December 2008
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Encore: been there, done that, didn’t buy $95 t-shirt

I took advantage of my jet lag and visited the newly opened Encore at Wynn Las Vegas early this morning.

I may not have been the first blogger inside the property as the rest of the world creamed themselves to get through the door the minute it opened at 8pm last night, but I was probably the first to take a picture of the much-hyped "natural daylight inside a casino" feature, as Encore saw its first sunrise.

Wow, through the window you can see… Wynn’s other casino.

I didn’t get chance to take many pictures as my mere presence was extremely conspicuous – and not just because my kind had no business hanging out in this kind of resort.

The casino had an absurdly high staff-to-visitor ratio.  In an amazing display of frivolity, every single table game in the casino was open.  At 6.30am.  On a Tuesday morning.  And didn’t I hear something about the economy not quite being what it was?

As you’d expect, about 3 games out of 50 or so actually had players.

Every other table had an extremely bored dealer, most of whom were trying to make eye contact, longing somebody to keep them company.

There isn’t a single pit area inside Encore, it’s scattered around with four games here, half a dozen there.  So wherever I walked, I felt I was under scrutiny.

It wasn’t just the dealers.  Driving into the garage I was stopped by two separate stewards asking if I was trying to park, and then telling me where to go.

Aren’t the signposts good enough?  Well, actually no.

One sign labelled "Encore Resort ->" had fooled me into thinking I needed to take the right turn it pointed at.  Apparently it meant the next one, and I realised this after I drove the wrong way into the limo and taxi exit.

Oops.  At least it was quiet.

O Christmas tree, o christmas cactus

You can turn any kind of tree – or even a cactus – into a Christmas tree simply by adding a whole bunch of lights.  As demonstrated by the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden.