Las Vegas Interlude

March 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Spending

I arrived in Las Vegas yesterday, accompanied by Mrs. ToughMoneyLove, our three sons, and one son’s significant other. We are here for four nights. It’s a combined celebration of family birthdays, particularly son number three who turned 21 last month.

Vegas has taken a beating economically. The energy level here is palpably lower compared to our visits of 10-15 years ago. This makes sense because most of the spending that occurs is here is high up on the frivolous scale. When we first came here as a family in 1995, Vegas was in the middle of its attempt to brand itself as a family destination. We had a great time then. All of that family-focused ambiance is gone. I would not bring a young family here today.

Surprisingly, I haven’t been motivated to gamble yet. That may happen tonight, as we are going to visit a relatively frugal off-the-strip casino recommended by fellow blogger Lazy Man and Money. Today we spent some time watching NCAA basketball in the sports books at the Bellagio and Caesar’s Palace. It is amazing to see the level of interest in horse track betting, even in the midst of post-season basketball.

Everything is increasingly expensive here: taxis, food, show tickets, you name it. There are bargains to be had in some places and at some times. For example, we were able to obtain discounts on a show that is never discounted. But the bargains are not enough to compensate for the other costs for someone trying to function in a frugal economy. My guess is that if weren’t for the convention traffic, there would be a lot more business failures in this town.

All that being said, we are having fun while taking in the experiences within rational limits. That’s not easy to do in a city that promotes and preys on the irrational.

I’ll probably have more to write about our Vegas Interlude next week.

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One Response to “Las Vegas Interlude”
  1. Don’t forget to get the steak special :-).

    I find Las Vegas an odd dichotomy. There are super expensive dinners, and then places where you can eat cheap. You can stay at super deluxe hotels, or a Super 8 for around $40. It seems like if someone was determined, he/she could do Vegas on a relatively tight budget.

    I’m finding that Washington D.C. is a lot more expensive. Even the version of the Super 8 hotel I’m in is around $150 a night.

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