living and working in Las Vegas
Hello, Grease Chef. I spent a summer at the Sugarbush Inn during the bicentennial, and really enjoyed Vermont and New Hampshire. My wife and I put about 250 miles a week on my Buick wagon, wandering around villages and back roads.
Been in Vegas 21 years; started at Caesars, ran a small hospital foodservice 9 years while my kids were little, been in business catering
) for 11, and semi-active in the A.C. F. chapter.
The Bellagio is the most expensive hotel in the world- absolutely gorgeous, and has some suberb chefs. They also have cooks who cook bacon for 8 hours, as all these monstrous properties do. The buffets serve 6 to 8 thousand meals per day. Banquets up to several thousand sometimes.
There are gourmet rooms, of course, and some of the finest cooking that can be done is going on there.
The production level, even in the smaller rooms, is intense, not at all like country clubs or the laid back level of New England resorts. The need for hard-working, straight-shooting cooks (all employees) is crucial. The norm for salaried personnel is 12 hours/day. We used to use the phrase "getting out of the building" as if it were an occasion; that was many years ago, true.
The union ethic is strong here, even for non-union members.
A few years ago, I had a supposedly experienced cook peeling a canteloup, completely screwing it up. When I stepped in to correct him, he explained,
" I'm not pantry!"
We're doing everything we can to make the traffic like L.A., but some days you can still get around in a reasonable time.
Tranquility is a state of mind. If your state of mind is directly dependent on your surroundings, you may not have tranquility here, especially compared to Vermont. This town is Hotel Casino driven, has the highest employment rate for artists/entertainers in the country, high-rise condos shooting up like weeds.
Some of the hardest working people I've ever seen are here in Vegas.
Basically, it's still entirely up to oneself to develop or stagnate here. A person can be functionally illiterate here (the norm) and still make $75,000 a year, if you clean up well.
It can be hard to get in the door, but every property in town is desperately looking for really good help. If you don't mind being one of four, six or eight thousand employees, the hotels can be good.
You are totally correct about the hotel's name polishing up the look of your resume. One must remember that the relativity of the timelines- yours and the hotel/restaurant's- is like comparing the age of the USA to the history of civilization. Just putting in a year or two does not look so great to prospective employers. Good luck. By the way, it's REAL hot here until late September.