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Living it up in Las Vegas

Las Vegas' famous Bellagio hotel.

Though a bit heavy on the neon, Las Vegas is a true feast for the eyes. Every hotel is striving to top the next one with its own unique theme, majestic entrances, enticing casinos, delectable restaurants and impressive entertainment. It can be said that Las Vegas does not have a boring bone in its body. The Las Vegas tourism board initially enticed adults to come and play in ‘Sin City’ but then advertised the lively city as a family-friendly destination in the 1990s.

But Vegas is focusing its attention on the adults again with the new tagline: “What happens here, stays here.” City advertisers want to attract people from all over the world to their own adult playground, complete with endless gambling, alcohol, food and entertainment. It is billed as a magical place that will cater to every need and fulfill every fantasy. The hotels in Las Vegas are truly incredible to behold. They pay homage to other unique cities, like New York, Venice and Paris, by recreating smaller versions of these cities. New York, New York hotel reconstructs the lively streets of Gotham. The Venetian hotel has a huge indoor canal complete with gondolas and gondoliers. The Paris hotel experience comes complete with a replica of the Eiffel Tower.

There are tributes to other themes as well, including ancient Rome (Caesar’s Palace), Hollywood (MGM Grand), pirates (Treasure Island), Arabian nights (Aladdin) and many more. Two of the nicest hotels with casinos in Las Vegas, the Bellagio and the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel, don’t have specific themes besides that of opulence and luxury.  Vegas entertainment has always been a huge draw for tourists. Magicians, such as Penn and Teller and Siegfried and Roy, entertain crowds with their amazing optical illusions. Veteran Vegas entertainers, like Tony Orlando and Wayne Newton, still command packed houses night after night with their well-loved repertoire of musical favourites. That’s not to mention the many world-famous stars that perform in the city each year.  Shopping and eating are two popular pastimes in Las Vegas. Caesar’s Palace offers a world-class shopping mall featuring a painted blue sky with clouds adorning the ceiling. The Venetian also has first class shopping with many designer brands. Most of the other hotels showcase several great shops inside their lobbies and host many more on their premises. When hunger strikes, there is no shortage of fabulous food. Las Vegas is no longer a place of all-you-can-eat-buffets. World-renowned chefs Wolfgang Puck (Spago) and Emeril Lagasse have several excellent eateries in town and many of the prominent hotels boast other award-winning restaurants.  Of course, the most popular reason for visiting Las Vegas is for the gambling casinos. From the nickel slot machines to the rooms of tables reserved for those starting bets over $1,000, there is a venue for every budget. Games such as craps, blackjack and baccarat draw millions of people a year to try their hand at the tables, accompanied by attractive cocktail waitresses handing out free drinks.

There are some success stories, but many more sob stories, when people arrive home from their jaunts to Las Vegas after playing against the casinos. Amateur gamblers who visit Las Vegas report that it is best to decide how much money to play with before starting and sticking with that limit. Las Vegas, at its best, is a destination for a bit of harmless fun in sensible excess.
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