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Las Vegas Past, Present and Future.....

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Ventura, California
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Las Vegas Past, Present and Future.....


My grandparents told me stories of old Las Vegas...when the Damm was built, when the Flamingo went up and nowbody thought anything would come of this dessert town. My first memories take me to the Desert Inn (now the Wynn) My folks were considered whales back then. We would go 5 or 6 times a year. Always limo service to and from the airport. They would always go into a private room to check in and make us wait in the lobby. And even though my parents could of had a huge suite comped...they always opted to stay on the ground floor pool side rooms. Always 2 rooms that connected with a small patio. Very understated by todays standards. I remember sitting outside on our patio and having ducks come up to me and my brother. I remember swimming at night (unheard of now) and meeting kids from all over the world and wishing we could vacation somewhere other than Vegas. I remember when Wet and Wild had their grand opening. Dinner was almost always room service or just the Poolside Coffee shop. Folks stopped taking us when we started going into the casino at night and got caught trying to play the slots....anyone remember dime slots??? Now skip ahead to my 21st birthday....my first trip with friends. A trip i paid for myself. The Dunes (now Bellagio). I was also pregnant with my first child. I had this trip planned my whole life. I was so darned tired. I looked fat. I couldnt drink and all the smoke made me sick....didnt bring enough money and had no food our last 24 hours. Won 12.50 on airport nickel machine and scarfed at Burger King and puked on the plane. Now skip ahead to my kids being 3 and 4 years old. I am divorced and back at the Desert Inn with my folks (still comped) and my kids. Staying in the same rooms...creating memories for them. But this was a time of change in Las Vegas. People were actually being encouraged to bring their kids. The MGM had a small version of Disneyland. The Excalibur opened and had the entire basement full of kiddie fun. Treasure Island had the Pirate Battle and Mirage the Volcano. Luxor had the pyramid and a huge gaming level. The Forum Shops had just opened and my kids refered to it as the "underground mall". My BFF and her hubster just divorced...we started taking the kids and staying at Tropicana. I was able to get comped there and it was close to the Four "kiddy" corners. Then we started alternating between Tropicana and Tresure Island. As the kids got older they were sick of Las Vegas...started to ask for a different vacation. "Why cant we go to Hawaii" they would say. As they turned into teenagers and started to try to get away with playing slots and getting drink service at the pool. We stopped taking the kids. Now its just BFF, Mom and Grandma. The Bellagio opened and we are hooked right away. The Fountains and Conservatory and what do you know...after the first trip...Mom is now fully comped. Those were fun years. No kids. Beautiful Pool, wonderful Buffet and the spa...awwww i always come out feeling like "budda".


Bellagio is still a favorite of mine. Grandma is 85 and still gives those penny slots a run for their money. We cant quite convince her that it is more expensive to play max pennies than the 2 or 3 single line quarter machines. As both of my kids turn 21...what do they want to do....go the Las Vegas. With their friends of course. They plan their first trips with excitement. My son's first trip with a group of buddies at Bally's. My daughters first trip with a group of BFF's at Excalibur. They paid for those first trips their selves. Didnt bring enough gambling money. Drank to much...and my daughter just threw her heels in the trash rather than carry them home from along night at Pure or Tryst. Both kids admitted that their trips with the family were just more fun. I now go the Las Vegas just once a year and have taken my kids as "adults". Stayed at theHOTEL for 6-6-6. Tropicana for 7-7-7 and the Signature for 8-8-8. I do not have a 9-9-9 trip planned because this year i went the first week of August. 2 Days with BFF at Caesars and 2 days at Flamingo with parents and grandson. My parent are no longer whales and comped at any joint they go to. It made me so happy to take them "on me". Limo ride from the airport...huge Metro Suite at Flamingo and my joy in watching my Grandsons amazement at Bellagio Fountains, Mirage Volcano, First Limo ride and laying in the bed in our Metro Suite and watching the planes come in for a landing. We spent hours at the Flamingo Pool and he must of went down that slide a hundred times.


My grandma is still alive and contiues to thrive at 85, my parents still together and in love at 65, me at 45 (single and looking), kids at 25 and grandson is 7. FIVE generations of Las Vegas lovers. I am planning a trip for May/June 2010. Want to try the Wynn. I would love to get a 2 or 3 bedroom Villa and have all 5 generations together in this dirty town, in the middle of the desert that has seduced us all since the 1940's.

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1. Re: Las Vegas Past, Present and Future.....

What a wonderful way of reminiscing about Vegas. I hope that you all make it next year with all the generations and enjoy yourselves.

Goshen, NY
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2. Re: Las Vegas Past, Present and Future.....

This report was a trip. Thanks so much for bringing back lots of Vegas memories, especially the old Desert Inn.

Destination Expert
for Las Vegas
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3. Re: Las Vegas Past, Present and Future.....

Very interesting retrospective. I hope you do get your whole family together for that trip next year. It will be something they will all remember.

I seriously considered doing this with our whole family last year for our anniversary. And including our grandchildren in our ceremony renewing our vows. Although you're a lot braver than I. I did check out suites for us to congregate, but wasn't about to actually let the children stay with us. You may have great memories of kids in Vegas, but we don't.

But I certainly hope it works out for you. And that is one Trip Report I'm looking forward to reading.

Ventura, California
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270 posts
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4. Re: Las Vegas Past, Present and Future.....

I do understand why people do not want to bring their kids with them. Its a special time for mommy and daddy to be alone. To drink, eat and spend in excess. What happens there stays there. It is an escape from reality. A seduction in the desert and orgy of fun. I love those trips!

BUT....i also love being with my family. And for some it can be the best of both worlds. During the day activities with the kids are less expensive. Playing together at the pool. A quick easy lunch. An afternoon in an arcade. A family show like Lion King or Mystere. Then back up to the room to get the kids ready for bed. Room service ice cream sundae's and an on demand movie. Then with the kids all tucked in...hire a nanny service or bring a teenage cousin and mommy and daddy can go out and drink and gamble and see the grown up shows.

How else can a city that is hurting so much in this recession breed a new generation of Las Vegas lovers.....??? Kid friendly activities. The city has overbuilt. Some experts say it will take 10 years to fill all the rooms that have been built...and the ones that started building and just stopped. 10 years from now those 10 year olds will be 20 and planning there first Las Vegas seduction.

My trip for 2010 with 5 generations will be very expensive. But who knows how long my grandma will be around....and for it to be at the Wynn...the ghost of the old Desert Inn would be so special. With alot of planning and skipping Christmas...it can be done!

Ventura, California
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270 posts
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5. Re: Las Vegas Past, Present and Future.....

I just wanted to add that we entered the Wynn "villa gettway" contest. I hope someone on here....especially me wins. 4 Nights in a Fairway Villa. Round trip Rolls Royce Limo service, private check in, 4 VIP seats to LeReve, Gourmet Dinner, 4 Good Luck ritual spa treatments and $1000 is free play. Its like dreaming of winning the lottery. Hope the odds are better!

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6. Re: Las Vegas Past, Present and Future.....

Wow! A lot of memories, and a lot of changes. Thank-you for sharing. I wonder, do you have photos from each of those trips? What a great scrapbook that would make!

Calgary, Canada
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7. Re: Las Vegas Past, Present and Future.....

Wow, thanks for sharing!

On our first trip to Vegas with friends many years ago we had fun at the amusement park at the MGM but had no kids with us. It was just us grown up kids!

However, our oldest daughter came with us last year with some other family members who we have also hooked on Vegas and we had a blast. She can't wait to go back again and we look forward to at some point going to Vegas with our other adult children.

We are headed back to Vegas in October with my sister and brother in law who just can't stay away ever since the first time they came with us.

So Susan you go girl! Hope you can add many more Vegas memories to your list with your family.



Omaha, Ne
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8. Re: Las Vegas Past, Present and Future.....

Thank you for sharing your memories! I loved it! I wish for you many more years of fun & happiness n the great city of Las Vegas.

worcester, ma.
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9. Re: Las Vegas Past, Present and Future.....

Dear Susan,

Thank you for bringing memories, tears and oh so many bittersweet reactions.

Vegas was our honeymoon destination in 74, Caesars..this seemingly oasis, now in retrospect , one of the 'tackiest" rooms ever, lol. Round bed, all mirrored walls, huge tub in the middle of the room. It was a fantasy for this newly wed twenty year old. Paul Anka,The Carpenters,Tony Bennett. Tipping $20 to receive a private booths in the showrooms, VIP treatment.

We traveled from the east coast at least 3 times a year and watched with awe the growth and transition. When our daughter came along, we introduced her to afternoons of Circus-Circus where we'd have to ship home the hordes of "prizes". She became a competitive dancer and each year in July, at 112+degrees, the nationals would be held.Hundreds of dancers would descend on this city, parents in tow.From UNLV to major hotels, another generation fell in love. Many of them are your entertainers in the shows there, today.

A divorce came, then a reconcile five years later. We decided to remarry while strolling the grounds of Mandalay Bay and entering the chapel, over Christmas vacation with our daughter and her love. Wedding planning at Mix, overlooking the lights and beginning our second journey. "Our" city had mesmerized once more.

The cancer came fast. He passed that July. We remarried in the hospital, never to share our place again. But, in a month, my daughter and I will be back, to scatter his remains . To revisit Cleopatra's Barge, walk in the shadows of the old DI, recall Wayne Newton, Siegfried and Roy, the Sands. My memories like yours are part of us, forever.

Do whatever you must to make your trip happen, people say...'life changes in an instant'..oh my, does it. Thank you again, wonderful memoir.

San Diego
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10. Re: Las Vegas Past, Present and Future.....

Thank you for posting this.

Its very nicely written.

Really captures the soulf of the place.