Contemplating a family get-together, no
matter where, requires negotiating a variety of
logistics: flights, in-city transportation, lodging, dining, entertainment. No matter where
you go, those are relatively fixed concerns.
Even if the central focus is a single event—
birthday, wedding, bachelor(ette) party, family
reunion—one needs to take into consideration
all those other elements. And the plan needs
to appeal to all involved.
Mom lives in Pasadena, California. My
wife and I live in Seattle. Others—sisters,
aunts, cousins and friends—reside in
California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Mary-
land, New Hampshire and the Philippines.
Ages range from 8 to 85 years old. Looking at
all those elements, I began plugging them in
and was surprised at how favorably Las Vegas
came out in comparison.
Although its image has veered over the
past 15 years between Sin City, family destination and back again, the fact is Las Vegas is
designed to be a destination. Everything is
streamlined to make it easy to get there, stay
there and get around there and to appeal to the
widest demographic swath possible.
Flights. Because of its design, wherever
you are flying from on whatever airline, you’ll
likely find that Las Vegas is a destination
option. And those flights are very often less
expensive than flying the same distances elsewhere. I shopped similar flights to other
Jones-family-centric areas, and the numbers
for Vegas were consistently better.
Lodging. If this were a Facebook post, I
would simply type, “OMG.” The lodging in Las
Vegas is so plentiful, and of such fantastic
value, that I really was sold right there.
Particularly in the summer, when the temps in
the area can reach into the 100s, we were looking at nightly rates that were half of the daily
temperature. And what lodging! Up and down
the Strip, whether it’s the glitz and glam of
Caesars, the Renaissance opulence of the
Venetian, the splendor of Paris or, off the Strip,
the peaceful environment of Green Valley
Ranch Resort & Spa, each hotel offers something unique, with every amenity possible.
In-city transportation. The city is
remarkably easy to negotiate. For purposes of
hauling party participants around, I rented a
giant passenger van for a tiny price. And
most of the hotels offer free valet parking,
which really came in handy, as we had folks
staying in different hotels.
Dining/food. The city of Las Vegas
really shines when it comes to dining, having
become a top culinary destination. High-end
four- and five-star restaurants as well as a comprehensive collection of celebrity chefs
abound. Whatever your palate desires, there
are excellent and affordable choices (
afford-ability being a particularly important point
when one is hosting a dozen family members).
By T. Foster Jones
“SO, YOUR MOM wants to celebrate her 80th
birthday, and you’re not sure where to hold the
party? Why don’t you go to Las Vegas?”
This question was put to me by a good
friend as I contemplated the options for the
upcoming family reunion and celebration
that was to take place in July 2013.
My first reaction to the suggestion was,
“Are you kidding me? We’re going to have
family of all ages, from little kids all the way
up to 80-plus years, in Sin City? How could
Surprisingly well, as it turns out.
to all ages
DAVID W. SCHNEIDER
CONTINUED ON PAGE 106
The Las Vegas Strip is
full of attractions,
lights and entertainment, from end to end.