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Letter of the Week – Tiny Bladder Tom

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Dear ELV,

I have lived in  Las Vegas for almost 10 years. Like you and your readers, I have eaten in many of the finest establishments this town has to offer. BUT I do not understand why there are no customer bathrooms in almost every casino restaurant on the strip. As a single adult I have found it rude the few times I have needed it, to be forced to go out of the restaurant to find a restroom. I cannot fathom how irritated parents feel fighting their way around a casino to the elusive restroom for their child, and then back. Is there any reason or logic as to why a simple 100 square feet could not have been set aside for the customers comfort?

Unrinatingly Yours,

Tiny Bladder Tom

ELV responds:

Dear TBT,

Your overt concern for your own comfort misses the whole point of Vegas — and that is and always will be to get the customers to the gambling tables and keep them there as long as possible. In the casino’s mind, it is “DAMN THE BLADDERS FULL HOUSE AHEAD!” Or so they would have you believe. And those of you who actually think that excretory convenience is something to be considered are obviously NOT WITH THE PROGRAM.

For decades prior to 1998, it was a rule in every single casino in Las Vegas that anyone needing to use the facilities from anywhere in the hotel/casino had to wind their way past banks of slot machines or rows of table games. The thinking of the hotel’s was: No matter how bad you had to go, if you did this, you wouldn’t be able to RESIST TEMPTATION and not stop to try some game of chance. No kidding. The average casino executive’s only thought was to inconvenience you into gambling, no matter how hard nature was calling.

All of this changed in October, 1998 when Steve Wynn opened the Bellagio. For the first time in Vegas’s history, restrooms were actually located inside some (not all) of the better restaurants. Simply put: When the food got better, so did the ability to relieve oneself when partaking of a first class meal. In short order, hotels like Mandalay Bay and the Venetian abandoned the idea of making customers wind their way through the friggin’ casino to take a leak whilst in the middle of a $300 dinner.

Unfortunately, many of the older hotels have refused to retrofit their restaurants thusly, causing the insult and discomfort you complain of.

ELV’s suggestion: Start eating in the better (newer) restaurants in the better hotels and you’ll be able to piss away the evening to your heart’s content.

Excretingly yours,

ELV

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