The Spring Break 2009 Story:
Remember when Vegas was trying to market itself as "family friendly" a few years ago? Yeah, this was before the Las Vegas chamber of commerce remembered that the awesomeness of Vegas was mostly the fact that you could get away from your family and go nuts. Hence, the "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" marketing campaign. Well, let's just say, in addition to avoiding the serious lame factor of trying to appeal to children, axing the family-friendly angle put Vegas visitors on serious notice.
For my final spring break (tear ...), some law school friends and I decided to make the roadtrip down to Vegas to let off some steam (shop, swim, tan, gamble, and booze it up, for those inclined) and see our friend Phil's U2 cover band play the New York, New York. Most of the law school crowd was staying at the Monte Carlo, but my friend Chris' step-dad had vouchers for the Sahara at the end of the Strip. Sweet, says I, Chris and our buddy Artemis, let's stay in the hotel that's free.
Suffice it to say, I learned a valuable life lesson that March: You get what you pay for.
When we opened the door to our room at the Sahara, we found the functional equivalent of a crack den. Dirt and dust everywhere. Broken TV. White "stuff" on the clock radio. Burn marks and chemical scorches on the countertops. Food on the floor. A laminated note in the bathroom, detailing the appropriate disposal method for hypodermic needles.
UNDERPANTS IN THE CORNER.
We called down to the front desk and said there must have been some mistake, because this room clearly had not been cleaned since its last occupants had exited. It went unsaid that the burn marks from meth production and the "How to clean your heroin syringes" guide had obviously been there awhile.
We moved up to a new room that was marginally better than the first one--in that, there was no food on the floor and no underwear in the corner. We slept on top of towels and the door double-bolted. And the next night, we checked out of the Sahara and moved over to the Monte Carlo with everyone else.
Overall, still one of my Top Five vacations.