Wednesday, February 1, 2012

5 Reasons to Avoid The Las Vegas Strip

I don't watch Exteme Couponing. I don't think I'll ever stoop that low. But I get it. I'm a sucker for a deal. Every morning I wake up to emails from Groupon, LivingSocial, and dozens of other discount websites. I love to feel like I'm saving money, even at the cost of buying things I don't need or use or even particularly want. About a month ago I received an email from Jetblue advertising reduced rates on flights, and the roundtrip fare from Portland to Las Vegas was outstandingly low. "That could be fun," I thought. Oh, how wrong I was.

After spending a week in Las Vegas, I can say without a doubt that I'd rather rub fiberglass in my eyes than set foot on the strip again. There are several reasons for this.

1. Everything in Las Vegas is Fake

Vegas is structured like a theme park, if the theme was "disgusting." It's like walking around Disneyland, only all the wholesome, beloved Disney mascots have been transformed into drunk sluts and bros drenched in Axe body spray.

vegasminnie

All the big casinos and attractions are consolidated to one stretch of land, and after a mile or two it just ends. One afternoon I walked all the way down Las Vegas Boulevard, and after a few miles I found myself smack dab in the middle of nothing. A tumbleweed rolled by my feet and I was reminded that I was in the middle of the desert. Behind me, the strip shimmered like an oasis, except it's the opposite of an oasis, where instead of water and camels they have Jose Cuervo and staph infections.

vegastumbleweed

2. Vegas is Geographically Confusing

The strip is crowded, and I have a shitty sense of direction as it is. There are dozens of pedestrian walkways and overpasses, so it was impossible for me to walk down the strip without getting lost. To make matters worse, many of the large casinos are connected by meandering strip malls full of expensive boutiques, like some glitzy Underground Railroad.

vegasroad1
vegasroad2

I lose my way so easily and it's always frustrating. I remember watching Labyrinth as a kid, and even that experience was mildly exhausting for me. I just wanted Jennifer Connelly to find her goddamned way and save me the two hours of dancing puppets. Las Vegas was a pretty similar experience.

vegasjareth

3. Everyone is Trying to Sell You Something

If you somehow manage to keep your bearings while maneuvering the strip, you'll still be harassed by a constant barrage of salesmen, amateur musicians, and "entrepreneurs." Dudes are trying to sell you club passes or mixtapes they burned on their laptops, or handing out cards advertising hookers social companions at discounted rates.

vegasselling

The folks handing out the ho trading cards are by far the worst distraction in Vegas, because there seem to be hundreds of them. They abjectly flap these cards in your face featuring ladies who will apparently show up to your hotel room for a nominal fee and entertain you. With trashy names and stars arbitrarily covering up their naughty bits, they glare forth like super sexy Pokemon. Gonorrheachu. Hepatitisaur. Chlamydiotto. Take your pick.

vegashooker1
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Ironically, the dudes selling their homemade rap albums on CDR's mostly ignored me, figuring I wouldn't be interested. Joke's on them, because if there's one thing I would have shelled out cash for it's poorly recorded homebrew hip hop.

4. Everything Being Sold is Outrageously Expensive

I wouldn't be suckered into $45 club passes or crazy-hot, totally disease-free hookers, but I wasn't able to starve myself for a week in protest of exorbitant food costs. After a few days of eighteen dollar spicy tuna rolls and $24 scrambled eggs, I decided to try my luck at my hotel's buffet. I figured I'd have a more satisfying meal when more options were present, but after a twenty dollar entrance fee I was met with stale bagels and cold pancakes.

I normally take umbrage with buffets and I should've trusted my gut this time and steered clear. I'm a man of few convictions, but buffets just seem crass to me when people are starving in other countries. I think about it this way: if Americans learned there was a country somewhere where people paid a modest fee to browse through a buffet of Apple products, we'd all lose our shit over the profound injustice.

vegasbuffetapple

Ok, maybe comparing America's material obsession with shiny technology to the plight of African famine babies isn't really a sensible comparison. I'm just saying, buffets are pretty terrible, and it's obnoxious to throw away perfectly good food just because you want to fill a new plate. You wouldn't do that to a MacBook or an iPod.

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vegasbuffet2

I finished my old crusty bagel on principle, because I care about Africa.

