Friday, September 02, 2005

Vegas Notes: I doubt I'll write up this last trip. Maybe. I've written so much on Vegas I'd likely be repeating myself. Instead, I'll just share some quick observations.
  • I stayed at Caesars, which I had written off as grotesquely overrated based on my previous time there, but it truly rocked this time. All pools open, good service all around -- just the opposite of last time. I'm still high on THEhotel as the top summer place to stay, but Caesars gives it a good run at (usually) a lower price.

  • Poolside cabanas are the bomb.

  • There is Elvis, there is fat Elvis, then there is drunken fat Elvis. The latter does a fine wedding ceremony, but the bride risks getting felt up.

  • Everything in Vegas is far away. Even on the strip. The properties are so large that unless you are staying in your hotel or going to one immediately across the street or next door, you're in for a hike. I'm pretty sure they could hold a leg of the Tour Du France completely within Caesars or MGM. The system of monorails and trams is severely limited. There is no city in more dire need of a good quality mass transit system than Vegas. But then where would we get Taxicab Confessions?

  • The TI (Treasure Island) has done a good job repositioning itself from it's obnoxious pirate days. Fun bar called Kahunaville with the flare bartenders, and a great dance club/burlesque theatre called Tangerine. Definitely in the running for a winter stay. (Summerwise, the pool is not worth a damn, but you can use the nice one next door at Mirage.)

  • And there are more hotels going up. George Clooney and Brad Pitt are partners in a new place called Las Ramblas. (A truly ugly name; why not call it Ocean's 13?) You can see the plans on their website. It looks to be a block or so off strip, which in Vegas may translate to a mile or two, and impresses me as a bit antiseptic. Then there is Starwood hotels which will be launching a 1.4 billion dollar W hotel that they claim will be the new creme de la creme. Poor Steve Wynn; his spotlight wasn't very long, was it? At some point this hotel building has to turn sour.

  • Zumanity, the "erotic side of Cirque du Soliel," is something of a let down. More over to the bawdy side of the spectrum than I thought it would be. With couple of exceptions, the acts are unspectacular by Cirque standards. And if you are an audience member sitting front and center, be ready to be put in a potentially embarrassing situation. I don't care what the concept, one should never request an audience member simulate a sex act on stage. That's like pornographic karaoke {{shudder}}. You're probably better off sticking to the traditional Cirques.

  • It can be embarrassing to try to get seated in a restaurant if you aren't wearing pants. This principle, however, may not be limited to Vegas.