Is Las Vegas Still Cool?

17 Aug 2010 | 18:35

Can you even imagine a ringtone band playing the Sands?  I wasn't around back in those days, but from everything I've seen and heard from old-timers, a complete lack of talent would have been the kiss of death for any performer on The Boulevard.

Now that Las Vegas has become pool party central, how could it have possibly snagged the top "cool" ranking in the USA?

Like most things, in order to make sense of it all, we must consider the source.

This ranking was not obtained by consensus of the entire public at large, rather, it was propelled to the top spot by the overwhelming vote of a single demographic ... 18-34 year olds.  

This group, my friends, is by far the most lame American generation ever.  It is a generation of forward-hair-combing androgynous fruitcakes and the faux-empowered cumdumpsters who proudly shit all over them.  Instead of smacking a ho' for getting out of line like Frank used to do, today's males extract their revenge by piercing their nipples and penning whiny emo songs.

The generation that finds Las Vegas "super cool" is the very same generation that idolizes autotune.  It's the same group of people who listen to Ke$ha, LMFAO, Soulja Boy, and Katy Perry.  They are the same people who worship Paris Hilton and the cast of Jersey Shore.

These are the people who have declared Las Vegas to be the coolest place in the USA:

It's all starting to make sense.

Personally, I used to think Las Vegas was a pretty cool place.  This is why I expended the time, money, and effort to move to the city for 6 years.  For better or worse, I have a long history of putting my money where my mouth is.

Around the time that the Stardust was knocked down, gambling began to decrease, and as nightclubs were becoming the main attraction in the town, Las Vegas slowly but surely lost its cool for me.  It's when I first started considering moving again.

The Vegas that exists today does not feel like the Vegas I liked as recently as 5 years ago.

In a short amount of time, roughly 80% of my own friends have moved away, and those I know that used to visit often have either decreased the frequency of their visits, or have stopped coming altogether.  I also remember a time when people actually envied the fact that I lived in Vegas.  They thought it was really neat.  "Cool" even.  Those same people eventually grew to pity me, and frequently gave me the advice that "you'd better get out of there before it's too late".

When I would travel outside of Vegas 5 years ago, people were mildly fascinated when I told them that I lived in Las Vegas.  They had questions, and I tried to answer them honestly.  Some people used to express to me that it was always their dream to someday pack up and make a go of it in Vegas themselves.  I no longer know anyone who is even remotely contemplating a move into Vegas, but I still know dozens who are contemplating the move out.

These days, I'm almost afraid to tell people where I've spent the past half decade.  I don't want either the pity nor the suspicion that now accompanies people finding out that you're a Vegas resident.  In 2010, when you tell people that you are "from Las Vegas" they generally assume that you left because you lost your job, lost your house, or because you couldn't stop plugging quarters into a Joker's Wild machine.  They tend to think that you are a desperate and dishonest unemployed ex-bartender.  There is a very real and palpable prejudice against Las Vegans in certain parts of the country.

The sad part is ... it's not a completely invalid assumption.  All stereotypes are based on truth.  Most Vegas ex-patriots of the last three years have lost their jobs and/or their homes.  Perhaps they are even a little desperate, and because of this, are not quite as honest as they were before they moved to the town. 

These days, when I tell people that I recently moved from Las Vegas, I do so with a little bit of hesitance in my voice.  I hate to say these thoughts out loud.  I am just being brutally honest about the current state of things.  I don't appreciate people treating me with suspicion, but I do kind of understand where people are coming from when they look at me askew.  I don't begrudge them for their pre-judging.  Instead, I try to be extra polite to people to show them that we're not all a bunch of degenerate scam artists looking to turn a quick buck.

It's been a long time since I met someone my own age who reacted to Las Vegas residency in a positive way.  There is no more envy, and there are no more excited questions about the town.  From my own point of view, it really feels like the mystique of Las Vegas is a thing of the past.

Still, Forbes Magazine puts the question to the public, and the question remains:

Is Las Vegas still cool?

The answer more and more seems to depend on the year in which you were born.

If you oozed out of your mother's axe wound after 1980, the answer seems to be yes ... yes it is.

For the rest of us ... those of us who no longer get overly-excited about the prospect of drinking a beer; Those of us who have families; Those of us who would not cross the street to catch a glimpse of Nicole Ritchie; Those of us sporting a grey hair or two on our coin purse the answer is a little less clear.

Perhaps a recount is in order.

Read: Straight From The Hip

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