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Editorial: Why VegasTripping Matters

By BigHoss on Tuesday, 29th April 2014 1:01pm
  » filed under VegasTripping Updates  comments: 27


I'm pretty bummed I'm not able to travel to Las Vegas this weekend to celebrate the 10th anniversary of VegasTripping with my fellow Trippers. Since I can't be there, I thought I'd take the opportunity to reflect a bit on what makes the VT community so important and why it's still relevant after all these years.

My love for Vegas started during a 2006 visit with my wife and friends. I'd been before in the early '90s but it didn't stick. Places change, people change. I had such a great time that year I started planning a return trip before we left.

I've always been a planner and this shit wasn't cutting it any more, so I sought travel advice on the web. I landed on the Las Vegas Advisor where I faithfully read the Question of the Day. I learned about coupons and free play from the Queen of Comps and a few video poker tricks from Bob Dancer. I even took a little advice from CheapoVegas when it was still those funny guys.

However, my background as a business journalist pushed me toward David McKee and his regular Stiffs and Georges column. The more I read, the more interested I became in the business of Vegas. The more interested I became in the business of Vegas, the more I started reading about some podcast thing called The Vegas Gang and some event called Vegas Podcast-A-Palooza. I started reading Jeff Simpson's column in the Sun's business weekly.

A name kept popping up as I read: Chuckmonster. Chuckmonster of the blog, VegasTripping, said this. Chuckmonster of the blog, VegasTripping, said that. Who the hell is Chuckmonster?

In one Google search, I found VT and a group of kindred souls. Holy shit. Who are these guys, I wondered.

There's this MikeE guy who just posted an insane video of some freaking unbelievable suite at Wynn. And that Blackjacker is like a real architect who knows all this architecture stuff. And JohnH, he counted the columns in the renderings at Aria. And RockChick, she went to the Hooters casino hotel and posted a video of the rattling window unit air conditioner. And Vespajet, he knows everything. And Hunter, he writes apps whatever those are. I love these people.

But mostly, there's this Chuckmonster guy. Wow, what journalistic panache. He has it. He calls bullshit the second he sniffs it and goes straight to the source to ask someone about it. He asks important questions. He pays attention to details. Then he packages it with humor and a style that you can't get away with in print journalism. He's as close to Raoul Duke as you get these days.

I waded in slowly. It was a time when you could tell yourself that anonymity on the Internet existed. So I picked the name BigG when I was setting up my VT account. But BigG was taken. Years ago, when I worked at the Vista Haus in Breckenridge, Colo., our baker, Dan the Baker, called me Big Hoss the Great American. Since BigG was taken, I figured BigHoss would work.

I commented some, started a few threads on The Board. But mostly, I started to get to know the individuals I was communicating with on VegasTripping. I chit-chatted with FiveHundy enough to figure out what the hell a podcast was. Thankfully, AnitaMartini was there when I finally arrived.

After I discovered podcasts, I learned about VegasGang and more about Hunter and Chuck and Dr. Dave and Jeff. I was still seeking out ancillary Vegas websites and found my old friend Misnomer over at VegasVerses.com in the days before he came over to VT full time.

Then came the morning when I photographed a turd in the Wynn pool. At that point, I figured I was all-in on this Internet hoohah. I started contributing more frequently and even signed up for that Twitter thing. I had to add an extra "s" to BigHoss since BigHoss was already taken, a fact that endlessly amused the late Jeff Simpson.

Next thing I know, all of my best friends are in California or New York or Vegas or Canada or Atlanta or traveling around the world for a year or so.

So why does VegasTripping matter? The people.

On the surface, it's the ultimate Vegas enabler. But, spend the time and effort to look a little deeper and it's about the people, the community, the friends.

