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Loving Las Vegas

A Recent Trip to Las Vegas Brings a Longing for the Good Old Days

My first trip to Las Vegas, Nevada was in 1982. A recent Law School Graduate, I was yearning to break free and cut loose for a few days after years of hitting the books in school. While visiting my parents over the summer, my best friend Yolanda (who was in Medical School) my Mom and I agreed to do a girls only trip to Las Vegas for a few days. We booked a cheap hotel package on the strip, bought our plane tickets through a Travel Agent and took off for what we hoped would be an exciting and fun trip to the dessert. We were not disappointed. We had a ball taking in the sights, the Sands, Caesars Palace, The Dunes, The Stardust and the Tropicana, all the great casino hotels of the day. We came home tired, overweight from the $2.99 steak dinners and exhausted from all the late night shows and the trip out to Hoover Dam. It was a wonderful first trip to Sin City.


Since that first great Las Vegas excursion, I have been back to Las Vegas many times. I have seen it grow over the years and witnessed the rise of the Mirage, the MGM Grand, New York, New York, the Venetian, Paris, the Luxor and the Bellagio, all fabulous resorts that changed the Las Vegas skyline in wonderful ways. For many years Las Vegas has been a great vacation spot with great deals on lodging and food so the gambling losses don't hurt so much. I can honestly say that until very recently, Las Vegas was the perfect place to take a vacation (if you can stand the summer heat). Now after just returning from there last week, I am not so sure. Don't get me wrong, I still love Las Vegas, just not in the same way that I used to. Gone are the days when you could rent a car and cruise down the strip taking in the casino lights and the beautiful view of the dessert mountains in the background. Today you drive in bumper to bumper traffic down Las Vegas Blvd passing by huge high rise hotels and under pedestrian walkways overhead. You cannot see the mountains at all unless you are well away from the strip. While room rates are great because of the weakened economy, food is pretty expensive and ticket prices for most of the Las Vegas shows are ridiculously expensive unless you buy them well ahead of time. Las Vegas has definitely changed, but not all for the better.


I did enjoy my trip last week. The MGM Grand was a great place to stay, with great hotel rooms, tons of dining and entertainment options and lots of places to gamble. I visited the new Aria and Cosmopolitan resorts, the perfect locations for the ultra hip and cool under 40 crowd, and bought some great shoes at the outlet mall. The food and drink, while pricey, were very good as my waistline can attest and people watching opportunities were everywhere as the crowds are definitely back after 2 years of a down economy. Yes, I still love Las Vegas but I do wish those casino developers would realize that more is not always better and bigger is not always the best. Las Vegas is a unique world all of its own and it should be enjoyed, savored and experienced, not just survived.


If you are planning your own trip to Las Vegas, be sure to take your time, slow down and enjoy the experience. There is no way to see it all in one trip. Loving Las Vegas means taking the good with the bad and the bitter with the sweet, but overall it is definitely worth the trip, even to a Las Vegas Veteran like me!

Gerrilyn Grant Gipson Esq.
Owner/Travel Consultant
Meetings & Events Unlimited Travel Services

Next up: I return to my "A Trek Thru the British Isles" journal.

Posted by Gerriv 08:56

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