First team: Yellow
  Arrival: 2:09am
Second team: Pink
  Arrival: 2:27am
Soundtrack: I Stand Alone, Godsmack
A#51827 Shelby's Message

Having concluded their G-string-strip or drag-queen performance at Cobalt, players stepped to the front door and were intercepted by "Clipper" the bouncer, a volunteer who set them on their next adventure...

Casino Split-Up -- The Setup

"From now on, you may not speak. If you value hastiness, then you will respect my order and I will not hear another word out of your mouths."

An imposing figure, Clipper is a police officer on the L.A.P.D. SWAT team. When Clipper gave that order, players listened. Producing a hand-held metal detector, Clipper took players into the alleyway, and began a search and removal procedure.

"Into this bag, you will place all your cel phones, walkie talkies, computers, wallets, and jewelry-- anything metal. You may keep only a small amount of cash, your Portable Debugging Device, and Templeton the Rat with you. Finally, I require your van keys, and you will see these items again only after you've finished the next challenge."

In silence, all materials of value were surrendered. Simultaneously, a mini-van pulled up and the side doors were swung open. A masked driver stepped out and began to place paper bags over the heads of each now-helpless and silent player, and then he assisted them in stepping into the van. Moments later, the doors closed and the van tore out of the parking lot.

Over the course of twenty-five minutes, the mini-van made stops at each of the following casinos:

- Hard Rock
- Aladdin
- Paris
- Bally's
- Flamingo
- Harrah's

At each stop, the van driver reached inside the van to grab a single person, then pulled them out and handed them an envelope. The only verbal instructions provided -- you'll need to solve this to find your contact. A phone number is provided for emergencies only.  Then the van took off to drop the next participant. (See the Clue page for the puzzle each player had to solve alone.)

Once solved, the puzzle led the player to a particular location inside the casino, and a Polaroid photograph, reminiscent of those used in the film "Memento", indicated the person they must locate and make contact with. Once that had been completed, each contact-person took the player aside to provide them info on where to go next. Using a Sharpie permanent marker, the contact-person wrote a short message on the back of each player's neck, in a place just impossible to see in a mirror:

Reading this text backward and vertically, it's clear that the individual needs to get themselves to:

         "On the Wild Side", 1229 E. Sahara Ave

Player Stories
Many players took the "No talking" instruction VERY seriously, and didn't talk until after their team was re-united at the Wild Side. This wasn't what we organizers necessarily intended, though it made for some interesting interactions! In particular, when folks had to enlist the help of an innocent casino patron or employee to read the backward-text written on the back of their necks, they needed to do so without actually saying anything! What a challenge that must have been!

Also, Clipper did an absolutely terrific job not only of intimidating the players, but also of taking away their belongings. In particular, one of the players (WHO WAS THIS?) had his glasses taken away, and when he found himself abandoned in a casino with a puzzle and a photograph, he was completely unable to see either the clue or the individual in the photo, and so ended up waiting out the emergency period and then asking people inside the casino to help him identify the subject of the photo.

Finally, even the fact of a whole team in a mini-van with bags over their heads elicited some response from Vegas tourists. In particular, the van driving the Purple team came to rest at a stoplight and a car full of bachelorette-partygoers pulled up. The women tried to goad the players into removing their bags, but none would. Finally two of the women in the nearby car decided to see just how intense the teams were, so they yelled out and began to kiss each other.  Although the driver ("Nick") claims he was too busy trying to drive to look, he indicated that the cameraman shooting the documentary got to watch the show. And catch it on film.  Of course, the staid & focused Purple team didn't flinch at all.

Behind the Scenes
It was tricky to figure out how to do this at the lowest manpower cost and fastest time.  For the beta game, we actually hired a limousine, and that was our original plan here.  Unfortunately, the limos were expensive mostly because we couldn't predict the initial arrival times for teams, or how far apart they'd be spread.  We liked the idea a lot, so we switched to mini-vans and supplied our own drivers, all Game volunteers.

Getting the fastest-possible route was also hard-- we wanted not more than a 30 minute loop, and it took a lot of testing to get that nailed down.  Here are the driving directions we provided to each of the drivers.

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