Las Vegas Sun

September 19, 2014

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Viva for the other Vegas

Sun Expanded Coverage

(The Sun has gone on the road to listen to voters and talk to political leaders around the West. Reporters will examine the economic, cultural and demographic forces re-shaping the region as they drive to Denver for the first of the two major party conventions the Sun will cover.)

LAS VEGAS, N.M. -- We've just spent a few hours in the original Las Vegas and it's much more aptly titled.

It's a lovely town of about 15,000, with a great plaza, an historic hotel called the Plaza, and a nice liberal arts college with a diverse student body, including a surprising number of black students (New Mexico has very few black residents.)

We interviewed some students about life in Las Vegas. They said it's chill/boring. It's absurdly cheap to go to school here.

The town was once the end of the passenger rail line, so a bunch of Chicagoans and East Coasters brought their taste in Victorian and Arts and Crafts architecture here. The result: some amazing historic homes. (One question I asked of a student: Why haven't they knocked down the homes to build better casino hotels?)

In other interviews, with a group of art students sitting on a lawn and making a grass pile (legal grass), we got some strange looks when we asked them to name their favorite casino and questioned them about all the prostitutes and strip clubs in town.

Next up: Ft. Collins, Colo.

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