What Really Stays in Vegas
I just returned from my annual jaunt in Las Vegas with my Atlanta crew feeling pretty much like I usually do- tired, a body that’s considerably heavier, and a wallet that’s considerably lighter. Vegas is a town that indulges all my vices- gambling, eating, boozing and the occasional trip to the “Gentleman’s Club”. And it’s all expensive. Maybe there was a time when the $5.99 prime rib dinner ruled the Strip, but those days are long gone. The airfare, lodging, eating, and nightlife will all put you in a serious hole, even before you can lose one double-down on a Blackjack table.
But here is the thing in Vegas- for the time you are there, you are dealing in some form of alternate currency. For example, we stayed at the Mandalay Bay where they have what is likely the best pool on the Strip. But for a mere $50 more, you can go to the upscale Moorea Club pool, or as I like to call it- the Naked Pool. Women, or paid strippers- I am not really sure which- can elect to bathe topless if they so choose. And, while I didn’t pay the entry fee…this time…my thought process to justify the cost is that I could lose much more than $50 at the tables for that 60-90 minute time frame.
You see, every minute you are not spending at a table in Las Vegas, is a money-saver for you and lost profit for the casino. And they know this. So they are going to find alternative ways to get that cash out of you. Want to see a show? How about $100-$150 per ticket. Want a massage? At Mandalay Bay, the massages start at $110. A round of golf? The only golf course on the Strip is located at the Wynn, and the rate there for 5 hours away from the tables is a mere $500. And the restaurants. Every major casino has at least 4 or 5 top of the line places where you can easily spend $100 per person. On a trip last year, Lady Steakhead and I had our most expensive and second most expensive meals ever…on consecutive nights. And where you would cringe about doing that anywhere else, for some reason in Vegas, it seems perfectly natural. I won’t even get into what you’ll drop if you venture into a club (gentleman’s or dance).
I hear this phrase often playing Blackjack about the “book”. Those that play the game know what I am talking about. The “book” says to hit a soft 17. The “book” says to always split 8’s (though I am still skeptical about that one). But what does the “book” tell you to do when you’ve blown your spending budget and you are only a day and a half into a three-day trip? Unfortunately, the “book” ends before you get to that point. Because what really stays in Vegas is your cash.