COULD we soon be saying Viva Bas Vegas...? The campaign to officially rename Festival Leisure Park as Bas Vegas has so far attracted support from more than 2,200 people.

The Facebook campaign group feels it would be a fitting tribute to Las Vegas, the original City of Sin, across the pond in Nevada, USA.

The group even calls for the erection of a duplicate of the infamous Welcome to Las Vegas sign, with a little modification.

Luke Mackenzie, Basildon councillor for young people, has signed up to the campaign.

He said: “If there is popular demand for it, it should go ahead.

“Bas Vegas is a positive nickname and lots of people enjoy a good night out there and good experiences.

“I don’t think it is a negative thing.

“Las Vegas is known for its bright lights and casinos. We haven’t got its casinos, but there are lots of fun things to do down there. I think it’s something Festival Leisure Park should look into.”

Comments on the Facebook page are mixed. One girl says: “Bas Vegas is quality”, another says: “I love Bas Vegas.”

But there are some who think it should stay as it is.

One man says: “Bas Vegas is the biggest representation of a cess pit outside of south London and people who celebrate its fame are both misguided and inexperienced."

Another man adds: “Chav Vegas would be more appropriate.”

The name Bas Vegas has been used by locals for years and was brought to the nation’s attention when Basildon’s Big Brother winner, Brian Belo, discussed it with housemates on the Channel 4 show.

Kevin Blake, the council’s cabinet member for leisure and arts, feared it might present a “chavvy” image of the town.

He said: “I personally don’t have a problem with it, but if I asked my mates from Kent to come to Bas Vegas they would have a different opinion. People outside the area think it sounds a bit chavvy.”

Amanda Mills, marketing manager at Festival Leisure Park, said: “It’s always been a laugh and a bit of a nickname and there is no reason why people can’t refer to it as Bas Vegas. No-one has approached us and officially requested the name to be changed.”

So if 10,000 people signed up to the group, would Festival Leisure Park go for the new name...?

“It’s a bit of fun and the fact that so many people spend their time on the site shows it’s popular, but I doubt the owners will be looking to change the name,” Amanda said.