Las Vegas: Take My Money, Please.

I went to Las Vegas and I didn't even get a lousy t-shirt.

That could be the theme of every trip I've taken to Vegas since I turned 21. That's an astounding two times I didn't geta lousy t-shirt.

When I was younger, before Las Vegas turned into the "family friendly" mecca people seem to think it is, before the Strip was littered with families from near and far, parents would return from their Vegas excursions with the all-too-classic t-shirt "My parents went to Las Vegas and all I got was this lousy t-shirt". It was as if to say, "Hey kids. We just had a fantastic time reliving our youth while you were stuck here with a babysitter. We hardly thought about you for the past few days, but hey, we bought you a funny t-shirt."

I reiterate: I went to Las Vegas and didn't even get a lousy t-shirt.

At this point, I think receiving a t-shirt should just be complimentary to all gamblers Can you buy t-shirts at a price of 4 for $9.99 in Vegas? Yes, in some places, but that's not the point. If you lose a minimum of $300, whether it be on the tables or at the slots, I think a t-shirt should be thrown in. "Sir, we're sorry you wasted so much money on the Game King. As our condolences, please accept this t-shirt and a coupon for a dollar off a round of mini-golf."

Believe it or not, at the Circus Circus, said coupon is already included in their guest welcoming kit. The coupons, I believe, are to help offset the resort fee instituted at many hotels in Vegas, including Circus Circus. Coupons such as the aforementioned or one free side bet were just a couple of coupons included in this booklet.

Now, that's not to say I did not take advantage. One coupon, a gem among the rest, proved to come in handy one night for dinner. This coupon included two 8-oz steaks and a bottle of wine, all for the low price of $29.

Where was this deal, you might ask? None other than at Vince Neil's Tatuado Restaurant inside Circus Circus.

Yep. This guy has a restaurant.

photo credit:

I like to imagine that Neil attempted to get a restaurant placed at ten different swankier locations in the heart of the Strip. After all the rejections, it was Circus Circus that jumped at the chance to get this celebrity restaurant inside their casino.

As it was, my friend Danny and I settled in for dinner just as the place was getting ready to start karaoke. And yes, despite being offered a drink apiece instead of the wine, we took the bottle of wine. At a $21 value, even the cheapest of red wines was still a better choice.

Part of me wished that Neil was obligated to start off karaoke every night. As part of his contract, he would be required to welcome everyone to his restaurant, talk about karaoke, and start things off with a Motley Crue song. Then, he could slip back into the shadows of Las Vegas and hang with Nicholas Cage somewhere.

Alas, that was not the case. In the end, the steak was decent, the singing was better than okay, and the red wine was--well, it was red wine.

All and all, Vegas was its usual dark mistress. Good times were aplenty, ones that might have been better if Bill's Gambling Hall was still around and O'Sheas wasn't simply a swankier version of its former self.

I lost money. I visited a Chicago Style Food location in the Stratosphere that was definitely not worth the price. I saw a man get in an argument with three cops inside the Slots O'Fun portion of Circus Circus. I did not get VD. I went to Freemont Street, where my buddy Trevor treated us to $10.95 prime rib. And I walked by what I believe to be the real Caesar's Palace.

I did not, though, get a lousy t-shirt. And that hurts most of all.

But hey, at least I got a pen from Circus Circus so life can't be that bad. Right?


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