If there is one philosophy that is accepted across the casino industry it is that bigger is better.
Whether it be the square footage of the gaming floor, the number of slots available for customers to play, the quantity of hotel rooms available to staying guests or the size of a monument or feature erected in an entry foyer, casino establishments are always out to exceed the offerings of their rivals.
Leading the way across the majority of the board at present is The Venetian Macau in China, which encompasses a whopping 10,500,000 square feet of space across 39 floors, of which 546,000 square feet is for gambling activity.
Featuring within this layout is the availability of 4,200 slot and table games, while there are 53 bars and restaurants, a 15,000-seat indoor arena, signature gondoliers that glide up and down multiple canals and four swimming pools.
If there is a time of the year which adopts a similar stance that bigger is better, then it is Christmas.
For some households, it has become almost a challenge to ensure that every next Christmas eclipses the last.
This could be through buying more presents, filling both the inside and outside of a home with additional decorations or going overboard with the trimmings on the Christmas dinner.
Although not carried out with the sole intention of competing with neighbours, an element of competitiveness invariably creeps in as households don’t want to be out-Christmased by others.
As this Christmas rapidly approaches, a Reno casino has been involved in a battle with an outdoor shopping centre to establish who possesses the tallest freshly-cut festive tree in North America.
The Nugget Casino Resort in Nevada believed that their fairy would end up being positioned the highest.
It was delivered to the city of Sparks in late November, having been transported by a wide flatbed truck and almost certainly having been identified for its potential months earlier. The height was 105 feet.
Here is a video of the tree arriving at the Nugget, also detailing the time and dedication required to get it safely erected:
However, this tree has ended up playing second fiddle to one that has arrived at Citadel Outlets. The Los Angeles location had its fir tree travel from a national forest 600 miles away.
This tree stands at a monster 115 feet and has needed 18,000 LED lights to decorate it, alongside a combination of 10,000 ornaments and bows.
The two locations were gracious and witty with their words in the aftermath:
“In the holiday spirit, the Nugget Casino Resort would like to congratulate Citadel Outlets in Los Angeles for topping us for the tallest cut Christmas tree in the country. We went out on a limb and you stumped us, Citadel. You must have a top-notch branch manager,” said the Nevada casino.
“Nugget Casino Resort, we humbly accept your congratulations and the kind words have us aglow,” was the shopping centre’s reply.
“We love that this festive rivalry helped spread holiday joy far and wide. If you eat your Wheaties, we’ll have quite the competition next season!”
However, the Citadel Outlets tree is dwarfed by comparison when measured up to the tallest registered Christmas tree in the Guinness Book of World Records.
This record stands at 362 feet tall and belongs to an artificial structure made of steel wires in Mexico City in 2009. The tree weighed in at 330 tonnes.
Yet even this is not the tallest tree of any kind witness in the world.
A decade ago, a tree named Hyperion was discovered within the Redwood National Park in California.
The tree had to be climbed to be measured accurately by tapeline, using a crossbow to fire a bolt a substantial way up the redwood’s trunk. The final height was verified as 379.1 feet.
Estimations are that Hyperion has stood for close to 800 years and is responsible for 18,600 cubic feet of wood, while there are suggestions that, were it not for damage from birds pecking at the top of the tree, there would have been potential for it to grow even taller.