LAS VEGAS — Out near the edges of Las Vegas sits Red Rock Resort and Casino, the sprawling, gleaming centerpiece of the Fertitta family's locals-centric casino empire. It is all glass and stucco, rising against the backdrop of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The Fertittas own a series of Station Casinos, which generally look as though they have not received much of a face-lift since they were erected in a different era.
But Red Rock (and its sister Green Valley Ranch) is different. They are modern, sleek and a sheer pleasure to experience. They are also 25 minutes from the strip, which means no hustle and very little bustle. Tourism here is limited because of the distance, which gives Red Rock a quieter vibe. There are fewer walks of shame, but you take the good with the bad. There is also live bingo, which you most certainly file under the good.
Red Rock, then, was the perfect location for Monday's low-key media event featuring UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and brash challenger Conor McGregor. It was the second stop on the pair's promotional world tour, which will swirl and whoosh around the globe until March 31, when it draws to its conclusion in the only logical place: Dublin, McGregor's hometown, a place where he can no longer walk down the street without being mobbed.
So it began in Rio de Janeiro and will end in Dublin, and in July, both men will return to Las Vegas for the most anticipated UFC fight of the year. On Monday, however, they were not fighting. They were not even together. They were kept as separated as the UFC's public relations staff could keep them, with a 25-minute buffer stuck squarely between their separate interview sessions.