Vegas: 24 hours is enough

I’m happy to report that I have left Las Vegas with more money than I arrived with. I planned to gamble $500 and left with $$640. So financially it was a success. However, I hated it. It bills itself as a place where you let your hair down and enjoy yourself and you can certainly do that. From guys selling beers out of suitcases on the street to mobile billboards for hookers, it’s all there.

However, at the heart of it all is a sad desperation. People willing themselves to have a good time to the soundtrack of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. If I had my way it would be illegal to play anything by those Gods within the city limits.

I was walking through the Casino at the Bellagio when I heard a woman doing a rendition of ‘that’ scene in When Harry met Sally. Full bore organism, I kid you not. I looked over and she was screaming “I won thirty, I won thirty”. I thought thirty grand was excellent until I discover she meant $30. Seriously, how small must your life be to get that excited over thirty dollars? I saw a man pouring chips onto a roulette table to try and impress his bored wife. He won something every spin, just less than he’d bet.

I was there to catch a flight home so watched the Bellagio fountains at sunset, did a small amount of successful gambling to pass the time between sunset and dinner but the highlight was probably the shower in my room which was first class. I think my problem is that I assumed that Bellagio would be glamorous. It is in the same way that Dubai is, namely, it isn’t.

Like Bulgari jewellery, it is all style and no substance. The croupiers are not all resting Victoria Secrets models. In all likelihood, they are cleaners for the Philippines who can count. Zero personality. Your fellow gamblers are divided between the seriously addicted to the clueless morons like me trying to fill time.

The whole thing is artificial; from the shows to the gambling, from the phoney bellhops to the waitresses, the whole thing reeks of insincerity. This was summed up by a slot machine I played. It had no rules or table of winnings. So I pumped in $20 with no clue of the odds or what I was supposed to do. I gave into the machine which spat out $160 dollars. I have no idea how but that was probably the idea. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

As I climbed into my cab for the airport I spotted the Trump hotel and casino. That summed up Las Vegas to me. Tasteless, noisy and stupid. Give me Albuquerque any day.

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3 thoughts on “Vegas: 24 hours is enough

  1. Ditto Mark. We have been to LV since 1973 when it really was a ‘strip’ in the desert in the middle of nowhere. Not anymore since it became the largest growing city in America. Like you we avoid it at all costs unless its used as a meet up point before moving on to much better locations. We love the deserts in America and have explored two more this year alone. Joshua Tree & Anza Borrego. We often need to get around LV as we exit Death Vally which exposes LV on the horizon as a large yellow toxic cloud hanging over the city. The good news is that have built a new freeway that bypasses LV on our way to Utah and Monument valley our preferred destinations. The really sad thing for us is that many Brits only ever see America via a visit to LV or Florida. Just like Americans who visit London and say they’ve seen England. Sad but true as we meet many who tell us their story. The real joy of American food is the Mom & Pop restaurants and wine growers with eateries on their premises. That is where the decent food can be found. Sadly, we will be just as bad on the food front within 25 years. The coffee retailers being the latest example. Take care. PWB

  2. Hi. I’d travelled to Grand Canyon and Monument Valley and Albuquerque Balloon fiesta and had a wonderful time. LV was just a convenient place to enter and exit the US. Not representative of anything real 😊

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