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Eight The Hard Way

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 10th May 2012 2:18pm
  » filed under Note To Self...  comments: 42


We're 8 years old

Eight years ago this week, after a marathon brainstorm session over lunch at Golden Nugget's Carson Street Cafe, me and Miss Monkay purchased the domain name VegasTripping.com, hatching a plan to create the one and only Las Vegas tourism website which told the truth in a world filled with PR approved marketing mumbo jumbo.

We are still, the one and only Las Vegas tourism website which tells the truth in this world filled with PR approved marketing mumbo jumbo. One would think that with the invasion of social media and the well funded arms of corporate publishing behemoths all turning their eyes at Las Vegas, that this might have changed. In fact it has gotten worse. The smoke and mirror machine now has Twitter accounts and throngs of Facebook friends to spew their nonsense at in congress with the back patting content farms staffed by cheerleading pundotards. Same shit, different fork.

"If not VT, then who?"

I can't bullshit you. This last year has been a difficult one. For numerous reasons - some I've discussed publicly and some private - this Vegas hobby, everything really, became incredibly un-fun. Perhaps I've jumped the shark, or peeked behind the curtain once too many, or I've seen the casinos transition too far from providers of good times and a great gamble to cash Hoovering bean counting douchenozzles wearing suits, or I'm just not part of the narrowcasted target demographic of daytripping nightclubbers, or I just ran out of gas, or I had the seven year itch to go fuck some other "chicks." Either way, my discontent noseplunged into a pretty dark depression which started literally the day after I got home from the Vegas Internet Mafia Family Picnic last October. It swallowed my birthday, swallowed the holidays and was the primary reason why the Trippies 2012 year took an abbreviated form. Vickie's Hotel being hit by a wrecking ball? Surprised nobody picked up on the rather obvious subtext. Somewhere in the middle of my nightmare, our dear friend and community pillar Jeff Simpson went to the great casino in the sky, leaving a hole that will never be filled.

Sensing something was wrong, the guys - MikeE, Blackjacker1979 and JohnH - in concert with Miss Monkay (and Misnomer by ESP) staged an intervention (seriously) at a bar (seriously) - a surprise gathering of the VT crew on the day we normally would've had a Trippies webcast/party thingy. John even brought an apple pie, continuing a Trippies night tradition. We talked. I told them how I was feeling and that I was considering transitioning the website into a Vegas community space that could exist without me - putting the blog, reviews and updating stuff on hiatus - or pulling the plug altogether. That's when John said.... "If not VT, then who?" I shook my head and looked at the floor. I didn't have an answer.

"If not VT, then who?"

I thought about Vespajet. And Donnymac66 and Spyder. And detroit1051. And JeffInOKC. And RockCHickX51. And Levans. And Big Hoss. And Robbie Nomi. And Mac. And JakeZ. And Vajohna. And the rest of the VT regular peanut gallery. And my VIM co-conspirators, Hunter, Dr. Dave, Five Hundy... and the dozens, hundreds, thousands and hundreds of thousands of folks who visit VT, add their two cents to any given subject then decide to stick around for a while or vanish into the ether or become lifers. This place, this website, this community is way bigger than I ever imagined it ever would be and this is because of YOU (yeah, YOU.) This Vegas Vacation will continue whether I'm in the driver seat, lashed to the roof or being dragged behind, tied to the bumper. In the question "If not VT, then who?" The who is YOU. YOU are VT. Yes, YOU.

No, I'm not quitting. No, VT isn't closing. I just got lost in some fog and am slowly finding my way back.

On this, the 8th birthday of VegasTripping.com, A Sinners Guide To Las Vegas, we have real reason to celebrate and be thankful. This was a tough one... we got to 8. The hard way. Huge monster sized hugs go to Mike, Eric, John and Misnomer for their continuing friendship, advice and awesomeness. Biggest hugest hugs go to my lovely wife Miss Monkay who talked me off the ledge by giving me a safe place to land. This whole website was her idea anyways... she never gets the credit she deserves for keeping all this going behind the scenes.

With a shot of Bulleit bourbon in my hand I raise it and wish you all a very Happy 8th Birthday.

Cheers to eight more years,


Tagged: vegastripping   birthday   


Comments & Discussion:

Just wanted to say: Although I don't post often, VT has always been a staple of my daily "Shit, I've got to do X, I'll mess around on the internet first" routine. Starting a few years ago, I had this habit. I would visit VegasTodayandTomorrow.com and Vegastripping back to back, and blow about 30-45 minutes on vegas related drooling and daydreaming. It resulted in me going to Vegas on random whims much more, and as a result has given me some of the most fun, priceless, unforgettable memories I'll ever have with friends.

