Las Vegas Sun

December 22, 2014

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The B.S.:

Bruce Spotleson: Defining Local

Here’s the sure-fire way to tell if you’re truly one of us.

It’s time for a brief checklist on how to tell if you’re a local. Let’s start with transportation:

If you always avoid a left-hand turn on Las Vegas Boulevard on weekends, you drive like a local. You’re a local if you use valet instead of self-park at a big hotel. If you do self-park, you’re a local if you always remember where you left your car—because you probably learned long ago to write it down.

Being local means you understand that the $2 parking valet tip is integral to the health of the Las Vegas economy.

Being local means you don’t speed as you’re coming out of the airport tunnel, because you know that Metro probably has a radar trap ahead.

Being local means you know the short-cuts on the Boulevard.

Being local means that you’ve probably seen—or dodged—every driving maneuver there is at one time or another.

Being local also means an appreciation for music, the performing arts and sports, so let’s add those categories to the checklist:

For example, a true local smiles every time he or she hears a new version of “Viva Las Vegas.” Although some renditions do put this to a test.

Being local is chuckling when you hear we have no culture, because we do have Cirque du Soleil and actually, that counts for something.

Being local is appreciating the music of The Killers and their success, because they’re from here, too.

Being local means that you do your best to get to UNLV basketball games on time, because you know a big-time performer will be singing the anthem. Being local means you appreciate the synchronized indoor pyrotechnics that follow.

Speaking of fireworks, to be local is to know the difference between a good show and a merely so-so one.

Being local in our town means you prefer winners, but you root for the 51s, the Rebels and the Wranglers even if they’re on losing streaks. Locals never complain about the summer heat at 51s games, either, except for those dangerous occasions when they play during the day.

Being local means that you know when NFR, UFC and NASCAR events are going on, even though you may never have attended one of them.

Being local means you know that few other cities have the catering, service and state-of-the-art

audio-visual capabilities of our finer hotels.

Our lifestyles are special in our unique city, so here are other checklist items:

For example, if you run into Cher, Elton, Carlos, Donny, Marie, Penn or Teller at breakfast, you’re local if you don’t overdo it by staring or with autograph requests. Instead, you act cool around celebrities, because you run into them so often.

To be local means you rarely get too carried away at parties, because that’s what the tourists do.

Being local means that you can always find a restaurant open nearby. But also a dry cleaner.

Being local is that you think Oscar cannot be serious about half the stuff he says.

Being local means that you worry about the schools because you know kids or teachers who are in them. Being local means you may have met the people your neighborhood school is named after.

Being local means you’re still in awe over the massive skyline change that came with CityCenter.

Being local means you know that for most formal events, “black tie” here is always optional.

Being local means you can count on running into people you know at lunch, because you know this is actually a small town.

Being local is to tell at a glance when it’s a busy night in the casino.

Being local means you probably aren’t on Las Vegas Boulevard at 11:59 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

Finally, being local means that you understand what it means to live in a desert:

If you welcome our infrequent cloudy days and smile when it rains, you’ve been here long enough to be officially local.

Being local means you watch the TV weather, but you know it will never carry a tornado warning.

Being local means you appreciate snow-covered peaks when it’s still 90 degrees down in the Valley.

Being local means you understand geological words such as “xeriscape” and “caliche” and that you know more about drip systems than you want to.

But really, if you get Las Vegas and what we’re all about, you’re a local.

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