Saturday, March 10, 2012

Casinos, Education, and Prostitutes, Oh My (or My Week In Vegas)

I went to Las Vegas to attend HIMSS12, a health information management convention at the Sands Expo Center, connected to the Venetian hotel & casino, from Feb 20-23. A co-worker and I stayed down the strip at the Luxor and her husband (who came down to hang out and play golf) drove us to the convention each morning and picked us up each night.

We were there to see if what we could improve in our own system and we attended a lot of talks and spoke to a lot of vendors and assembled a large amount of information. We were at the convention from 7am to 6pm so by the time I got back to the Luxor, I only had enough energy to travel to the two casinos connected to the Luxor – The Mandalay Bay and The Excalibur. I don’t like doing a lot of gambling so I only went through about $10 a day on gambling. Still, any time spent in Vegas is guaranteed to be interesting even if you don’t have the energy to go exploring.

One night, after traveling to both The Mandalay Bay and The Excalibur and eating, I was going back to my room to watch a new Modern Family and Happy Endings and go to sleep when I saw a beautiful girl by the elevators. She said hi and I said hi and then she asked where I was going. I said I was going up to my room and she asked, “Alone?” I said yes and she asked if I was sure. I said yes again and she told me to have a good night. Before I disappeared down the hall to the elevators, I glanced back and she was already talking to someone else.

Remember the Big Bang Theory when Raj was propositioned? I felt like I’d just had that stereotypical encounter that television and movies have promised I would have if I spent enough time in Vegas. Nothing like that has happened in all my years of going to Las Vegas and probably never will again but now I can say it happened to me.

I flew up and back on Spirit airlines. On the way back I was able to upgrade to a big seat (there is no first class but instead of rows of three, the big seats are two per row in the very first row) and I recommend it. In a tense travel experience thanks to the TSA screening process, Spirit was a friendly, laid back airline whose employees were always smiling and helpful.

As far as staying at the Luxor, in the front and all over the casino were trying to offer me vouchers for listening to some sales pitch and sign up for something. After the eighth time I fought off an aggressive employee trying to usher me off to a desk to sign up for something, I just ignored them and kept walking. The Luxor is a nice place, but not a place I’m likely to stay in again because of all the pestering.


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