Sunday, November 12, 2006

Taking it easy in Vegas

It's taken almost a year, but I think I'm finally ready to try an occasional personal blog that isn't about an unwanted journey. I will continue to write about cancer, colorectal cancer in particular, for quite a long time, but part of my recovery process means regaining a sense of normality. And that means that my blogging activity should also be moving in other directions. That has been happening recently on my corporate blog, Bringing Closure, but it will also happen here. The visual cue will be the title - today's entry, for example, says nothing about An Unwanted Journey.

Our business conference ended yesterday at lunch. I've been good about getting my much-needed rest. Yesterday, though, it was time to have some fun. So, my business colleagues and I went back to the Stratosphere to catch a complimentary viewing of Viva Las Vegas and then headed out to the other end of the strip to visit some hotels/casinos like the Luxor, the Excalibur, New York New York, and the Bellagio. We also took in a performance of Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur where we participated in a feast of game cornish hen, tomato soup, potatos, and broccoli. But the real centre of focus was the medieval joust and battles on the arena right in front of us (we were in the front row).

Today we went to the Venetian and the Wynn to get some souvenirs for our family and tonight we're off in the other direction. We still haven't done any gambling yet, but there may be a little time to do that afterwards.

While resting in my hotel room this afternoon, I watched a show about the history of entertainment and casinos on the strip. It reinforced a gradually growing fascination with the history of the Entertainment Capital of the World. What has been done here in the desert is absolutely phenomenal, despite the many obvious shortcomings of Sin City. To visit a hotel like the Wynn illustrates how incredible this development has been and continues to be.

Our cab driver told us that over 45 million people visit Las Vegas each year. He also told us about new developments like the Trump Tower, the construction near the Bellagio, the new Wynn towers, and the end of the Stardust. Clearly, nothing is hindering the growth of the city and the strip in particular. My colleagues and I are taking it easy here, but many, many others - both visitors and those who make Vegas their home - are not taking it easy. They are building a dream, an unabashedly free-market, capitalist dream dependent only on the flow of capital.

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