Friday, October 28, 2005

LVD1 - Wynn in Las Vegas

We arrived in Las Vegas today.








Uwe is here on business and we are staying at the Wynn hotel. The Wynn is a new hotel that is touted as being the most expensive hotel ever built. It's a nice hotel but the best feature is their private 18 hole golf course. We have a birds-eye view from our room and it is truly amazing. Here are some fun facts:
  • Over 800,000 cubic yards of earth were moved to create the dramatic elevation changes considered impossible on the Las Vegas Strip.
  • Over 100,000 new shrubs
  • Roughly 1,200 existing trees were salvaged and relocated from the former Desert Inn Golf Course, some more than 50 years old and over 60 feet tall.
  • 4,600 lineal feet of stream
  • 37 foot tall waterfall adjacent to Hole 18
  • 45 feet of elevation change from the tee of Hole #1
  • 2 marshland areas using natural groundwater
  • 6 miles of cart paths
  • Between the course's 3 lakes and meandering streams, players encounter water on 11 of the course's 18 holes.

It costs $500 a day to play. Although I took lessons I've never been that crazy about playing golf, but this course is so amazing, I almost want to rent a golf cart and just ride around; but not for $500. There's a new monument in honor of Siegfried & Roy, located on the Las Vegas Strip between Treasure Island and Mirage. If you remember, Roy Horn was mauled by one of his white tigers during a show two years ago and the tiger show has been canceled indefinitely. Here I am at the computer with Astrid on my lap.

The floor to ceiling window behind us, in our room, has automatic bedside drapery controls. Very nifty. From this window we have a view of the golf course, the Strip, and the mountains (with the occasional plane flying in the distance). I safely secured Astrid's bassinet on two hotel chairs with arm rests, so that I could drape a towel over her canopy to keep it dark for her while she's sleeping. Here she is lying in it looking at up at her teddy bear mobile, playing with her blanket.This hotel has a strange "no stroller" policy (which is waived for guests of the hotel, but we must display a tag on our stroller at all times). So be warned if you ever come here with a young child and aren't a guest. They will make you leave the stroller. I saw some people carrying small babies as they were walking through the casino. Uwe laughed when I said I got stopped by a hotel employee who asked if I was a guest of the hotel and then wanted to see the tag (which was attached to the side of the stroller), until Uwe got stopped too.

And those employees who didn't ask if I was a guest, sure were eyeballing me to see if my stroller had a tag. So when I walked into the hotel and was asked by the Doorman if I was a guest of the hotel. I gave him an exasperated "Yes" and showed him the tag right away.

Doorman: It is irritating isn't it?

Me: Yes, and it's a such a silly policy.

Doorman: Well, Mr. Wynn has bad eye sight and he once tripped over a stroller and hurt himself badly, so that's why we have the stroller policy. It's the first thing on our list to look for when people enter the hotel.

Me: I feel bad for you, that you have to be the stroller police now.

Doorman: (((laugh))) Yeah, I know.

That explanation seems rather lame, but he was nice enough to hold both doors open for me so I could get through with the stroller. (And that is no easy feat when the wind is blowing against the door.)

Which just reinforces the difference between a place for "adults only" (there is a sign at this hotel directing guests to the topless "European sunbathing" pool) and for parent friendly places.

I was happy to read that there are some designers who became new parents and designed cool, luxurious hotels for parents to accommodate young children. All those things that childless couples never think about such as changing tables, getting around with a stroller, etc., that suddenly become very important once you become a parent. One of the hotels is in New York and I think the other one is in London. I hope they do well and they build more.

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