Las Vegas: Not Very Hypoallergenic

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Greetings from Las Vegas! I'm here in the city that never sleeps with Craig Avramovich (achoo! ALLERGY's web developer) for PubCon Las Vegas 2007. PubCon is the leading search engine and internet marketing conference. Keynote speakers include Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist.org, and Matt Cutts, software engineer at Google.

Thanks to this blog, I was able to attend a Blue Man Group show as part of PubCon's ‘Blogger's Night Out.’ (That's me in the photo with a member of Blue Man Group.) While the percussion-based, multimedia performance was awesome, I was a little miffed by the extreme waste of paper. Near the end of the show, a wave of paper streamers made its way from the back of the theater to the stage. Those of us in the audience were passing along the paper above our heads for several minutes. I actually heard someone near me say, ‘There goes another forest!’ Okay, I'll admit, the stunt was unique and fun, but it definitely wasn't very environmentally friendly. I guess that's why they're not called Green Man Group.

Yes, Las Vegas is certainly a land of extravagance and excess – not very environmentally friendly – and not very allergy friendly, either. One might think that Las Vegas would be a great vacation spot for allergy sufferers since it's in the middle of the desert, but so many non-indigenous plants have been introduced to the city that pollen allergies are actually a big problem here these days.

To make matters worse, smoking is permitted nearly everywhere, and I have yet to see an air purifier!

Hypoallergenic hotel rooms are hard to find in Vegas, too; although, I did discover a few local hotels that offer hypoallergenic bedding, including The Westin Casuarina Las Vegas Hotel and Imperial Palace. The Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas also offers hypoallergenic bedding, and the entire hotel is smoke-free.

But, unfortunately, most rooms in Las Vegas harbor germs, cigarette smoke, dust mites, and perfumes, as well as chemical sprays, detergents, and deodorizers. Be warned; this is not a great vacation spot for allergy sufferers.

Thanks to my arsenal of allergy relief products and the allergy immunotherapy I received several years ago, I normally don't have problems with my allergies (unless I'm in close contact with a cat), but I have been sniffling ever since I arrived in Vegas.

Craig and I are on our way to a Q & A session with Google engineers, so that's all for now, folks, but I'll be back in Atlanta and blogging as usual next week.

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