Las Vegas: Jewels in the Desert

Let me warn you now...I LOVE LAS VEGAS! I have so many memories of my favorite place on earth that it is hard for me to narrow down my photos; so be prepared to start scrolling. This page goes on and on. I hope you enjoy the narrated tour!

When you arrive in Las Vegas, you are greeted by the shimmering jewel in the Mojave. It is the closest thing America has to the fabled oasis in the desert. Today, the imposing creations are emblazoned with more than neon, striving to amass and entertain savvy consorts. Not an easy task in a land of pure fantasy.
*All photos taken along the world famous Las Vegas Strip

Everyone knows Las Vegas for the glitzy neon lining the strip. Yet, once inside the casinos, the design is often overlooked because of the overwhelming pull of the gaming. The constant ding of the machines or the cheers of a winning table fight for attention. That is a shame. In this new era of Sin City, the glam is back and the interiors of these massive haunts are quite lush, promising visitors a glimpse of all that life that can be when they strike it rich!
*All photos were taken at Red Rock Casino and Resort, Las Vegas

In my world, any time is a good time to be in Las Vegas. I live in the desert, so personally, I love it hot and can't think of a better time than summer to visit a city that celebrates the heat with elaborate pool parties.
On the other hand, it is a completely different experience to visit in the winter. The climate is mild and the strip is still bustling. Since the sun continues to shine and there is rarely any snow, the city that prides itself on replicating other parts of the world pulls out all the stops to ensure a winter feeling envelopes the visitors. The lighting is lower, the shadows are longer, and colors are muted, completely opposite of the bright, vivid hues of summer.
We all know that the main focus of Las Vegas casinos is gambling, of course. However, in this new era of Las Vegas, it isn't the only attention-grabber. Casinos go out of their way to entice visitors by distinguishing themselves from other establishments. On a stroll through the various properties, you are reminded that it is winter outside in hopes that you will want to stay indoors.

Downtown on fabled Fremont Street is where it all began. While it has fallen from grace since The Strip grew up near by and over-shadowed it, is has become apparent that the original neon street will not go down without a fight. Today, it is slowly building a new following and reviving it's long tarnished image.
*All photos were taken in downtown Las Vegas in The Fremont Street Experience area

I love architecture. While many buildings in Vegas are replicas, it is fun to study them and see the "Only In Vegas" twists that have been put on them.
The following photos are the same shot, taken two days apart:

Nothing is ever as simple as it appears. That is even true in the Neon Metropolis. I love finding different angles in which to capture the usual views from a new perspective. My hope is that I can share my love of the town with others and perhaps shed a different light on locations that even seasoned Vegas veterans have seen countless times.

You mean you don't gamble? It's true that in a town where it isn't uncommon to go into a noisy, brightly lit yet windowless building and not emerge until it is time to head back to the airport and where tables and one-armed bandits used to be the only draw, today you can spend a fun-filled vacation and never wager a dollar. There are so many other adventures to be had these days that rolling the dice can actually be an after thought. Venture out into the desert sunshine and there are many ways to spend the day that do not involve stacks of chips, spinning wheels, or the latest sports scores.
*Ways to spend a day away from the tables includes Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden, the pool at MGM (or a variety of other fabulous pool complex's), Shark Reef, or riding the roller coaster at New York, New York.

While the Rat Pack and Elvis will always be associated with Las Vegas, today you will find the styles of the performers run from a lone sax player on the corner to hip-hop or blues. One style you will encounter often is rock. Many bands play the gregarious music that celebrates good times and leave the crowds wanting more. The 80's cover band Arena played Fremont Street and the hairband Phoenix played at Mandalay Bay.