Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Booming with three new mega-hotel-casinos, the city now seems mainstream. But that's only because the rest of America has become a lot more like Vegas

How can a large-spirited American not like Las Vegas, or at least smile at the notion of it? On the other hand, how can any civilized person not loathe Las Vegas, or at least recoil at its relentlessness?

How can you not love and hate a city so crazily go-go that three different, colossally theme-park-like casino-hotels (the $375 million Luxor, Steve Wynn's $475 million Treasure Island and now the $1 billion MGM Grand, the largest hotel on earth and the venue last weekend for Barbra Streisand's multimillion- dollar return to live, paid performing) have opened on the Strip in just the...