The $1,128,000,000 Campground

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October 1, 2008

Airstream RV Blog #84 – The $1,128,000,000 Campground from Sean Michael on

How valuable was this camping experience? We’ve been told that a half acre of land on the Las Vegas Strip recently sold for $47 million. And yet, here’s a massive swath of such land dedicated to a full hookup RV campground. So using these numbers as reference, I guess our little campsite is worth at least $5,000,000 — and the campground itself is worth around $1,128,000,000.

Unfortunately, for the reasons stated above, I doubt that this campground will be around much longer. In Vegas, everything is eventually destroyed to make way for something bigger, better, and more lucrative. I’m glad we camped here while the opportunity existed. In a few years, I suspect this entire casino and campground will be relegated to the history books.

There’s nothing particularly scenic about the campground itself. It’s a large asphalt parking lot, occupied mostly by European tourists driving rented motorhomes. Daytime temperatures are suitable for frying bacon and eggs. You’ll want a quality awning on your RV, and a robust air-conditioner cranked down to the “arctic” setting.

But once the sun recedes, temperatures cool, and city lights begin to sparkle. Suddenly Las Vegas, and by extension this campground, transforms into something different. It becomes surprisingly — dare I say it? — scenic, a cacophony of colorful light and sound.

If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, you’re familiar with the litany of billion dollar casinos that litter the Strip. There’s no end to the available entertainment, and you don’t even need to gamble to have a good time. Just strolling from casino to casino, taking in the nightly spectacle, provides more over-the-top visual entertainment than most cities could ever dream.

Camping here has provided an additional benefit. After spending a week on the Strip, we have a better understanding of the city beyond the Strip. We’ve taken our truck SEEMORE into some of the suburban neighborhoods for a couple of supply runs. It’s in these places where you get a sense of the people who make Las Vegas tick, and what life in Vegas is really like. (Hint: it’s not so different from life elsewhere.)

There’s been one sour note. Late one evening we returned to our campground, only to discover that someone stole Kristy’s bicycle. Apparently stealing is one of the sins popular in “Sin City.” For the first time since we began our RV adventures, we felt unsafe. My guess is that the culprit doesn’t camp at all. Rather, our proximity to the Strip and the neighboring industrial district means this facility is exposed to some less than desirable characters — the kind who steal.

After two months on the road, we’re ready to start heading home. I have no idea whether we’ll ever camp in Las Vegas again; but I’m glad we did so at least once.


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  2. John

    Twelve years ago I stayed at a small RV park on Fremont Street about two blocks east of the Strip. Price was great, $10.00 a day. Early one morning about 3 am a guy knocked on the door wanting to borrow some gas. Yeah sure. I told him to get lost or else he would have a personal acquaintance with my baseball bat. I phoned the front desk and later spoke to other folks camping there and they said he knocked on their doors also.

    The next day we moved to a brand new RV park called the “Oasis” a couple of miles south of town off the interstate. It cost more but, well worth the peace of mind. We found it to be a very nice and secure facility. I’ll be staying there again next February enroute to Phoenix. And yes, the people of Las Vegas are good people like most Americans we have met on our travels from Canada to the USA.


  3. Thanks Kristi, and I agree with you about desert beauty. I actually like spending time in desert climates (the dry heat works well for me!) and I wish we’d had more time to explore the area around Las Vegas. Someone told us about the Red Rock area, but unfortunately we didn’t make it there on this journey. Rest assured that we will return to Nevada someday, Airstream in tow. That’s the amazing thing about the vast United States — no matter how much you see, there’s always something new & special around the corner.

  4. kristi

    Hi guys! I lived there too, and IT IS HOT and no you never get used to it. But you do change your view of just what ‘beauty “looks like. Often it looks like the queen of diamonds, but desert beauty is subtle and its not seen on the Strip. It sounds like this campground was too close to everything, and yikes! dare I say “opportunity – makes a theif”. .. But you should drive out to the Red Rock area and take the 13 mile LOOP.and its just west of town. Leave the RV at the front with the Rangers Hut. It’ll be safe there….its very calming for the soul.

  5. Paul/Sharol, thanks for your comments. Here’s what we learned about that campground’s “security.” As soon as we discovered Kristy’s bike had been stolen, we went to the main office. It was closed for the evening, but a worker told us to contact the “security” next to the rear entrance. When we did so, the man on duty stated that his sole job was to prevent people from parking in the Circus Circus employee parking deck. In fact, he said we should contact the main office about the bike theft! So we really got the runaround. I wish I had better news to report from this campground, but this is simply what happened to us.

    I certainly don’t blame all of Las Vegas for the crime… But when we told one person of the theft, he just shrugged and replied, “Hey… it’s Vegas, you know?” It’s a unique city and I’d advise that everyone keep their gear & rig well locked and secured when camping so close to the Strip.

  6. having lived in Las Vegas for over 40 years you get used to the heat the Circus Circus campground is usually pretty secure sorry the bike was stolen if you notice they have a security by the back enterence .Las Vegas people are usallly very nice but things happen my sons air condition unit was stolen from his home along with 3 others in the neighborhood seems they want the copper come backe again see Las Vegas during the day

  7. Thanks Alpenliter. You are correct about the bike theft. What a downer! It made us feel not only violated, but unsafe. I must say that it’s the only time since we started camping that we felt this way. Honestly, I think that particular campground, with its close proximity to the Strip, needs better security.

    With regard to the blog, fear not! We will keep the updates coming. I’d like to think that the “honeymoon” never ends… 🙂

  8. Alpenliter

    Dear Sean and Kristy:

    So sorry to hear that you lost your bike. That kind of thing puts a damper on things, especially so close to the end of your honeymoon. I just wanted to drop you a line and tell you DW and I have enjoyed your blog immensely (sp? i.e. a whole bunch!) and hope you continue to send dispatches as time goes on.