Las Vegas

An observation about Las Vegas

January 7, 2010: 11:50 AM ET

I have a breakfast in five minutes, but I thought I would offer this: hotels in Las Vegas are like taxi cabs or dogs or hookers. They age at a different rate than other things of the same nature.

A taxi cab, for instance. I imagine that most of us drive a car that's a few years old. It still looks pretty good. Your average New York City taxi, on the other hand, is the same age as your vehicle. It just looks and feels and smells like it's been through the first couple of years of the War with the Machines in T2. It's got more miles on it than a transcontinental eighteen-wheeler. Nothing works quite right. It's ready for the tar pit.

Dogs we know about. One minute they're a puppy, the next they're a fully grown Schnauzer and before you know it they need to be put down for their own comfort. Every one year of their professional lives equals seven of ours. Sort of like a CEO, but with a far worse exit package.

I don't know much about hookers. I'm not Tiger. But if you take the visual evidence around this town I'm in right now, you'd have to say that it's a tough life for all but the most talented and successful, like any part of show business, I guess. There are any number of women in this hotel who could either be 20 or 50. That's a creepy look. And this is a nice hotel.

Which brings me to this place here. Last year, I stayed in this very establishment. It was shiny and buffed and I remember saying "wow" when I came into my room. This year, everything smells like a dead Marlboro and there's a fine layer of dust on the personal safe in the closet. The casino is pretty empty too. The rug outside my room has something on it. I don't even want to speculate what.

I'm here for a big convention. I'm not sure, but it feels emptier than it was last year, and last year was down from the year before. I have a sense that this particular show is entering the end of its life cycle. They all do, eventually. It happens to restaurants. It happens to Broadway musicals and movies, too. It'll happen to you and me, unless we keep our act fresh, even going so far as to move it down the road now and then.

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