It has taken me nearly a week since the senseless shooting in Las Vegas to write this post. I don’t have anything newsworthy to add to the chorus of voices around the story, but since Vegas is my favorite destination I feel the need to write if for no other reason than just to clear my head.
I’ve been to Las Vegas at least 40 times, including 20 trips in the past 4 years, and it is always my first choice for conferences and vacation travel. I have made friends with dealers, hosts and bartenders in my favorite Strip casinos along with a great cast of characters from gambling themed Twitter, podcasts and blogs.
Gambling, specifically playing blackjack in Vegas, is my favorite pastime. I would be in Vegas right now playing cards at Paris, Bally’s, Cromwell, or Planet Hollywood if I could do anything I wanted to at any moment.
I set all this up to give a little context for my words. I don’t know of any personal connections who were injured or worse, but I can’t be sure since most of the Vegas contacts I have are not people I speak with when I’m not there. So in the back of my mind I keep thinking, what if I come back to my favorite Vegas place and find out the bartender was at the concert?
Selfishly, I want Vegas to go back to being Vegas as fast as possible. I come to escape my normal routine and that usually includes lots of friendly banter, laughs and smiles. I can only imagine how hard that must be for people who were so close to such a terrible event. I don’t know what to say to them, I want to ask if they are okay, their families, their friends, and I’m curious about their experience that night and this week. But, how do you talk about that without sounding like a voyeur and worse I’m sure they don’t want to relive it over and over again with every single customer. Not to mention it really brings down the mood talking about something so heavy.
I’m guessing I’ll probably try not to mention it unless someone else brings it up when I make my next trip in November. I want to have fun and I want the people who earn a living trying to make it fun for me to feel as normal as possible. Until I get there I really just don’t know how it will feel.
On another selfish note I really don’t want to stay at Mandalay – that is where we are booked for a conference in January. I want to support them and know that nothing bad will happen to me there, but just being in a place that had such a horrible event and trying to enjoy myself seems wrong. I wonder if MGM will rebrand the property at some point.
Like I said at the top, this post was just a way for me to vent. I’m the least impacted person by this jackass, I’ll keep coming to Vegas, life will get back to normal quickly for me, I wish that was the case for all those people who were more directly impacted, but I know that realistically isn’t true for many of those who are permanently changed by this one horrible act.
I love you Vegas, I mourn for those who were killed, I wish the best for those who are recovering, I celebrate those who have come to aid others in so many ways, I abhor the man who did this, and I vow that I am still coming to Vegas as often as I can.