Country Mouse, City Mouse

Whenever we move from a remote area to a city I am always struck by how different they are. We have done it enough at this point that Lee and I know we have to brace ourselves for a shock to the system and this time was no different. It may sound a little weird but keep in mind I haven’t had McDonalds or been in a Walmart for weeks…actually I haven’t been in a chain store of any kind for weeks and now I am surrounded by all the choices. Plus of course people…so many people and their cars and it can be a bit startling.

The other thing that’s interesting is I haven’t see a person of color in weeks. Southeast rural Nevada is all white people (that I saw) so being in Las Vegas with so many types of people was interesting. Las Vegas has an Asian district, mosques, and lots of Hispanic billboards and signs. There were no Spanish language billboards in southeast Nevada, actually come to think of it there were no billboards at all! And the traffic. Well the less said about that the better, but we were used to having roads mostly to ourselves and that is definitely not the case here. Lee is not a fan.

When we come to town we either stay at the RV park at Circus Circus, which Lee prefers, or we stay at the Las Vegas RV Resort, which is pretty decent but does have a ton of rules and busy bodies, or “camp squirrels” as Lee calls them. As soon as something new shows up they have to come investigate and offer chattering opinions. I get it, with this many people crammed into a relatively small space you need rules, but it does seem a bit extreme. Poor Jack can’t run around anywhere here, although they have a very nice dog park and he does seem to enjoy hanging out with all the puppies here. Still I am sure he misses seeing the bunnies in the state park, but like any good RV dog he is pretty flexible. Probably more flexible than we are.

There have been a surprising amount of changes to Las Vegas since we were last here in 2018. The town seems to have rebounded from the COVID impact and there are even a couple of new casinos to look at. The biggest is Resort World, which had barely started construction four years ago, and now towers above the strip. We went and checked it out and it was OK but I personally prefer the themed casinos. There are also some other changes like less free attractions and having to pay for parking that I was not a fan of and of course the prices on everything are higher.

That’s one other surprise from rural to urban, the prices are not as much cheaper as they usually are. Gas is about 40 cents less a gallon which is nice, but food prices are almost as high as in rural areas. There are also help wanted signs almost everywhere (which you rarely see in rural areas), but there is also a large homeless population which again is something rarely seen in the country. And of course the sound of sirens. Not one day has gone by without hearing them, and I don’t think I heard one in the country. And airplanes, and helicopters. We definitely prefer the bugling of an elk or the snuffling of a bear.

I know I keep harping on this, but we only drove 190 miles and the differences in lifestyle are astounding. Since election day is right around the corner, I can’t help but think about how those two disparate experiences are impacting the election. Anyways, you get it, so I will just share some pictures with you. My Mom is arriving here on Weds and Lee is going back to Columbus to see his Mom and Dad on Thursday so I will have more to share later. Plus we are coming up on our eight year “road-a-versary” and I need to start working on those posts!!

Here are some pictures of some of the new things we have seen. We visited several casinos that are under new ownership. Oh and real quick before we dive into that we got 4″ of snow in the desert before we left. I have never seen hat much snow in the desert and the most interesting thing is how strong the sage smell was. It was really beautiful and Jack had fun playing in it.

A couple of things we noticed was that at night not everything was lit up on the strip. After doing some research, leaving part of the lights off is a statement about climate change by some companies. The other thing we noticed that there was some serious consolidation of ownership of casinos. This was not surprising considering the impacts of COVID. MGM resorts (runs 13 properties but the real estate is owned by VICI properties. Three Native American tribes have also entered the strip with the Palms, Hard Rock, and Virgin Hotels all being owned by three separate tribes.

Speaking of the Palms that was probably my favorite remodeled casino with a really cool vibe and the wonderful A.Y.C.E (all you can eat) buffet. We went over one night and although the price at $40 was a bit steep the food was really good. Especially desert! I rarely feel like I get my money’s worth out of a buffet but This was good enough I felt it was worth it.

I had one bite from each desert and it was yummy but I definitely over indulged!!

My other favorite remodel was The Sahara. This was really pretty although a little on the fancy side.

OYO and Westgate are also under new ownership and we went and checked those out as well. It’s easy to see which casinos they are putting money into and which they are just taking money out of and as always they have casinos that serve all different income levels.

The only new casino that has managed to open is Resort World. This HUGE complex next to Circus Circus is really nice, but I do miss new Casinos having a theme of some sort. Basically this is a fancy hotel, but we did really like the giant video ball they have in their mall. That was super cool.

The last new thing we went to see was Area 51. This area is off strip but is and area that seems to appeal to families with teenagers. It has some very cool and unique attractions but it is super pricey ($55 per attraction or packages for $139 a person). Lee and I walked through and ultimately decided nothing offered was worth the price for us. Lee even said that the place made him feel old. I had to agree.

Next up Lee is headed back to Columbus to see his parents and get his annual physical. I am staying and meeting my Mom for her 75th birthday. Plus I have finished our annual updates which should be coming soon.

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