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Latest Scoop On "Behind The Scenes In VEGAS"


February 14, 2006 may have passed but the memory of another record-breaking year for marriages in the Entertainment Capital of the World. The most landmark change for someone who has lived in and out of Vegas since 1968 is the closed Candlelight Wedding Chapel across from the Riviera and Circus Circus Hotels. You see, the condo skyscraper gold rush is on big time and that corner is just too valuable to be wasted on a romantic wedding chapel that has played host to bride and groom ceremonies for hundreds of celebrities and tens of thousands of lovey dovey visitors. But just as there are big changes on the horizon in the real estate property allocations, those who still want to keep Vegas the destination of choice for getting married are always creating new ways to hold the public's interest. Of course! It's Vegas, Baby!

This year something new was added to the circus style event of getting married in Vegas. Now you can be married on a flatbed trailer with decorated side rails and being pulled by an oversized limo. If you want your guests to sit or stand on the wedding platform with you, it will only cost them an extra Fifty each. Why has this taken so long to allow a vendor to rent the road for a mobile business on a famous street where the sidewalks have been given to the resort hotels and ladies and gentlemen visiting from other countries irritate tourists by forcefully sticking right in faces business cards for "escort services and more" of innocent, young floosies in their birthday suits? HEY, IT'S VEGAS BABY, 2006!
People Love Vegas because they like being shocked and always seeing some activity not available anywhere else on the planet. Don't expect it to change until the radiation starts leaking out of those "Guaranteed 10,000 year nuclear waste containers" up at Yucca Mountain. I predict there will be an extended monorail track right to the Area 51 Amusement Park within 80 years. But Vegas will not remain the same, no matter what else happens.
Who needs a wedding chapel when you can get married in your car at the drive-in window for forty bucks? Romance? Why waste time on formalities when you can get right to the Honeymoon? Of course, now days most couples have the Honeymoon before the wedding. But it is Vegas, Baby! And all the romantic gibber that takes place between couples while they are getting hitched stays right inside the city limits. We know we will see them again real soon when they return for the quickie divorce. Oh, but what a tale for each of the eventual single parents to tell their children about how Mommy and Daddy were joined together so long ago on a flatbed trailer on the Las Vegas Strip as the "I do's" were said somewhere between The World's Largest Gift Shop and The Asian Massage Parlor For Anglos with a furry faced street person catching the bride's bouquet. It may not sound too romantic to you. But It's VEGAS, BABY...and people love it!

December Column Summary:

Well, Mighty Mayor Goodman and the crew at the Fremont Street Experience pulled off that Guinness Book World Record as they predicted they would. His Honor was given a wine bottle as big as his leg to pour the first taste. According to the live announcement 15,000 wine glasses were passed out to all those inside the Fremont Experience on New Years Eve right before Midnight! Once they all took a sip, that easily broke the record formerly set in Japan where only about 11,000 filled containers were swallowed. BRAVO! Oscar does it again!
Things seemed to go well on the Strip as the partygoers whooped and hollered right on the blocked off Las Vegas Boulevard Strip boxed in on both sides by over 250 port-a-potties. But the interesting thing was if you were going to use these relief booths, you were supposed to bring your own toilet paper...Who Knew? Thank goodness the crowds were pleasingly boozed up or some folks might not have remained standing if more than 3 or those 250 doors were opened at the same time.
The New Years fireworks were spectacular as usual and went off without a hitch. The only problem is they hype the expected music scheduled to play during the fireworks and you can barely hear it enough to recognize the songs by the titles advertised in the advanced promo. But it was a pretty impressive way for Las Vegas to end its 100th anniversary party. Viva Las Vegas!
Okay, January means CES, the Consumers Electronics Show, the world's largest. Vegas hangs on to this gem as the COMDEX people bailed out a few years ago. But with over 2500 booths and loads of the newest electronic gadgets on the planet, this reporter looks forward to walking through it all, even though it is set up in three different locations across town. I remember a few years back when I was covering the CES and was amazed that "a simple fellow like me" actually crossed paths with Mr. Gates, that's THE Bill Gates. He was busy and had a large bunch of his own staff with him coming down the aisle I was standing on. But I did get to ask him a couple of questions and believe it or not he was quite nice. He did answer as he continued to walk but he gave me his full attention. It was that day that I decided to go home and bury my Mac...(not really, but don't tell him). By the way, if you see Bill before I do, tell him Wild Bill said "Hello"! It will make his day....I'm Outta here!


