Sunday, May 21, 2006

Thank goodness for the Stardust!

I thought that I was actually going to have to pay for every night of my upcoming Las Vegas trip. Fortunately, I received a decent offer from the Stardust Resort and Casino: two nights at $38/night, two free nights, plus $10 in cash when I get there. Add that to my Southwest Airlines ticket which cost $5 (got the voucher for frequent flying on Southwest), and I guess you might say that I am living right! Less than $75 for flight and hotel means a bigger bankroll for poker.

The Stardust is an interesting place. I will be sad to see it go at the end of this year. The rooms are just okay and the location is less than desirable, but you can't beat the special deals on rooms. The clientele at Stardust tends to be older and more subdued than at many of the newer, glitzy places, so it is actually an oasis of sanity in the crazy world of Las Vegas.

One previous stay at the the Stardust really sticks in my mind. My brother Jim and I noticed that the crowd in the Stardust appeared to be much younger than normal. We ventured into the Stardust convention area and discovered that we were staying at the hotel at the same time as a swingers convention!

How to tell a swinger at a Stardust convention: Men - 30ish, go to the gym five times per week, appear to be very happy (and we know why); Women - 30ish, clothes straight out of Victoria's Secret, cornered the market on silicone.

Now, having been to Las Vegas many, many times over the past 25 years, it's not like I am shocked by anything I see. However, having all those swingers parading all around the hotel and casino, I felt this sudden urge for cleanliness and was hesitant to touch anything.

I have to admit, though, the the atmosphere was certainly different. I am used to getting in at 4:00 am and walking through a quiet, dead casino. That trip, however, my 4:00 am return to the casino found two women feeling each other up in a bar, with two hormonally-charged men at their sides, wide-eyed and salivating.

Only in Las Vegas ...


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