I just got back from a two week trip to Las Vegas. I was doing some shoots for the TV show I work on and was rather busy, and hence, my lack of writing for this site. Anyway, after spending a ton of time, really too much time by my estimation, in Las Vegas, I have come to realize that there are archtypes of people in Las Vegas. When you make your way to Vegas some day, make sure you are able to identify some of these people:
5. The Locals – First of all, you have to realize that Las Vegas is a city that is not confined to Flamingo Road. People think of Vegas and they think of all the bright lights and the strip and all the wonderful opportunities they have. When people are flying into Vegas, there is probably no flight in the world filled with more anticipation and possibility. You can literally do anything you want in Vegas. But that is the strip. The glamorous part of Vegas. The second you go anywhere NOT on the strip, Vegas becomes so slummy and disgusting that you would almost rather be in Detroit. And with that comes the locals. Now, before I put down ALL of the Las Vegas locals, know that that is not my intention. I am sure there are some normal, upstanding citizens in that town. But also know that I did not really meet or see any of them. Most of the people were dirty and disgusting. They looked like the type of people that probably spent too much time on the strip, lost their money, developed a drug habit, and couldn’t afford a flight home so they just stayed. It seems that Locals do not go to the casinos all that much unless they are working there, which is nice. But if you find yourself outside the strip, be aware. To be fair, one of the locals that owned a Tiger was awesome. And the people at Bonanza Beverage. They rock too.
4. Out of His League Guy – This guy is usually (and I say usually because I have spotted about 7 OOHLG’s when I was there and they were all pretty much the same) a short guy with a nice suit on and he has a beautiful woman hanging off his arm. They girl is usually foreign, but not a Lady of the Night (see below). OOHLG is probably a high roller or just a baller with a ton of cash, and I didn’t see many AT the actual casinos. The place to catch OOHLG is to go to one of the 24 hour wedding chapels. I suggest the Little White Wedding Chapel with Elvis’ swinging legs and pink Cadillac parked in the drive way. We were there for about 3 hours filming and this place had a turnover of weddings that rivaled that of In-and-Out. And most of the guys were batting WAY above their average. They would arrive in a limo, say their vows, fill out a form as to where their pictures should be sent, and then get back in the limo “forever” bound to that beautiful woman who for some reason agreed to this…again, probably for the money.
3. Can’t Walk Away Guy – Listen, if you are ANYONE on this list, just DO NOT let it be this guy. This is the guy that will sit at a table and gamble away his life savings. This is the type of guy the casino’s make all of their money on. He is the guy (and we witnessed this several times) that will lose on a roll of dice in craps, have a major outburst about how that was bullshit, get up, go to the ATM, withdrawl money, and sit right back down and do the SAME EXACT THING. Now, I am a rather conservative gambler. I prefer betting little, drinking plenty, and sitting back and people watching. Many different days on my trip I was able to gamble for hours on end and only lose maybe $5-$20, and a lot of the times even gain money. So when I sat at the craps table for about 9 hours one day and saw this guy lose $8,000 while I sat calmly and gained all of $16, I knew this guy had a problem. This is the type of guy that finds his way to the top of the Stratosphere to jump off of it at the end of the day. Just remember to always walk away every now and then. Even if you go back to the table, when you are up, just take a quick walk. DO NOT BECOME CANT WALK AWAY GUY!
2. Lady of the Night – Ok, so quick story…I KNEW that prostitution was a real thing. I mean, it has been around forever. But it is a weird life altering moment when you actually witness it. In my 25 years of life, I have read about it in countless stories, seen it in video games and movies and TV, but not one time did I ever see it in real life…until this trip. And let me tell you, it is weird. Some women are blatantly acting as professionals and let you know. Others try to weasel in by being nice and commenting on your rather large winnings. You are put in a super weird position too because you can’t really be like “nah, I am good. I do not need your services” only to find out she is really just a nice woman who wanted to meet some guy on her trip. I mean how offensive is that?? But these Ladies of the Night are real and they are out there. And when you see them work, it sort of makes the really cool casino with all the really cool lights and sounds and magic of the tables a little less magical and little more seedy. Of course, if you happen to be into that sort of thing, Vegas is the place for you. I suggest becoming the next person on this list…
1. Tourists – This is probably you. Someone swinging into Vegas for a weekend of “anything goes and I do not need to tell anyone else about what happens here”. You probably made a Vegas playlist with ‘Viva Las Vegas’ on it for your flight/drive in to get pumped up. The possibilities of this place are endless and the hope of something magical happening is still fresh in your mind…And I will leave it there. Good luck to everyone visiting that place. I have spent too much time there as it is I feel. Just remember, Las Vegas subsists completely on tourists, so you will almost always lose money one way or another. Just make sure that money goes towards some wonderful memories.
Also, quick note…stay out of Pahrump, NV at all costs. Seriously, it is like the Hills Have Eyes out there. This is your first and only warning.