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Las Vegas

This was my first trip to Vegas.  This is at least partly deliberate.  I don’t really drink very much and the same goes for gambling.  It’s not a deep seated revulsion or based on principle - I just don’t.  So there has never really been a strong desire to go there.

Dawn view from Signature - damn you jet lag!

NAB finally gave me a reason to go - did it live up to my low expectations.  I think the answer is probably yes.  Las Vegas is aptly nicknamed “Sin City” as it is like a corrupted Disney World.  It is just as impressive, well-conceived and efficient and with the same talent for parting you from your cash.  However, whilst Disney blends a spirit of optimism and traditional values with a dash of sentimentality (OK, more than a dash). Las Vegas is set-up to live for the moment and to hell with the consequences.  It’s not a hidden agenda - its right there in the open.  It is unashamed and it is relentless.  It has the same level of sincerity that I see in Disney World that only seems to exist in America.  Its why you couldn't transport either resort to the UK without it ending up a bit rubbish.

I suppose part of my prejudice comes from growing up in a seaside town in Wales.  It’s fair to say that my hometown was not a resort that pitched itself at the upper echelons of the holiday market.  Seeing the massed ranks of slot machines in the Casinos took me back to the amusement arcades of my youth. So when I wander through the Bellagio shopping arcade where every top-line designer is represented to emerge into a giant hall of slot machines is just plain disconcerting.  Especially, when you see rows of people in Guccipradior playing.  That would never happen in Rhyl - well, not real designer wear and they would be trackies.

Ornate ceiling at Bellagio

So would I warn you off going to Vegas?  No, I wouldn’t go that far.  It is worth seeing.  Even if you are viceless, there is a lot to do and the architecture is monumental and the interiors are opulent if not always tasteful.  Its also a reasonably priced placed to stay as the gambling subsidises the rates and there are just huge quantities of rooms available.  Just don’t say I didn't warn you if you come home broke.


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