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Convention attendees explore Las Vegas for entertainment and dining

By Billy O'Keefe

By Samantha Delgado
The Beatles. Dancing water fountains. How about lunch in Paris?
Those attending the Society of Professional Journalists’ convention in Las Vegas found a variety of ways to squeeze some wholesome fun in along with sessions on ethics and strolls through the expo.
“I went to go see the Beatles show ‘Love,’ ” said Mahan Khan, a Chicago freelancer. “It made this whole trip worthwhile.”
“Well, the conference, too, of course!” she quickly added.
A reporter for ESPN.com in Connecticut saw a wedding at the Fremont Hotel & Casino.
“We were just standing there, and this guy started playing the sax all of a sudden. It was really cool,” Matt Wilansky said.
Wilansky and his colleagues also took in a pirate show at the entrance to Treasure Island Hotel & Casino. He said it came complete with scantily clad women and handsome young men. The best part is that it was free, Wilansky said.
Besides shows, Las Vegas provided plenty of good eats with which the journalists filled their stomachs with delicious food and tasty drinks.
“That’s what I like about Vegas, is the variety of food,” said Jill Russell, a reporter for the Daily News near Vancouver, Wash., “And if you want a steak at 2 a.m., you can get a steak at 2 a.m.”
Paul Takahashi, an intern at the Las Vegas Sun, has lived here for a month and recommended Peppermill, located next to Stardust Resort & Casino on the Strip, for what he said is its cool atmosphere.
“It’s got a fun, disco vibe, and the best part about it is a fireplace with water around it,” Takahashi said.
Cheap drinks are hard to find in Vegas, but Nick Tarantino from DePaul University in Chicago claimed to have found the perfect place.
“Billy’s Bar. It’s across the street from Caesar’s Palace. They have $3 beers,” he said.
Other convention-goers said they enjoyed watching the dancing water fountains outside the Bellagio Hotel & Casino. The movement of the water is timed to music, and the show several times a night draws huge crowds on surrounding sidewalks and the above-ground walkways.
Adam Falk and Evan Bush, two University of Missouri journalism students, got lost but said they didn’t mind. One place where they couldn’t find their way was the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.
“We’ve gotten lost in every city,” Bush said. They also found themselves wandering aimlessly through the New York-New York Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.