5. Las Vegas is an Awful Representation of America

...or perhaps it's the purest representation of America. It depends on who you talk to. I prefer to have faith in the American Dream™, and pray that Vegas isn't it. Wandering around the strip, it struck me how many different languages I was hearing. I'm not one to criticize someone else's choice in vacation destination, but if you come to the US and Las Vegas is the one place you visit, I'm concerned about what impression you'll take away about America.

america

Tourists are stationed about every 10 feet, always in the center of the sidewalk, oblivious to the foot traffic maneuvering around them, snapping photos of casinos, neon signs, street performers, bushes, rocks, the sky, everything. I saw one lady taking pictures of things with her iPad, which I don't even have words to express my feelings about.

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The ordeal lasted a week but it felt like I was trapped in Nevada for a year. I've never been so happy to be home in Portland. Of course, I came back with a cold, and as of writing this I'm a drippy, congested mess. In the back of my mind I'm afraid it's more than just a cold. Since I caught it in Vegas, I have a sneaking suspicion it's some virulent strain of airborne hepatitis. I guess what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas.

162 comments:

  1. Hahaha, love it Adam!!!!!!

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  2. You clearly weren't drunk enough to really appreciate the experience ;)

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  3. Come up to Reno and Tahoe. That's where the real party is. ;)

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  4. I am so happy to hear someone else didn't like Las Vegas. I hated it and I hope I never go back. If the world ends and there are only twinkies in Las Vegas or a Khmer Rouge prison, I wouldn't even have to debate, I'd be looking for a way to Khmer Rouge.

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    Replies
    1. This is really ignorant of you. Many people died during the Khmer Regime and it was pure hell for the people who suffered. You may hate Las Vegas but it's paradise compared to the torture and suffering of the victims of the Khmer regime. I hope you were joking.

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    2. Obviously a joke. Its not like you were fucking tortured there. Get over it.

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    3. I can believe that your hunt for twinkies will take you all the way across the country you fat fuck

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  5. Lol this is why you stay out of Nevada. I've been trying to get out my whole life. Though to be fair Reno IS better than Vegas, so I'm just glad I live there. But yeah. Vegas is the lames, and I am so sorry you are sick! The post was funny as always and I greatly enjoyed it :) Feel better soon!

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  6. The drunk Minnie Mouse needs to be a t-shirt. I'd buy one for sure.

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  7. I grew up in vegas and trust me anyone like me is jaded and not easily shocked. It sucks. I like to pretend its a carnival and the people working at the strip are gypsies. The games are rigged, the prizes suck and are a ripoff, and the over priced attractions are a disappointment.

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  8. My favorite part about Vegas is the stripper cards. I'd collect them & play "Spot the Photoshop Disaster." Also, I'd bring them home to my little brother as souvenirs. Coolest big sister, ever.

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  9. Yeesh, I hope you didn't stay at the Luxor. That cold could be Legionnaire's Disease.
    (Sorry you're sick, but excellent comic!)

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  10. hunter s thompson would disagree vegas is the american dream but...i think it's smelly there and the people make me depressed

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  11. I live here. Jerk. JK, this is probably the funniest thing I've read in months. Thank you for the laugh!

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  12. Too funny.. I love the David Bowie reference.. could use more Tuna Buttons..

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  13. haha!!! awesome!!! i've taken vegas off from my list of places to visit. BTW did you get a cat already?

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  14. The main thing I have taken away from this is that someone else knows about the sequel to An American Tale. I love that film! I may also know all the words. Ahem.

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  15. Those two Labyrinth panels made my entire week.

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  16. Tiffani-with-the-hairy-bum mildly terrified me.

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  17. I felt the same exact way the one time I visited Las Vegas. Add your mother and aging Aunt from Indiana and the trip only gets more uncomfortable.

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  18. This is exactly how I feel about Vegas! It has a swings between moral desperation and desperately pretentious. The STDs seem to be in the very air, mingling with the ever-present cigarette smoke. Bleh.

    Feel better! :D

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  19. This great and totally true about the strip. I've lived here my whole life so if you ever do get the courage to come out again hmu or another local to show you the "good" parts of vegas :)

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  20. What I took away from this: OMG Fievel.

