To battle the ongoing (though improving) recession, vendors in Las Vegas have tried a number of wacky schemes to keep people coming, like:
1) Free Jell-O shots. Free drinks when you're gambling as always been a Vegas staple, but lately more and more bars are handing out free drinks during happy hour just to get people in the doors, and hopefully keep them there.
2) Free shows. Again, there have always been discount and package shows... but these days every Casino has booths at every entrance with people standing outside them waiting to practically beg you to come to a free show, if you sign up to be on some mailing list for later shows. Really, it's getting so you have to avoid them, like panhandlers.
3) But my favorite, and perhaps all-time favorite thing in all of Vegas, is this:
Yes, that's an all-you-can-eat buffet. No, not for while you're there. For ALL DAY.
On Thursday, roommate Josh and I returned to the buffet four times, and ate at least ten-thousand dollars worth of food. One time we went just to get a Coke and a cookie. It's about the most amazing thing in the world. It takes everything that's already great about all-you-can-eat buffets and adds these additional bonuses.
- You don't have to starve yourself all day before the buffet, to make sure you get your money's worth. You can stuff your face in the morning, then stuff your face again at night.
- You don't have to eat to the point of pain. Buffets, I generally feel a certain sense of duty to gorge myself past the point of comfort. Not so, here. You can actually stop after two plates without feeling guilty, because you can just come back an hour later, after the next basketball game.
- It's incredibly efficient. Normal restaurant: wait to be seated, wait to order drinks, wait to order food, wait for your food to come, wait for everyone to finish. All-Day Buffet: Walk in, show your wrist-band, be halfway though your first plate of orange chicken with apple pie topping within 60 seconds.
In short, you can eat five times the quantity and ten times the diversity in half the time for a quarter the money. It's really all in the math. I still haven't taken off my three wristbands, for the three days I was in town. I don't know why I would ever eat anything else in Las Vegas, as long as I'm alive/they have this deal.
4) There are also people handing out free pornography on the street corner! Oh wait, that's not new.