You’ve probably heard the old one-liner that goes: ‘You’re unique — just like everyone else’. Well, I was in Las Vegas last month for an event called PowWow which is one of the largest events on the global travel industry calendar where supplier network with buyers etc. It was a short visit that lasted just two days but I must confess that I didn’t gamble one single cent — not on the roulette or Black Jack tables. Not even on the ubiquitous one-armed bandits. Now anyone who has ever been to Vegas will tell you that it is a 24-hour town. New York may be the city that never sleeps but Vegas is the town that never stops gambling! Indeed, it was somewhat surreal when enjoying breakfast at 07.15 in the morning to look out beyond the restaurant area in the hotel where I was staying and see people at that hour of the morning already (or still) propping themselves up at some crap table in the deluded expectation that they might actually beat the house odds. Gambling leaves me cold. I just don’t get it. Having said all that, Vegas has so much more to offer than just gambling so if you’re like me, don’t feel that Las Vegas has nothing to offer you. Far from it. For a start, the hotels are just amazing — and I mean amazing! Even better, you get to enjoy them at rates that won’t break the bank because it is in all the casinos interests to get you there in the first place in the hope and expectation that you will leave some of your hard earned fortune behind.
I had the pleasure of staying at the Venetian which is right on the strip and I cannot praise this property highly enough. It is world class in every way, particularly with regard to the clever manner in which they have reconstructed a faux Venice cityscape inside the hotel itself — replete with canals, gondolas, bridges, town squares and cleverly painted and lit ceilings abouy 80-100 feet high that fool you into thinking you’re outdoors when you’re still indoors.
With the city’s relative proximity to the Grand Canyon and Los Angeles and with the iconic Hoover Dam located just a 45-minute drive outside the city, Vegas has something to offer literally everyone in terms of accommodation, fine dining, shopping and infinite other distractions. I would add just two caveats though: I don’t think the destination is a suitable place to bring kids as it can sometimes be hard to insulate them from the sleazier side of what Vegas has to offer and you need to be extremely careful about what time of the year you travel because don’t forget, Vegas is located in the middle of a desert. The day I arrived in early June, the thermometer was hitting 47 C!
One last tip — schedule your stay in the city so as to avoid over-nighting on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday as hotel rates skyrocket at the weekend!