Visiting Vegas Now

Helping a City Overcome a Tragedy with Tourist Dollars

The iconic marquees of the Las Vegas Strip and throughout the Las Vegas Valley are displaying a message of strength, unity, and gratitude in support of the destination. The digital signs on hotels and attractions included an image of the Las Vegas Strip and the words, “We’ve been there for you during the good times. Thank you for being there for us now. #VegasStrong.” The tribute started Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. and was scheduled to run for the next 24 hours. Photo credit: Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

The iconic marquees of the Las Vegas Strip and throughout the Las Vegas Valley are displaying a message of strength, unity, and gratitude in support of the destination. The digital signs on hotels and attractions included an image of the Las Vegas Strip and the words, “We’ve been there for you during the good times. Thank you for being there for us now. #VegasStrong.” The tribute started Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. and was scheduled to run for the next 24 hours. Photo credit: Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

I love Las Vegas for a thousand campy reasons—the lights, the glitz, the music of the Sex and the City slot machine. I love the show girls posing for photos on the streets, the sheer energy of the strip, the high-end shopping that I can really only dream about. I also like that Las Vegas has an intellectual side that, if not played down, seems not to be emphasized. The last time I am there, I see more Fabergé eggs than I am able to view when I am in Russia. I see ancient woolly mammoth tusk carvings on display at Treasure Island. I sniff the perfume that a perfumer carried aboard the Titanic.

Las Vegas beyond Gambling

I like the nonstop element of the place, the lights in the darkness, the Eiffel Tower, the gondola rides, veggie burgers at 2 a.m. I like that I can see Carlos Santana and Donny & Marie in the same week. Yes, I like ascending Machu Picchu, cruising the original Eiffel Tower, and touring a banana farm in Costa Rica, too. But Las Vegas has something those places do not.

#VegasStrong

Las Vegas remembers New York after 9/11. Photo credit; M. Ciavardini.

Las Vegas remembers New York after 9/11. Photo credit; M. Ciavardini.

And so I would like to go there when people might hesitate. A New Yorker, I remember how Manhattan needed tourist dollars after 9/11, and politicians and business people promoted the idea that now would be a good time to come to New York. Las Vegas might just be experiencing a temporary dip without any long-term impact on visitor levels due to the Oct. 1 shootings there. Even so, I have no problem encouraging Vegas to be strong and prospective tourists to go there. I would like to be one myself.

Did You Know?

Las Vegas is a top domestic destination (coming in at No. 4 after Los Angeles, Dallas, and Orlando) for Thanksgiving 2017 according to data (compiled before the shooting) from CheapOair.

—Lori Tripoli

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