This is Sam's Town, a fake old-time-y town, built around a Central Park, complete with a waterfall, trees, a grizzly bear and a cougar. Each of those pairs of windows is a hotel room. Behind me are two casino floors. In the evening, once an hour, a terrifying BOOM! heralds the beginning of the water/laser light show. The waterfall goes nuts, the bear and cougar come to life and flail a bit, colored lights illuminate the trees and laser lights start racing around the building facades. Loud music, smoke and chaos ensue for about 10 minutes. The view from our window:
What does it all mean? I don't know, but it does somehow make you feel you are getting your money's worth. It's Las Vegas, Baby! And, odd as it seems, the over-the-top kitschy-ness kind of grows on you. Early in the morning we walked through the park, now calm and quiet, with our coffee, past the waterfall and heard birdsong. I looked up into a tree, expecting to see birds, but the sound was coming from a small speaker wired to one of the branches. Such is nature in Sam's Town.
And then way off the strip, out beyond Sam's Town and off the freeway is the desert. A real desert. Red Rock Canyon. Just when you thought that Las Vegas was wholly fabricated fantasy, you find the land upon which this mirage in the desert was built, and the place is the genuine article. Breath-takingly so.