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The Guardian's "I Hate Vegas" article fails fact checking

I have to call bullshit on this article from The Guardian titled "Why I hate Las Vegas."

The reporter writes:

When I checked into my hotel on that four miles of monstrosity known as the Strip, I was handed a key card adorned with a photograph of a pouting bikini-clad woman, with a telephone number underneath, urging me to call if I wanted to “party”. In my room I found several leaflets telling me I could order a “girl” to my room to keep me company.

I find it extremely hard to believe that any hotel in Las Vegas, especially a hotel on the Strip, has escort ads on their room keycards, let alone flyers in their rooms. But maybe the reporter stayed at one of those sketchy motels down by the Stratosphere. They're still "on the Strip," but not in the way most people use that phrase.

Later, however, the reporter also offers this observation:

There was an actual McDonald’s in the actual hotel, and the queue for it was massive. I did not have to eat there, of course, as I had other choices. There were three Starbucks, one Fatburger and a Dunkin’ Donuts.

Aha! A hotel with a McDonald's! That certainly narrows down the field as to where the reporter stayed. According to the McDonald's website, there are only two locations inside casinos: Circus-Circus, and the Stratosphere.

We can reasonably rule that Circus-Circus does not have escort ads on their room keys. Not only is it a famously "family-friendly" place, it's owned by mega corporation MGM Resorts International, who's legions of attorneys, at the very least, would never allow that to happen.

That leaves The Stratosphere as the only candidate. However, notice that the reporter said the hotel also had Starbucks, Fatburger, and Dunkin Donuts.

I don't have all day, so I'm going to ignore the Starbucks. Hell, three locations in one hotel seems like it might be an under exaggeration if anything. But Fatburger is a small chain so it's easy to fact check. Guess what? According to the restaurant's website, there are no Fatburger locations inside a hotel or casino in Las Vegas. There is one on the Strip, but it is a standalone location, miles away from the Stratosphere.

Additionally, there are only three Dunkin' Donut locations in Las Vegas. None of which are in hotels or casinos.

So, while the author is certainly welcome to dislike Las Vegas (which I consider a personality flaw), her hit piece trashing it should not be taken literally as it's clearly confabulated. Unless someone can show me a room key from the Stratosphere with a picture of a hooker on it, of course.


Craig Conley

If one hates everywhere a McDonalds exists, that's like 35,000 places on earth to rule out. I don't get what the presence of a McDonalds has to do with anything. There are indeed other choices for dining in Las Vegas -- thousands of them. The best food I've ever eaten anywhere in the world was in Las Vegas. But it seems like everything in that article is oddly off. People in wheelchairs are just lazy and not disabled? Really? Everyone looks broke? Every time I've been in Las Vegas, everyone looked like they had cash they could afford to gamble on. The ugliest malls in the world? Quite the opposite, surely. "The place is so ugly"? The place is no one single thing -- it's eclectic, with hundreds of styles of architecture from around the world. It's bad for a street to be four miles long? "Bullshit" is too kind a word to describe this article.

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