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Things I Hate About Las Vegas

18 July 2011 4,239 views 18 Comments
While I did spend a night in Las Vegas at Circus Circus when I was fifteen years old and on a teen tour, I didn’t remember anything about it except that the University of Las Vegas had really nice dorm rooms.
So my business trip to Vegas for the Cisco Live! conference where my company sponsored a trade show booth was essentially my first time. I ran into my friend Jon who was going to hang out with a friend for the weekend and he gave me the lowdown on Vegas on the flight over. Adam had told Jon that he thought I wouldn’t like Vegas and Jon was surprised to hear that I didn’t think I would either. I told Jon that since I don’t gamble, hate crowds, and being ripped off, it just wouldn’t be my scene. During the six and a half days that I spent on the Vegas trip, I confirmed that I was mostly right.
Ten things I didn’t like about Vegas:
1. Casinos: The noise, flashing lights, cigar/cigarette smoke, and some of the sad people pinning all of their hopes on a slot machine.
2. Crowds: Walking along the strip in between hotel complexes made me feel like cattle.
3. Being Ripped Off: Prices on the strip in Vegas are ridiculous, with entrees starting at $20, cab rides averaging at $20, and opportunities for VIP “perks” including comfortable poolside chairs and cabanas and bottled water everywhere. Most of the meals we had were not nearly worth what we paid for them.
4. Techno music: At my hotel, I couldn’t go anywhere outside of my room without being assaulted with blaring techno music – at the pool, in the hallways, in the Casino, etc.
5. Kids: How can anyone in their right mind think that this city is appropriate for kids? Everywhere you go you see women dressed in slutty outfits, huge drinks, smoke, and consumerism. It just disgusted me to see people teaching their kids those values.
6. It feels like a mall: Seriously, how does anyone feel that they are having a special experience spending $150 per person for a meal where the bathroom is located outside the restaurant and down the hall past a yogurt shop, a sports memorabilia store where a puffy Pete Rose is signing autographs, and an Irish pub. It just isn’t right.
7. The fakeness: Everything in Vegas is a bad copy of something else and people come from all over the world to see it. It’s just so Disneyfied and depressing. Watching “gondoliers” paddle tourists down a “canal” with views of high-end clothing stores at either side is just ridiculous and embarrassing for everyone involved.
8. Lack of bank ATMs: You need cash for most cabs, cash to gamble, and cash to tip, however, I didn’t see one bank ATM during the week I was there. I spoke with someone who works at Wells Fargo, my bank, and he said that they make no money off of ATMs, so I’m guessing the reason is the real estate pricing is so high.
9. Too much air conditioning: Vegas is just as hot as Austin this time of year – triple digit heat every day except that it lacks humidity so doesn’t feel as uncomfortable as Texas does during the summer. However, I was cold in almost every space that I was in because they pump so much air conditioning in. The convention center was so cold that it was cold 20 feet OUTSIDE the building and I had to walk quite a ways outside until I could begin to thaw off. So wasteful.
10. Lack of coca cola products. Pepsi owns Vegas and everyone knows that coke is better than Pepsi.
11. Vulgarity (I know, I know, I’m going over 10): There are countless examples of this but just one was the too large portions and lack of real maple syrup (even though they publicize it as real) at Hash House a Go Go. Check out this disgusting-looking breakfast dish of fried chicken on biscuits, mashed potatoes, with bacon, cheese, and a chipotle sauce. I went by myself so couldn’t even share it and this could easily have fed four or more people.
12. Horrible wireless service: No matter where I was, I encountered issues with dropped calls, lack of data services, etc. It was very frustrating especially when I was in my hotel room or working at our trade show booth.

While I did spend a day in Las Vegas at Circus Circus when I was fifteen years old, I didn’t remember anything about the experience except that the University of Las Vegas had really nice dorm rooms.

So my business trip to Vegas for the Cisco Live! conference where my company sponsored a trade show booth this past week was essentially my first time.

me on cisco live sign

On the plane ride out, I sat next to my friend Jon who happened to be going there at the same time to hang out with a friend for the weekend. He gave me the lowdown and some great suggestions for things to see. Adam had told Jon that he thought I wouldn’t like Vegas and Jon was surprised to hear that I didn’t think I would either. I told Jon that since I don’t gamble, hate crowds, and being ripped off, it just wouldn’t be my scene. During the six and a half days that I spent on the Vegas trip, I confirmed that I was mostly right.

