Rich Vegas, Poor Vegas

March13, 2011

Newsweek magazine asks whether Celine Dion’s return can save a Las Vegas hurting even more than most from the economic downturn, and interviews Huntington Press’ Matt O’Brien, author of Beneath the Neon and My Week at the Blue Angel, which both profile some of Las Vegas’ less fortunate characters.

At the south end of the Strip, near the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, a hidden concrete path leads into a 500-mile warren of wet, trash-strewn drainage pipes that function as an underground shelter for hundreds of the city’s most downtrodden. Several have been laid off from the same well-paid, benefits-packed service jobs that give Vegas its rep as a working-class paradise. The pipes are one of the few places police and hotel security don’t bother to tread, and since the recession, they’ve become increasingly populated, according to Matthew O’Brien, author of a 2007 book about the tunnels, Beneath the Neon.

Click here to read the complete article.

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