Subject: Las Vegas impressions
Dear Ziners,

I have just returned from Las Vegas and I would like to share with you my experience there. We booked just a day before our departure and the consequences hit us immediately: expensive flights and very limited selection for the hotel. It was the long Victoria Day week-end and many Canadians chose Las Vegas for their escapes. We stayed at Sahara hotel, the last one on the strip, in the North. The hotel is definitely for people traveling on short budget and our first night was terrible because they gave us a smoking room despite of my insistent requests for a non- smoking room.

Next day we were sick from the smell but we were able to move in a better room and our vacation was saved. After I saw almost all the hotels on the strip I will recommend to try staying in a hotel located in the middle of the strip ( like Bellagio, Venetian, Wyatt, Mirage, Paris) and to avoid the hotels situated in the North or South extremities. Thatís because they are old and many rooms are run-down plus in this areas nothing exciting is happening. All the fun and most of the attractions are in the middle of the strip.

We were having all breakfasts, brunch and dinners in buffet restaurants and always in a different place. The prices differ: in a 3 star hotels like Sahara, Circus-Circus, the buffet for breakfast is 8 $, brunch buffet 12$. But in the hotels on the middle of the strip, the brunch buffet is 24$ and buffet-dinner between 28 and 35$. Every hotel has a buffet restaurant. For dinner buffet I would recommend Wyatt hotel (a little bit more expensive but worth the money: 35$) and my wife liked Luxor the most.

The dinner buffet in Paris hotel was quite comical bringing a total French atmosphere: the waiters didnít know the rices/names of the wines, no wine list was provided and they came for money interrupting my meal after each glass of wine. And I had 4 glasses. Like they were afraid I will run away without paying. I wonder if they are doing this in purpose to create a true Parisian feeling. Anyway it was fun to experience this.

As for dressing itís a good idea to have elegant clothes with you. For dinners and after-dinner events, most of the people are very nice and elegant dressed and I felt a little uncomfortable wearing casual clothes. So be prepared!

One of the most exciting views is the Bellagio fountains: you can stay for hours watching them and youíll never be saturated! Another good way to spend time after 8 p.m. is going to a show, especially the adults-only shows (anyway Las Vegas is not for kids!). They are pricy (no, not the kids, the shows, between 45 and 60 $ ) but in week-day the prices go down by half. Thatís why I recommend go visit Las Vegas in week-day and not in week- ends. Everything is cheaper out of week-end! Plus is not crowded and there are no lines at the restaurants.

Another important thing to mention is about the shoes you are wearing if you decided to see as many as possible hotels and places. If you donít have sporty and comfortable shoes, youíll suffer. Despite of the state-of-the-art monorail you still will walk a lot and believe me there are huge distances. They are deceiving because the hotels are huge. On the other hand, the many passingís from natural hot air to air-conditioning will wear you out quickly and fatigue is coming faster then you think. Be prepared with sun glasses and a hat.

Las Vegas really impressed me, was beyond my imagination! I know many people will say itís kitschy and artificial, even my brother was negatively surprised when I told him Iím going to see Las Vegas, but itís beautiful, itís a unique and I think a must in any American itinerary.

Paul Chatham, Canada