That 40-plus hour per week diversion that calls itself “work” sees us in Vegas, which means a chance to revist our previous fling with Sin City’s monorail. Indeed, it was a year ago that I first tried the Strip’s tram–when God himself wreaked holy hell on Mamaroneck and submerged it under 10 feet of water.
The monorail is still an underrated way to get from one end of the Strip to the other, though it’s located a few blocks off the Strip at several points, which means interminable walks through seemingly endless casinos.
The monorail is sponsored by an energy drink called Monster; Monster ads line the four-car trains, and videos of mooks doing mook things on skateboards while hopped up on Monster juice air on small TVs.
The monorail runs every five minutes and never seems to get held up waiting for the car in front of it to clear out of the station. That’s what I thought, at least, until I got off at the Harrah’s station and was boarding the escalator when I heard a man yell, “Let go of the door!” “Let GO OF THE DOOR!” The man in front of me on the escalator mimicked the dude, an employee in matching golf shirt and chinos who seemed to report the offense into a CB radio.
After an overpriced/underwhelming dinner at David Burke’s egg-themed joint in the Venetian (the $28 “red bank” chicken was the cheapest thing on the menu), I decided to walk part of the way back to the Barry Manilow-themed Hilton, then hop the double-decker bus known as the Deuce on the way back.
The Deuce cost two bucks and was pretty packed. I’d seen it zip by down the Strip a few dozen times and pictured it stocked with bachelorettes wielding half-full half-yards like Roy Hobbs swinging the Wonderboy. But when I got on, everyone was pretty quiet, as if they didn’t known exactly how to behave on the Deuce, and took their cues from the rest of the quiet masses. Most everyone seemed to be a tourist, though I did sit next to a Hispanic guy in the checkered pants of a line cook. So at least one rider seemed to be commuting.
The Deuce let us out at the Sahara, then it was a fairly long and definitely creepy hike through the massive hotel’s endless parking lots. Even so, both the monorail and the bus are decent ways of getting up and down the Strip, especially when you encounter massive lines of conventioneer guys in beer guts, Dockers and good old boy accents, waiting for cabs.