Thanks for catering to vegas-obsessed nuts like us, and here's to countless more years of random entertaining bullshit (People chanting *4 More Years* in the background*).

Happy Eight!

I can't even imagine the dedication it takes to maintain a site like this. Has to be hard, just like any other job we grunts do on a daily basis. But the difference here is that this site is a labor of love, and it shows. I'm not a regular poster but I do read often because VegasTripping is an escape for me. I don't live in Vegas or anywhere near and I don't get to visit often enough. But it does allow me to "drool and daydream" as Shannon said. Then, when I do post, it is amazing the responses I get and the insight that is shared and gained.

I imagine there are going to be quite a few posts from your loyal readers, encouraging you to go on. I hope it lights a little fire under you to keep things going for as long as you can. Thanks for giving me a place to escape... Happy birthday, VT!

Eight is one of my favorite numbers, one that I always play on the roulette wheel. My birthday and Elvis, January 8.

So here's hoping that this is a FABULOUS birthday for you, Chuck, for Miss Monkay, and for VegasTripping, and that the next year is better for you than the past one has been.

Great at 8. Keep it going!

Congratulations, and thanks so much for doing what you do.

Just remember, the Chinese word for eight sounds similar to the Chinese word for prosper or wealth. We are all somewhat richer by having you and this site (as well as the regular group of crazies that hang out here) in our lives.

There's no telling how much different my Vegas trips would be had it not been for this site. When I first discovered the site, I had a single trip under my belt and was eagerly lapping up whatever Vegas stuff I could find online. That's how I came across VT to start with, as I discovered via the old Vegas Death Watch site back in the early days of the site. I started checking the place out and soon got hooked. A lot of the Vegas crowd I know are the direct result of this site.

VegasTripping is definitely not your garden variety Vegas site to say the least. Not many Vegas sites get cited in media articles like VT does (Most Vegas sites that get cited are often owned by a large media company.) and a lot of that has to do with the fact that some of us here are such Vegas fiends that we scour all sorts of sites in the hopes of uncovering something of note. We're the little guy that has scooped the media outlets in Vegas by days or even weeks. Blow that out your GoldMax shilling ass Robin Leach.....

I raise a glass of The Glenrothes Vintage 1985 to VegasTripping and all of those responsible for making this site what it is and keeps it the sort of weird that puzzles outsiders.

I'm sure I was one of many readers who thought "Uh oh" when the abbreviated Trippies came out without your usual laugh-out-loud commentaries. It looked like a bad omen to me. Glad you've hung in there and I hope the fire returns!

Yeah, this is a daily stop for me, too ... so thanks for all your hard work!

Happy 8 years of this wonderfull website lets make it more years and lets not give up hope and follow yor dreams so happy 8 years Vegastripping you rock

Git in the pool!

I visit this website multiple times a day, it is somewhat of a compulsive habit now. Thanks to everyone who puts the effort in to making this a great place. Hopefully it has another great 8 years ahead.

Happy 8!

Thanks to everyone for making VT such a great community. But, mostly, I think that we owe a big round of applause to our newest, bestest buddy, and big toe: Chuckmonster.


Happy birthday, VT!

I rarely post anything on the site but I visit damn near every single day. The webpage is my default home page on my phone as well as my tablet. I have to echo the sentiments of others and share with you that I can't even begin to fathom how much different my vegas experiences would've been had it not been for this site. I had probablt been to Vegas 5-8 times before discovering this site via vegastodayandtomorrow.com, I've been at least 15 times since. Random facts about Vegas have become a common topic peice when I go to Vegas with first timers....things I wouldn't have learned had it not been for this site!

I think I may have burned out on Vegas if it hadn't been for the things I discovered with this site's assistance. Also, I just got back from staying at the Nugget this past weekend and found myself thinking about VT when I walked past Hash House inside the plaza, the Plaza rennovation review provided by Chuck, my first experience at Triple George (can't remember who, maybe Vespajet recommended it) and countless other experiences that I would not have thought about let alone enjoyed had it not been for this site.

This is truly the greatest online community for us trippers and I am forever thankful for the information I've absorbed from everybody!

Thank you for being so awesome.

As they usually say on occasions like this,


Anyone who spends time, effort and energy, putting together websites like this one usually want just one thing: to know that there are people who enjoy and read the work. Chuckmonster, thank you for a great place to get my virtual Vegas on. Congrats on number 8 and I'm doubling down on 8 more!

Thanks Chuckmonster for all your hard work ! my Vegas trips wouldn't be the same without this site.

Kiss kiss!

Happy Eight! I am so happy you are finding your way back. Your candor brought tears to my eyes. VT is the greatest.

