It’s been a quiet holiday season for us here in Las Vegas. The kids are all big and off doing their own things elsewhere, so we just had a quiet Christmas. I’ve been looking at people’s posts about the little kids under the tree, and watch the trips plus one across the street (they are 8 now, getting bigger) screaming in the front yard and I can remember our busy Christmases past. Sorry, right now I’d rather do the quiet one.
This was our last sunset for 2011
We usually sit in the front room having coffee in the morning (days I don’t have to drive off to work). This is the view we have out of the front window. There is a small courtyard out the front door, about 6m x 8m. I put a slotted cover over it to keep the sun level down in the summer, and B put more tropical type plants out there. It still gets hot in the summertime, so the plants have to be able to handle the low humidity and bright sun and 46c (115f) degrees so it’s not as tropical as our San Diego yard (no bananas for example). We can hear the kids across the street when they are noisy (when aren’t they?) but don’t get much traffic.
The Las Vegas tourist economy is picking up. We had over 314,000 visitors out on the Strip for the New Year’s Eve fireworks display, with another big crowd downtown on Freemont Street. Fireworks were set off from the roofs of a eight Strip hotels, all timed to music, producing a $500,000 eight minute display. This was on the corner of Flamingo and Las Vegas Boulevard, with fireworks from nearby Caesar’s Palace and some of the other hotels
This was the Strip a block away down in front of Paris
The view from a few blocks away, looks like it was the roof of the Hard Rock Café
Fremont Street, the original gambling district in downtown Las Vegas, has been closed off and is now a walking street, so if you see any movies with car chases down in front of the older casinos you know they are old shots or the street was closed for the filming. Three blocks are covered by the world’s largest video screen, so instead of real fireworks people got a big video display. The Strip was free, but it was $30 to go on Freemont for 30,000 people, as they had a dozen ‘tribute’ bands playing from 6pm to 2am and other entertainment activities.
The weather was better than previous years – it was around 9c (50f) at midnight, with clear skies and a light breeze, which blew away the smoke from the explosions, rather than being calm and having it settle and create a thick haze as it did a few years ago. The city was at 100% occupancy level, with over 150,000 rooms rented. Rates were higher – rooms at the Bellagio last year were from $659 to $799, this year $1199 to $1998, but you could have stayed at the Luxor further south on the Strip for only $250, a little lower than last year.
Or you could have done what we did: go to bed by 10pm and sleep through it all. Happy New Year to you all!