Thursday, April 11, 2013 | 2 a.m.
A meeting among resort executives who have taken over the open swath of land on the Strip across Las Vegas Boulevard from the shuttered Sahara resort:
Executive 1: All right, gang. We have some choice property, approval to build a hotel on that property, and a gaming license for all variety of legal gaming.
Executive 2: Party!
Executive 3: Shovels in the ground, pronto!
Executive 1: Before we start digging, obviously, we have to address our top priority. How will this resort be themed?
Executive 3: What about the moon? Moon Las Vegas, something like that.
Executive 2: Tell your cab driver, “Drive me to the moon! Let me play among the stars!”
Executive 1: I love the idea of moon rocks as poker chips. “I’m putting all my rocks on red!”
Executive 3: Bartenders in space suits …
Executive 2: Get spaced out at Moon Las Vegas! Launch into orbit!
Executive 3: Cocktail waitresses in … skimpy space suits.
Executive 1: At Moon Las Vegas you will feel weightless!
Executive 2: Not just feel weightless. You will be weightless. We need the atmosphere at Moon Las Vegas to be as close to the atmosphere on the real moon as possible.
Executive 3: We need a feasibility study. I’ll, um, float that idea.
Executive 2: Funny.
Executive 1: But is the moon a familiar enough concept to draw an international audience?
Executive 1: I doubt it.
Executive 2: Why not?
Executive 1: No other country has ever been to the moon.
Executive 3: Curse the space race!
Executive 1: I’m just thinking we should be more grounded, stay on this planet.
Executive 3: Paris! Paris is a nice place.
Executive 2: Paris is also a hotel about a mile from here.
Executive 3: Ah. The Eiffel Tower. Forgot.
Executive 2: We’re in the desert. Morocco, maybe? Or something with a very strong, desert vibe, with camels and sand dunes. It’s a natural fit.
Executive 1: You’ve just described two imploded casinos, and another one across the street that closed about two years ago.
Executive 3: Rome is pretty. Italy? Great food. Great scenery.
Executive 1: Great Caesars ghost, guys. That ring a bell?
Executive 2: Dang. Right. And I was just about to suggest roving centurions and dancing fountains.
Executive 3: What about Egypt? There are a lot of design effects we could borrow from Egyptian culture.
Executive 1: Like, say, a giant pyramid with a Sphinx at the entrance?
Executive 2: You are being sarcastic, right?
Executive 1: Big light beaming out of the tip …
Executive 3: Ireland! Irish themes are very festive, the four-leaf clover. Leprechauns. The pointless braying of Irish drinking songs.
Executive 1: Now that is a Linq to a tired idea.
Executive 2: You said that with a “Q.”
Executive 1: For good reason.
Executive 3: A carnival for the entire family? With trapeze artists, high-wire acts and midway games like Dime Pitch and Whac-A-Mole?
Executive 1: Not far from here you will see a hotel with a giant clown’s face at the front ...
Executive 3: Right. Forget that.
Executive 2: We seem tapped out here.
Executive 1: What about ... No theme?
Executive 3: No theme? As in, just a beautiful resort full of amenities that guests find appealing?
Executive 1: With big, clean, comfortable rooms, top-notch entertainment, great food, convenient access.
Executive 2: And no moon rocks?
Executive 1: Right. No moon rocks. No gimmicks. Just a great resort.
Executive 3: We might have started a trend!
Executive 1: Or just become aware of one ...