Happy Birthday VegasTripping! You are my must visit, every day stop on the web and I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate all you do. Vegastripping and its members remind me I am not alone in my fascination and love of Las Vegas. In my everyday life,people say "you're going to Vegas again!? But here it's my safe place to talk and read about Vegas til my hearts content. I love VegasTripping! Thank you again Chuckmonster and Miss Monkay!

I think you're just taking the closing of the Sherwood Forest Cafe at Excalibur way too hard. There's nothing you could've done, man.

Massive love to Chuckmonster for the last 8 years! Vegas wouldn't be the same without you and this site. Thanks as well to MikeE, Blackjacker1979, JohnH, Miss Monkay and Misnomer for stepping in and helping make the site continue.

I can't wait for VIMFP and the future to meet all of the VTer's!!!!

Here's a shot of Jack to 8 more!!!

VT started shortly after my first tip to Vegas. I quickly became hooked on Vegas, and I have visited VT just about every day since it began. This is a fantastic community on which I rely each day to help me get my Vegas information in between annual trips. I want to sincerely thank you, Chuck and Miss Monkay, for all of your efforts in providing VT for eight years.

Without Vegas Tripping, I would have never stayed at Encore. With out your coverage of it's opening, and the detailed photos and reviews, I would have never found that paradise in Paradise, NV

Happy 8 the hard way!! I will bet the hard 8 in your honour next week!! I have been here for 7 of the 8 years and cannot imagine not having the information and laughs that VT provides. Keep up the great work!!

Congratulations on 8 fantastic years! Thanks for the shout-out!

Happy Birthday !! Has it really been 8 years ? It seem like just yesterday I stumbled across this crazy corner of the internet where people like me who loved Vegas could exchange ideas and trip reports. This place has been an invaluable resource as well as one of the most entertaining reads online.

Here's to 8 great years and 8 more to come!

Happy 8! Best wishes from Marc and I :)

Happy 8th Birthday! Thanks Chuckmonster, Miss Monkay for the hard work and everyone who contributed to VT for making an awesome site. I visit this VT everyday also to escape. Don't know what I do without VT. Here's to 8 more years!

That's quite a run. Congrats to the whole team. Glad to hear you're coming out of the fog Chuck.

Happy Birthday VT, if you weren't here someone would have to invent you. I found this place by way of the Pit Boss Newsletter and have been here ever since. Chuck, stay as cool as you can be.

press that hard 8!
big money big money no whammies!

oh, and happy birfday!

Happy birthday VT. Chuck, I cannot thank you and the rest of the VT crew enough. I love all sites that have anything to do with my favorite destination, but in the days of all the marketing b.s. and puff pieces it is truly great to have this site (along with TWHT, Five Hundy, etc) to come to and hang out with other true Vegas aficionados.

mazel tov! and thanks for sticking it out, chuck. looking forward to toasting you (and the rest of the VT crew) in person at VIMFP. i'm a well chuffed peanut.

Cheers! I also visit this site multiple times per day. It gives an East Coaster a way to stay connected to your great city in between the 2 or 3 times a year I get out there. Thanks for what you do.

Congratulations again on 8 years. I came across your site as I started my infatuation with Las Vegas, and while maybe not at the start, at least 7 years ago, I'm amazed at how much it's grown. And through those years being a regular member of a number of forums and sites, I've found myself gravitating here more and more regularly and not being interested in much of the conversations at other sites.

Maybe it's my own burnout from the crap that's out there, and unfortunately for you Chuck, VT wasn't an escape for you in the way it was for me from the mundane, as running it is a far different beast then enjoying it. I'm glad you've found your mojo again, though. And I'm looking forward to continuing the discussion of a favorite city of all of ours.

Glad you're sticking around Chuck. As many have said, I too am a daily reader. Happy eight and thanks for doing what you do.

I just wanted to say thank you. I freakin' love this site.

Congrats for making it through a tough year. You are obviously loved by friends and family for which I am thankful. This community is awesome but you are certainly the anchor. I very much enjoy your analysis, and insights both here and on Vegas Gang. You have a knack for seeing the truth and an eye for style; something I believe Jeff saw in you and shows in his comments on varioius VG episodes.

Vegas is tough on us that love it. String together a couple ridiculous trips (Cosmopolitan, cough cough...), some losing sessions, on top of a difficult time in your personal life and yeah, I hear ya buddy. Here's to hoping this year is the upswing. If nothing else, I now have the phrase "cash Hoovering bean counting douchenozzles" stashed in my arsenal. Thanks Chuck!

Thanks Dr. Monster! This site IS the cure for the un-fun symtoms.

Chuck, congrats on making the eight year mark. This has become the only Vegas site I visit every night. You and your crew keep me informed and entertained in ways nobody else can. Keep it up, please.

Thank you. Keep up the good work.

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