July 12, 2005
The Irony of the 'new' Las Vegas

I went at the end of June, with my family. With the opening of the Wynn hotel, it gives new meaning to the phrase of "Thou Shalt not try to make a name for thyself greater than mine."
- Bright Lights, casinos, neon.
- Word Series of Poker at the Rio, "The Real World" suite at the Palms - check
- Fastest growing city, suburban sprawl, hoover dam. Check...
- Las Vegas still city of sin, and excess... Check...

But I would add to it the manipulation of today's marketers, and the vast computing power to figure out to the exact detail, how to do things.
The way that a theme park has a way of sucking money from it's patrons, in a thousand ways, at a hundred different levels, from;
The tour bus junkets coming from retirement homes.
- Slot junkies, oxygen piped piped into the maze like casino.
Families making their summer trips.
- Mcdonalds, and hot dogs, pool with a waterslide.
- A roadside motel, converted to a full vegas resort (the Excalibur)
Couples thinking they deserve a little luxury on their vacations.
Middle income people really wanting to eat, drink, and be entertained.
and be treated and pampered like royalty.
And the high rollers.

Sure, go see all the movies about Las Vegas:
"Casino", "Leaving Las Vegas", "Oceans 11",
"National Lampoons Vegas Vacation", "Showgirls":
Like everything theres some truth to it all. It all still exists, but it's a business unto itself now, not just a front for the ilicit dealings.

But there's a deep irony to the place as well, "it's fake, and almost illusionary, but looking at the real roots, is still quite sad"
For example, why some of the casinos aren't doing so well post Sept 11th.
The Alladin - who want's to go to a casino, modeled after the Middle East.
Paris - ditto with France.

And lastly.
The Mandalay Bay -
The real Mandalay is deep inland in Burma, or Myanmar. A country run under military control, which rivals only North Korea in how backwards and isolationist it is.

To conclude an exerp about Vegas from the LA times

I find it ironic that LA, such a fake city to begin with, seems to have the best critque of Las Vegas and it's excesses.

... dining in Vegas has reached an opulence that stands out even in this city of ridiculous excess.

With $75 corkage fees, caviar supplements in the three digits, fresh fish flown in from the Mediterranean and priced, like rare cheese, by the 100 grams, and water, water everywhere, Vegas ushers in its latest wave of restaurants.

Add gluttony to the many ways it's possible to sin in Sin City.

But it isn't just about glitz anymore. Vegas has grown up, culinarily speaking, and though you'll find enough foie gras, lobster and truffles to make everybody feel like king or queen for a day,....

Posted by justin at 04:10 PM