How many of you folks go to Las Vegas? I haven't been for a decade. I suppose if you didn't see what Vegas use to be you might not think it's too bad now. But I'm handicapped by knowing what it was like 45 years ago.
When I first started going to Vegas back in the late sixties you could get a nice room for ten bucks, a three egg breakfast with toast and bacon and hash browns cost you $1.99. And it didn't take an hour to drive down the two miles of the strip. My game was Blackjack and most of the casino tables were still dealing with a single deck. For a decade or so you could still find a dollar minimum game of Blackjack and the best casinos and the staff treated you like a human being and not an ATM dispenser.
Rooms were spotless, the free drinks flowed freely and what happened in Vegas really DID stay in Vegas. You could walk from casino to casino and not having a 3rd world Mexican shoving a prostitution circular in your face. Back then Howard Hughes was taking over the town but he didn't bother me as he sat up all night watching old movies that he's ordered up at his Hughes owned TV station.
So, as the years progressed Vegas just kept getting glitzier and cheesier. It seems that, no matter how fancy their new casinos were, the quality of their clientele just kept getting worse and worse; drug dealing Mexicans, Asian businessmen and women from Southern California, flush with cash from not paying their taxes, congregated more and more in Vegas. Vegas went international, first from Japanese businessmen, then Saudi's, and now from everywhere. So the money is so rich the casinos learned they could squeeze more and more from the plethora of suckers. They first hiked their hotel rooms to $75, then $100, and now you can pay $300 or more a night for the privilege of not sleeping in it. Buffets went from $2.99 to $5.99 to $19.99 and now you can pay $50 or more for a place at the trough. And even $300 bucks a night won't protect you from bed bugs which seems to be a regular thing in Vegas hotels these days. And how about forking over $175 bucks to see Donnie and Marie in one of those Vegas showrooms? Or a bargain basement $100 bucks to see someone who was big in the 90's.
During the transition from Vegas to Gomorrah my wife and I still used to go there once or twice a year when we lived in San Diego. We'd battle the 5 miles per hour traffic coming out of Vegas and were always exhausted when we got home on Sunday evening. I finally just tired of it and quit going.
Now that we live in Arizona my wife goes up a couple of times a year; maybe with her girlfriend, or goes up to join family when they visit Vegas. For a little while back then, when I had my little RV, I would go and stay at the Circus Circus RV resort. I found that a big improvement over worrying about bed bugs and dirty carpets and drunks roaming down the hallway at 2AM. But I still found the casinos cold, remote, and peopled by folks I wouldn't have given the time of day to back home. So, I quite going.
Don't miss it a bit. Once a year or so I join my wife and go out to one of the local Indian casinos here in Arizona. They are leaps and bounds better than Vegas. They still treat customers well and offer attractive comps for your game play. And only half of the gaming customers are jerks.
Viva Las Vegas? Nope, I think I'd prefer a root canal.