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If you have seen either of the movies Casino or leaving las Vegas you have seen the inside of the Riviera Hotel, one of the oldest properties on the strip.

At five stories, it was billed as the first high rise Casino in las Vegas when it was constucted in the 50’s. It expanded many times and then went through what a term a tired period.

Even though it remained successful it reached a point where it needed upgrading.

Well not anymore. I just got back from las Vegas and stayed in the property because I had heard it had been substantively refurbished.

Twenty million dollars has returned it to its former glory and while not trying to compete with new mega properties further up the strip, neither does it ask for the same nightly rate.

On this trip I chose to go to Hoover Dam for the first time and genuinely enjoyed the drive and the visit. It is quite a structure and observing the new road that is being built high high high above it, I may be the only person in the world who got vertigo looking upwards.

Driving over it when it is completed will be an experience for those of us afraid of heights.

It is clear that Vegas is suffering. the numbers of people are not filling the casinos and the numbers of delegates one usually expects at a trade show are not materializing. I was attending a Travel Goods Show where I buy product for our on line and bricks and mortor retail outlets and the impact of the recession was clear in the hallways between the display booths which were not crowded as they were last year.

But the economy will recover and people will return to las Vegas. It is just too much of an entertainment centre to keep away from…and even in times of trouble people need to escape and relax. Las Vegas will be there waiting with tables, both dining and gambling, the sights and sounds, and that palpating excitment that comes with the dazzle of lights and the flip of a card.