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Viva Las Vegas
What’s Las Vegas like these days? I spent
part of last weekend there at a conference for conservatives and
libertarians called FreedomFest.
Las Vegas, you might think, is an odd place for conservatives to
congregate. On the other hand, one assumes "free-to-be-you-and-me"
libertarians think it is just fine.
I hadn’t been to Las Vegas in quite a while, though I knew it was no
longer the city of sin, sleaze, and Sinatra. The Sands where Frank and
the rest of the Rat Pack played and played around was imploded into
dust way back in 1996. But what I didn’t expect was how downright
"girlie" Vegas has become. And I don’t mean "show-girlie." A few months
ago Barbara Walter’s daily chick show The View spent a week
broadcasting live from Vegas now I understand why.
In almost every way, Vegas is dedicated to appealing to female
visitors. I guess the tourism strategy is that if a couple comes and
she has the good time, they will come back again. Slot
machines are now the casinos’ biggest profit makers, and slot machines
are designed primarily to keep women feeding in their nickels and
quarters. And there is lots of shopping in Las Vegas there are acres
and acres and acres of stores, with more built every week. The city’s
current planners have understood what no Godfather ever did: Even when
they don’t spend a dime on gambling, you can still send them home broke.
Of course there are dribs and drabs of the old Las Vegas. A splashy
production called "Jubilee" is still running after 20 years and features
statuesque, siliconed, sequined, and stilletoed beauties parading around
in half a Bob Mackie costume. The in-room advertorial at Bally’s that
promotes the show focuses not on the nudity but on how hard the girls
work and what good dancers they need to be.
And the only superstar who is always in town is Celine Dion, a
women’s-magazine favorite, best known for her much-chronicled struggle
to have a baby. In fact, Celine is in Vegas performing five nights a
week at Caesar’s Palace and earning $20 million a year because, she
says, it is a better gig for a working mom than touring with her young
Although there must have been some sin going on, it was hard to find
it. When I hit the Strip before eight in the morning I was still on
Eastern Standard Time I did encounter a few possible ladies of the
night, tugging down their miniskirts and tugging up their black fish
nets, as they made their way home. But there were far more middle-aged
Midwestern blonds around, in baseball caps and jogging shorts, power
walking to keep fit between Bellagio and the Venetian.
entire article at:
2004 Online Casino News Archive