Viva Las Vegas!


Las Vegas. Sin City. America's Babylon. Desert oasis. Family-friendly destination. The gaming capital of the world.

Call it what you will. This is the place where people from all across America come either with their families and clean friends to have fun riding the rides, playing the non-gambling games, and enjoy the sights and casual restaurants, or by themselves or with dirty friends to drink, carouse, watch showgirls, eat fine dining, make out in hotel rooms, and gamble. And almost inarguably, the most famous and popular part of the place is the Strip, a long street packed on both sides with signature hotel/casinos and other enjoyable locales.

But there is another thing about Vegas, especially on the Strip, that makes it fascinating. The hotels, resorts, and casinos there all have their own way of catering to the citizens and the tourists. They all have their own comfort level in the rooms and suites they offer to their guests, to begin with. Their resorts' casinos are all designed and sized differently. And they all offer extra amenities, like attractions, shows, dining, shopping, and even spas and salons, to their guests, and in this way they are as different from each other as peas and carrots. In short, every resort/casino on the Strip has its own individuality.

Another way this could be seen is that each resort in Vegas has its own "personality." I see this perspective in two important respects. One is that each resort's amenities and attractions are appropriate for certain individuals. The other way is that, although resorts are evidently not literally living things, they could be seen as each having their own "soul," their own essence of life in a union of resorts that each live for a different kind of entertainment and accommodations in the City of Games. It's almost as if a fraternity of hotel/casinos exists in Las Vegas, and it could be compared to the superstitious belief ship captains have that their navy or pirate ships are a "she" instead of an "it," or even the late author J.R.R. Tolkien's belief that trees were ancient, sentient beings.

In this way, the hotels could be seen in the following ways, to set several examples:

At least two resort/casinos, Circus, Circus and Excalibur, could be seen as having the soul and personality of a child, due to their numerous activities for families and children to participate in, with Circus, Circus representing a carnival atmosphere, an Adventuredome with exciting rides, and a Midway gaming center for kids and teens, and Excalibur representing a medieval-themed resort of action and adventure for kids and teens, and the hotels are obviously just as fitting for youngsters as they are for adults and older people when it comes to the personalities of the potential guests, though some adults and senior citizens may shy away from these two resorts due to the noise of the children. Maybe some people could say that they're also fitting for the young-at-heart.

Resort/casinos like The Bellagio, The Venetian, and Mandalay Bay could be seen as places of elegance and glamorous beauty, what with The Bellagio's fountain display, The Venetian's Venice-style atmosphere, and Mandalay Bay's artificial beachfront, plus all of them having more deluxe rooms than Circus, Circus and Excalibur. And yet, they have their differences, too, because The Bellagio and The Venetian, while somewhat family-friendly, are easier to be enjoyed by adults, while Mandalay Bay has its Shark Reef attraction and its beach and pools for children to have fun with. Mandalay Bay is like a joint where adults and kids alike will have something to enjoy, and The Bellagio and The Venetian are places known for being flashy, so adults will appreciate them more.

Some others have a soul that mostly or entirely caters to adults. The Tropicana Hotel is one that caters almost exclusively to grown-ups, because with its topless nighttime shows, it's many women in bikinis, and its general gambling atmosphere, even at some of the pools, what with their swim-up Blackjack tables, it's a resort for the adult-at-heart, doubtlessly. The Rio is, arguably, even more adult-based, with its own adult shows, the funny but sometimes bloody Penn & Teller magic/comedy act, and very little that caters to children, and may be seen as having the soul of a joint with full dismissal of childlike things.

And some of them bear the soul of whatever sort of place or locale they're modeled after. Hotel/casinos like New York-New York, Paris, The Luxor, and The aforementioned Venetian represent the cities or countries they are modeled after. The Mirage is modeled after a tropical island. MGM Grand is like the Golden Age of Hollywood. The Stratosphere resembles Seattle's Space Needle. Treasure Island brings out the heart and soul of pirate ships and treasure-hunting adventures. Caesar's Palace is like ancient Rome. Casino Royale is like a casino, pure and simple. And so on.

From my point-of-view, perhaps the resorts and casinos of the Strip and other parts of Vegas could even be seen to have their own genders, or sexes, just like navy and pirate captains call their ships "she" and "her." In my mind, resorts like Circus, Circus, Excalibur, The Venetian, and The Rio could be seen as a "he," while ones like Mandalay Bay and The Tropicana could be seen as a "she." Clowns are more often men than women, the same goes for medieval knights, men usually row the gondolas in Venice, and perhaps The Rio is male because except for the Chippendales show, it is mostly dominated by male activity and male entertainment. At the same time, women are slightly more popular to look at by the pool or at the beach than men, particularly if they're wearing bikinis, and if I'm guessing correctly, The Tropicana and Mandalay Bay are very popular with women. It's just my opinion, but if sailors could personalize their ships for so many centuries, I see little wrong with doing the same for resorts in America's gaming capital.

I don't deny that not everyone in America sees Las Vegas resorts or casinos in this light, and some may think me crazy for seeing them like this. But people who have different or eccentric beliefs from everyone else never got anywhere by giving in to public opinion, so I hold true to these beliefs. The Las Vegas Strip is a place full of personality and individuality, and other parts of Vegas have their own personality, as well. They say that Vegas can be a person's dream come true, or a person's nightmare come true, but contrary to what some people say, the people who run Vegas are not entirely in control of that. If someone wants to take a vacation to the Vegas Strip, or somewhere else in Vegas, they just have to know what's in each possible locale to visit or stay at, and judge that by their own likes and desires, especially when it comes to where they'll have a room while they visit.

To a certain extent, even the gambling casinos in the Vegas resorts have a little bit of personality. Different kinds of people gamble in each one, to begin with. Some casinos have more ruthless gamblers (and dealers and owners) than others, and they don't all carry the same gambling tools or machines. Some have progressive gambling that really pays off. And some resorts, like Mandalay Bay and The Tropicana, even have beach-based or pool-based gambling, where gamblers can play in their swimsuits, or even in the water. And I'm sure that there are other ways that make the various casinos different from each other that I'm unaware of.

Las Vegas isn't just a gaming capital, or just a family-friendly resort, or even just "Sin City." It's a city with it's own kind of souls, with a little something for almost everybody. Anything can match with any age and gender in Vegas, whether it be Circus, Circus' Adventuredome and Midway with young kids, Chippendales with adult women, a medieval joust show with teens, or gazing at a million-gallon tank of sharks and other sea creatures for virtually all ages. It isn't just the one-soul gambling joint it was when casinos and nightlife were the only entertainment in it, and the Mob ran it. Nowadays, everything, even the Flamingo Hilton, one of the oldest and longest-lasting hotel/casinos in Vegas, has an extra sight to see, and the visitors just have to look for it.

Las Vegas. Sin City. America's Babylon. Desert oasis. Family-friendly destination. The gaming capital of the world.

The heart and soul of gaming diversity.