Just arrived in Vegas for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, where my employer is exhibiting some cool new products. This also happens to be the same week as the Adult Entertainment Expo, which is exhibiting other things. You’ll notice I didn’t hyperlink that one — mostly because I’m afraid to open the link. Feel free to Google it if you’re curious enough….
Vegas is a study in contradictions, where opulence meets the basest of desires. For example, I’m staying at the Venetian, where my only complaint is that my room is too small:
- Are you kidding me? This place is bigger than my first apartment! The picture doesn’t even show the 130-square-foot bathroom with its Roman tub big enough for me to swim laps. It’s just off the front hallway, behind the ornate double doors.
I’m thinking about calling the front desk to ask if they can lend me a bike, just to make it easier to get from one end of the suite to the other. Two nights here cost more than my monthly mortgage payment, and it’s the smallest/cheapest they offer.
There are three televisions in this suite. I lost track of how many phones there are after the shock of discovering a fax machine.
The closet has lights that come on when the doors are opened, just like a fridge. I must have stood in front of it for 20 minutes, trying to peek inside to see if they really went out after I shut the doors. (They did.)
I tugged on one of the curtains to close them and they started moving by themselves; they’re motorized. Apparently I can operate them remotely, although I still haven’t found the controller. That’s okay, though — I had more fun standing there, starting the motor by hand as they opened and closed and opened and closed. I realized I was acting like my kindergartener, who pretends to use the Force to open the automated doors at our grocery store.
The sunken living room has little lights on the stairs, like a runway. It has a 14-foot, L-shaped sleeper sofa, although I can’t quite figure out who sleeps in an L.
The only thing I can’t find is an actual dresser. There’s a lighted wet bar at the foot of the bed, with drawers that open onto shelves — guess I could store my clothes there. The only other thing that even remotely resembles a dresser is holding up one of the TVs in the living room, but the drawers are fake. They’re actually doors that open to a “mini” bar with ridiculously overpriced snacks that are tracked electronically and charged back to my bill if they’re removed from the bar. A 1.3-ounce bag of potato chips costs $8 — more than I’m willing to spend on poker chips, let alone potato.
In short, this place is built to spoil people, to surround them with exquisite touches before they head downstairs to the sweaty, smoky casino and lose all the money they don’t have. It’s the epitome of high-culture living, at least at the surface. Never mind that when we pulled up in a taxi tonight, this same paragon of class was playing host to a huge, unseemly trailer marked with phrases like “Stormy Leather” and “The latest sexual technology.”
This week could be very interesting….