I've been asked a few times for the background on this site. Here is the story. Back in 1995, I was doing the long-distance dating thing with the guy who is now my husband. Before we met, he had scheduled an extended mountain bike trip with some of his Compuserve friends to visit the Canyonlands area of Utah. The trip happened to be the week before my birthday and I was teasing Dan about how rude it was that he was going to miss my birthday. He said that he would be going through Las Vegas on my birthday and maybe we should meet up there for a weekend celebration. I had passed through Vegas a few times in my life, but hadn't ever really been there. I do remember filling up my gas tank in Vegas one time in the late 1980's and pondering the marketing genius behind the show on the billboard above the gas station, "Nudes On Ice", which used to be at Plaza, I believe. I got out my AAA book and called around to find some hotel rates. We settled on Circus Circus, as the manor rooms were only like $139 a night, and included a free buffet every day. With that start, you can guess that we did everything wrong on that trip. First night, we decided to walk the whole length of the strip because from our window everything looked just 'right over there'. We made it as far as Bally's and turned around. We tried over and over again, without success to hail a taxicab from Las Vegas Blvd and never understood why they wouldn't stop for us. The list of failures just went on and on. We didn't know about player's cards. We didn't know about comps. But we had the time of our lives and I knew we'd be back over and over again. Back at home, I knew there had to be a resource out there on the internet that would teach me the ins and outs of Las Vegas and how to make our next trip more enjoyable. I eventually discovered alt.vacation.las-vegas on the Usenet and poured myself into it, trying to learn as much information as I possibly could. As is the nature of the internet, AVLV was full of trolls, flame wars, nasty personal attacks and name-calling. One particular member had a habit of replying to any commentary about Main Street Station with "It's a dump." By this time, I was regularly staying there as they comped me free rooms for my $0.25 Video Poker play. While I will admit it is not the Four Seasons, I was pretty sure that it was far from being "a dump". I had taken an HTML class at the local college and had recently returned with a ton of photos of my room, the view out the window, and many of the antiques and beautiful features of the casino. I put up a Geocities page with my photos and began to add some FAQ's to answer some frequent questions that came up on the newsgroup. At some point during this time, I purchased the domain Travel2Vegas.com and moved over to a cheap hosting service. I was staying in as many different hotels as I could, often switching properties each night so I could get more room photos for the website. I don't recommend this. One trip I did 5 hotels in 4 nights, I think my whole trip was spent at the front desk, just checking in and checking out. At the same time, the nastiness was getting out of hand on avl-v. Any question you would ask would be met with "Only and idiot would..." or "We answered this question already." There was a small group of people there who seemed to only be interested in attacking anyone who held an opinion contrary to theirs and the group was full of "No you are! Nuh-uh! Uh-huh!" and so on. It got to the point that people were emailing me through my website to ask questions for them on the group because they were afraid to be attacked. Eventually a group of us moved off of the usenet to an email list group at Yahoo. That was great for about a year, and then the sheer volume of posts became too much for some of the members. The moderator had no choice, but to severely restrict the kind of information that was being shared on the email list, as even the digest version was often pages and pages long every day. Because of that, the fun banter part of the group seemed to be disappearing. I was thinking that it would be nice to have an online community where people could come together and discuss all things Las Vegas travel, without fear of being attacked for asking a "stupid question" or being flamed for disagreeing with another member's opinion. I got some free message board software and added a forum to Travel2Vegas. That's why some of the old-timers around here still call this place T2V. I believe that was around 1998. I spent the first couple years there mostly talking to myself. We crossed the 100 member mark in late 1999. We had a small group of regular members and began to really grow around 2001-2002. I began to add some of the most valued members as moderators and several are still with us in that capacity. As we grew, I moved up to better software and better hosting services. I expanded on the room photos and articles and all of the sudden, we had an active community of people with one common interest, a love for all things Las Vegas! As the community continued to grow, the board was really putting a high demand on the server. Hunter, a member of this board at the time, was actively developing his VegasMate app for the iPhone and had the domain name vegasmessageboard.com that he wasn't going to continue to develop. We worked out a trade for it and I moved the board over to that domain on a new server and things have just exploded ever since. My vision for this place has not changed from the early days. I want to have an open and free place where lovers of Vegas can come to share their stories, commiserate with others, learn, explore and discuss without fear of insults, attacks or malice. Early on it was clear that this would need to be a moderated community with a framework of rules to keep everyone on track and having a good time without the usual noise you see on many other discussion boards. That decision to moderate the board has not always been a popular one, but I think most people can understand my motivation. For a short while, we tried to have a section of the board that was unmoderated to discuss different topics, including politics and the like. It didn't work. Those threads were heated and tempers flared and eventually it always ended up bleeding over into the other sections of the board and so we shut it down and established our "No Politics" rule. Our moderators, who are all volunteers, work very hard to keep things running smoothly here. I can not say enough how much their participation means to me. Without them, there is no way this place would still be standing. I couldn't possibly do it all myself and I value them so much for their loyalty and enthusiasm for keeping this place running smoothly. Where do we go from here? I'm not sure. We recently moved to new software that works much more smoothly and securely than the previous versions. As we work out the kinks, I hope to install some new toys for you all to play with to make sharing your experiences in Vegas even easier. My email and private messages are always open to anyone to share their concerns, questions and suggestions on how to make this community even better. The members here are our life-blood. Without all the information you share, it would still just be me, talking to myself. Thanks so much for being here!