Las Vegas: Initial impressions

2010-01-09 19:20

This place is crazy.

Never mind the gambling all over. This place is deeply confusing to me. Jesse wanted a smoking room, so we asked for one. The hotel said that they were out, so the clerk said “just smoke in the bathroom”.

I got a coke with dinner. If you’ve ever filled a cup of pop from a fountain machine, you’ll be aware that the cup fills up with foam before it’s full of liquid. Elsewhere, normally, I see people wait two or three seconds, then pour in more liquid. Here, the lady running the fountain just tilted the cup and kept running the coke into it, with the foam pouring down the drain, until the cup was full of liquid. No problem. It’s not like they’re wasting drinkable water in a desert… oh, wait.

The whole thing is built on sand, in more ways than one. The hotel has beautiful polished marble floors, and none of the lights ever seem to be burned out. On the other hand, the buttons to push for a walk signal are decrepit and shoddy-looking. The roads and sidewalks don’t seem well-maintained. The convenience store doesn’t even take credit cards — only debit cards (for which they charge extra) and cash.

It’s fascinating to be someplace where there are places to have weddings all over the place, but not a single depiction in sight of any kind of connection between any kind of sexual activity and any kind of affection. There’s a wedding chapel in the hotel, right next to the casino you have to walk through to get from the checkin desk to the elevators to your rooms. My room has a 42” LCD color TV — but the bathtub doesn’t drain right, and the tub faucet is sorta broken. There’s a safe in the room, but no coffeemaker or fridge.

Las Vegas is clearly designed for people who aren’t paying for their stay, or who could easily be made to feel guilty about counting the money. Motel 6 has free internet most of the time; here, it’s $13.99 per day… per computer. You can only hook up one computer for that $13.99 charge.

The place feels barren and empty. All those lights are so shiny and pretty, but the people seem to have no hope, and they just don’t care. It’s sorta weird. Interesting to have been here, wouldn’t probably come here for anything but a convention or meeting or somesuch. The marketers make an impressive pitch about how Las Vegas is free and “sinful” (I would, having seen it, actually grant that I suppose). They tell a story of a place of freedom and excitement, drama and adventure. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Peter Seebach

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Comment

  1. Hey Seebs, it’s your buddy Steve. You know I live in SoCal. What you probably don’t know is that it’s an easy drive from my house to The Strip – one freeway, 2 1/2 hours of travel.

    We could easily drive to Vegas every weekend if we wanted to, but my opinions on Vegas are very close to yours…

    Steve Sobol · 2010-02-12 20:53 · #

  2. well written, and accurate

    — eddievincent · 2010-02-13 08:29 · #

  3. >Interesting to have been here, wouldn’t probably come here
    >for anything but a convention or meeting or somesuch.

    Story of my life thus far… 3 x CES, a SIGGRAPH shindig (I think), and another trade con while at $ORK[-3] (SGI). Have to admit that that one was a lot of fun… but the reason for that was very little to do with We! Are! In! Vegas! and everything to do with colleagues who were fun people and had fun if given any chance.

    — Chris Hawley · 2010-08-20 01:47 · #

 
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