Las Vegas begs small-town America to visit

We never thought we'd see Las Vegas try to market itself as a non-threatening retreat for cash-strapped rural Americans, but times being what they are, the City That Never Sleeps Alone is taking a crack at it. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, with help from R&R Partners, invited all residents of Cranfills Gap, Texas, to Las Vegas for a five-day visit in mid-December. About 100 people—more than one-quarter of the Gap's residents—took them up on it. Their exploits will be YouTubed, of course, and the whole adventure has its own Web site, too, as Vegas sets out to prove that a city with no survival resources beyond tourism will thrive during a severe economic downturn. Other revitalization projects include widening the roads, because they need to be even harder to cross on foot, we guess.

—Posted by David Kiefaber