When you move to Las Vegas, you become a local and forget what it was like to be a tourist. Other than when you work down on the Strip, we “locals” only go to the tourist corridor for a specific purpose. To see a show, meet up with friends or dine out at a specific restaurant. Hardly ever do we go down there to just walk the Strip, see the sights or play tourist. I did and it was painful!
For long time readers of The Vegas Tourist, you probably noticed I had neglected the website for a log while and just recently kicked it back into high gear. Not only have I neglected the website, I slacked off on my Tour Guide Duties as well. So with the NASCAR Champions Weeks in town and the upcoming National Finals Rodeo (NFR), I had to go down on the Strip and do some scouting for some upcoming assignments I had. To see what’s new and what’s changed. To do that, I had to play tourist.
People watching is not as much fun in December as it is in June. Righ now it is kind of fun to people watch because we have the NASCAR fans and the Cowboy fans in town. These tend to be midwestern people and they think this “cold weather” is funny. Yes, I remember when I was a Vegas tourist in January wondering why all the bellmen and valet guys were in parkas and ear muffs. It’s 45 degrees. Almost t-shirt weather! Yea, not anymore…
I actually walked from the Wynn to Caesars. Then from the Bellagio, over to Planet Hollywood back over to City Center and The Cosmopolitan. I even did Mandalay Bay and the Four Seasons. I did the whole tourist thing. Went looking in all the nooks and crannies. Seeing all the decorations, the changes and the renovations just like a normal tourist often does. I got hit on by the porn peddlers, the time share hustlers and the buskers trying to make a buck dressed up as some movie character or showgirl. My favorite was the Pirates… Well, the lady pirate anyway.
December is usually the month of changes. This is the slow time and the hotels start to make the changes for new year. However, I discovered some changes I was not expecting. Like, when did they remove the big fish tanks that used to sit in the Mandalay Bay registration area? I loved to watch the fish in them. That was the big thing with the Mirage when Steve Wynn opened it and Mandalay Bay needed to copy it. But it’s gone!!
I found where the butts are that used to sit out front of the Riviera for Crazy Girls (Planet Hollywood). Found the ice skating at the Cosmopolitan. Checked out my favorite bookstore: Bauman Rare Books in the Shops in the Palazzo. I discovered they had a first edition Gone With The Wind signed its author by Margeret Mitchel. With that said, I will know if my wife reads this blog because there will be a $20,000 charge on our American Express and a new (old) book on the bookshelf! She is a HUGE Gone With the Wind fan.
In all, I walked 16,000 steps, enjoyed my White Castle sliders with a beer, had a chocolate crepe with strawberries and took a few hundred photos. And still did not see all that I wanted to see. Now I remember why I was always tired when I came home from a Vegas vacation. There is a lot to see!