About Everyday Las Vegas
Every year, more than thirty-five million people from all over the world visit Las Vegas. Another two million call the city home. Everyday Las Vegas takes a close look at what life is like for locals in Sin City, a place that the rest of the world perceives as an exotic, even decadent vacation destination. Using broad research, including interviews with more than one hundred Las Vegans, Rex Rowley—who grew up in Las Vegas—examines the routines of everyday life in a place that has long marketed itself as a nonpareil escape from mundane reality.
Rowley considers the reasons people move to Las Vegas, the nature of their work and personal lives, and the impact on residents of the constant growth and rapid change that have characterized the city. He also examines the ways locals interact as workers and as consumers with the overwhelmingly touristic side of the city. His informants candidly reveal both the benefits and the perils of living in a nonstop, twenty-four hour city that is rich in myriad entertainment options but also offers easy access to gambling and other addictions. A unique feature of Las Vegans’ daily life that Rowley discusses at length is the neighborhood casinos, which cater to locals rather than tourists and play an important but previously unstudied role in the city’s social and economic life. He also considers the impact that the city’s very mobile population has on the stability of schools, churches, and other institutions that create and nurture a sense of community life.
From a broader perspective, Rowley considers the very different ways people perceive a place as insiders or outsiders, a dichotomy that exists in any place where tourism plays a major part in the local economy. The book offers important insights into what Las Vegas can teach us about life in other cities and about American culture in general. It also contributes to our understanding of how people relate to places and how the personality of a place influences the lives and attitudes of people who reside there.