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August 23, 2014

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Website’s commenters take issue with Las Vegas’ listing among world’s most disappointing destinations

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Tom Donoghue/DonoghuePhotography.com

Aerial view of the Las Vegas Strip in December 2010.

Maybe the nearly 40 million people visiting Las Vegas annually are wrong?

The website smartertravel.com this week ran a story listing its “10 most disappointing destinations in the world” and included Las Vegas among them.

“Is there any place more depressing than the inside of a casino at three in the morning?” wrote Caroline Morse, features editor for SmarterTravel. “Florescent (sic) lights, a thick haze of cigarette smoke, and the stink of desperation don't really add up to a dream vacation. Whether you're losing your money by gambling it away, paying for obscene amounts of food at a buffet, or dropping it on overpriced show tickets, you're pretty much guaranteed to walk away from Vegas poorer than when you arrived.”

The list also includes four other U.S. destinations: Niagra Falls, N.Y.; Walt Disney World; Hollywood; and Liberty Island, home of the Statue of Liberty. International destinations not up to snuff according to the list are Gibraltar; the Temple Bar area of Dublin, Nassau, Bahamas; Frankfurt, Germany; and Casablanca, Morocco.

The author’s opinion stand in stark contradiction to research conducted by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, whose job it is to attract tourists to Las Vegas.

According to the LVCVA’s 2013 Visitor Profile Study, 89 percent of the nearly 40 million visitors said they were "very” satisfied with their visit to Las Vegas in 2013. Those who come to Las Vegas keep coming back, too: 85 percent of the visitors in 2013 were repeat visitors.

Reader comments on the story take up Las Vegas’ banner. Among them:

• “Las Vegas has a great Chinatown (it has Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and other Asian cuisines). Plus Red Rock Canyon is a spectacular place to hike. And there's Lotus of Siam off the strip, which is one of the top-rated Thai restaurants in the US (northern Thai).”

• “Las Vegas … is the bomb. I don't gamble, but there are fantastic, world-class restaurants, Broadway plays and concerts of all kinds, and great shopping.”

• “Las Vegas has tons of things to do that don't involve casinos or gambling. Where else in the world can you rent machine guns? Or race exotic dream cars? Play with earth-mover toys? Tours to the Grand Canyon? Catch world-class productions? Take in a professional sporting event? And the nightlife is awesome! I met some fun people there.”

• “Las Vegas, Statue of Liberty and Niagra Falls were not let-downs by any means!”

• “To actually put Las Vegas and Walt Disney World on this list is just plain nuts. Both places are worth the experience.”

• “I also love Las Vegas – I do like to gamble but I like going to the shows and making the drive out to the Valley of Fire.”

• “Vegas is disappointing? Someone needs to get sacked over that.”

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