I am getting ready to leave for Las Vegas on Monday and I realized that the hotel where we are staying does not have free wireless access. In fact, it is rather expensive, especially since I am used to being able to go almost anywhere and get free wireless access. Fort Wayne is an amazingly progressive town and has had many free wireless access points for a very long time, as a matter of fact, it was nationally recognized as one of America’s most “wired and inspired” cities (according to Mayor Graham Richards) and has many, many wi-fi hot-spots. Some of the more interesting hotspot areas include:
- Headwaters Park
- Freimann Square
- Lawton Park
- Several downtown restaurants
- Allen County Courthouse courtyard
- The main Allen County Public Library and all 13 branches
- The Fort Wayne International Airport
- and of course all the other common ones like MacDonalds, House of Pancakes, coffee houses, bars, restaurants, hotels, etc.
So I just assumed that I would have no problem finding a free wireless hotspot in Las Vegas (specifically, the strip). Buzzzz. Wrong. As near as I can tell, there are maybe 5 free hotspots on the strip and the strip is a couple miles long. The closest to where we will be staying is the Apple Store in the Fashion Show Mall which is across the street and down a “Las Vegas Block” from us. If you’ve been to Las Vegas, you know what a Las Vegas block is. It is about a half a mile.
There is also one at the Las Vegas Hilton (and in the Las Vegas Hilton Monorail station – why couldn’t they have put it in some other monorail station?). Again, if you know Las Vegas, you know that *nothing* is close to the Las Vegas Hilton. So I could pay $5 each way to ride the monorail there, but that would be $20 for the two of us, just to get wireless access (although I do enjoy Star Trek – The Experience). There is supposed to be one at the Planet Hollywood/Aladdin hotel, which is a little farther than the Fashion Show Mall, but in the other direction. And someone thinks there is one by the hallway between Luxor and Excalibur which is at the far end of the strip. Oh yes, there should be one at the Wynn too which the same distance as the Fashion Show Mall, but on our side of the road. The Wynn is new since I was last at Vegas and I forget about it. But that really is about it! And in a town that is wall to wall hotels, casinos, restaurants and bars, I find that unbelievable.
And I really don’t want to be lugging my laptop all over creation in 100+ temps, just to get to the internet. I don’t want to, but I will. I can’t imagine going for 4 days without logging in.
But I plan to make it as little as possible, which means I won’t be posting much, if any, in the next week. And I have things I want to post! And I wanted to post about our trip.
I love Las Vegas, but it needs to get its 2.0 on.
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I’ve shared your lament plenty of times, in Vegas and elsewhere.
I don’t have a solution, but my own work around was usually to ration myself, paying the $10 or $12 bucks for access from my hotel every other day or so. Or, at least that’s what I’d try, then I’d find myself needing to look up directions to something and have to buy another 24 hours. But then, my own net addiction is what led me to get a cell modem and then an iPhone.
Submitted on 2007/11/29 at 8:10pm
Hi Susan, great blog! I like seeing web 2.0 enthusiasts outside of Silicon Valley. I’m currently visiting Fort Wayne, and I was surprised to find that I can’t connect to any wifi downtown using my iPod Touch. Is there a trick?