Today I read an article by this guy Gene Marks twitter.com/genemarks called “15 Reasons Las Vegas Sucks.” You can read it here (http://bit.ly/1oJLSGj). Now I’m not going to get into all the reasons why this guy is a dip shit, but I am gonna touch on a few.
First, some history on Las Vegas and me. I’ve been traveling to Las Vegas Nevada every year for the last ever, sometimes multiple times a year. At first I started off as a tourist, obviously, because I had never been there. (this is a problem for Gene) I stayed at the Luxor, New York New York, Monte Carlo, you name it. I watched the water fountain shows at the Bellagio. That stupid pirate show or whatever it’s supposed to be at Treasure Island. Took the Deuce to get around. Watched the street performers. All of it. Then, I got bored. But it was still great.
Nowadays I only stay on Fremont Street. It’s quiet, there’s more history, the casinos are right next to each other so you can boom, boom, boom jump to the next one instead of walking two miles. I rent a car. I’ve made friends there. I’ve discovered the eight million other things there are to do in Las Vegas, Nevada other than gamble. I think it’s one of, if not the best cities to visit year round in the United States.
Now Gene has valid points to his 15 reasons, the problem is, as someone who supposedly travels there ‘a dozen times a year,’ he sure hasn’t got it figured out just yet. His first reason, Taxi Cab drivers, I get. Waiting for one. Getting ripped off when they I15 everywhere to rack up the miles instead of taking Paradise Dr. This is why I’ve come to rent a car. You can get them for literally $16 a day done out the door. That’s the cost of your one-way ticket in a cab just to or from the airport, not to mention the convention center, dinner, your hotel, maybe a whore house or two. Now maybe Gene has a fear of driving or some debilitating disease that prevents him from getting behind the wheel, and if that’s the case I apologize, but otherwise, rent a car. It has changed the way I view Las Vegas. The freedom to get away from the boulevard once you’ve done it/seen it is priceless. The Hoover Dam is a gorgeous 45min drive from the city and once you get there be prepared for your jaw to drop.
Gene also has a HUGE problem with tourists. And I don’t blame him. If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas more than three times, you’ll dread trying to get around without some bachelor party or Asian tourists getting in your way. That’s why I stay on Fremont Street now. Way less people. Way less touristy. Again, adaptation is key when visiting a city multiple times.
Now being a photographer I take a lot of photo’s when I travel. Like alcoholics or internet porn addicts, I can’t help it. I don’t take many photos these days when I’m in Las Vegas because it’s just redundant; but I get why people do. Gene does not, so I will explain. Las Vegas, Nevada was founded in 1905 and a little over one-hundered years turned a valley in the middle of the desert into a gigantic playground of billion dollar ridiculous and historic looking buildings, slot machines and blackjack tables, and some of the craziest rides, shopping and entertainment you’ll find anywhere in the world. They took nothing, and turned into a dream. If you’re not gonna take a picture here, then throw your camera away because you’ll never take one anywhere.
I’ve only touched on a few of the many points Gene made, but the one, the one that really irks me, is his dislike for people that play the slot machines at LAS. If you travel a lot like I do, airports fucking suck. CNBC stores, Starbucks, Chili’s Too. It’s like being in the world’s largest redundant box in hell; there is literally nothing to do. The first time I landed at LAS and saw slot machines in the gates, I felt like I would never be able to have a layover anywhere else. Finally, something I can zone out on for the next two hours instead of checking my watch every 10 minuets. Angles sang. Bells rang. My traveling woes were over, at least at LAS.
So, in conclusion, here is my list of 15 Reasons Why Las Vegas Rocks
1. The Weather. No matter where you live, just about year round, Las Vegas, Nevada will have favorable weather. Even in January and February it can still be in the 50’s during the day.
2. Entertainment. It has everything to entertain you, even if you don’t gamble. Shows. Bars. Restaurants. Clubs. Shopping. Rides. Performers. History. Museums.
3. History. The Neon Graveyard. Pinball Museum. The Mob Museum. The Atomic Testing Museum. It will take you 3 trips before you check out some of these amazing museums.
4. The Stratosphere Hotel & Casino Happy Hour. If you’re with a group of three or more people this is one of the hands down best ways to enjoy each other’s company in Sin City. You’ll never find a view at 1,100 ft. like this one. The appetizers are great and 2 for 1. The drinks go down easy. I love to spend 4 or 5 hours up there and watch the sun set with friends and family.
5. Las Vegas Boulevard. Yea it’s touristy, but is bigger and better than you can possibly imagine if it’s your first time. You can’t do it all in one trip, so it begs you to come back and stay at a different hotel each time. You won’t find this much gold and marble unless you’re in Dubai. You’ll feel like you’ve won the jackpot even if you loose all your money.
6. Fremont Street. Old Vegas rocks. I can’t stay anywhere else when I’m in Las Vegas. Yea the light show gets old after the third time, but there is so much history downtown, that coupled with being able to walk to 10 casinos in the time it takes to eat a hotdog makes going back to Las Vegas BLVD dreadful.
7. Hoover Dam. I’ve been here twice, and I’ll go again. The drive there is gorgeous while winding through the mountains. When you finally get there and look over the edge for the first time you will have a new appreciation for human engineering.
8. Neon Museum. I love history, and Las Vegas has a lot of it. The Neon Museum is a graveyard of old neon signs from Casinos come and gone. Moulin Rouge, Stardust, Lady Luck. They’re all there. Just be sure to get tickets ahead of time and bring your camera. (Gene hates those)
9. The Heat. It’s a dry heat. It’s hot, don’t get me wrong, but it’s tolerable. It also makes swimming in one of the hundreds of pools at any given hotel so refreshing. I always stay at the Golden Nugget. They have an adult’s only infinity roof top pool. When it’s 110, staying up there all-day and forgetting about back home is the only way to rock and roll.
10. Scenery. No matter where you are in the valley, mountains surround you. Behind you, in front of you. You can’t escape them, and it’s a good thing because they are beautiful. I live in Wisconsin, a place Gene apparently hates. It’s flat here. I have a huge appreciation for scenery and landscapes that are different from those in my home state. And unless you live in the desert already, you will too.
11. Gambling. You can’t gamble everywhere, and if your city does allow it, chances are your one casino still sucks because the slots are tight and you have to pay for drinks. I almost never go home with empty pockets when I leave Las Vegas, and if I do, it doesn’t matter because I was entertained. Las Vegas is the only place you’re gonna find the newest games and slot machines.
12. Free Drinks. Hop on a penny machine and play 1c at a time if you like, drinks are free.
13. The Flight. I live in Wisconsin, the flight to Las Vegas is one of the most beautiful flights you can take when traveling out west. You know you’re getting close once you start to see the orange and brown mountains over Utah and Arizona.
14. It’s always changing. I haven’t been to Las Vegas in a little over a year and there is already a new shopping district called The Linq with one of the world’s tallest ferris wheels. A few years back the Aria and Forum Shop wasn’t even there. It is always changing, and there will always be new places to explore every time you come back.
15. The tourists. I love seeing the 21 year olds who experience Las Vegas for the first time. Or the old couple that always wanted to go and finally did it. It reminds me of myself the first time I visited Las Vegas. Whatever your reason for going to Las Vegas, you know you’re gonna have a good time, and I always see that in the smiles of everyone there, well, except for Gene.
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