Discovering Las Vegas’ Vibrance and Orlando’s Magic

Life can be so dreary if you just wallow in work all the time. For all you know, you might be burnt out and this has caused you to be irritable and looking stressed because of the drudgeries of daily routine. Being burned out is more than just a feeling; it is a condition. Being burned out implies that one is totally exhausted, both physically and emotionally, and that rest, recuperation, or vacation can be a key to ease you out of it.

Actually, we need not to go far to have a vacation. Las Vegas and Orlando are two of the most visited cities to have a vacation. Thus, we will try to evaluate the ups and downs of having a vacation in Las Vegas and Orlando by browsing through articles that feature these cities.

Anyone might have known Las Vegas because it is constantly represented in movies as a site for gambling and shotgun weddings. In addition to what Las Vegas is known for, it is also city renowned for its desert resort getaways. When a visitor wants get into the city’s hub, “The Strip” is the answer. “The Strip” is lined with dazzling luxury hotels, casinos, and nightclubs that offer not just gambling, but also exotic entertainment. In fact, when anyone visits “The Strip”, it would summon memories of movie scenes as it stretches along part of Las Vegas Boulevard South, where buildings are known for its dazzling neon signs, psychedelic electronic billboards and spectacular interiors (Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2007).

Sanchez (1999) shared that there are two parts to the state and Las Vegas. There’s the Old West, with its morals and values: you shoot a burglar. If he falls inside your home, you’re okay; if he falls on your lawn, you’re in trouble. The other part is the casinos. Las Vegas is totally about money. The streets are truly paved with gold. They [the usual “they”, the people who run things] only want people to know about the Strip. Off the Strip, there’s nothing to do.

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They want people to drop ten thousand dollars and come back later trying to win it back. Casino profits go up and up. They showed us the records at school. There’s never a dip. But it’s a camouflage. Without casinos, Las Vegas will be like Austin, Texas. We’d be lame, but a town, a community. We’d be a little town in the desert. But the Las Vegas mentality is “We’re the whole state”. Clark County became our state, and we let the casinos take care of us (Sanchez, 1999, p. 92).

But there’s more to casinos and weddings in Las Vegas, according to Rosenthal and Renaud (October 2005) in Shape magazine, one can visit an oasis in the luxurious Green Valley Ranch Resort, Casino ; Spa. They suggested that the stay there is “all about understated elegance”. The resort is a “full-fledged Las Vegas-style casino hotel without the over-the-top theme-park decor, it’s an easy 10-minute cab or shuttle ride to action on The Strip”.

However, Rosenthal and Renaud (October 2005) assured travelers that they will be tempted to “stay put and enjoy the array of restaurants, gaming action and luxury treatments and activities at the spa and fitness center”. For health buffs, Rosenthal and Renaud (October 2005) warned that although self-control can be challenging amidst the flashing neon signs that are tempting you toward “all-you-can-eat buffets and free drinks”, both authors suggested that they could visit the Little Buddha at the Palms Casino Resort, located at 4321 W. Flamingo Road.

According to Rosenthal and Renaud (October 2005), “the restaurant is done up in sexy shades of red”, and “the décor is opulent, with massive Buddha statues and velvet stools lining the restaurant’s glowing bar”. On weekends, visitors can “feast upon light yet flavorful sushi and other pan-Asian treats while a DJ spins world music”. Another place that Rosenthal and Renaud (October 2005) recommended is the Red Rock Canyon. Situated accessibly in a 25-minute drive west of the neon glares of “The Strip”, they described Red Rock Canyon as a “Mojave Desert conservation area where petrified dunes, arches and cliffs come in a stunning palette of colors”.

According to Rosenthal and Renaud (October 2005), “there are more than 30 miles of hiking trails” and they recommended to trek the “moderate six-mile White Rock loop past trickling springs and rock formations”. They also advised that to watch out for some desert tortoises, wild burros and red-tailed hawks that could be encountered in the trail. Of course, visitors are advised to bring ample amount of water when visitors decide to choose this kind of adventure.

On the other hand, the mention of Orlando invites us to think of one word: Disney. Anyone might not be surprised that the Disney complex alone covers 47 square miles (122 square km). Several large resorts are not the only exciting attractions that Disney offers, any visitor would marvel at “the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, and Animal Kingdom”.

Also in the greater Orlando area are “Universal Orlando (with the Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure theme parks), Sea World of Florida (a marine-animal park), and Wet ‘n Wild (a large water park)”. In addition, Lack Haven Park contains art, science, and history museums. Gatorland, just to the south, is home to alligators and crocodiles (Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2007).

