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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Las Vegas in the Oh-Tens

Back in Los Angeles, I was sitting at The Media Guy’s field office [read: Starbucks] when the good folks at the home office decided it was a good idea to send me back to Vegas. It’s only been 18 years since the whole Desert Inn incident and since the court documents incident reports are sealed and they boarded up the old landmark, I was open to the idea.

Thank goodness the Desert Inn Incident was sealed away.
I was there last June for a quick 14 hours to hang out with the 2010 Miss USA Rima Fakih. (Yes, I just resorted to name dropping!). But this time is different; an extremely long weekend with trips to Hoover Dam and a stop at the Venetian Theatre to see the incomparable Phantom of the Opera.

Ah, the land of sin.

Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

You know, Both cities began under analogous situations: importing water to the desert to build fertile, dreamlike cities that bore little semblance to their dry, dusty beginnings. I’m betting that most people don’t know that an ex-Angeleno founded Vegas, naming the themed strip after L.A.’s own Sunset.

Was I ready? Was Vegas ready? Heck, I cleared the no fly list, saved up some royalty checks and found the perfect place to stay – the lovely Platinum Hotel and Spa. Yet, I need more intell.

The Media Guy's new best friend Kate recommends
the Platinum Hotel and Spa.
I wholeheartedly agree. And, so does Carrie Underwood.
Who better to speak with than Kate Borsheim, my new best friend, who urged me learn about Vegas in the Oh-Tens?

Media Guy: So obvious question is, does the slogan “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” still apply.

Kate: Let's just say Mark Zuckerberg killed that slogan for all of us when he created Facebook "tagging." In the over-sharing world that we live in now, "What Happens in Vegas, ends up on Facebook" as well as Twitter, etc. Now that's not to say that what happens in Vegas can't stay in Vegas, it's just up to you, your friends and the people you meet in Vegas not to share all of your Vegas happenings within the social media realm. The motto value of "What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas" however, is very high. There's nothing like being on a plane on your way into Las Vegas listening to all of the excited chatter of passengers' upcoming plans for their Sin City visit. It is absolutely fascinating to watch people transform and let go of their inhibitions without being under the influence of any drugs... Maybe that's what this city is for outsiders - a drug.

It's still a way of life...
MG: Now that’s the type of drug that I could get into. The drug of released inhibitions. The joy of travel where you can choose the highest of high rollers and the lowest of $2 tables. When you see the commercials or Vanessa Marcil waxing poetic with Josh Duhamel on Las Vegas, all you see are showgirls and gambling. How do you take it all in?

KB: Las Vegas has anything and just about everything you can think of. Top restaurants, incredible shows and talent, and people from all over the globe make up the community. It's funny really. Run into a local and they may tell you that they NEVER go to The Strip. For me, I understand that Las Vegas holds things that I may not experience anywhere else. I do get dolled up occasionally and head to The Strip for a new club opening, or try my hand at the craps tables. I get wide eyed as I sit in the audience of a stellar Cirque du Soleil show. I get all "touristy" with my camera, as I capture a shot of the Bellagio fountains. The best trick for me to avoid being annoyed by all of the overly drunken and loud visitors to the Strip and to just let go and let the big lights of Las Vegas take me and enjoy the crazy uniqueness of it all. 

MG: So is there a life beyond the Strip?

KB: Las Vegas does exist beyond The Strip. This "second world" is similar to the world visitors to our city come from. There are suburbs, schools, community parks, etc. Everyday motions like the commute to work, happy hour with co-workers, home to cook dinner. We live close to the mountains, and love to hike and bike. We enjoy Lake Mead in the summer months and have backyard cookouts in the cooler months.

MG: Living in Vegas, how do you get around these two scenes and is Mark Zuckerberg even allowed there?

How best to navigate these worlds is to measure your own time and sanity. Obviously Las Vegas never sleeps, and most of those employed here in Vegas rarely work a 9 to 5. To have fun in the glitz and glam of Vegas, means you'll probably give up sleep to do so. To coordinate between work and play is a bit different than most are used to, and traditional Saturday / Sunday weekends are out the window. When you are here to play, we are here to work. Living in these two worlds comes down to (in its simplest form) time management. You can burn the candle at both ends too quickly if you are not careful.

As for Mark Zuckerburg, as long as he is willing to open up those deep pockets of his, I'm sure any casino here would give him the world.

MG: You mentioned Vegas never sleeps. I thought that was New York….like Huey Lewis sang:

New YorkNew York, is everything they say
And no place that I'd rather be
Where else can you do a half a million things
All at a quarter to three

I know you’re from Texas, Kate, but what about the New York vs. Las Vegas situation?

Huey Lewis can find a half a million things to do in New York AND Las Vegas.
KB: I'll give it to New York as it is the original city to never sleep, however Las Vegas has truly given it a run for its money. When I decide to leave Vegas, I realize that I'm going to have to get used to a life where things close down for the evening. No 3am dinner with friends, or 24-hour bars. I'm not a big drinker, but it's been kind of fun to throw "Last Call" out of your vocabulary. Looks like my next move is to New York... it's the only US city that compares when it comes to the pace of business and lifestyle. I can't say I wouldn't mind the fashion either. But if I had to slow down, nothing is better than that Southern hospitality.