Those who read this book may incorrectly conclude that the Strip and Las Vegas are the same. They are not. It has been my great privilege and pleasure to explore the metropolitan area and, in terms of its (non-casino) business climate and quality of life, I would rate it very highly. Indeed, superior to almost all other metropolitan areas. But that is not the subject of Earley's book.
Who will most enjoy reading it? My guess is that they would include those who have already experienced Las Vegas and perhaps have asked "How did all this happen? What really occurs behind the scene? What is the inside story on all the changes which have occurred?" Also those who have never been to Las Vegas but have seen the movies (eg Ocean's Eleven and Casino), have heard about the antics of celebrities (eg Howard Hughes, Elvis, Sinatra and his Rat Pack, Liberace, Wayne Newton), have read about the extravagances (Steve Wynn's art collection), and ask "How much of this is true? Is it really like that?"
This is a "great read."
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The new Vegas, however, is very much alive. In two years of visits, with particular access to the Egyptian-themed Luxor Hotel, Earley gathers a comprehensive history of the city's "gaming" industry, including the biographies of such important figures as the Bellagio's Steve Wynn. He also takes a firsthand look into the lives of several Vegas residents and regulars. The book's chapters, often dense with historical fact, are neatly interrupted by fascinating first-person accounts: an old-time dealer talks about being threatened by Frank Sinatra, a hotel manager at a casino gets chewed out by her boss for renting out a $5,000 room to movie stars, and a cab driver talks about falling out of love with this high-rolling town, though he still tries to get his cut of the money. "The money," he says. "There is so much of it in this town that you learn to close your eyes. I hate it but I can't walk away. Who can?" Perhaps the readers of Super Casino ...