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  21. I can do a perfect impression of how the guys with the hooker cards can shuffle/slap/come at you with their neon yellow-ish green shirts. It's like I had 4 Magic decks and 10 Pokemon decks combined after I walked the strip. Also, was there an ungodly number of Twilight or Edward cosplayers? It bothered me....

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  22. The only way to experience Vegas is to do done sort of trip that resembles the hang over or fear and loathing. If you don't fallow those movies as guidelines your in for a bad trip.

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  23. Ah yes - 'Merica - land of the logo, home of the product! Awesome job as always, man... though that tumbleweed kinda looks like a giant alien testicle or somethin'. Just sayin'.

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  24. Good to know. Wasn't planning on taking a trip any time soon, but now I know not to go to Las Vegas. I do want to travel though and maybe take some pictures, but that doesn't really interest me either, just want some good memories.

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  25. I lived there for 17 years and just managed to escape permanently two weeks ago. I can confirm all of this. It is a sink hole full of disgusting people with no drive, and it's only gotten worse over the last five years.
    Thanks for this post!

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  26. the dream of the 90's is alive in portland, not vegas. :D

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  27. I found myself in Las Vegas this past December for the first time. My impression of the "strip" (since there is no real city beyond that) was pretty much the same. After a day I was close to trying to tear my skin off.

    The one redeeming moment was when I saw a big fat guy dressed as a showgirl and workin' it.

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    Replies
    1. "No real city beyond that?"

      Are you kidding me? Anyone who says that and has actually been here is lying or a idiot. We're a city of over two million people, with plenty of better, more fun things to do off the Strip. Yeah, the Strip is the center of it but there's so much more, and this blog makes me kinda sad to think that this is all people think of this town.

      And trust me, I work Security on the Strip. I've seen more than my fair share of this, but it isn't all bad. I've travelled the world and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

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    2. I feel SORRY for you!!! Lived here 2yrs, I feel TRAPPED, I'm seriously ready to put a bullet in my head........I REALLY hate living here:( HELP ME GET OUT!!!

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    3. Hah! I spent most of my life LIVING in Las Vegas - exposed to all (family-friendly stuff included) it has to offer and if that is your perception of the city all I can say is that I feel sorry for you and you have truly not experienced enough there to make an informed opinion...or you love degenerate filth. Either way, good luck to you!

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  28. Thank you Adam. As soon as I read the first paragraph, I paused the TV and read the entire post out loud to my husband. We cackled through the whole thing! You made my Wednesday, but haven't talked me out of going to Vegas (I've never been).

    PS: I also want to get married by Elvis! (again)

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  29. Welp, you saw the tourist side of Vegas. Congrats. I'm sure that was difficult to find. :/ Funny article, though. I was more upset by the hate on Labyrinth than on Vegas, actually haha

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  30. i total want to go to Vegas now just for the hairy prostitutes

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  31. You make me wanna move to Portland just to meet people like you(: and the weather sounds perfect

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  32. I was thinking you'd contracted nose herpies, but hepitius is still awful.

    Feel better! Good to hear you didn't buy any of the star-titted women.

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  33. It is both the worst and truest representation of America.

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  34. You can lose your money in Shreveport for much less. It's nicer there, too.

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  35. Pansy. If you can't take Vegas then stay out! No I kid... It sucks here... Can I come to Portland & live with you...?

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  36. Does it smell as bad as New York?

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  37. Of course you didn't like Vegas. You're a tight ass! You only went because airfare was cheap. People will save for YEARS to come once! For all the people who aren't gonna visit now because some douche didn't like it...stop being sheep and form your own goddamn opinion

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    1. Dude, relax. It's a funny blog post. Pretty sure he's not going to collapse the Vegas tourism industry with pictures of hairy hookers.

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  38. I'm not American and I've never been interested in Las Vegas..also, when I first knew about the fake Venice (with clean water xDD) I almost sweared to myself I would never go there,since I live in the actual Venice xD same goes for fake tour Eiffel o_O

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  39. Oh Vegas... I remember going with my parents before my brother and I were old enough to gamble. We spent most of our time racing around seeing who could collect the most stripper cards, I beat him every time :P

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  40. I saw the picture of Minnie Mouse and lost my shit before I could even start reading

    awesome as always

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  41. Hey now... watch it on my city! You have to get OFF the strip to have clean fun here. With all of the hype surrounding sinning in Vegas, you're surprised that you were surrounded by icky people? That's like expecting good clean fun at Mardi Gras.

