After I finished writing my memoir (still untitled), and into second revisions, my husband treated me to a week in Las Vegas. It was great and extremely hotttt! Unfortunately though, each time I go back there, I am finding more and more that Vegas just isn’t what it used to be. It has lost it’s charm as more and more it becomes a metropolis. Vegas had definitely gone from ‘Adult Wonderland’ to ‘Disneyworld.’ Baby carriages and kids abound everywhere; on the streets, walkways, even in the casinos. Gone are the days of wearing your finery to the casinos, pit bosses handing out ‘comps’ to shows or dinner, and in some cases even receiving a smile.
Vegas is a place I have been going to for over thirty years. Those were the years when Vegas was Vegas. I sadly watched all the iconic hotels being destroyed one by one, only to be replaced with something ‘bigger and better’ and subsequently, to outdo the last biggest hotel that was put up. The once super-sized inexpensive meals are now smaller, relative to the larger price tags and the vast amount of shows are equally expensive. A taxi will start at $3.80 before you even sit yourself down in one and because of the enormous amount of traffic; pedestrian and vehicular, the gridlock will keep your meter clicking as you stand idol. A three block ride on a busy Las Vegas Boulevard could easily run you near $20.00 with a tip.
I go there every year, sometimes two or three times a year. I love the dry heat and playing in the poker tournaments. As far as the ambiance goes, I am getting less and less impressed each time I go. It seems paradoxical to me that Vegas is supposed to be a gambling mecca, yet by catering to the families and teens, I never saw as many gamblers in casinos as I saw people walking the streets and shops and restaurants. I’m a bit surprised at the seeming sacrifice Vegas has made to give up more of the their bread and butter casino income to bringing in droves of kids. Somehow to me, it aint Vegas.
Only in the moments when I watch tournaments being played at the WSOP or when I myself am playing in a tournament, do I actually feel like I am in ‘Old Vegas.’ Yes despite all said and felt, if enough time passes, somehow I can’t help but think that most likely, I will eventually go back again. Somehow I can’t seem to shake that euphoric feeling that comes upon me every time I walk off that plane into McCarran Airport and once again feel like I am home.