It is one of the great paradoxes of my existence. I don’t drink and have never been drunk in my life. I never do drugs. I don’t gamble (with the exception of blackjack). I’m an introvert who hates big parties, dance clubs, and loud bars. I never have sex with hookers. And yet, Las Vegas is one of my most beloved cities in the world, and certainly my favorite city in the United States to visit (the eternally-beautiful San Diego being a close second).
I have been to Vegas more times than I can count. Living in the Pacific Northwest, Vegas is a quick and inexpensive two hour flight from where I live, and sometimes I go several times a year. I was just there last week (the picture above is one I took myself) and I will be going again soon.
I am intimately familiar with the entire town, from Summerlin in the north to Henderson in the south, the entire Strip, almost all the hotel resorts on the The Strip, and have stayed at many of them. I am also familiar with the surrounding neighborhoods, since at one point several years ago I strongly considered moving to Vegas for fun and tax reasons. (At some point I may still get a cheap apartment down there, maybe make that my American oasis when I move to Asia. So tempting!)
Many times I go for work (usually public speaking), but most of the time I go for fun. While high-tech urban Asia feels to me like the place I should have been born into, Las Vegas is like a beautiful, forever-stable, long distance lover, always there when I need her. It truly is one of the best places on Earth, even if you’re an introvert like me. If you have never been, you need to go.
Today I’m going to run down the specifics of Vegas from my perspective, especially for those of you who have never been there. Most of what I will be talking about is The Strip, the main street in Vegas where all the action is, the one you see in all the movies.
1. The hotels are the best in the world.
That’s a literal statement. The Wynn, the hotel I tend to stay at most often, is (or at least was a few short years ago) the most expensive hotel ever built in world history. It cost around $2 billion. That’s a number that would make even Donald Trump puke. (And The Donald has his own residential tower right across the street from the Wynn)
The reason is because most hotels in Vegas also include an entire mall, an entire casino, numerous shops, and several regular shows. Hotels on The Strip are really not hotels, they’re full-blown resorts. You could seriously spend 2-3 days within some of the bigger ones and never leave the place, and be entertained the entire time.
Most hotels have a theme. Treasure Island is the pirate hotel, Excalibur is the medieval hotel, Caesars Palace is the Roman hotel, and so on. Then you have hotels like the Wynn and Palazzo that are just really frickin’ fancy.
Best of all, most of the hotels on the Strip are shockingly inexpensive for what you get. Since Vegas makes most of its money from the casinos, it doesn’t need to charge much for hotel rooms. There’s a handy map with current price specials right here which will give you a good idea of how cheap it all is.
I’m familiar with just about all the hotels on The Strip but my favorites are The Wynn, the Palazzo, THE Hotel (yes, that’s what it’s called) and the Mandarin Oriental. However there’s a ton more I really do like, including Aria, the Venetian, Mandalay Bay, and the Rio.
I’m usually staying at one of those above, though often when I want to keep things on the cheap I will stay at the Excalibur, where you can get a very nice hotel room, right on The Strip, for around $37 a night. Amazing.
That’s my main point here. Going to Vegas is really, really cheap. That’s probably one of the big reasons I like it so much. Even not including airfare, I always spend way more money going to New York, because New York is a fucking ripoff. Granted, New York is a very cool place but it can’t hold a candle to Vegas.
2. It’s easy to get laid in Vegas (though that’s not the reason I go).
This is already common wisdom among night game guys. Vegas is one of the easiest places to get laid in the world, and I’m not talking about hookers. I’m talking about all the hot chicks who go to visit.
It’s true. If you have even mediocre game and don’t mind staying out well past 1am, it’s very easy to get laid in Vegas. In the later hours there are mobs of scantily clad mediocre to hot women of all age groups getting drunk and living it up. I’ve also heard there are good daygame opportunities at the hotels’ many pools, many of which are clothing optional. (You should see all the big fake boobs on display at the Wynn’s pools.)
I personally don’t do any of this when I go to Vegas. It’s very rare I have sex while there (unless I bring a woman with me) because I’m too busy doing all the other fun stuff, and I don’t like staying out later than about 11pm or midnight. I get plenty of sex in my usual day-to-day life so I don’t see any big need to bust my ass to ignore all the fun Vegas stuff just to get another notch.
Regardless, the overall point here is if you want to go to Vegas to get laid, it’s definitely the place.