A few days ago in between doing interviews at the Paris Hotel at the International Fair Association Expo and trying to get down to the Mirage to pick up a press kit for an upcoming show for National Rodeo Fans, I just happened to pass in front of the Caesars Palace stage setup right on the Strip Sidewalk. Wow! There was a big crowd gathered all with their focus on the lighted stage full of Roman soldiers and Cleopatra look-a-likes standing next to four costumed Christmas Carolers. Then after a brief announcement from a "talking suit", out popped Wayne Newton? On the street in Vegas? Yes, Mr. Las Vegas was there to officially kickoff the Caesars Christmas Festivities. Newton introduced another "talking suit" who was there to plug in the lights to the tree and announce to the world that the 2005 Caesars Christmas had begun. Okay. It was quick and with a few hoiday songs, it was over. I could not help but ponder that here in what everyone deems as "Sin City" the Chief Exec of one of the world's most well known resorts could use that "C" word and not have to worry about the Ninth Circuit Court padlocking Caesars because the CEO Rep said "Christmas". What's next? Will the hotel be allowed to display an American flag on a pole and make change in the casino with paper bearing "In God We Trust" printed on it? You bet! In the Heartland of the USA and in certain Metro areas, the mention of the name of the holiday is forbidden. But not in good ole phony saints here. That is one thing about this city that I have always liked. You do not have to draw a resident here a picture about his or her behavior. They know they are making a choice to do right or wrong. And be prepared to hear what people think and believe clearly proclaimed in public. So in Vegas you can say Merry Christmas without being arrested or criticized. Well, except at WalMart, where the "C" word has been replaced with "Happy Holidays". But that decision was made by Execs in Arkansas, not here. And for his seasonal reward for being there, poor Wayne later that night was thrown from the horse he was riding on stage at the beginning of his Flamingo Hotel Holiday Show....oh, excuse me...Christmas show. Perhaps it was a foreign-born horse who had issues with someone with a Native American heritage. Well, it is America, you know. Don't forget to say "Merry Christmas" to as many people as you can this year. You never know when we will only be celebrating "Happy Holidays" in Vegas!

November has been a great time to get things rolling with this new venture.  The weather in Vegas is absolutely perfect with just a hint of coolness in the Fall air.  Earlier and earlier the Christmas decorations come out each year.  But the merchants only have about six weeks to make or break it financially.  So it is best just to get into the Holiday Spirit.  Maybe we all need a little perk up after all the unbelievable events of 2005. With this Thanksgiving Season upon us, we all have so much to be grateful for and need to look forward to sharing our blessings with all those who did have a rough year. Let me be the first one to wish you and yours the most joyous Holiday Season ever!  Let's all join together and make somebody else's day just a little bit brighter!  Even just an unexpected "Thank You" to someone who has gone out of his or her way to be of service to you can make a real difference in how that person reacts to the next ten people encountered. Example A: Russell, a fine, hard-working cashier at the local WalMart on West Charleston, was more than friendly helping the VWD editor gather up all the bags to take home to the Thanksgiving Feast. His conversation showed he indeed was a real person with a concern for the customers he encountered every day. I rolled my packed cart away from his Booth #16 happy that dealing with Russell had been a pleasant experience. About 50 feet away, I stopped and looked in the bags to make sure I had purchased everything on my list. Suddenly, I felt a tall presence approaching the back of my left shoulder. I turned around to be greeted by a smiling Russell who handed me a copy of my purchase receipt. WOW! The store was very busy and this young man took the time to interupt his cashiering routine to hastily come over to present me with my receipt. I will say the same thing I did to him at that moment now...."Thank you so much, Russell!" A small gesture to some folks maybe, but to me it was absolutely super and I will not forget Russell or the WalMart staff there for a long time. See, it takes so little to have such a powerful effect on the lives of others. Your responses to others create attitudes that motivate good or bad actions. Not only must we try to do the right thing by going the extra mile, but when we receive a special kindness, we need to train ourselves to exhibit an immediate attitude of gratitude outwardly. That attitude encourages the person responsible for the act of kindness and it also produces in us a renewal of that positive power which gives us more strength to face the challenges we are bound to encounter during an average day. Focus not on what didn't happen today that we had counted on. But focus especially on those little unexpected acts of kindness that pop up in the midst of the storm. It gives your human spirit hope and hope can get you through today and with great anticipation for what tomorrow holds just for you. Don't take your eyes off the prize...."It's Your Life! So Enjoy Every Minute!"

Wild Bill