Las Vegas, aka “Sin City” or the “Entertainment Capital Of The World” was our next stop after leaving Death Valley and a quick overnight stop at Lakeside Casino RV Park in Pahrump, NV (see our previous post).
Really tough transition going from the magnificent, colorful scenic geologic wonders of Death Valley National Park to the glitzy, somewhat gaudy, concrete jungle of suburban Vegas. Of course we knew when we planned to visit Vegas that that’s what it would be like but it was still a difficult adjustment.
Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort would be our home base for six nights. Note that when we checked in we were told it would be cheaper for us to pay the weekly rate ($375), leaving a day early than paying the daily rate which would be $406.76 ($399 minus a $40 AARP discount plus $46.76 tax).
As we pulled into the resort, we had to stop at the security station where we were asked if we had any pets to which we replied that we had an indoor cat. Apparently the security person ignored the indoor cat part of our answer, probably just indicating on our reservation that we had a pet. When we checked in at the front desk, we were assigned to site #417. Doggie heaven (or hell depending on how you look at it). Yes we do love dogs but not ones that were constantly yapping and barking ones like the ones near us. Very annoying! Next time we would ask for a site in the no pet area.
In addition to the pooch situation, another downside was that the sites were very close together with barely enough room to park the jeep.
Visitors to Las Vegas usually concentrate on the fun aspects of the city – the casinos, the shows and all the other glitz and glamour, paying little or no attention to its history. After the arrival of the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake railroad, the city began to grow, becoming incorporated in 1911. By 1931, gambling was legalized and organized crime had taken roots in the city. The construction of Hoover Dam beginning in 1931, brought an influx of construction workers, which started a population boom.
In 1941, the El Rancho Vegas Resort opened and was soon followed in 1946 by the opening of the Flamingo, funded by drug money from Bugsy Siegel. During the 1950s and 1960s, mobsters helped build the Sahara, the Sands, the New Frontier and the Riviera. Tourists flocked to the resorts—8 million a year by 1954—drawn by performers such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Elvis Presley, and by rows of slot machines and gaming tables. By 1989, Steve Wynn opened the first mega resort – the Mirage. It continued to grow since then and has over 150,000 hotels rooms along the strip, helping to house the 32 million tourists that visit the city each year.
When planning our itinerary, we had thought we might see a show and walk the “strip” but once there, that plan soon evaporated. It quickly became apparent that brightly lit neon signs, lavishly decorated buildings, people packed streets, crowded casinos and all the glitz and glamour that Vegas has to offer definitely was not our cup of tea!
But we did at least cruise along the strip during the day anyway! Lots of construction and traffic!
If you want to see showgirls, no need to go to a show, just go to the intersection of Main Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. Each showgirl is 26 feet tall. New 50 foot tall showgirls replaced the older ones in September 2022.
Located not too far from the showgirl signage is the Las Vegas Boulevard Gateway Arch. Lots of fun facts about the arches can be found on this website.
That was the extent of exploring the Strip. While there we had the coach washed by Red Rock RV Wash to remove all the dust acquired during our stay at Death Valley.
The day before our departure we had an appointment at Chapman Chrysler Jeep because we wanted to have a few things checked on the Jeep. While they were working on the Jeep and resolving the few minor problems that we had, we walked over to Mustang Sally’s Diner for breakfast. Cute place with a decent breakfast.
More photos of our stay in Las Vegas can be found here.
But even though we were in a suburban environment, we didn’t have far to go to get back to escape back to nature. Stay tuned….