English 15- Section 86
2 October 2012
Sin City ≠ Small Children
The lights, the shows, the money; welcome to Las Vegas, Sin City. It is the perfect destination for bachelor parties—as portrayed in the wildly popular comedy, The Hangover. It is an ideal getaway for young couples, the perfect place for a girls’ weekend out, and a super spot to get hitched. Vegas is a lot of things—flashy, exciting, and scandalous, just to name a few. There is one thing Las Vegas is not, though. Las Vegas is not a family friendly city. If the infamous slogan of Sin City, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” does not already say enough, Las Vegas is the worst destination for a family vacation, as it fails to provide a relaxing, stress-free environment that all members of the family can enjoy.
Instead of feeling relaxed after going on vacation to Las Vegas, one will feel tired and over-stimulated. Picture an ideal getaway. Maybe it is an exotic, lush island, or maybe it is a Rocky Mountain retreat. Most people go on vacations to get away from their hectic daily lives. They seek serene and peaceful destinations. Las Vegas could not be further from a peaceful destination. First of all, it is a big, bustling, crowded city with a 2011 population estimate of 589,317 ("Las Vegas (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau"). In comparison, the 2011 population estimate of Maui County, Hawaii (a lush, tropical island) was 156,674 ("Maui County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau”). Although some may enjoy this hurried and lively environment of Las Vegas, it is just too much for many—especially young children. Family vacations are supposed to allow busy family members to unwind and spend quality time with each other. This level of relaxation is nearly impossible to attain in Las Vegas, a city where one can walk into virtually any casino at two in the morning to find drained and depressed looking adults slouched over slot machines. A dark, smoky casino probably isn’t the first image that comes to mind when one thinks of relaxation. This environment definitely is not the most welcoming one for children either.
Las Vegas is certainly no Disney World, and the showy environment of Las Vegas is not suitable for children. Perhaps the city is an adult version of the magical theme park. In Disney World, it is common to run into people dressed as princes or princesses. In Las Vegas, there are instead showgirls walking the streets. The short, flashy, tight costumes of the showgirls in Vegas provide quite a different sight than the long, elegant dresses of Cinderella or Snow White. Additionally, contrary to popular belief, prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas and in any part of Clark County ("Interesting Vegas Facts and Tidbits”). One would be led to believe that prostitution is legal in Sin City by observing the amount of inappropriate flyers being handed out and littering the streets. There is also an abundance of men, and even women, wearing shirts reading, “Girls direct to your room in 20 minutes.” As stated before, adults may appreciate these scandalous sights of Las Vegas, but it is not something that children need to be exposed to.
In addition to a welcoming environment, a good location for a family vacation has to offer suitable, age-appropriate activities for kids. Vegas does not offer these types of activities. Most people would agree that the biggest attractions in Las Vegas are the casinos. While gambling is a fine activity for parents to partake in, it is not an appropriate activity for children. In fact, it is illegal. The legal gambling age in the state of Nevada is twenty-one years old. Not only are those under twenty-one unable to participate in any gambling, they are not even permitted to linger on the casino floor area ("Las Vegas Frequently Asked Questions”). In other words, children would not even be allowed to simply watch their parents participate in any gambling on the casino floor. Some...
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