Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Best & Worst of Vegas

Though Traci and I are frequent visitors to Sin City, we're not really its biggest fans. Here's the highs and lows of our latest trip.

Best Thing About the Palace Station:
We weren't really sure what we were going to get when we booked our rooms at the Palace Station. Our overall rating was fair. Not great, not disgusting. It suited our needs just fine. The nice thing was that we had the swimming pool and hot tub all to ourselves all three nights. Hip people don't go to the Palace Station, so the only people that stay there are those interested in spending their entire trip in the casino.

The Worst Directions:

The Palace Station offers free shuttle service to and from the Strip. The shuttle drops you off at the Tropicana and then picks you up at the Fashion Show Mall. When we got to the mall, however, we realized we had no idea where we would be picked up, because the place is HUGE. Traci was smart and suggested that I call the hotel and ask, which I did. The women who answered the phone told me the pickup was right outside the Saks 5th Avenue. So we walked all the way across the mall and through Saks until we found the place she had told us. When we found a valet guy in the empty parking lot we asked where the pickup spot was. He told us it was on the otherside of the mall. We walked all the way back to where we had started, literally 10 yards from where I was standing when I made the phone call.

Best Purchase:
Despite Traci's protest, I bought some sweet white plastic sunglasses that look just like something Elton John would wear. Fake name-brand glasses were just 3 for $10. What a deal. Unfortunately, Traci didn't allow me to wear the glasses in public.

Best Reference to Mormons in the print media:

CityLife Magazine (the equivalent of Salt Lake's City Weekly) ran the following feature and Mormons ranked #10. Not Bad:

We at CityLife are not generally a superstitious lot, but we cannot help noticing at this time of year that there are plenty of downright spooky things in Sin City, and we're not just talking about the legions of zombie-like tourists fanny-packing their way from slot to slot along the Strip. As Halloween (coincidentally, the real Nevada Day) nears, we found ourselves making a list of these fright factors.

10. Mormon church influence

Since they were the first white people to settle the Las Vegas Valley, it shouldn't be surprising that Mormons have always been a big part of the city's history and population. And over the years, the church has made some compromises with the sin that envelops this city. But is the whispered-about "Mormon mafia" totally harmless? It did, after all, bring us the failing Las Vegas Monorail. While plenty of local elected officials -- maybe even including gubernatorial candidate Jim Gibbons -- profess Mormon faith, it doesn't appear theocracy is on the horizon. But the fact is, if the church had its way, there would be no gambling, drinking or racy material on the Strip at all. And Vegas without those things is - a desert.

It was a pretty good trip.

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