But thanks to its burgeoning club scene and fashion's fascination with the outre, Vegas, in all its insane glory, is hip. Never one to miss a trick, Selfridges has adopted it for this year's 'event' store theme, and the result is as indulgent as the city itself.
Called Vegas Supernova, it features windows dressed by photographer David LaChapelle. Not known for his subtle restraint, LaChapelle has delivered neon pole dancers, handcuffs and hamburgers. In common with the city's newfound cool, however, the effect is intriguing and sexy, rather than tacky and tasteless.
Inside, visitors are rewarded with a wedding chapel, showgirls, illusionists and the obligatory Elvis impersonator. Even Liberace's stage costumes are on display. The store has also commissioned products to back up the proposition: designers from Stella McCartney to Matthew Williamson display limited-edition Vegas threads, and the food hall has special cocktails and chocolates.
There is a palpable sense of excitement and cool, and the visitor cannot help but be carried along. It shows why Selfridges is out on its own on the high street, and serves as a lesson to other big retailers.
This article was first published on Marketing