I'm all ears

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I have a sister who lives in Las Vegas. She and my brother-in-law recently finished building a house just south of the Strip.

When I mentioned to them this morning that Bob Stupak is at it again, proposing a new Titanic-themed resort, my news was treated like yesterday's hash. You see, the Strip has become their beat. They know the ins and outs, the wheels and deals.

So, once I realized that my status as the family travel expert had been momentarily usurped, I decided to shut up and listen.

Their information was great: Stupak's attempt to rebuild the north end of the Strip, his other Las Vegas business interests, the local community's skepticism about the Titanic project, they even guided me to an editorial cartoon in the local paper poking fun at Stupak's egomaniacal pursuits.

But I came out of the conversation with more than just the inside story. I realized how valuable my contacts really are. Not just those within the industry, but all of my far-flung friends and family. They're the best possible sources of destination information. And all I have to do is shut up and listen.

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