The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Sherry and I are back from a quick weekend trip to Las Vegas. We had a great time, but I must say that for all I hear of Sin City's attempts to market itself as a family-friendly destination, I won't be bringing any kids there soon. Three occurrences that bothered me a little, and would bother me a lot if I had children in tow:

  • It's easy to get good food quickly if you're willing to drop $50 or so per diner, but if you desire an ordinary meal when staying at a casino you're out of luck. You have to stand in line for mediocre and overpriced food. (Saturday night we stood in line for 20 minutes. At 10 p.m.!) I'm sure there are better deals to be had outside, but that requires a journey into 105-degree heat. I wouldn't want to push a tot in a stroller outside for even a few minutes without an IV drip bag, or at least a mist spray bottle.

    (Whatever happened to subsidizing food and drinks to draw in the clientele, anyway? The Starbucks at Harrah's charged almost a dollar more per tall coffee than the one at the San Francisco Airport, which is just ridiculous.)

  • Walking outside at any time one can see, oh, a dozen advertisements for titties and more. I'm not a prude, but I'm not going to spend thousands of dollars and an airplane trip so I can explain to my son or daughter just what those two ladies are doing in the picture on top of the taxi.

    Strategically positioned down the street from Harrah's were two rather Neanderthalish men and a woman wearing T-shirts that shouted "STRIPPERS DIRECT TO YOU" or some such, passing out cards advertising stripper delivery. I don't know if they pass cards out to kids, but they did shove one in my face even though I had a wedding band and was holding hands with my wife, also wearing a wedding band. I'm rather startled to think that I was in their target audience. "Hey honey, look, we can order strippers to our hotel room. Which one should we get tonOWWW!!!"

  • By far the worst was when I was sitting innocently in the Bellagio sportsbook watching the Mariners lose to the Angels. They cut to a commercial -- and I do mean cut, because the next thing I knew I was watching a knife slice across the corners of a woman's mouth. It was a very graphic advertisement for Nip/Tuck. Just who is the target audience for that show, anyway? People with a secret desire to slice up prostitutes?

    Of course this last was hardly Vegas' fault. I guess I should amend my original statement to say that neither Vegas nor Angels broadcasts are family-friendly. Wonder what Angels owner Arte Moreno thinks of that?



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