Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011 | 3:55 p.m.
The weirdest part about the first-ever MerCon, or mermaid convention, held Friday at the Silverton, isn’t that you can actually find adults willing to dress up as mythical creatures and hang out in public. That sort of thing is common enough at events like ComicCon, and this is just role-play for The Little Mermaid and Splash generations.
Nope, the weirdest part is watching the mermaids get to the pool. There are two dozen or so immobile women being carried like sick puppies, sometimes by strangers because buff dudes are in short supply here. Some cheaper performance tails have zippers in the fins so the girls can stand flat-footed, in which case they must wobble centimeter by centimeter over to the pool because their feet are still bound together. It’s clunky and awkward and hilarious.
When they get into the water it’s a different story. I watch as one swift dolphin kick propels a mermaid across the shallow pool. Halfway through she turns, her hair sweeping and the color of her handmade tail catching the light. It’s a beautiful sight, and it’s obvious she’s at ease. I ask her later—her name is Malena Sharkey—whether it’s difficult to learn to swim with the tail. She shakes her head, “For a lot of people, all of this comes really naturally.”
While we’re talking another mermaid comes up and splashes us with her giant tail. I shake the water off my notebook and think this is probably karma getting back at me for laughing at the mermaids. The completely unfazed Sharkey laughs it off, “Just a little mermaid sister humor.”
Reminiscent of a rustic lodge, this off-the-Strip casino offers something for everyone, including affordable rooms, an array of dining options and family friendly features.
Silverton Casino Hotel is decorated in earth tones, stone and wood, and accented with amber-tinted lighting. The 90,000-square-foot casino includes more than 30 tables games, 1,900 slots, a high-limit lounge, a newly renovated poker room and the Cantor Gaming Sports Book.
One of the resort's most unique features is its 117,000-gallon saltwater aquarium, which houses more than 4,000 sharks, stingrays and tropical fish — and an occasional mermaid. Just steps away from the aquatic wonderland is the flagship 165,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, with everything from hunting, boating, fishing and camping gear.
Surrounding the casino floor is a vast array of dining options, such as the upscale-steakhouse Twin Creeks or the unique Mexican restaurant Mi Casa Grill Cantina.