Ten things I didn’t like about Vegas:

casino bright lights

1. Casinos: You can’t go anywhere without having to walk through the casino to get there and the noise, flashing lights, cigar/cigarette smoke, lack of windows, and some of the sad people pinning all of their hopes on a slot machine gave me a headache and made me sad.

2. Crowds: Walking along the strip in between hotel complexes made me feel like cattle. I often had to wait in line to get into the hotel room to go back to my room. People, people, everywhere!

3. Being Ripped Off: Prices on the strip in Vegas are ridiculous, with entrees starting at $20, cab rides to anywhere starting at $15, $25 to get into an “ice bar” that included one tiny drink, and waiters pushing bottled water so hard you would think only a crazy person would want tap. Most of the meals we had were not nearly worth what we paid for them.

Tiny Minus 5 Ice Bar Where You Pay $10-$12 for a mixed drink, at least $25 just to get in, and cameras aren't allowed so they can sell you photos (I smuggled mine in).

Tiny Minus 5 Ice Bar Where You Pay $10-$12 for a mixed drink, at least $25 just to get in, and cameras aren't allowed so they can sell you photos (I smuggled mine in).

4. Techno music: At my hotel, I couldn’t go anywhere outside of my room without being assaulted with blaring techno music – at the pool, in the hallways, in the Casino, etc. I felt like a prisoner in my room at times because that was the only place it was quiet.

5. Kids: How can anyone in their right mind think that this city is appropriate for kids? Everywhere you go you see women dressed in slutty outfits, huge drinks, smoke, and consumerism. It just disgusted me to see people taking their kids to Vegas on a vacation.

Drinks that look like slurpees tend to appeal to those under 21....

Drinks that look like slurpees tend to appeal to those under 21....

6. It’s basically one big mall: Seriously, how does anyone feel that they are having a special experience spending $150 per person for a meal where the bathroom is located outside the restaurant and down the hall past a yogurt shop, a sports memorabilia store where a puffy Pete Rose is signing autographs, and an Irish pub. It just isn’t right. And there are stores EVERYWHERE.

Pete Rose

Pete Rose

7. The fakeness: Everything in Vegas other than the gambling, prostitution, and roadside wedding chapels is a bad copy of something else. It’s just so Disneyfied and depressing. Watching “gondoliers” paddle tourists down a “canal” with views of high-end clothing stores at either side is just ridiculous and embarrassing for everyone involved.

8. Lack of bank ATMs: You need cash for most cabs, to gamble, and to tip, but I didn’t see even one bank ATM during the week I was there. I spoke with someone who works at Wells Fargo, my bank, and he said that they make no money off of ATMs, so I’m guessing the reason is the real estate pricing is too high there.

9. Too much air conditioning: Vegas is just as hot as Austin this time of year – triple digit heat every day except that it lacks humidity so doesn’t feel as uncomfortable as Texas does during the summer. However, I was cold in almost every space that I was in because they pump so much air conditioning in. The convention center was so cold that it was cold 20 feet OUTSIDE the building and I had to walk quite a ways outside until I could begin to thaw off. So wasteful.

10. Lack of coca cola products. Pepsi owns Vegas and everyone knows that coke is better than Pepsi.

11. Vulgarity (I know, I know, I’m going over 10): There are countless examples of this but just one was the too large portions and lack of real maple syrup (even though they publicize it as real) at Hash House a Go Go. Check out this disgusting-looking breakfast dish of fried chicken on biscuits, mashed potatoes, with bacon, cheese, and a chipotle sauce. I went by myself so couldn’t even share it and this could easily have fed four or more people.

andys sage fried chicken

12. Horrible wireless service: No matter where I was, I encountered issues with dropped calls, lack of data services, etc. It was very frustrating especially when I was in my hotel room or working at our trade show booth.

Stay tuned for what I like about Vegas, coming tomorrow. What do you hate/love about Vegas?

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  • Myles

    I have a 2 day tolerance for Vegas. At least the entertainment is world class.

  • Mike

    Oh, how I agree with you on this… I have been spoiled by Austin, but between the extremely expensive restaurants and the cover charge to go into any crappy bar I actually left Vegas a day earlier than I was supposed to (granted I was originally going for 7 days – which is too long by any normal person's standard), just to avoid going insane.

  • Lindsay

    I'm with you. No bueno. I feel like I sell my soul when I go to Vegas.

