We stayed at the @, which was a beautiful hotel. However, despite being pristine and grandiose, it lost a lot of it’s charm because of the grungy and depressing elements of Vegas that make everything feel so cheap and without class.
It wasn’t even that everything was manufactured, but everything felt used and worn out, especially the salespeople and gamblers in the casino. It felt like they were trapped in a room with no light or concept of time, even though the aged skin screamed too much sun, cigarettes, and alcohol. Even walking down the strip, I felt that everyone looked tired and an air of defeat (not even because of the marathon - the runners all looked happy and full of energy).
I don’t know why I imagined I’d encounter more class and glamour years later, when not much has changed. Though a valiant attempt, if you haven’t yet, visit Venice and the beautiful history/culture/fashion/craftsmanship that surrounds the St. Marks area. Though centuries older, it’s authenticity and dwindling lifespan makes it feel more alive and worthwhile than a chlorinated oasis. I preferred seeing everything at night and empty of tourists, so I could appreciate the beauty and impressive detail of the replicas.