Friday, June 27, 2014

Thoughts about Vegas

I have been in Las Vegas (NV) for about 24 hours now. I am here for the American Library Association Annual Conference. It is not my first visit to Vegas, but it is the first time I have been here for a conference. The last time ALA was held in Vegas was in 1973.

Here are some somewhat random observations about Vegas based on this visit. Some are about Vegas as a place, and others are about Vegas as a venue for ALA Conferences.

  • "The Strip" has a lot of vertical to it, but outside of it, Vegas is like much of the west, and very low to the ground.
  • Because of the many tall buildings along the Strip, you can't really see the mountains, and get a physical sense of place.
  • Vegas is loud. Very loud. Every hotel lobby seems to be a mass of binging, clanging slot machines. The noise permeates the place. Also, the ceilings are generally low adding to the volume.
  • Signage is miserable. The hotels want to trap you at the gambling machines.
  • Outside is a mass of signs.
  • Traffic on the Strip is pretty bad.
  • The hotels and resorts are very territorial:
    • Fences abound between properties;
    • There is no idea of having the flow of traffic (vehicular and pedestrian) be logical;
    • Perfect example: the "Sky Bridge to Hotel" from the Convention Center....not sure what it goes over, there are no windows in it, there is no mention on the signs of which hotel, and the inside part ends at an escalator down to an alley between the Convention Center and the Hotel
  • Within hotels signage is at best miserable, and more often non existent.
  • There is no such thing as a straight line path between two points.
  • Nothing seems permanent. One of my colleagues was here 18 months ago for a meeting. There are no longer buildings in some places where there used to be, and vice versa. Some buildings new then look very run down already.
  • Distances are vast.....Instead of "objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear" it is true here that objects (hotels) you can see are further than you think.
I'll post more later about my more specific conference experiences/days.

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