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Vegas aims to please southern Albertans

Posted on August 12, 2014 by Sunny South News

Last week, I recalled my recent trip to the land of excess but chaotic wonder — Las Vegas.

This week, I will recall a few experiences I’m sure many residents of Lethbridge County might want to check out on their next visit or first excursion to Sin City.

During my week-long stint I paid a visit to the “Bodies” and “Titanic” exhibits and I went to Criss Angel’s “Believe,” which I previously reviewed. I also checked out CSI: The Experience at the MGM Grand, Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and I even tried the lobster tails and cannoli at Carlo’s Bakery from TV’s “Cake Boss” at the Venetian.

Growing up, many kids want to be a cop or a modern day Sherlock Holmes or forensic scientist, trying to solve a crime. CSI: The Experience offers a chance for individuals or groups to visit a crime scene, take notes and attempt to figure out who, what, where, when and how.

The interactive tourist attraction is based on the television hit “CSI: Las Vegas” and it doesn’t disappoint.

Participants get to visit the lab, the coroner and many other aspects of solving a notorious crime. At the end, if the crime is solved, a take-home diploma is given to mark the occasion. The attraction is fun for the whole family and is also educational (sorry kids).

Shark Reef is an aquarium within a hotel and casino with sharks, piranha, and tropical fish in impressive tanks scattered throughout the family attraction. Visitors can even walk underneath the water life through an overhead tank, as sharks and other creatures of the deep swim above. Kids will love the atmosphere and design, while kids and adults can get up close and personal at the sting ray petting tank. The only issue I had with Shark Reef was it was over too quickly but I didn’t have kids with me, so perhaps with kids, the attraction takes a little longer to go through.

Shark Reef is still worth taking in, as aquariums are just plain fun. It’s truly a water world without getting wet.

What can I say about Carlo’s Bakery? Other than it was pretty cool being able to visit the popular TV bakery, while sampling some of the world famous goodies. But… be prepared to wait in line to get into browse and purchase any of the many delectable treats. The lobster tails were amazing… so rich and creamy but unfortunately the cannoli didn’t meet my expectations, especially since cannoli was one of the signature sweet treats on the show. Actually, in all honesty, the cannoli at the Luxor all-you-can eat buffet was surprisingly better and tastier. The experience though was one to remember and I was so glad I waited in line to try out the Cake Boss and his claim to fame.

Overall, Vegas is terrific.

Employees working in the tourism industry in the city are great. Friendly, courteous and the employees go out of their way to aim to please. One aspect I didn’t like though was the marketing people in the hotels and casinos trying to market their time share properties by promising a cheap seat to a favourite Vegas show or other attraction. They were unrelenting and by the end of the trip I was sick of them. I got it down to a science though, not looking them in the eye and when they asked if I was in town for the night I said no… no I’m not, and kept walking. The casinos shouldn’t allow these marketers to barge in on a vacationer’s vacation. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth and lingers like the casino smell, which is somewhat intoxicating, like a visit to the city that never sleeps.

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