Las Vegas, Nevada – Gomorrah

On closer examination the city of gambling looks much less noble and glamorous in daytime than at night. We have been here some years ago, but it was dark and we were only in the hotel area. Today we go shopping for the first time. The Costco is the smallest we ever saw with very limited choice. The Wal-Marts appear grimy, as wide areas of the city do, and the other shops aren’t much better.

The parking lot behind Bally’s Hotel is an insider tip among campers. On the extensive site, access from Flamingo Road, RVs are accepted hoping for more gamblers, and it is only one block away from Las Vegas Boulevard, the so-called Strip. We stroll around between the hotels. At the Bellagio impressive waterworks were composed to music, at the New York – New York the Statue of Liberty and the streets of Manhattan were reproduced, and in the Paris there is an Eiffel Tower in half size as well as a triumphal arch. Other giant hotels make it unnecessary to visit Venice or even Egypt any more.

The CityCenter is new and wasn’t finished on our last visit. The most expensive privately financed construction project of all times in the USA with 8.5 billion Dollars comprises six huge buildings, besides hotel casinos also luxury apartments, and a high-class shopping mall. Because the real estate crisis of 2008 messed up before completion of the complex, owner MGM had to sell one of its other hotels. But finally they managed to finish the first ecological facility in Las Vegas. There is an energy-efficient power station, surplus heat is used for hot-water supply, and the hotel’s own limousine pool runs on natural gas. 80 % of the rubble from the Boardwalk Hotels that was torn down on this spot was reused for the new building, and the old bathroom interiors were wrapped into curtains and carpets that weren’t used any more and sent to developing countries. The hope remains that one of the world’s “greenest” hotel complexes set standards in a city of wastefulness, where hotels don’t consider themselves too good for heating porches in winter and air-condition them in summer. For the moment merciful darkness is falling over the city with its somewhat haggard buildings.

There are many choices at dinnertime in Las Vegas, but it is not always inexpensive. The Ellis Island Casino right behind Bally’s and the RV parking lot is an insider tip, and they even have a micro brewery. They offer six different beers, the pint for 1.75 $ including tax. The food is as inexpensive, but a real blast is the lean 300 g sirloin steak with vegetables and potato side order of own choice, starter salad or soup, and a beer for 7.99 $. We do not mind spending the half hour waiting time drinking another beer. Take dessert only of you are very hungry! The cheesecake for 3.99 $ with fruit sauce substitutes a main meal and covers the sugar need of a full week.

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