Skip to main content

Viva La Vegas (Again!) - Part 2


After a long day of conference sessions, networking, and tossing around ideas with representatives from other schools, my supervisor and some fellow colleagues met with my supervisor’s brother for dinner. We ate at the wonderful Lazo restaurant at the Palazzo hotel. It was there where I spoke with my supervisor’s brother, a hotel developer and hotel industry professional, who really exposed the ins and outs of Las Vegas.

Everyone knows of Las Vegas, and what it is about. We usually think about the city on the surface as a place of craziness wrapped up into a short stay. As the saying goes, it’s sin city.

Viva Las Vegas (Again!) - Part 1

However, rarely do we ever stop to think about the general make up of the city and the beast that it truly is. As our conversation progressed, he continually used the phrase, “city of excess” and shook his head following it every time.

Why?

Well, if you get beyond the things the typical human temptation and desires (basically the sin in which the city is named after) of gambling, gluttony, and sexual promiscuity to name a few, there are actual real live bodies in which these issues play out on.

He beautifully laid out the history of the strip, and the marketplace before and after the economic downfall, and how the economy has impacted Las Vegas. He pointed to (and you definitely notice) the stores and areas, even a midst all of the people in this crazy town, many restaurants, shops, bars, and attractions were barren. Completely empty. A clear and utter evidential sighting of an area that expanded way beyond what the economic downturn would eventually allow.

He described the certain hotels on the strip and their marketing business plans. Places like the Four Seasons and the Trump building which were built during boom periods for Vegas, now struggling to survive, and are basically losing money every year, only remaining open to simply keep from leaving a massive structure empty and un-operated.


He talked about the suburbs of Vegas, and how your neighbor could be either a prostitute, showgirl, stripper, or casino manager. Eventually, everyone’s job revolves around the strip. And all jobs on the strip are short lived.

As much as Vegas has turnovers in visitors, it has similar turnover in the people who work and live here. As he put it, strippers, casino managers, retail workers, prostitutes, and even the guys on the streets handing you as much info about the local strip clubs as they can, all will work in this town for three years max.

And the sad part, even those who make really good money, for example some bartenders who can bank up to $2,000 a night, usually spend all of it that very night.

Money in, and money then goes out. Money has no value in this town. And as you walk around, you realize how much people are willing to spend to feed urges that simply feed the beast of temptation.

And then of course, there is the women aspect. In Vegas, there are women EVERYWHERE. Women of all types, shapes, colors, and sizes. Beuatiful women as well. Classy in nature, or as common as your local call girls on the strip. Sometimes we claim, "that’s Vegas!" However, to think that this place objectifies women to a point that we somewhat accept the repulsive act of pimpin, prostitution, and other forms of sexual immorality that takes place, is unbelievable.


Many of these things are taking place on human bodies. Once again, real human bodies!

In fact, you begin to wonder that many of these women were once girls with bright eyes and passionate dreams of Hollywood and Broadway, and eventually had to settle for Vegas to keep it alive. Could Vegas have many of Los Angeles’ rejects, couldn’t-hack-its, and never had its? I’m sure there is a correlation there.

And how about the immigration aspect? As a child of two immigrants who are now US citizens, as well as  an advocate for improving and reform our immigration system, it breaks my heart to see so many immigrants  handing out advertisements and cards for strip clubs to simply make ends meet. However, it makes me angry that this is what they choose to do, as many of them, equipped with iPADS and iPods, seem to be doing well from the gig.

There are so many more aspects in my conversation that I could touch base on, but this would go from being a blog post into becoming a dissertation.

Overall, I learned once you get passed the glitz, glamour, and reputation of Las Vegas, you realize that it indeed is sin city, and not the cool saying.

A city filled of broken dreams, empty promises, and unnecessary excess, made to look pretty by it’s bright lights, large buildings, and shallow human desires that it offers. 

Recently Read Posts

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/25/22

3  Up 1. Albert Pujols - 700 homeruns is insane. Even through a generation of steroids, the number is incredibly exclusive (sans, you know, Bonds). So much props to Pujols who literally puts himself in some rarified discussions among the game's greatest.  Here are some quick thoughts from yours truly on Pujols hitting 700 .  2. PATHFINDER - The fight against cancer just got a smidge better. GRAIL announced results from their PATHFINDER study that may have found ways to provide early detection screening to significantly enhance the discovery of cancer well before symptoms begin.  I accidentally ran into this story - why isn't this more headline news? SMH.  3. Pandemic Over? - The World Health Organization (remember them, before everyone suddenly became public health experts) described COVID as an "acute global emergency". Going even further, announced that 20M global deaths were avoided last year due to vaccines. Just outright amazing.  3 Down 1. Brett Favre - No resp

5 Thoughts on Pujols Hitting 700

It almost feels like the negative vitriol that surrounded Major League Baseball and its labor issues have dissipated into an air of forgetfulness and forgiveness. A season that has brought us old-school lore with the chasing of historical numbers by way of Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, and the likes of a modern-day Babe Ruth, in another dominant season by Shohei Ohtani, would ultimately do that. Sprinkle in some amazing rookies on the rise, and all of sudden it's, what did I say about baseball's treatment of fans? It's been some season... In this post, I want to focus on Albert Pujols...the "King", the "Machine", one of the greatest ever. After hitting a historic 700th Home Run ( by the way, I definitely predicted that back in March  - just humble-bragging a bit), I wanted to drop five (fitting, yeah?) thoughts on Albert Pujols:  GREATEST EVER?! - Pujols' career often feels like the Angels' years were some sort of nightmare or a bad edition in a

Durant Showed Us Who He Was

When people show you who they are, believe them.  That's what my thought process is reduced to regarding Kevin Durant, his trade request from the Brooklyn Nets, and well, everything else that surrounds the latest drama that has taken over the NBA (and in many ways, the sports world).  Kevin Durant is immensely talented. Superhuman in so many ways. If you see him in person (as I have many times at the Barclays Center as a Brooklyn Net, and once at the Staples Center as a young member of the Oklahoma City Thunder), you're simply in awe of his stature, his ability, and his grace on the court. It's the kind of aura that keeps you believing in the aura of pro sports, and the sheer exclusiveness of these human beings. It's in the same realm as LeBron James and Steph Curry, physical and ability marvels that go just beyond remarkable, existing in a realm of specialness that cannot be described other than comprehension with the eyes.  Kevin Durant is one of my favorite athletes

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/18/22

3 Up 1.  Yvon Chouinard - Nothing says big baller like announcing you're donating your company's worth to the mission of fighting climate change. Sure, there are some tax benefits (let's not be silly), but that's still a pretty damn impressive thing to do. Wish we saw that more from billionaires.  2. Aaron Judge - Well, the big fella is on his way to breaking the record of 61 home runs (whether you think it's just the American League record or the in fact still the single-season home run record is up to you). I just hope he does it over the next two days at Yankee Stadium, on YES, with Michael Kay on the call. It'll be a damn shame if it happened on Apple TV where it happens in a vacuum and most fans will be unable to experience history. That would be awful for baseball.  3. How The Word is Passed - This is a selfish "Up" from me because I finally finished this book that has been on my list for a while - and it is a must-read for all. I'm a big