by Nina Slawek

Confessions of a Vegas Virgin

A 54-year-old's first foray into Sin City

Like all of us in travel, I’ve done my share of airports. But, until recently, LAS had not graced my baggage tags.

The folks at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority had enough of my announcing that I had never been to Vegas as though it was a badge of honour. They decided to strip me of that dubious distinction with an escorted passage to sinful adulthood.

The chatter about Vegas is so loud, the stories so crazy, there was no way of knowing what to expect. Would I find a cliché or my all time fav getaway? All I knew was that I should expect fun, food and lots of fabulosity.

Vegas delivered on all F fronts. What I found was an all out seduction of the senses.

A light breakfast at the Cosmopolitan

Absolutely everything I wrapped my lips around – food, drinks, ice cream, coffee -- was decadently delicious. The friendliness of the staff made it an absolute pleasure to be served. Eye candy at every turn – whether it was the quirky wallpaper in my room, the light shows or sleek architecture. The sound of music and laughter is everywhere. Folks are genuinely enjoying themselves and it’s infectious.

I’d always heard the city is designed for pleasure – but what really makes it come to life is the absurdity with which it presents itself. Vegas makes no apology for being over the top – and neither did I.

How a Vegas Virgin celebrates her Birthday!

So what about the debauchery, you may ask? Read the sub-head, I’m middle-aged. However, I will say that I turned 55 later in the week in the midst of the Ensemble Conference. In my Vegas inspired euphoria, I forced Birthday celebrations on all members, whether they were willing participants or not. I’ve heard Ensemble is changing the timing of their conferences to no longer coincide with October 20th.  ‘Nuf said.

My host, Patrice Bell, taking me for a joy ride

My guide through this journey of Las Vegian delights was none other than the strip’s habitué, Patrice Bell. She did her best to keep me focused, but I kept wandering off to buy more oxygen. Nonetheless, I took a few important notes: the average daily rate for a hotel last year was $105. I find that hard to believe considering they are the size of my house. There are 150,000 rooms to be sold every day within a 5 mile strip, so no wonder WestJet flies so many planes there. On average, visitors travel to Vegas 2.3 times per year. And 1.7 million Canadians visited the city last year. Apparently Las Vegas is on track for a record year.

Now that I'm back from my gentle introduction, I'm spreading the word that "I've only ever been to Vegas once!" I figure that ought to do the trick and earn me another junket. It's no wonder people keep going back. Once really doesn't count.

A view from the top


November 26, 2012 at 11:06

Hey there, Nina. I notice that all your companions are male - well done! Amazing city - totally agreed!


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