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What Stays in Vegas by Adam Tanner

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What Happens Here, Stays Here?

The Myth of Sin City

The September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon thousands of miles away delivered a tough blow to Las Vegas too. After such a tragedy, vacationing in Las Vegas felt frivolous, even disreputable. Many feared Sin City, as a symbol of capitalist excess, could itself become a terrorist target.

Like a champion boxer hit by a stunning blow, Vegas stumbled before it came back roaring with its “What Happens Here, Stays Here” advertising campaign. One TV spot that captured the public imagination showed an attractive young woman flirting with a series of men; to each one she introduced herself by a different name. Another showed a group of women riding in a limo, giggling wildly about ...

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