Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011 | 2 a.m.
So you’ve heard the Las Vegas myths about the kidney-harvesting syndicate and the pure oxygen pumped into casinos. (Like any self-respecting gaming chief wants better-oxygenated brains at the slot machines and Blackjack tables.) But those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Las Vegas myths.
Here are a few Thanksgiving-themed myths for Mr. Sun to confirm or debunk:
I hear Thanksgiving is a great time to visit Las Vegas because it’s slow on the Strip. Any truth to that?
While it’s not the peak tourist season or as busy as New Year’s Eve, visitors are lured by the long weekend and culinary offerings on the Strip. Last year the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority predicted 270,000 people would visit the city during the Thanksgiving weekend. That’s a 3.4 percent increase from 2009.
That’s a big crowd but the number of people here during the days after Christmas and leading up to New Year’s is far larger. Last year, about 1 million people flew through McCarran during that week.
Is it true that Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for local plumbers?
It’s true, according to one local plumbing outfit, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Las Vegas. Drains clog and garbage disposals give out under the weight of Thanksgiving-meal related items.
Mr. Rooter is apparently confident that sharing some tips won’t unduly affect the spike in emergency calls on Thanksgiving. He says: Don’t put turkey bones and skin, potato and onion peels in the garbage disposal. Instead throw leftovers in the trash or compost pile. Also, avoid pouring grease down the drain. And don’t operate the dishwasher if you suspect a problem — it discharges into the garbage disposal.
Disaster — and a pricey plumbing bill — averted.
Will I need to wait two hours to get a lap dance at the local strip clubs on Thanksgiving?
Mr. Sun has no personal experience with such matters. Mrs. Sun wouldn’t tolerate that. The experts say rumors of this being a holiday phenomenon are overstated. Cheetahs and Treasures topless clubs say it’s business as usual on Thursday. They’ll be fully staffed for an average-sized crowd for this time of year.
Why do grocery stores run out of certain food items, like whipped cream, the week of Thanksgiving? Don’t they know it’s coming?
This may happen at smaller or boutique retailers, but it rarely happens at big grocery stores.
Stephen Hart, assistant store director at Smith’s Food and Drug in Green Valley, explains why. He says the store carefully maintains a record of its sales. Drawing from that data over the past two years, a computer generates a list of items to be stocked for the holidays. Most stores increase product quantities by 12 to 15 percent from the previous year to ensure they don’t run out.
Hart says the best-selling items during Thanksgiving are green beans and celery. Not much of a meal there.
I recently moved to Las Vegas and I’m going back home for Thanksgiving and plan to park my vehicle at McCarran International Airport. Do you know what the parking situation is like during the holidays?
Mr. Sun would give you a ride to the airport, but he’s got that sock drawer to organize. Sorry.
Seriously though, it’s no myth that parking at the airport can be a hassle during the holidays.
McCarran officials offer these tips for holiday travelers:
• Call ahead to McCarran’s Parking Office at (702) 261-5122 to learn where open spaces are.
• McCarran’s long-term garage cost a maximum of $14 a day — valet is optional for $21 a day — but often fills to capacity during holidays.
• An uncovered economy lot is located off Paradise Road, just South of Tropicana Avenue and costs $8 a day.
• McCarran’s remote lot on Gilespie Street, just North of Warm Springs Road, provides additional parking.
• Travelers using uncovered lots should figure an extra 30 minutes in their schedule to be shuttled to or from the airport.
• Upon returning save time by paying for parking before you return to your car using an Express Exit kiosk.
Additional details on airport parking, including maps, can be found at mccarran.com.