Viva Las Vegas! (Not)

22 10 2012

So I just got back from a business trip to Las Vegas. It was a trade show, so all paid for by the company. I’d never been to Vegas and though I didn’t have especially high hopes for it, I was at least hoping for some sizzle.

I was really disappointed. It was just plain cheesy. Apart from one highlight when I discovered some Dale Chihuly on a ceiling in The Bellagio, my over-arching impression was just how utterly naff everything was. I’d be really happy never going there again. I understand that there is some phenomenal natural beauty in the surrounding area, but the city itself could easily be ignored. If it’s on your bucket list… leave it to last, just in case!

As you walk the strip you are constantly pestered by people flicking wads of “business cards” in your face, advertising “girls, girls, girls”. They wear T-shirts saying things like “Girls to your room – guaranteed in 20 minutes”. Everyone (guests and staff) looks bored. We were staying in the Las Vegas Marriott, near the Convention Centre. This is a “regular” business hotel without any of the casino trappings, and the staff there were very attentive. I’d recommend it if you find yourself having to go to Las Vegas.

The monorail is poxy compared to the Vancouver SkyTrain – and expensive too. But, in fairness, it was clean and appeared to be safe, even late at night. Its stops aren’t so convenient though, and we ended up using taxis after the first day.

Some of the hotels had free shows you could watch as you walked the Strip. The Bellagio’s fountains were pretty good, and ran different choreographed water displays every 15 minutes after 8pm. Treasure Island, on the other hand had “Sirens of T.I.” which was beyond naff, twice around the pole and back, it was so bad. It involved girls wearing less clothes than they should, but more than would make it interesting, and dancing pantomime-style to a pirate themed melange of crappy music. There was another pirate ship full of blokes (and a rather unfortunate result of an experiment to cross people with parrots) who could dance even less well, and weren’t even worth looking at.

We landed back in Vancouver at nearly midnight on Saturday. It was raining hard and it was 4 degrees Celsius. I’ve rarely been more glad to get home!