Been to Las Vegas lately?
I just spent a few days there last weekend. While I have been to Vegas numerous times and always stayed on the strip, I realized on this trip that the Vegas of days past is mostly gone.
With new real estate and development always underway in Sin City, developers keep trying to push the envelope – How much more luxurious can we make this building? How can we outdo our competitor? How can we attract more guests? All of this has slowly transformed the strip into the land of opulence and extravagance.
Not long ago, Vegas was the place to have a cheap weekend getaway. I remember hotels on the strip used to boast about their cheap buffets and hotel rooms. Not so much anymore. Now the Vegas strip is a playground for luxury, lavish shopping, and fine dining. Everything here has become upscale. Malls are full of stores with designer brands, many restaurants have Michelin starred chefs, and it seems no expense is spared. Even when it comes to gambling, cheap tables are hard to find.
Extravagance is everywhere and bargains are nowhere to be found. I just about had a heart attack when I realized that a glass of wine in a casino the strip would cost me $15-$20 a glass. Even a can of soda ($4.50) with a slice of pizza ($5.50) will cost you $10.
That’s not to say you can’t still find bargains and good deals anymore. They’re just not on the strip. Head into downtown Vegas and Fremont Street for the cheaper tables and better prices on food and rooms. However, if you are hanging out on the strip, expect to pay double or triple what you would expect to pay.
The Las Vegas strip has certainly made a name for itself over the years. As the area continues to evolve and rebuild, I would expect the upscale trend to continue, tourism to increase, but the duration and frequency of trips per person to decrease.
Time to start saving!