This past weekend in Vegas met our expectations and hopes that this will be a great place to repeat hosting this exciting rugby event!
After a cracked windshield and faulty engine, our Delta flight finally made it to Las Vegas five hours later and in time for the setting desert sun. Las Vegas lights can be seen easily from 10,000 feet up and the Hard Rock Hotel was only a three minute drive from the airport – and our only three minutes of solitude before arriving to a hotel full of gamblers, pole-dancers, rugby players, fans, coaches and legendary rock artist Santana. It was truly an eclectic experience considering everyone is walking about in a truly festive attitude. Plus, while having dinner at the week-old Brasserie Puck with our good friend, DJ NTS – who but Wolfgang Puck walks in to enjoy the restaurant himself! (The Sirloin Burger is highly recommended).
The games were just on par as the entertainment back at hotel headquarters. Japan impressed, the USA found victory behind the home crowd, Samoa upset NZ and Kenya continued to benefit from a crowd of supporters unlike anything seen outside Kenya itself. One of the greatest aspects of the rugby culture is the social one. The Tournament is set up to encourage the party all day as anyone can easily move about the stadium to take breaks from the sun, meet up with friends or join home-team supporters. (Such as the cross-dressing Kiwis, Welsh Daisies, or American Bunnies). Back at the hotel it is no different as we could introduce ourselves to Springbok head coach Paul Treu or take a look at the New Zealand match-schedule posted down the hall from us.
Apart from Tournament festivities, the weather was a wonderful break from the cold city, the fans were in great spirits and next year looks to get better. Now if we could only have an In-N-Out Burger here in New York….