There was only one moment when I felt anywhere close to my age during my journey through Happy Place at Mandalay Bay.
That moment came as I struggled to extract myself from the Rubber Ducky Bathtub of Fun, a yellow tub full of plastic balls in which I had willingly — if foolishly — submerged myself.
“It’s deeper than it looks,” a chipper Happy Place staffer said sympathetically as she leant me a hand.
Luckily, Happy Place is a space beyond embarrassment. Indeed, the interactive, immersive exhibit full of larger-than-life installations and sensory-themed rooms is a magical place, like Disneyland or Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, minus the exorbitant entry fees and the Oompa Loompas.
Ropin’, ridin’ and line-dancin’ … wait, do bulls line-dance?
We’d love to see that, though they’ll likely save their fancier footwork for grittier activities — say, wrasslin’ with cowpokes — inside the Thomas & Mack Center during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (aka NFR), a Las Vegas staple stampeding back to our city for its annual 10-day hoedown, Dec. 5-14.
Galloping along concurrently with the competitions, the popular and interactive gift/activities/exhibits show Cowboy Christmas takes over the Las Vegas Convention Center’s South Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily — and it’s free! (This year’s show includes the Junior World Finals, hosting more than 850 youth contestants.)
Following are fast facts, figures and stray historical tidbits on NFR.
When the Hard Rock Cafe opened with an Aerosmith concert in September 1990, thousands crowded the intersection of Paradise Road and Harmon Avenue to herald a new brand of entertainment to Las Vegas.
Hostess Kathryn Bohannon and bartender Cindy Faraci remember the night vividly. When the sound system went down and the band’s performance was delayed, a near-riot broke out, they recalled.
When the alluring machines and enticing tables on the casino floor become an unhealthy addiction, when money for a mortgage or car or tuition payment is part of the action, gambling stops being fun.
That’s why it’s important that casino employees keep alert, and why Caesars Entertainment Corp. has led the industry with its Responsible Gaming program.
In 2019, Caesars marks 30 years since it began creating employee-training initiatives and investing in cutting-edge technology and research to advance techniques and tools to prevent underage gaming and stem problem gaming.