    And I'm unsure how you could be lost in a straight line.

    We hate the porno peddlers too. And the people in costumes who are 10-to-a-streetcorner.

    But next time, get the hell off the strip! That goes for you too, people who said there's no city beyond the strip and that they will NEVER visit! LAS VEGAS IS HUGE!

    Beyond that, I love your blog and will forgive this once ;)

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  42. I was only there for 3 days, but I felt exactly the same way. Waking up in a hotel room after a late night and walking down for breakfast only to find folks still drinking and smoking cigarettes while they gamble at 9 am was more than a little disturbing. It's a spectacle for sure, but geez, not one I want to see again EVER.

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  43. Someone obviously accidentally bought an evening with a tranny.

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  44. I nearly died from laughter reading this. As a Vegas native, it's hilarious to see the stereotype of my city done in such grand fashion. Good job.

    That said, I don't want to live anywhere else. The Strip is not Vegas, The Strip is one little slice of town where tourists come to pay our state income taxes for us. There is a huge city outside of the strip which is full of amazing stuff. Next time walk north to the end of the Strip instead of South. The North end terminates into the Arts District which is the exact opposite of the nothingness which is the far south end of the Strip.

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  45. You're a pretty hilarious guy.

    A few of my friends go to Vegas on the regular and love it. I have never had a desire to go, there is nothing appealing about thousands of blinking lights, annoying sounds and losing all your money.

    Sorry to hear about your diseases/crappy trip ;-)

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  46. FIEVEL GOES WEST. I just decided I'm going to be your new one sided best friend.

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  47. I particularly enjoyed the veiny tumbleweed. Very appropriate for Vegas.
    P.S. This whole damn things was hilarious.

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  48. Well, Duh! What'd you expect from Las Vegas' Strip?

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  49. I'd definitely make the statement that Las Vegas is an excellent representation of America. If some of the other parts of America (Not including Texas, Florida, or the Ozarks) are like the hot girl you meet at the club after a few drinks and she is "so cool", Las Vegas is like when you wake up the next morning and she's 40 pounds heavier, has a Twilight poster above her bed, and a mountain of dirty laundry in various shades of "blinding neon" is spilling out of the closet.

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  50. I love Las Vegas... and I am from there. It is sad that tourists only get to see what they see because there are great times to be had that don't involved all the gimmicks. I would do anything to be there right now. Those bright lights mean home.

    Also, Nevada is a great state. Reno is an awesome town (filled with the gimmick crap if you don't seek the other awesome aspects). It is beautiful!

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  51. I absolutely love this one. I loved the labyrinth reference and Fieval goes west reference. Both were quite a staple in my house. Sad to hear that your trip didn't go as well as you planned.

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  52. I have money and i'm going to party like a rock star. Real or Fake VEGAS HERE I COME BABY!!!!!!!!!!

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  53. The Apple buffet was perfect. For sure bringing that to my development studies class!

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  54. More Bowie please

    in various incarnations

    everywhere


    Thank you.

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  55. ive always kinda had a urge to go to las vegas just to see how outrageous it is and to blow a shit tone of money on hookers this makes me want to go even more. i always enjoy your funny ass stories

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  56. shoulda gotten a hip hop cd. a homemade rap booty video was one of the best purchases i have ever made. great for parties and making people feel uncomfortable!

    instead of an elephant

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  58. I went to the UK last year and so many of the people I met either went to or aspired to go to Vegas as their American vacation. I don't get it.

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  59. I saw the same thing at Disney, people taking photos with their iPad. It seems like the least convenient thing ever. Especially given that there are rides where you get wet.

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  60. That last line was the best "I guess what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas." Truer words have not been spoken.

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  61. I went to Vegas 2 years ago and I was walking down the strip and this homeless guy was yelling at the people at the bus stop. All I heard him clearly say was "people who take the bus are fucking peasants." Who says that? Haha.

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  62. Staying at the Luxor, I was paranoid that whole thing would collapse. I also had an anxiety attack while walking the streets at night; I was overstimulated by the crowds, lights, and music.

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  63. Nuuuu...

