ONE SMART CAR BUCKLE UP Our back

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ONE SMART CAR BUCKLE UP Our back
ANCHORAGE AND HER SURROUNDING AREAS ARE A PERFECT UNION OF CREATURE COMFORTS AND COMFORTABLE CREATURES
WILD, WILD LIFE
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APRIL 15, 2010
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AMERICAN AIRLINES - AMERICAN EAGLE
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ONE SMART CAR
Learn how Ford is taking
automotive technology
into the future
BUCKLE UP Our back-
page columnist takes you
to the Gulf Coast five years
after The Storm
Anchorage_Cvr.indd 1
3/31/10 1:40:22 PM
AAP - Pitstop - _03GUD_AW20100415-FC1.pdf March 31, 2010 13:42:08
E D I T O R ’ S
N O T E
Calculated Game of Chance
And that, I think, was the handle — that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of old and evil. Not in any mean
or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would
simply prevail. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less
than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las
Vegas and look west, and with the right kind of eyes you
can almost see the high-water mark — that place where
the wave finally broke and rolled back. —Raoul Duke
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10
AMERICAN WAY
4.15 EdNote.indd 10
APRIL 15 2010
This seminal quote from Fear
and Loathing in Las Vegas reflected on the cultural revolution that swept through San
Francisco in the middle ’60s.
The main character, Raoul Duke
(a caricature of the late Hunter
S. Thompson), was holed up in
a Las Vegas hotel room in 1971
as he typed these thoughts. The
revolution was expanding, he
mused, all the way out into the
middle of the desert, which was
still a relatively remote part of
the country in the early ’70s.
Traces of development and
reformation — figuratively and
literally — were everywhere.
Despite the ever-changing
metropolitan
lines
across
America, and notwithstanding the ever-changing cultural face of America, there’s
one glaring reason why Raoul
Duke’s message doesn’t translate to 2010 Las Vegas society, and the reason is this:
If you were to go up on a steep
hill in Las Vegas and look west,
right kind of eyes or not, you’d
see only more Las Vegas. And
depending upon which hill you
stand on, you might not see past
the brand new CityCenter, a 67acre, $8.5 billion helepolis on
the Las Vegas Strip that should
make the neighboring Bellagio
and Monte Carlo very nervous.
This complex is beyond big.
For you Vegas stalwarts who
have been vacationing in the
entertainment capital of the
world since the Golden Nugget and the Flamingo opened
in 1946 — especially you folks
who thought you’d seen it
all — I’m here to tell you that
you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
It seems like upon each visit
to Las Vegas, there’s something
new. The town is in a perpetual
game of one-upmanship with
itself. And each time I visit and
a new castle or city replica or
golden tower or dancing fountain has been erected, I come
back saying, “Well, they’ve really outdone themselves this
time. I’ve actually witnessed
the pinnacle of architectural
and aesthetic greatness.” I must
have muttered those lines on
20 different trips over two different decades. And I’m muttering them to you here again
now. Only this time, I think my
sentiment might prove true.
It’s just so big (page 15).
So. Big. I stayed at one of the
hotels on the compound, the
4,000-plus-room Aria Resort and Casino. My room
was something out of a sci-fi
movie, and the view was something out of a romantic comedy. From alpha to omega, the
quarters were done right. And
so were the hotel’s interior and
exterior (that’s me next to the
joint’s waterfall) and amenities. Heck, I can’t even recommend any one restaurant or bar
or pool because there are 17,
nine and four, respectively. And
that’s just in the Aria. There are
two more hotels at CityCenter
alone, which says nothing
about the 2,400 residences.
I don’t know. Maybe there is
still something bigger in store
for this boomtown. And maybe
you still can see the wave rolling in from the Pacific if you
stand on a steep hill in Las
Vegas. The town has tricked
me before. But one thing I do
know is that if you stand on a
steep hill in, say, Grand Rapids, Michigan, you can see
the lights of CityCenter from
2,000 miles away. It’s that big.
Adam Pitluk
Editor
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARC LEE RAHN
3/30/10 10:09:03 AM
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