Vegas Negatives

Carl and I went to Las Vegas last week for fun and profit. We will be doing a full blown issue of The Ample Traveler© for May/June on what was good and what was not. But I wanted to say I was shocked at the extent to which downtown Vegas was NOT user friendly for disabled travelers. Not only were some of the buildings still inaccessible, but the attitudes of some of the service staff were downright hostile.

The most disappointing place was the Bay City Diner. We stood behind the "velvet rope" waiting for a seat for nearly 10 minutes. Standing was extremely difficult for me and I asked if I could just sit down while they were clearing the table. The hostess got extremely huffy with me and walked off without answering my question. We met her huffiness by walking off ourselves so I could find a seat. (We did have a great, but pricier lunch at the Horseshoe just down Fremont where the staff was absolutely spectacular in service, more on that next month.)

The second most incredibibly disapointing thing was the public bus service. After the Bay City Diner incident, I decided to rent a scooter (which was way too expensive and will be the subject of another rant). I was assured by the CAT (Citizens Area Transit) that ALL their buses were accessible. So at the end of a day where Carl had walked close to 4 miles and we were 2 miles away from our hotel, we decided to board a CAT bus. Well, it took 5 buses before one would let us on. Two tried but it didn't work. One stopped but claimed it couldn't get the lift down and one just flew right by without stopping after we were told that the next bus would stop. The fifth one let us on, but it was crowded and it took ten minutes before we could get the scooter in the right place and strapped in. Being a novice on scooters didn't help but neither did the fact that no one would move back or out of the way. I was humiliated and felt like a little kid by the time the whole incident was over. The only good thing was that the bus driver was extremely polite and patient.

I think that the reason this was so disappointing is that we were expecting Vegas to be a city that understood diversity in travelers. It seems so user friendly on the net. Vegas should understand inclusive travel because everywhere we went we saw people with assistive devices. Variety was definitely the spice of those attending.

Please understand, it wasn't all negative. We will have plenty of positive things to report next issue. It is just that we didn't expect so many negatives.

Of course, before you see Vegas there will be a March/April issue. Thanks for your patience on that -- it will be May before we get the next issue up, but it should be here very soon!

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