I’ve always wanted to see Vegas. I was probably more excited than going to the national parks, which are infinitely more beautiful.
Vegas, however, is unique. It brings together some of the world’s great architecture in reduced form. You’ll see the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumph, Rialto Bridge and many more structures. To that, it adds casinos, stars and weddings!
Downtown Vegas, the previous strip, has been overshadowed by the new strip, a four-mile road where all the action happens. Both the old and new are noisy: music is constantly belted out.
On both, there were scantily clad pairs of men or women trying to persuade you to pose with them. I did wonder what the charge was, wondering more whether they could make a living rather than a desire to be sandwiched by two of them. My question was soon answered when a group of Japanese tourists posed with two women. After the bulk of the group moved on, one of the women said to the person who appeared the group leader, “We normally ask for a minimum tip of $40 after posing”. This, I assume, was the starting point of a negotiation, during which I expected the price to settle at $5 to $10 for a few minutes work for the two women. Instead, the Japanese man promptly paid up without batting an eyelid!
If you ever wondered where famous people go after they fall out of the limelight, the answer is Vegas. There were shows by Celine Dion, David Copperfield, Britney, and many other ex-stars. It’s a lucrative graveyard for people who were once famous. The goal, I assume, is to get people into the casinos in any way whatsoever!
We went to all the big sights and casinos, finishing by watching the genuinely engaging choreographed musical fountains of Bellagio, which itself has an attractive interior.
We had decided before arriving to spend at most $5 gambling! We found that some casinos have a minimum charge of $15 And we couldn’t work out how to use the slot machines! We must have been the only people to have gone to Vegas and not gambled!
Las Vegas promises more than it can deliver. Whatever happens or is organised, ultimately they want you to play in the casinos where the odds are against you.
The town itself is over the top, glitzy, brash, loud, and likely to leave you poorer if succumb to its lures. I thoroughly enjoyed it. But once is enough.