Las Vegas, especially the Strip, seems to change almost daily. New things are constantly being built, and old things are being torn down. In Las Vegas terms, “Old” can mean six days ago or six years ago.
Imagine paying for a tour of the Las Vegas Strip and not knowing that. Imagine being told that what you are seeing is from an outdated publication or guidebook. Or worse, from some tour pamphlet used by a marketing department (not even in Las Vegas) to sell the destination!
Half the fun of a Strip tour is hearing from a real local who knows the ins and outs. What’s new and what’s old? Or being able to ask your guide about something you read on the internet about some secret entrance to a restaurant.
Starting November 1, tour guests purchasing a ticket for Big Bus Tours will no longer get to hear the best and the newest information about Las Vegas. They will get a preprogrammed voice-over “guide.”
The company has announced they are laying off its informative, educational, and often entertaining tour guides. And it is replacing them with artificial computer-programmed voice-overs.
With a preprogrammed voice-over, you’ll get old, inaccurate information with no way for you to ask a question that could make your trip to Las Vegas more enjoyable.
Bad enough, when I take my guests on the Linq Observation Wheel, I have to correct the BullSh*t “information” their voice-over tour guide tells people as it explains how the Internet thinks Las Vegas was created. (The original developer, not Bugsey, named the Flamingo!)
Editors Note. Yes, I am a professional Las Vegas Tour Guide. Yes, this change impacts friends of mine who work for the company. That is not my point.
When I do a Vegas Strip tour, most of my narration comes from guests’ questions about specific landmarks or current Vegas news. Yes, it’s nice to know how or where something happened in 1941, but they also want to know what’s happening today!
Big Bus Tours is taking your money and giving you a Strip tour where the computer guide could be reading from a AAA tour guidebook published last year! Or worse, the information is sourced from places like TMZ or Wikipedia!
Maybe this works in a town like San Francisco, where the only thing that changes is the number of homeless encampments or convenience store robberies. But in Las Vegas, we are changing daily.
Look at the changes in the last thirty days: The F1 race closures and the Sphere opening. The closing of the volcano. The new locations for the Vegas Loop. What is the Vegas Loop?
All of it would not be part of the Big Bus Vegas Tour you just paid for because your “guide” was programmed in another city by people typing it in from what they found on the internet!
But Big Bus Tours apparently feels you won’t mind being cheated of all that. After all, it’s the “experience” of seeing it from an open-top bus that you are really wanting. Isnt it?