I hate Las Vegas

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There—I said it. As the editor of a travel magazine I’m not supposed to hate any place, or so I’ve always assumed. If nothing else, it seems unkind to slag on a place that obviously other people enjoy. And honestly, I can usually find something fun and great and wonderful about anywhere. But as I was eating dinner tonight, I was flipping through Bon Appetit (looking good, by the way!), and I came across an ad for Wynn, the newish hotel from Steve Wynn. And every restaurant in the ad just seemed so awful. At this point, it’s old hat to complain about Vegas being fake, but I looked at the photos in the ad, and I just thought, They look like they’re from a computer game—maybe Grand Theft Auto: Country Club. I don’t want to be anywhere near these places. And I realized that if I never went to Vegas again, I’d be just fine.

It’s a shame, because I grew up adoring the place; we’d drive there in our RV from Southern California, getting up very early in the morning, and we’d watch the city lights from across the desert floor. There was just nothing--nothing!--quite so amazing as pulling into town and seeing the lights of Las Vegas. The Wynn, however, looked as far from glamorous as you can get. I mean, I like tacky, but this was tacky in all the wrong ways. And it sure as hell didn’t look fun.

But I didn’t want to just vent about Vegas; I actually wanted to ask those of you who really do enjoy it: Why? What is it that floats your boat about this place? What am I missing? Is it the feeling that anything can happen? (Personally, I can’t think of a place with more security cameras--you so much as pull out a camera in a casino and you’ll be face to face with the front door.)

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