  • jodibart

    You mean the strippers? ;-)

  • jodibart

    Yep. Made me feel cheap just to be there.

  • jodibart

    Mike: I strongly considered leaving early as well but decided just to stay in my room that last morning until it was time to catch my plane! It was rough-going to be there that long.

  • Lindsay

    I'm with you. No bueno. I feel like I sell my soul when I go to Vegas.

  • jodibart

    You mean the strippers? ;-)

  • jodibart

    Yep. Made me feel cheap just to be there.

  • jodibart

    Mike: I strongly considered leaving early as well but decided just to stay in my room that last morning until it was time to catch my plane! It was rough-going to be there that long.

  • http://twitter.com/ATXGastronomist Kathryn Hutchison

    I really enjoyed Vegas when I went there, but I think a lot of that had to do with the hotels where I have stayed: Wynn Tower and MGM villas. At the Wynn resorts, there are casinos everywhere in the lobby, but no techno music and no slot machine noises. There's a ton of natural light, too, so it feels less mall-like. But, I'm rambling about tomorrow's post. Here's what I don't like about Vegas, besides some of the things you've listed here:
    1. Tons of pressure to dress provocatively so that you can be objectified by strange men.
    2. Buffets. Gross.
    3. Those creepers that pass out business cards with pictures of strippers on them on the strip.
    4. Gil Grissom is fictional. I would have liked to meet him, but alas.
    5. The lions in MGM and other live animals on display on the strip are real sad.

  • jodibart

    The places you stayed sound super nice and I'm a huge sucker for natural light so that would have charmed me as well. As for your other points:
    1. I was with colleagues so didn't dress provocatively and either b/c of that, or because I was with men, I didn't once get objectified. 
    2. The one buffet I did go to was only $15 for breakfast (a steal compared to room service) but I was full with just an omlette and a bowl of strawberries. I hate how buffets make you want to eat until you feel sick but I'm glad looking back that I resisted the urge.
    3. I didn't see any of those guys passing out the business cards! I know this shows that I didn't go out much, and I didn't.
    4. I had to look up who Gil Grissom was and see that he is a character on CSI.
    5. I know, the lion cage is SO sad. I didn't see lions when I was there, but if they do still have them, they must be super depressed.

  • jodibart

    The places you stayed sound super nice and I'm a huge sucker for natural light so that would have charmed me as well. As for your other points:
    1. I was with colleagues so didn't dress provocatively and either b/c of that, or because I was with men, I didn't once get objectified. 
    2. The one buffet I did go to was only $15 for breakfast (a steal compared to room service) but I was full with just an omlette and a bowl of strawberries. I hate how buffets make you want to eat until you feel sick but I'm glad looking back that I resisted the urge.
    3. I didn't see any of those guys passing out the business cards! I know this shows that I didn't go out much, and I didn't.
    4. I had to look up who Gil Grissom was and see that he is a character on CSI.
    5. I know, the lion cage is SO sad. I didn't see lions when I was there, but if they do still have them, they must be super depressed.

  • Linsey

    That's too bad about the Hash House, the original in San Diego is freakin' amazing….large portions and all (and I completely agree with you on Vegas, it's half the reason you have to either be crazy or drunk to come back to reality ever thinking it was the best 24 hours of your life ;))

  • Linsey

    That's too bad about the Hash House, the original in San Diego is freakin' amazing….large portions and all (and I completely agree with you on Vegas, it's half the reason you have to either be crazy or drunk to come back to reality ever thinking it was the best 24 hours of your life ;))

  • Linsey

    That's too bad about the Hash House, the original in San Diego is freakin' amazing….large portions and all (and I completely agree with you on Vegas, it's half the reason you have to either be crazy or drunk to come back to reality ever thinking it was the best 24 hours of your life ;))

  • michelle

    I totally agree with you. My family loves to go to Vegas and I cannot comprehend it. I used to be dragged there a couple of times in the past when I was a kid (which was an extremely uncomfortable experience because of all the scantily-clad people on billboards and posters everywhere) and now I cannot stand to set foot in there. It’s also why I am staying at home alone this Christmas, because the rest of my family are going to that awful place to celebrate the holidays. Out of all the places they could’ve gone to, why Vegas?

  • jodibart

    Michelle – I’m so sorry to hear about your family’s decision. I likely would have also stayed home. I hope that you were able to enjoy Christmas with whomever (and wherever) you celebrated.