You should note that the shoes I’m wearing in this photo are my “lucky Converse.” This has nothing to do with gambling and everything to do with almost dying on mountain ledges and canyons. But I digress…
LAS VEGAS. A town so iconic that they have a parking lot set up for tourists to pull over in cars and take photos with the welcome sign. After leaving NeonCon and the Tropicana, Shannon and I moved our stuff down the road to stay the next few nights at the Luxor. In case you’ve never heard of it, the Luxor is a giant freakin’ pyramid on the Las Vegas strip that (according to our bellhop) has the second largest number of rooms of any hotel in the U.S. (The first is allegedly the MGM Grand down the road.)
Why did I pick the Luxor? Aside from placating Shannon’s fascination with pyramids, the rooms were cheap. Via some digging on the Internet and various coupon codes I managed to get us a room at the resort for $36 a night. To be honest, I was a bit worried about staying there since the rate was SO inexpensive, but a number of folks on my Twitter said the place was top notch and I shouldn’t worry.
Note the angle of the inside of the pyramid. This is important for two reasons…
- The window in our room is slanted at an extreme angle. There are custom curtains hanging on the wall that stay secured so you can open and close them. Needless to say, the strangely shaped room was a little trippy at times.
- The elevator transports people not by moving directly up and down but by moving at an angle. The first time we got in and the elevator started going up I almost fell over sideways. After that a new form of entertainment was born: we would watch people who would get in the elevator with luggage (signifying they had just checked in) to see how badly they would fall, too.
THE STARBUCKS/TWITTER STORY
Being the social networking whore that I am, I always add relevant local Twitter feeds to my follow list when I travel. Before checking into the Luxor, I added @LuxorLV to keep tabs on any goings on in the hotel. Our first morning there, I noted this tweet from the Luxor:
Tomorrow is National Cappuccino Day! Get an upgrade on all Cappuccinos at all 3 of our Starbucks locations 11/8-11/12!
Free Starbucks drink upgrade? YES PLEASE!
Shannon and I stopped by the Starbucks right by our elevator, ordered a drink and asked for our free upgrade. None of the staff had ANY clue what I was talking about. I persisted and the counter girl did the usual “let me check with my manager” bit and wandered off. We stood there for some time while other folks got their drinks… but I damn well was going to get my free upgrade! After what seemed like a small eternity, the Starbucks staffer returned and acknowledged that the promo was legit.
While walking out with my coffee, I immediately replied back to the Luxor’s Twitter pointing out the “epic fail” of using the promo they brought up. And guess what?
Someone replied back.
In an example of how companies should use social networking tools, the staff at the Luxor tracked us down and apologized (in person) for the confusion. As amends, they gave us a Luxor gift back that included a t-shirt, a mug, a paperweight and two DVD box sets… one of which was The Tudors final season. By odd coincidence, this was the ONLY season Shannon hadn’t watched yet. She was ECSTATIC.
The odds in Vegas were suddenly in our favor.
We spent time between shows and meals walking up and down the Las Vegas Strip. This involves a lot of looking around at bright lights and avoiding strange people on street corners trying to hand you cards with photos of naked woman on them.
(If you’ve been to Vegas, you know exactly what I’m talking about.)
The buildings on the Strip are larger than life and it’s very easy to believe that you’re in a whole different place disconnected from “the real world.” It’s similar to the feeling of suspended reality you get when walking around a theme park. Only this “theme park” has boobies, gambling and booze. EPIC WIN.