VALENTINE'S, OUT-SIZED: If you had to pick out a few themes that suit Las Vegas pretty well, what would you alight upon? Well, spectacle, for sure. The city does bigness, in all things, bigger than anywhere else. Probably romance, too, right? Cuddlesome booths in high-end restaurants are very much the way of things along The Strip, and sexy shows made to appeal to couples are the standard. How about holidays? And three-day weekends? The desert destination has both covered both in terms of special events and bustling crowds. Lastly, and oh-so-important to all of those mondo casinos, is the city's special relationship with numbers. Digits rule the day-to-day of Las Vegas, from the spinning numerals on a roulette wheel to numbers on the playing cards you hold in your hand. When all of those ideas -- spectacle, romance, a holiday weekend, and numbers -- dovetail together, you know you have a splashy Sin City to-do. Add in the local love of quick-a-tude -- quick as cherries spin on a slot machine -- and you've got a speed-dating happening to end all speed-dating happenings. It's Date-A-Thon, it is happening at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center on Saturday, Feb. 14.
WILL THE RECORD BE BROKEN? The venue went for the record number of participants in 2014, only to see a gathering in Calgary take the title with 651 people. More participants are expected this year, and there are giveaways, drink specials, and tunes to round things out. Each person'll have 24 dates, and the length of each? Three minutes, which is probably a bit longer than two hands of blackjack, or the time it takes to ride down in an elevator in one of the city's bigger tower hotels. Whoever finds love -- and let's send out some love, and luck, to all involved -- it is true-to-character to see Las Vegas going for this particular record. Oh, and there are two more things the city dotes on: luck and surpassing big numbers only to land on bigger numbers. If Sin City ever starts playing it small... Wait. That'll never happen, as long as cherries and lemons are spinning on the slots and couples are cuddling in the back booths of high-end Strip steakhouses.