Some find Las Vegas depressing. To that I say Bah…
It’s an adult playground where people go to gamble, drink, eat, watch great shows, and have a good time. What’s not to like?
I liken it to the Star Trek episode, “Return of the Archons.” It’s a society ruled by computers, where the population is kept in check year round. It makes the puritan society in Massachusetts look wild and frivolous. However, one day a year, for one 24 hours period, “Festival,” the citizens are allowed to go wild. They drink, carouse, party, break things, and all in all, blow off a lot of pent up steam.
Vegas is much like that. You do things you wouldn’t normally do in your daily lives. You eat too much, drink too much, stay up all night, gamble, gambol, (look it up), and generally make a fool out of yourself. No one cares since that’s what you are supposed to do. You pay 100′s of dollars to see Celine, Elton John, or one of the seven (count em 7) Cirque de Soleil shows and you make memories that you will take home and tell some version of to your friends. There is no need to cross your personal boundaries. It’s really pretty tame if you look under the glitz.
The rest of the time, you work, play, and raise your family and enjoy your life. You don’t worry that you haven’t “lived” because you have had your “festival.”
Some people like a week; some can run out of steam in a day. Leave your bank card at home, take as much as you can afford to lose, and go for it. You can pay $2500 a night at the Wynn, or $50 bucks in a “not bad” hotel in Henderson. You can eat with Wolfgang Puck, or chow down at the $5 all you can eat buffet. You can gamble at the $100 tables at Paris, or go downtown and spend $3 a hand. If you like, you can spend your time window shopping in ancient Rome, Venice, or Paris. You can gamble in New York, Monte Carlo, or at a Circus and watch the fountains dance on lake Cumo. You can visit Mandalay Bay, a Treasure Island, an Egyptian pyramid made of glass, or ride a rollercoaster 1000 feet in the air. Wow. And that’s the first day.
There is a Las Vegas for everyone. If you don’t want to party, visit Hoover Dam, the Valley of Fire, or poke around Death Valley. There are wonderful golf courses, swimming pools are dime a dozen, and all sorts of sporting events. Many of the places are family friendly so don’t be afraid to take the kids. I saw one place that had 100 lanes of bowling, open 24 hours a day and cost $1 a game.
The most fun for me is simply watching the crowd. And that show is free.
I had my ‘festival’ and am perfectly happy to give Las Vegas a pass for the next couple of years, or the NPA show, whichever comes first.