    She looks like a very sad kitty.

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  64. Ha! I think the buffet of apple products is a GREAT comparison. We are way too wasteful, it's sad.

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  65. You should have had the American Eagle shitting chicken nuggets. I've never been to Las Vegas but I feel that I agree with everything that you've just said only I could not put the best words into my assumptions. Thanks for justifying my opinion. I'll spend less on the freak show that is Atlantic City.

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  66. Soooo I live in vegas, I've lived here my whole life and I died laughing at this post. Yeah its all true. I wish you lived here though, I promise you'd like it. and I own the go-kart track right off the strip... would have given ya a deal! Please try vegas again, the right way though... which is the locals way please :)

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  67. did you go to Vegas by yourself??

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  68. This is all true, however it should be "5 reasons to avoid the Las Vegas STRIP" rather than avoiding the city as a whole. This is why Vegas has this stigma because apparently the strip IS Las Vegas. People say they hate Las Vegas all because they travelled a whole FOUR miles in the city. It may come as a surprise that there's actually a city surrounding Las Vegas Blvd offering more than just drunk, idiotic tourists and fake hotels.

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  69. I like that Febreze is not afraid to show her Cesarean scar.

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  70. #6
    The cocaine there is a joke. Absolute crap :(

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  71. i've lived in vegas my entire life, and i agree about the horror of the strip. my high school was right off las vegas boulevard, and sometimes we would have shelter in place drills because a hobo would wander onto campus or a drug bust was happening across the street. but there are nice parts, i promise :)

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  72. There's more to Vegas than the Strip...in fact, most of Vegas ISN'T the Strip. Good lord. I love your stuff but you sound like a whiny little kid.

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  73. Living in Vegas is even worse... It means that when you see all of the trash, you're home...

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  74. As a South African, (look it up) - I would just like to point out that we have buffets too... Just not ones with Apple products :(

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  75. You forgot the horrid smell of cheap perfume that permeates the air of every hotel and casino–– pumped into the air conditioning system to cover the smell of cigarettes and despair.

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  76. As a resident of Las Vegas and someone who works on the strip, I can agree with this wholeheartedly. I avoid it like the plague on my days off. And if I am going there on the off chance - a show or something, I do everything I can to get where I'm going the back way.

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  77. Well ... other than the bit about the touts handing out the hooker leaflets, I can't say I agreed with a word you said (having visited Vegas from the UK about 12 times now - lost count) - but hey, we're all different thank God - and in fairness, I definitely can't deny that your comics are excellent and without question you should pursue this incredible talent!

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  78. This sums it up!

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  79. The comment about Vegas having a whole different city of people who have nothing to do with the strip. What they didn't tell you was how low class they were, and how many. The place is overrun with people that can't find a job, or just plain don't want to work & are on welfare and food stamps. It's a way of life for these kind of people. Also they are rampant with gangs...so you have to be very careful as to where you go in the city. One wrong turn and you could be in big time trouble. I have a 18 year old granddaughter who is coming to Vegas with her 40 year old boy friend to live, and I'm scared to death for her. She's very beautiful & draws attention every where she goes. We love her very much,and we are concerned for her...

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  80. Should have gone to Reno...Nevada's other city

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  98. I hate all of the Angelenos that go there. I'm from Los Angeles and I can hardly stand being around them here. Vegas is a place where all of the obnoxious douche-canoes (male and female) with low IQ's and a flair for being immodest sh--heads congregate on the weekends (Again, I'm speaking in reference to the idiot citizens from LA and OC that infest that mecca of human degeneration and debauchery; ruining it for the rest of the world's travelling population.). It's a shame because I've been an avid poker player for over a decade now and I used to patronize places like the Mirage; enjoying extended games and socializing with an albeit transient but vibrant international community of players....but I've resigned myself to playing in Cali poker rooms now...just because I can't stand the site dumb ass Angelenos who walk around trying to project the most pathetic example of a life they wished lived. The attempt at trying to "out-party" and have more fun than any of your friends did the previous weekends (evidenced by their less-than unique club photos that everyone posts on fb); telling your, "OMG! I got sooo wasted..." stories qualifies as a contemptible act deserving of a savage, ego shattering tongue-lashing. (Big middle finger) I've been feeling this way for years.
    I CAN NOT STAND that soulless, plastic, desert sh--hole and it will be a COLD f--king day in hell before I ever go back. Peace.