In Hagaman’s article (1998) about Orlando in the PSA Journal, she suggested that aside from Disney, any visitor can also experience the glamor of Hollywood while staying at the doorstep near Universal Studios, Florida, where they could stand at awe with the likes of Jaws, King Kong, Woody and Winny Woodpecker and other characters “just waiting to give you a thrill and photo opportunities”. Hagaman (1998) also recommended having fun beneath “swaying palm trees in the heart of America’s vacation fantasy land” because “visitors always enjoy Orlando’s splendid weather and natural beauty”.

Hagaman (1998) cited that the opening of Cypress Gardens in 1936 marked the beginning of a new era in Central Florida, where any visitor can marvel at the new Birdwalk Aviary, composed of five new animal habitats. The list goes on as Hagaman (1998) cited other places of interest like the Butterfly Conservatory, European acrobatic acts, floral festivals, and a new fast-paced and thrilling water ski show”. The Cypress Gardens is situated 22 miles south of I-4 be tween Orlando and Tampa.

Hagaman (1998) also prided that Orlando has treats for history lovers. She assured visitors will bask in a “magical evening in a medieval castle at King Henry’s Feast”. King Henry’s Feast features a banquet and show that compose of “a bountiful four-course dinner while special royal entertainment and amazing death-defying feats are performed right before your eyes. Tankards of beer, wine and soft drinks are included with dinner”. Hagaman (1998) informed that King Henry’s Feast is in Orlando.  Another recommended attraction by Hagaman (1998) is located near Kissimmee, where visitors would have the feel of traveling back to the days of yore at Medieval Times.

Hagaman (1998) revealed that this is Central Florida’s number one 1 dinner attraction located on Highway 92 near Disney. Visitors will definitely have fun feasting on a “regal banquet inside the 11th-century European style castle and cheer for knights on horseback jousting and sword fighting”. Hagaman (1998) also included in her list of attractions the Pointe Orlando, which is “a 450,000 square foot Lifestyle Entertainment Center located across from the Convention Center, featuring FAO Schwartz, multi-screen cinema, and a 3-D IMAX theater”. In this entertainment center, nightclubs, outstanding restaurants, and the finest collection of 60 unique retailers will surely make visitors busy while in Orlando.

Moreover, visitors should also delight the Oriental magic of Splendid China. Hagaman (1998) described it as “a 76-acre attraction featuring 5,000 years of authentic Chinese culture”. In here, Hagaman (1998) described that visitors will see a replica of China’s historical sites and landmarks, like the Forbidden City, Great Wall, Leshan Budda and many others. Hagaman (1998)  also mentioned “The Mysterious Kingdom of the Orient”, which is “a pulsating and visually majestic presentation of 70 talented acrobats, dancers and actors”. Lastly, Hagaman (1998) invited visitors to discover Chinatown for its “excellent dining and unique shopping”.

Both locations have their unique features, the casinos and desert resorts in Las Vegas and the theme parks in Orlando. What’s best is that both cities offer different features and landmarks for different interests. Las Vegas discovered that shopping, dining, and entertainment could attract non-gamblers and also serve as secondary activities for all but the most dedicated gamblers.

The Forum shopping mall at Caesars in Las Vegas provides continuous entertainment and a great variety of restaurants, making the retail sales areas some of the most costly and desirable to rent in North America. Today, the top attraction in Las Vegas is shopping, not gambling. However, I feel that there are more things to do in Orlando than in Las Vegas. I believe that tourist markets should be dynamic and a marketing information system should come in important. Destinations need to closely monitor the relative popularity of their various attractions by determining the number and type of tourists attracted to each and I think Orlando is more publicized in this arena.

References

Hagaman, C. L. (1998, February). Orlando: Never Outgrow the Magic. PSA Journal, 64, 16-18.

Las Vegas. (2007). In Encyclopædia Britannica.  Retrieved February 14, 2007, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.search.eb.com/eb/article-9047243.

Orlando. (2007). In Encyclopædia Britannica.  Retrieved February 14, 2007, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.search.eb.com/eb/article-9057392.

Rosenthal, J. and Renaud, L. (2005, October). Sin-City Shapeovers. Shape, 25(2): 38.

Sanchez, M. (1999). Growing Up in Las Vegas. In The Real Las Vegas: Life beyond the Strip, Littlejohn, D. (Ed.) (pp. 75-96). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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