Thanks to VegasTripping, I have:

  • Gone to Jackie Gaughan's 91st birthday party (that is me reaching for a napkin) with Dr. Dave, even sitting in on an interview with El Cortez's Mike Nolan before the cake and punch;
  • Banged my head at a Judas Priest concert with Misnomer, Chuck, Hunter, MissMonkay, Goon and Megan;
  • Enjoyed gravy at DuPar's with Misnomer, Vespajet, DonnyMac, Spyder and Mrs. Hoss;
  • Offended a stranded driver in front of TI while in a limo/Escalade with Mike_E, John_H, Misnomer and Mrs. Hoss on the way to Bouchon;
  • Had one or more too many 18A cocktails during brunch at Comme Ca with Vajohna after Blackjacker and John_H left;
  • Just in time to face JeffInOKC during VT MatchGame at the inaugural #VIMFP followed by voguing with RobbieNomi and BriGee in my new Harrah's winter gear, courtesy of Scott Roeben, Maria Roncal, Eric Peterson and Jay Fenster;
  • Started curating Hunter's Flipboard mag called Viva Vegas with Mr. Ferret himself, Mac78130;
  • Hung out with Level42 and Goon at one of the coolest places not on Fremont;
  • Enjoyed a few cocktails at my home in Western North Carolina with MiddleClassBuzz;
  • Looked to my left in the tram between Excalibur and Mandalay Bay to see Minton;
  • Unexpectedly run into AnitaMartini while leaving McCarran with Mrs. Hoss, then sharing a limo ride and some bubbly with her on the way to meet up with FiveHundy; and
  • Witnessed FiveHundy's reaction to pizza with a raw egg cracked on it with Blackjacker and AnitaMartini.

I'm sure there's more, a lot more. Sorry if I left anyone out. My point is that VegasTripping has created a real community, a tangible group of friends whom I love and enjoy.

Thanks to everyone who has been a part of it, mostly to the head tripper Chuckmonster. Thanks for all your time and passion in bringing this bunch together. Selah.

Tagged: editorial   bighoss   vt10   


Comments & Discussion:

I'm sincerely touched by this. Thank you Hoss(s).

^ That was supposed to show up as one of those heart emoticon thingies. So instead to quote my cousin "Hearts out my ass, Hoss. Hearts out my ass."

I'm not sure how many years I've been coming here looking at information, all I know is it's been quite a while and borders close to that full 10 years. The relationships I've made here and elsewhere are some of the most interesting that I have. And although I love VIMFP. This 'anniversary' is far more special to me and a big reason I felt I needed to attend. Add in the fact that it's a 'casual' anniversary and it fits even better. After all the site and it's focus is so spectacular, the community that it's sprouted has really been what I've loved best.

Thanks for letting me crash in your daughter's bed. It was only slightly awkward, which is my favorite kind!

The 10th Anniversary of VT comes a few weeks after the 10th Anniversary of my first trip to Vegas.

I discovered the site quite by accident, as I had started reading the Vegas Casino Death Watch website site in my zeal to absorb as much Vegas stuff as I could. Chuckmonster had interviewed the guy that ran the site and he had posted a link on the Vegas Casino Death Watch website site. I read the article and started looking around the site and almost immediately I felt as if I found some kindred spirits.

I finally met Chuckmonster during a trip in March 2009 which was also when I met Donnymac and Spyder for the first time. Within minutes of meeting all of them for the first time, it was like we had known each other for years, and that's a feeling I've felt when meeting many of VT crowd when out in Vegas.

This weekend is going to be a lot of fun because we get to spend the entire time razzing BigHoss and Spyder about not being there.

We're all a bunch of Vegas nuts and I've had some crazy times with folks from here. A few I've hung out with outside of Vegas and of course most of what we talked about was Vegas. The common thread that binds us all is Vegas.

While I'm jazzed for this weekend (Besides being VT10, I also celebrate my 39th birthday during the trip.), I'm also excited for VIMFP this year as well even though the only known details at this time is the date. How the heck are they going to top last year's event?

Oh jeez, that air conditioner was the worst, but it was so bad it was funny.
I agree with you about this website being real and to the point!! That's what drew me to and continues to draw me to it.
You, Chuck, Spyder, Donny, Vespa, everyone seem like a blast to be around. We may get to make it to the picnic this year!

