hot. That’s actually something I use constantly.”

Other Vegas souvenirs include T-shirts, onesies, pens, hats and even Elvis wigs. If you’re dying of thirst, you can purchase a 24-ounce bottled water for only $1.

More than your average Vegas gift shop

Not only will you find tons of Las Vegas-themed gifts, you’ll also stumble upon some of the strangest items. I felt like I had walked into the pages of those quirky catalogs I used to get in the mail.

In addition to mustache-themed toothpicks and cookie cutters, you’ll find 3-D cat playing cards, toy unicorns and more flip flops than you can imagine. There was even a whole wall dedicated to Hello Kitty merchandise. I’m thinking of coming back and buying the Jesus action figure.

There are also some gifts meant for a mature audience only, so be mindful if you’re coming with the little ones.

“The most popular souvenir in our store is Polly the Parrot,” said Hurt. “He is a talking parrot that drops F-bombs [and] has about eight different sayings. People just love him to death and [some] carry out two birds at a time.”

If you’re into Native American culture, World’s Largest Gift Shop has its own section filled with pottery, blankets, dolls and decorations. The Indian jewelry is made from the Zuni and Navajo tribes. These pieces come with a certificate of authenticity.

No matter what you buy, you’ll want to give yourself at least an hour to explore the shop and look around. With more than 10 million items,  this isn’t a shopping trip you should rush. I admit it provided us an entertaining afternoon.

“Just come in and be amazed,” Hurt said. “You’re going to find everything. That’s what customers say to me, how much bang they get for their buck.”

Bonanza Gifts is the only free-standing gift shop on the Las Vegas Strip. If you have time, you can also check out the General Store and Bonanza’s Naughty Town.

“We’re a destination now, not just a gift shop,” Hurt said. “We get everybody.”

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