. . . and it is empty.
After our Red Lobster experience yesterday my nephew Harry and I decided to make a thorough investigation of City Center, the massive city within a city which recently opened in the middle of The Las Vegas Strip. I'd visited a casino there and a room at the Aria Hotel, where some friends were staying, but I wasn't quite prepared for the scale and complexity of the whole development.
It started to go up when Las Vegas was booming, almost went bankrupt when the economy crashed, and somehow managed to get completed last year. It represents an astonishing vision — a vision of the 21st Century as it might have been imagined by people in the Sixties. Wandering around it is like wandering around in the world of Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville.
And there's hardly anybody there. It's like a vast movie set the day before filming is due to start. The urban vision it reflects seems to belong to the past and yet the theatricality of it has a kind of charm. It's sort of soul-killing, and sort of enchanting. In short, it's pure Las Vegas.
Who knows what it will be like when the extras arrive to people the streets — if they ever do arrive.
[I'll be writing more about this bizarre, brand-new ghost city in future posts.]