I check this site religously. Whenever there's new content, I can't wait to read it. My employer probably wouldn't be thrilled that I start my day surfing to this site on the clock, but who doesn't? Anyway, great work to everyone who keeps this site alive. I know it's not your career, but you can feel the pride in it - and the feelings everyone has for Vegas.


Well said!

Vegas has such a cool way of bringing people together to celebrate life. The Vegas state of mind brings out the best in people and sites like this keep that feeling alive in between trips. I am looking forward to sharing a toast on Saturday at the Golden Gate.

Well stated Hoss. I don't remember when i found the site but it was before the boards existed. Love this place and you are right that it's the people that make all the difference.

Hear hear!

To our hosts!

Hoss, this is such a great post. I don't have the words right now to say how much I'm looking forward to seeing my Vegas family this weekend!

This thread from the board is worth revisiting for additional nostalgia. http://www.vegastripping.com/board/las-vegas/topic/1854/vegas-internet-mafia


Well written and spot-on. While I don't post many comments - maybe one or two, I check this site daily. This is my go-to site when I want to get the REAL information on all things Las Vegas. I discovered this site after my first trip to Las Vegas in 2006, and I wished that I found this site before that trip. I have visited Las Vegas at least once a year since then, but unfortunately, I will be unable to go this year due to my position being eliminated by my employer last year (long story that i will keep to myself until I am employed full-time again). For now, this site will be my way to stay informed and up to date on the good, the bad and sometimes, the ugly of Las Vegas in an entertaining, but in an honest and truthful, way. Kudos to all who are involved in and contribute to this site. I will miss my vacation in Las Vegas this year, and I hope to be back in 2015, unless I win a trip in a sweepstakes this year. VegasTripping Matters! (A nice t-shirt slogan if it hasn't been done already.)

We love you, Hoss.

P.S. You have really good-looking friends.

I, too, check VT every single day. I first visited Vegas in 1997 and am currently planning trip #20+ (I'm ashamed to admit I've lost the official count-multiple stays at the same properties have made it harder to be certain). Thanks to all of you who contribute to this site-it sure helps me miss Vegas just a little less between trips.

+1 mr hoss... +2 even.

I appreciate all of the VT celebrities, regular contributors, and those submitting comments/responses to all areas of this website.

I use this site to keep updated on and learn about the Vegas happenings.

I rate the writing for the stories in the NEWS section to be of high quality.

Hopefully one day I have the opportunity to meet you all. I purchased NASCAR Talladega race tickets before the VT10 event was announced, so I am not able to be present this weekend in Vegas.

BigHoss mucho xoxoxos

I found this place by accident and have been here ever since.

I was so moved by this post, I signed up for an account because I lurk here daily. Keep up the wonderful work.

Well put sir, you are a gentleman and a scholar as are all the people I have meant through this website and others. Thanks to Chuck for being amazing! I still remember the first time we met at the El Cortez, big handshake, then a hug, then a drink. Now it's like that all the time!

I wish I could be in Vegas RIGHT NOW celebrating VT10, but alas, I also cannot. I hope to see you all in October!

And Hoss, I'll bring the gravy shots

I've been a 2-3 times a year regular to LV sinse 2007, and have followed the valuable info on this site for a few years - I too appreciate the twisted yet accurate comments. Was hoping to meet up with you folks this weekend, but fate has intervened. Planning a trip Aug 9-12, maybe then

Have a great time all who are going. And everyone else have a good weekend, too.

Aww man, when Cheapovegas was funny. Those were the days. Then the one guy died and the other guy got divorced, if I'm not mistaken, and it went to hell.

Congrats on ten years VT!!!

Such a great editorial. First trip for me was in 2005 and this site and that ratevegas.com site were there to teach me a thing a two about things. Thanks again and congrats to you Big Hoss for this editorial and to Chuck and to all the contributors.

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