There has been several post over the past few months from some of us how Las Vegas has changed, but not for the better. Many have responded to those threads with agreement and understanding, and others claim we are whining and need to move on. I don’t think we are whining but I agree it’s time to move on. I will try to put into words what I and others feel has happened to “our city”.
As I already stated it is hard to explain, but in the 80s, 90s you felt special just being there. My first trip was in 1983, so I don't know about earlier times, but I do wish I could have seen the Rat Pack live.
The places we liked to stay back then were the Tropicana in the summertime for the great pool, and the MGM Grand (before it became Ballys) in the winter. If the weather was not to hot we enjoyed walking the Stip in the day time, sometimes you had the whole sidewalk to yourself for a minute or so before you came across someone else. I still remember the large rose bushes shaped into small trees that lined the front of Ceasers Palace, and I think there was a Shell service station where the Mirage is now. Most of the foot traffic was around the Stardust, Westward Ho, and Circus Circus.
At night we would dress up just a little, depending on where we were planning on dinner then hit the casino, buy in at the crap table or the black jack table for a couple hundred dollars and play for several hours, and more often than not the floor person would come over and offer us dinner without us asking. I guess dressing nice made the difference, we are not high rollers, I was just a construction worker that made a decent living. Most casinos had great lounge shows with a two drink minimum, but the drink prices were very cheap.
We could play the nickel slots for hours on $20 worth of nickels. I remember hitting a $500 jackpot on a dollar machine back in 83 and that was a lot of money.
There is much more to it than what I listed above, these are some of the things that stand out in my memory and I wish I was better able to explain the frustration I felt over the high prices, bad odds, and the feel that the place was trying to suck every last penny out of our pockets on our last few trips over the last few years or so.
Las Vegas would almost always get all of the money we took with us trip after trip and send us home with smiles on our face. Now they get all of our money but we are not smiling, and that is the big difference.
So we will be taking a break from Las Vegas for some time, we can get our gambling fix with a couple hour drive to Shreveport