The Strip Is Back!

In a return to its Rat Pack roots, Vegas booms with a profitable mix of sin and sensation. An inside look at how the party got so hot

My stomach hurts. It's 7 A.M., and somehow person after person after person has persuaded me to pull an all-nighter so they can show me their little slice of Vegas--their glossy strip club, their late-night pool-cabana scene, their Studio 54, their swank ultralounge. And now, at an after-hours nightclub, the bass pumping, my eyes jolted open every few seconds by the shock of manufactured cleavage, they are offering me a beer. Not even a light beer. All I wanted was to see a nice Cirque du Soleil show, work my expense account at Le Cirque with my only famous friend, Robert...

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