26 April 2006

Desert Assignment; Day 3

Not a lot of exotic activity on my part; 4 hours on the floor in the morning asking questions about all the amazing technology, then hook up for a run to L & L. Trouble came, though, as we discovered that during a convention you can fast fall off the grid of taxi coverage. We easily got a cab at the LVCC (as we could have at any hotel or the airport), but got hung out to dry by three cab companies to try to get back.

Of course there's no rules foiling our attempted return from lunch; it's learned behavior. Because of the pinch on numbers of cab licenses, the slim take for the drivers, and perhaps the price of gas, taxis prefer multiple shorter trips over "longer-haul" fares. After eating, we called Lucky, Henderson, and Checker/Yellow, and all three blew us off. They used the "no cars in the area" bullshit, or just never getting anything there in the 40 minutes we waited. This L & L is less than 2 miles from the Convention Center, so it's not like we asked a cab to come out to Reno.

So there's just another view of the two sides in this bizarre place; there's the Las Vegas for people who stay within the web of the business/entertainment core, and the Las Vegas for those who live or work outside that web. We ended up catching a bus and then walking a few blocks. Didn't kills us.

Another couple hours slurping it up on the floor bobbing and then back to Sig & Roy's for some R & R to nap off my L & L.

After the sun went down, I hoofed it over to Steve's new place, which is, uh, pretty nice. Had dinner in a casual place that also had both the Wings/Oilers and Flames/Ducks side by side in HD. Nothin' wrong with that. Tried to stay up for the double OT result in Edmonton, but I was following the game on NHL radio via the internet and that mode it tough to stay awake.

Back to Wynn for a moment: Sure it's opulent, and it's the hot new thing on the strip for now, but it's also a bit more grown up. Ultimately, every place on the strip is a nice room, a few decent dining options and a casino. To me, there's something appealing about a more grown-up approach, and something revolting about "theme gone mad." I hope the era of overtly themed and comic book-y approaches for hotel/casinos is over. God knows that in Vegas' golder era, you attracted guests with amenities and attractions, and not some empty promise of an escape to north Africa, medieval England or (gulp) the circus.

The other thing I think about as a sometimes-consumer of these services is that I'm willing to pay a premium for atmosphere. Here comes my snobbery, but Las Vegas is really overrun by the ripped jeans crowd, the fanny pack crowd and the pushing-kids-in-baby-strollers-up-The Boulevard-at-10 PM crowd. To all these crowds; get away from me. It's not unlike when air travel got a lot cheaper and lots more people started flying - air travel moved much closer to bus travel.

One more thing: Lucky, Henderson and Checker/Yellow cab companies; screw you guys.

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