I’m in Vegas this week for the Toshiba Vegas Summer League. It’s a event where new NBA players get to show their stuff, and veteran player get to refine their skills.
Last time I was here, I stayed at the Las Vegas Hilton, and the time before that, I was at Mandalay Bay, but I wanted to try something different this month. I’m staying at New York New York for the first time. I’ve always walked through the casino and liked the feel of it. It’s a casino that lacks pretension.
Yes, I understand the irony of saying that about any Vegas casino.
The Tropicana is just depressing. It needs to be torn down and replaced with something more life affirming. Perhaps a parking lot.
The Tropicana just seems like a place waiting to die. When you enter, the first thing to hit you is cigarette smoke from the 70s. The ceilings are close to the ground, and the walls look weary of holding up the building. They have modern slot machines, but large numbers are roped off. Many of the cocktail waitresses are way too old for the cocktail waitress outfits. They seem like they were hired for the grand opening and stayed.
The casino players don’t seem like they are having fun. They’re going through the motions, but I don’t think I would describe what they are doing as “playing”. There’s no sense of joy in the hotel.
They have plenty of $5 Blackjack tables, but there were plenty of open spaces.
The lounge band was doing tired Lynyrd Skynyrd covers. They sounded okay, but really seemed like they wanted to leave.
When I left and clawed my way back into the hot Vegas night, I felt like the Shadow of Death looked longingly across Las Vegas BLVD, shrug his shoulders, and return to the craps table.
Or maybe it’s the Chianti talking.