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15 Things You Learn After the First 15 Minutes in Las Vegas

by Alex Scola Jul 1, 2015

1.It’s a desert — which means it’s exactly as hot as everyone says it is, but it doesn’t really feel like it.

Yep….it's summer alright…. #LasVegasWeather #SummerInTheDesert #LasVegasSummer #TripleDigitTempsAtNight #EEK

A photo posted by Diana Frances (@princessdi702) on

Unless you’re from the desert or have spent extensive time in one, you’ve probably never experienced the phenomenon of being able to feel the breeze on a 107 degree day (a sensation that’s somewhere between baking inside a hairdryer and reveling in a waft of air conditioning). Of having oases of shade feel a whole 20 degrees cooler than in the sun.  Or of being blindsided by crippling dehydration because your sweat evaporates so fast you barely realized you were perspiring at all.

2. Plus, they’ve found a way to air condition the outside.

Well, sort of. I mean, they had to, considering they built the massive Las Vegas Premium outdoor outlet mall in the middle of the desert and needed to convince people to shop there. But virtually any place you’re expected to be outside you’ll find evaporative misters that literally spray water into the air, so that by the time it reaches you it’s become slightly-cooler-air.

3. It’s pronounced “nuhv-add-a.”

Go ahead and say “nev-odd-uh” in public, and see how long it takes for someone to correct you.

4. There are slot machines literally everywhere except the bathroom.

In McCarran airport. In McDonalds. In the grocery store. In bars, hotels, pretty much everywhere you’ll go, you’ll find a bank of machines there (and probably a little old lady camped on one with her wheeled oxygen tank).

5. Apparently, people actually *do* live there.

Who knew? And the easiest way to tease apart who’s a local and who’s a tourist? Screen for the following: Hawaiian shirt? Probably a tourist. Group of frat girls who are already tipsy fresh off the plane? Probably tourists. Guy in a sweat-stained Runnin’ Rebels cap? Definitely a local.

6. But you never know when you’ll run into a local at a hotel or “touristy spot” anyway.

As weird as it sounds, a lot of the hotels actually drop huge deals for drawing locals into a “staycation” of sorts. Plus, you can’t argue with the fact that the Strip is a hub for entertainment —  bringing some of the best talent from around the world to renowned clubs like XS and Encore. And the first people to nab tickets for those events? Usually locals who follow those clubs on social media, or read about the upcoming events in the RJ.

7. It’s probably a lot flatter than you expected.

Which is why you can see the Strip from pretty much anywhere in the whole of Clark County (that, and the 42.3-billion-candlepower-beam firing from the Luxor). But it’s also why it looks like the Strip crashes right into the Spring Mountain Range of Red Rock, despite the fact that the range is over 15 miles beyond the main hotels (and definitely worth the day trip, FYI).

8. And if you’ve just moved there, you’ll barely be off the plane before every family member you’ve never heard of starts hitting you up to come visit and “catch up.”

And by “visit”, they mean crash in your living room, “catching up” on some much needed rest in-between bouts of ragers on the Strip.

9. They have In N Out.

Every double-double addict knows that the importance of this cannot be overstated. Especially when you’re pretty much slapped in the face with the big yellow arrow as soon as you leave the airport.

10. And there’s parking. Everywhere.

Seriously, it’s pretty much the best.

11. You’re allowed to carry and consume your alcoholic beverage in public whilst traipsing about the Strip. And people do it, a lot.

As long as you’re of age, and it’s not in a glass container, there’s no such thing as an “open container law” in that neck of the woods.

12. But despite its availability and relative quench-i-ness, beer is not an effective substitute for water.

13. If you don’t want to look like “that person” hoarding advert cards for strippers, don’t take anything someone tries to hand you.

Don’t even make eye contact. That’s how they get you.

14. And now that we live in the digital age, what happens in Vegas… goes straight to your coworkers’ and boss’s feeds.

15. Finally, Vegas is pretty much exactly like it is the movies, until you step off the Strip.

And land squarely in surprise suburbia, where people are raising families and not partying 24/7.

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