By KIERAN MULLARKEY
If you are looking for a fun vacation with friends between semesters this summer and you are sick of Fred Vegas, take a couple blackjack lessons and book your flight to Las Vegas.
I have visited Las Vegas twice, both times older than 21, the legal gambling age. Sin City is more fast-paced than New York City, cleaner than Los Angeles and more fun than Fredericksburg.
There are numerous vacation packages online that offer flight and hotel deals for reasonable prices. It will still cost a good portion of money, but a bunch of friends splitting a package would be similar in price to a beach week in Myrtle Beach. McCarran International Airport is only a couple blocks from the strip, so you do not have to spend a fortune on cab fare. It will still cost a good amount of money, but it is much more memorable than a traditional beach week or sun-bathing at the edge of the Rappahannock River.
Some people cite materialism and gambling as flaws with this city, but there are definitely sites worth seeing. Watching the water fountains outside of the Bellagio resort and casino is a free and unforgettable experience. One can also see a lion habitat with two adult lions in the main lobby of the MGM Grand Casino.
Junior Allison Holloman said, “I would take the opportunity to visit (Las Vegas) if it came up.”
Las Vegas is perfect for upperclassmen because it takes maturity and youth at have a fun and safe time. There are ads for strip clubs on billboard signs on the main highways. There are fliers for prostitutes on the ground all over the strip. It is not for the faint hearted.
Sophomore Juliet Taylor did not like her visit to Las Vegas and she said, “(I) didn’t like all of the lights or the pornography.”
Despite these negative aspects, there are tons of fun things to do. Some of the best night clubs in the U.S. are at the Bellagio, Wynn and Planet Hollywood, which have frequent visits from celebrities like Paris Hilton, Lebron James and Kim Kardashian.
When I went with my friends a couple summers ago, we left the Monte Carlo casino at around 3 a.m. Friday morning. As we were walking back to our hotel, we passed an outdoor nightclub at the Planet Hollywood casino that was blasting music with hundreds of people still dancing. This city never sleeps.
The bars and clubs stay open much longer than Fatty J’s, Capital Ale House or The Otter House. If gambling, the drinks at the casinos are free which can save money for frugal UMW students.
If the nightlife is not your cup of tea, then there are many other options as well. The shopping is fun, but expensive. The Ferrari museum, Hoover Dam, restaurants, and shows are truly unique to Las Vegas.
Junior Lauren Birkhold said, “It’s (Las Vegas) a great place with a bad reputation. There are lots of places to take kids. There’s always plenty to do.”
I had an incredible time when I went a couple summers ago and I spent the same amount that I would have at beach week. So if you do not mind a 5 hour flight, then book one to Las Vegas.