The 3 Biggest Misconceptions About Las Vegas Locals

Leaving Las Vegas / Amazon.com
Leaving Las Vegas / Amazon.com
Three years ago, I packed my bags in rural upstate New York, and headed for — gasp — Las Vegas! I was born in the Northeast, went to college in the Northeast, and 90% of my friends and family resided on the Northeast, but that didn’t matter. I visited Las Vegas and I fell in love with it, so I made it my goal to live there. Yes, I live in Las Vegas. No, I’m not a stripper.

1. I must be a stripper.

“So, you’re going to be a stripper, cocktail waitress, go-go dancer or showgirl, right?”

I had to break the news to my New York coworkers that I was putting in my two weeks’ notice and heading for Sin City. There I was — a college-educated, young adult working in health insurance for a non-profit organization with a great reputation, yet everyone met my news with the same response, “So, you’re going to be a stripper, cocktail waitress, go-go dancer or showgirl, right?” Sigh.

No. I moved to Vegas looking for a “normal” job. “Normal” aka an office job. Some people thought I was crazy. I could easily make triple my salary with some sexy, exotic job, but I’m not looking to lower my standards.

2. I must not be able to date.

“You live here, really? Like at a hotel on the strip?”

Yeah … about that. Dating in Vegas is unique, to say the least. Contrary to popular belief, most Las Vegans don’t live on the Strip; in fact, most locals don’t even live within a 10-minute stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard. We lead normal lives, in normal houses and apartments, with normal cars (sorry — not everyone here drives a Lexus or Mercedes) and even normal daytime jobs. But if I plan to go to the Strip in hopes of “meeting someone,” I need to (a) be prepared to meet hundreds of out-of-towners looking for a hookup, and (b) plan on playing tourist and running with it.

Because, honestly, since I most likely won’t encounter another local unless he’s working that night, I’ll inevitably have to explain myself and the life of a Las Vegas local to him. Usually their first question is, “You live here, really? Like at a hotel on the strip?” And I instantly think, man, do I really have to tell this story again?

Since locals can’t date on the Strip, online dating becomes our new best friend. We hope to find someone who is down to earth or the next Mr. Right, but in Vegas it often seems like nowhere is safe. Take Tinder, for example. Yay! An app that finds matches based on who’s close by — awesome, right? Totally cool when you live in a normal city, but in Las Vegas, it means thousands of people are “close by” because they’re all clustered visiting the Strip. And most men using this app only care what you look like; why would they bother to read your profile that clearly states, “Vegas Local”? So, your matches end up dropping ultra-classy lines like, “Hey I’m staying at Bally’s, how about you? Do you want to hook up?” And, they keep pursuing that “winning” angle hoping to get a response. They get one, all right: Unmatch.

But that isn’t always the case when it comes to online dating. I dated two men seriously in Las Vegas, both of whom I met online. If people are looking to date in an “alternative” way, I suggest WhatsYourPrice.com or Meetup.com. These sites encourage fun, exciting ways to meet new people. Thousands of Las Vegas locals are dating online, and even if you don’t fall in love, it’s a great way to try new things and activities like Stratosphere Tower Thrill Rides.

3. Because I Live in Vegas, I must gamble a lot.

“You mean you don’t go out on the strip every weekend?”

I’m not broke. Does that answer your question?

Don’t get me wrong. I love living in Las Vegas; otherwise I wouldn’t have stayed here for three years. There’s always something to do, jobs are always available, and you’re guaranteed to run into a celebrity every now and then. I work a regular job, function just like I would in any other city, and date whom I want, when I want. Regular life tasks sometimes need to be handled with finesse, but hey, it keeps you on your toes. I’ll always be proud to say, “Yes, I live in Vegas. And no, I’m not a stripper.” TC mark

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