Sin City

A Harvard Business School OPM Program class reunion brought me to Las Vegas for the first time last week. I’m not sure if I was more amazed by the decadent materialism of the Las Vegas Strip, or by the amazing construction projects that symbolize its expansion at a dramatic rate.

Amazing construction site.

I realized long ago that the best way to see a new city is to go for a run. I’ve seen some great cities on foot. Some of the best runs have been in places like London, Geneva, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Cape Town, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Seattle, Johannesburg, Toronto, Mexico City, and Zurich.

I got out twice. The run was from the Mandalay Bay/Four Seasons Hotel up the Strip, and then back. At 6:00 A.M., as the sun rises, there are still a lot of characters on the streets. Not as many as the prior afternoon, but enough to demonstrate how wacky this city is!

Not sure what this guy was doing.

The Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Everyone who flies to Las Vegas talks about the flight in. You swoop down over these mountains that are scattered across the desert, and then boom, this sprawling city appears. I didn’t realize how the airport was so close to the Strip. I also didn’t realize that the Strip was Las Vegas. Most of the other development is there to support that one stretch of road. I’m not much of a gambler, but I put $1.00 into an airport slot machine. I had to try. The trip was short. I spent one night, reconnected with my classmates, and then caught a flight the next morning (after my run) to Tucson for the second phase of my Southwest swing.

During my first run, I came across an interesting bus stop.

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