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  122. I used to live in Las Vegas, and spent more of my life there than anywhere else - I HATED it. My stamp of approval is on your piece as you truly captured the essence of the place. Also, beyond the strip and all around (family-friendly stuff included) this cesspool has literally nothing to offer. Now I live in Vancouver, WA - about 5 minutes from Portland. Funny how things work!

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  125. Vegas is what it is advertized to be, a immoral shit hole in the desert.
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  126. I am in Las Vegas right now, having a miserable time. Your post gave me a sense of solidarity and a laugh. I thank you for it.

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  127. Well put. When I went there with a group of friends 13 years ago I was the only one who left crying for real, stinky Venice, not being satisfied by a crystal clear fake Venetian. There is hope for me yet, I thought I was the only person who hated Vegas. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wit and for sharing. I am inspired to write a rant of my own in regards to cruise ships.

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  128. Vegas is not for everyone. Its not for the prude. Its not for the cheap. Its not for the poor.
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  129. Hated it there for the same reasons, and also got a cold while there. Must be part of the experience. Supposed to go on vacation to relax, not feel assaulted on every street corner and wiped-out from infection. The blisters on the feet from all the walking (on the strip and the overly large hotels) was just icing on the cake. Leaving Vegas was the highlight of my trip.

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  134. I have lived in Vegas for 26 years, I was born and raised here. And though I dislike the strip as well, and the blog was funny most of the time, I'm a little shocked that all these people who judge Vegas based on the strip alone, saying really ignorant comments like "No real city beyond that". Its not the best city (not even close) I'm aware of this, But there is so much more here then just "the strip" people are born here, grow up here, and die here just like any other place in america, yeah the strip is full of advertisements what tourist location isn't? of course all your going to see its Wak Arnolds ad's full of monster energy drinks. step outside the strip, AWAY from downtown, and you'll see a normal city with normal people doing normal things, having picnics, inviting friends over, playing basket ball. hell getting traffic tickets. Don't just judge us off our "worst" I don't go to your city slap myself into your ghettos, and start claiming it sucks never go there.
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  136. vegas sucks ass.. i just got back and i will never go again.. they should have left it to the gangsters to run! cheap food and booze is what brought people in to gamble!.. now everything is so fuckin overpriced.. and no one even wins anymore... plus the rooms are fuckin filthy now! corporations got their hands on it and ruined it.. fuck vegas!! never again!

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  137. I stayed in Las Vegas for two days when I was driving across country. My first time there. Upon checking in I was given a docket for a free drink by the hotel and the bartender tried to say I couldn't use it. When I got up to leave he gave me my free beer in exchange for the docket. I went to a strip club with my companion where a stripper giving him a dance hit him in the face after he lost his "1 free dance voucher." The only thing I took from the Vegas strip was the feeling that I don't belong there. I'm too average and casual, and thrifty. It probably helps to look and play that part if you're trying to experience what Vegas has to offer, other than being asked if you want cocaine or a free limo to a strip club every 5 minutes.

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  139. Absolutely FANTASTIC review of Vegas... Just got back yesterday and still in shock about that place... $4 single espressos at Starbucks, hotels advertising 61 storeys (when floors 40-49 actually missing), tix4tonight with the hard upselling "why don't you wanna buy a restaurant coupon from us?", "do you wanna upgrade to VIP tix?",etc, line-ups for everything, beggars every 20 feet along the strip, fat freaks, naked freaks, dirty freaks, half-naked young girls everywhere, and the worst thing of Vegas... a strip that is worse than a giant IKEA... from A to B is 500 feet, but have to walk a mile instead.. lol.... F*** Y** Vegas.... Nothing but a prison that tries 101 sneaky ways to rip the money out of your wallet! What a SAD SAD place Las Vegas is...

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  140. Home sweet home - after two nights and one day on the strip, even though I'm an atheist, I feel my spirituality is all fucked up. Gross, plastic, teeming with depression and slushie machines, the strip almost broke my spirit! Good thing there was a long drive through the beautiful desert to help me heal on the way home. Thanks for writing about your experience . . . we share the same goal: to never step foot in that part of town again.

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