Tarted up on the surface, seductive, highly commercial and spottily sophisticated, Las Vegas, Nevada is a city many travellers distain.
Dominated by casinos, concerts, museum, and cocktail lounges, it’s unapologetically contrived, artificial, yet can be engrossing and mesmerizing to some “red neck”.
Every piece of advertising tries to entice you to attend, and every second-tier entertainer wants to be on the limelight for a long time.
Las Vegas was established to generate income for the state of Nevada, which was dirt-poor at the beginning of eh 20th century.
It must have been the brainchild of a savvy employee of the state or a very astute businessman, who hatched the idea.
Regardless, Las Vegas is a magnet for all big-time gamblers (here called whales), people looking for high-end entertainment, art, museums, and convention organizers.
The 40 million visitors every year provide a huge base for casinos to draw from, and practically all gamble at least $ 300.00 per capita during their 4.4-day of stay.
Savvy hotel managers provide many opportunities for visitors to spend, starting with marriage licences without scrutiny or residency requirements, drive in chapels to marry, sophisticated escort services, museums, gastronomic “temples” of food and beverage indulgence, luxurious accommodations displaying an unimaginable opulence and sometimes garishness.
Las Vegas was not a glitzy venue that it is today. In the 1950’s clever gangsters turned this quiet desert oasis into an air-conditioned hotel-studded city for sun, sex, booze, and gambling. It is close to Hollywood, to the west, where gambling is prohibited.
Hollywood started shipping aging entertainers to work a little, and entertain pensioners who were coming in droves to take advantage of inexpensive food, and accommodation.
Today, the likes of Celine Dion, and Shania Twain and Cirque de Soleil perform on long term contracts in purpose built spectacular theatres and attract millions of families and conventioneers. (Americans are great convention organizers and supporters of such gatherings).
Las Vegas hoteliers and marketers have been very astute in realizing that the high room inventory of densely packed hotels and convention floor space could be profitably exploited by pitching them to convention organizers at attractive prices.
The 15,000 plus rooms are kept busy throughout the year, not only by gamblers, but also by conventioneers and curious tourists from all over the world.
Las Vegas manages to reinvent itself all the time to keep repeat tourism prosper.
The city declared any building older than 50 years a historic site, and this proves young Las Vegas is, and that the past means little, but the future a lot.
The MGM group alone owns and operates nine complexes including hotels, employs 43,000 and the industry on the whole in excess of 100,000from all over the world.
Well-connected hotel impresarios had and have no difficulty in raising billions of dollars to buy old hotels on the “strip”, demolish them and build new ones themed, and more imaginative than any other before. Just to have a look at the Bellagio, new Ceasar’s Palace, the Venice with a replica of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, and canals of Venice complete with gondolas. The management also decided to cerate a museum to display famous exhibits from world famous museums in New York, St. Petersburg or anywhere else in an attempt to keep tourists frequenting the hotel periodically.
Now hotel managers, fully aware of the attraction of exotic food, contract famous restaurateurs like Emeril Lagasse from New Orleans, Wolfgang Puck from Los Angeles, and others from New York or Chicago to open restaurants in their properties. Their power to attract millions of eager “foodies” has been profitable beyond belief.
Tourists looking for expensive food and accommodation have no difficulty finding both, although not on the “strip”, but in “Old Las Vegas”.
Tourism and gambling is the economic lifeline of Las Vegas so much so that University of Nevada has a huge and popular hotel management school.
Once you have experienced Las Vegas, you can explore Reno to the north. The city derives substantial income from gambling and entertainment, but is more modest in both.
For those who look for other types of entertainment, here is something you can try.
In Nevada prostitution is legal, and specialized establishments, here called ranches”, thrive.
The management sets up semi-luxurious or luxuries faculties with impressive lobbies where good-looking “ladies” lounge in provocative dresses. They “rent” their rooms from the management and decide whom to “select” for their “services”. It is all civilized business conducted discreetly.
Nevada enjoys mild winters, but hot summers.
Accommodation prices in rural Nevada are relatively low in off season, and some retired people from northern U S A states and even further north travel to Nevada where they spend a few months.
|Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
Professor B offers seminars to companies and interested parties on any category of wine, chocolates, chocolates and wine, olive oils, vinegars and dressings, at a reasonable cost.