The Vegas Strip is rapidly losing it’s secret weapon. It’s losing what made it most unique. What let you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you were in the heart of Vegas.
Don’t get me wrong I still had a blast. We stayed at South Point just off the strip and had a great time. I’m normally a gambler when I go and this time I didn’t spend a single penny gambling.
I even managed to do what used to be my favorite thing in Vegas….take a trip down the strip. That’s how I confirmed what’s changed. As I thought about it, I thought maybe it was a little silly. After all what I’m missing is so simple that I wondered if I took for granted that it would always be there.
What I am referring to are the lights.
Sounds crazy, right? It would appear that I am implying that the Vegas strip is dark and without lights. It’s not. At least not yet. But I miss the way it was.
To me, it defined Vegas. I remember as a child being in awe of what seemed like millions of flashing lights, seemingly in 3D, with dozens more video boards surrounding me.
The lights were mostly white and they lit up the entire strip. My eyes would get big, my mouth would fly open and the reflection of the lights would twinkle in my eye. I’m sure it was just a marketing ploy but it worked. Riding in the car from Los Angeles, I couldn’t wait until we turned that corner through the mountains on Highway 15. From miles away you could see a sea of lights lighting up the night sky.
It just looked exciting. Like the place you wanted to be.
But as I took my daughter down the strip a few days ago, I felt underwhelmed. Many of the old Casinos have been run out of business while new hotels don’t implore the same marketing strategies.
I saw hotels like this:
While definitely luxurious, they are also very boring and anti-Vegas. Not only are they all pretty much the same color, but there are no added lights. Nothing to marvel at. Nothing to attract me to it.
Compare that to the Casinos of ‘yesteryear’, such as:
And with the recent closing of yet another Vegas Classic, it further represents the change happening to the Vegas strip.
We don’t go to Vegas for luxury. Back in the day there weren’t a lot of suites in Vegas, and the only people who usually were in one were high rollers or celebrities. But there was no need for suite. You don’t go to Vegas to spend a lot of time in your room anyway. So what do I need with a plasma, high end toiletries, and an ipod dock? I would go to a beach resort on an island somewhere if that’s what I needed. In Vegas, just give me a bed, a shower, and air conditioning and the rest of what I do will take place outside the room.
I miss the cheap decor of the standard hotel room. I enjoyed the themed hotels. This, along with the lights, was Vegas. A resort fee? They were hardly considered resorts so it wasn’t necessary.
Unfortunately, I think the takeover is inevitable. By the time my daughter makes me a grandparent Vegas as I remember it may be completely gone and replaced with a boring substitute of itself.
I know it’s pathetic, but I am truly sad about it.