Sunday, January 25, 2009

Return to Vegas

Last week, I made a very quick trip back to sin city. I managed to find a great room at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino for about $20 a night.

And that $20, my friends, included the taxes. Thank you and their double the difference refund!

It was an amazing deal because the spacious room included a large screen tv, internet service and some pretty swanky toiletries. The hotel is not located on the famous strip but is only a minute away by car.

I lived in Las Vegas for twelve years and a lot has changed. For one thing, the Trump tower has been built and Terry Fator (the ventriloquist guy from the tv show America's Got Talent) has a new show at the Mirage.

I suppose one of the most disappointing changes (for me anyway) was the transition of the Aladdin into Planet Hollywood. I loved the Middle Eastern theme and that has mostly disappeared. Instead of the Desert Passage we now have the overly tacky Miracle Mile Shops.

Las Vegas tends to favor tacky over class so I suppose this change was inevitable.

Inside the Miracle Mile Shops is the WORST excuse for a "tourist attraction" in Vegas.

It is a rain storm. Yes, it is literally water falling from the ceiling into a pool. I am embarrassed to say that I have seen this "show" a couple of times and each time there have been crowds of people watching the drops fall.

I am more fascinated at watching the people than watching the spectacle. I wonder if they tell their relatives back home that they watched an indoor rainfall.

"They have EVERYTHING in Vegas, Auntie Mae! It was AMAZING."

But, I suppose it IS free and somewhat mesmerizing so I'll give it some credit.

Paris was looking pretty good from afar.

On closer inspection, things were looking a little weary. The once brightly colored "Risque" sign advertising their ultra-lounge (which may not even be open anymore) was faded, the fountain was turned off and they don't have a show to fill their main theater.


The colossal City Center Project seems to be moving along. I heard rumors that construction of the 9 to 11 BILLION dollar project had halted but it seems, from the look of things, that the work is progressing.

Why this city needs more hotel rooms, more luxurious condos, and more outrageously expensive shops is beyond me but obviously there is money in it for someone.

Bellagio still looks good, although I wasn't able to see the dancing fountains on this visit. Are they still working?

I hope so. They are worth checking out.

The atrium was filled with an Asian theme for the Chinese New Year. I have always felt that this room should have been bigger but it was well dressed up and worth a visit during any time of the year.

I'll be returning next month for the Western States Veterinary Conference so I'll be saving up my quarters for that time.

I figure I'll never be rich being a veterinarian so Megabucks is my only hope.

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