3. The shows are awesome and inexpensive.
Every night there are scores of shows going on, most of which you can go to for under $40. There are magicians and stand-up comics (both my personal favorites), plays, dance shows, tributes (Beatles, Michael Jackson, etc), strip shows, comedy shows, weird shit (Blue Man Group), interactive shows, operas, musical acts from A-list musicians and/or actors, you name it, it’s in Vegas, and it’s good.
I don’t go to the shows that often, since most of my fun time in Vegas is spent exploring. That being said, I have been to many shows, and I have never seen a show in Vegas I disliked.
Usually there is a free magazine in your hotel room outlining all the shows available over the next week or two, so they make things very convenient. (Again…they want that cash in your wallet.)
4. Yep, there are hookers, so be careful.
While prostitution is legal in most of the state of Nevada, it’s technically illegal in downtown Vegas. Moreover, the huge corporations that run Vegas now have become militant, at least to a degree, about keeping the working girls out of the casinos.
However, despite all of this, Vegas is still swarming with hookers. If you spend any time alone in a casino after about 7pm, you’ll either be hit on by one (especially if you’re dressed nice or look married) or see someone close by be approached.
I don’t have sex with hookers, but being a libertarian and a high sex drive man, I have a strange sort of respect for what they do. They provide an extremely valuable and necessary service the free market demands. What would all those millions of betas and too-busy-to-date Alphas do without hookers?
The first time I ever saw a Vegas pro I was playing blackjack, and a much-too-nice hot chick sat down right next to me and started flirting with me hard. I knew something didn’t smell right (sober women just don’t hit on guys like that) so I rebuffed her. She simply smiled and started talking to the dude next to me, and older guy. He just grunted at her. So she moved on to the third guy at the table, an overweight Asian dude. He smiled at her and they started talking. After the shoe was over, they left together. I laughed. Now that’s a professional saleswoman. (Vegas hookers could make some serious cash as corporate sales trainers.)
I’ve had some hilarious interactions with the hookers in Vegas. Usually they’ll approach you and are way, way too nice. They will often identify themselves by asking where you’re from or if you’re local. They want to determine if you’re visiting and not from Vegas.
I’ll do things like when she asks “So where are you from?” I’ll immediately answer, “How much!?!” with a big excited smile on my face. I’m not going to have sex with any hookers but it’s fun to play around with them. Sometimes they sputter, and it’s fun. Usually they’ll be coy and give a “Well…it depends” type answer. Fake-flirting with professional hookers is great woman-practice.
I like to push the envelope. One time I started negotiating with a hooker at the Bellagio and it was hilarious. I said, “Okay, so, what if I just wanted to have sex with your ear? Just for fifteen minutes. How much would that cost me?” She said something like “You can do whatever you want, sweetheart.” Then I started touching her ear and examining it like a doctor (hooker-kino!), saying things like “Hm…I don’t know, my cock is pretty big and your ear is pretty small…”
Anyway, hookers aren’t for me but if you’re into that kind of thing, go ahead. If you’re like me and would rather not, just have fun with them and consider it part of the Vegas experience. Get in some dating/pickup practice. Of course if you are never alone you’ll probably never have to worry about them, since they seem to only approach lone wolves.
5. Gambling is everywhere, but don’t be stupid.
Other than blackjack, which I enjoy playing a great deal, I never gamble. I never do slot machines or roulette or baccarat or table poker or any of that crap. However, Vegas is designed to make you want to gamble, and it’s very effective.
The usual technique of “just take $100 and plan on losing it, and if you lose it, fine” can work, but it only works if you have a great deal of self-control, and most people do not, as evidenced by the huge profits gleaned by casinos not just in Vegas, but all over the world.
A smart person goes to Vegas and does not gamble, thereby taking advantage of all the super-low hotel prices made possible by all the idiots losing money at the casinos. Moreover, since I only play blackjack which has the highest statistical odds of beating the house out of all forms of gambling, and since my blackjack winnings usually exceed my loses (over time and on average), often my blackjack winnings pay for some or all the cost of the trip.
For example, on this particular trip I won $190 profit playing blackjack, which pretty much paid for my plane ticket. Not bad. But again, I do NOT play any other gambling game when in Vegas and I have an extreme level of emotional control when I play blackjack. Which means I get up from the blackjack table and leave when I’m winning, which is, again, something most human beings don’t have the ability to do. (One of the many advantages of having emotional control over your actions is that things like blackjack can become a source of net income.)
So gamble if you wish, but buyer beware.
That’s Las Vegas in a nutshell. I will be going back at least two more times this year. I’m even tempted to do a Blackdragon seminar down there one of these days. We’ll see.