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Las Vegas: Thriving tourist hotspot in the desert now living a nightmare

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Eimear Rabbitte

Eimear Rabbitte

Britney Spears

Britney Spears

Eimear Rabbitte

A place famed for all-night partying and gambling, it's hardly surprising that Las Vegas is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Millions of holidaymakers flock to the Nevada hotspot every year. Just weeks ago I was one of them - excited for a holiday and the chance to unwind in a place that never sleeps and the fun never stops.

From pool parties to seeing some of the world's biggest music acts in concert or just strolling around, enjoying the street entertainment and wandering through themed , you quickly realise that there really is no place like Vegas.

As I watched in shock the horrific images that filtered around the world yesterday after a gunman opened fire on innocent concert-goers, I couldn't believe how a place that only weeks ago had been a dream holiday for me and so many, could turn into a living nightmare for thousands of others.

During my week there, myself and my friends attended a string of music concerts and events along with thousands of other excited revellers.

This included open pool parties - a massive attraction in Vegas with the likes of Calvin Harris and Tiesto regular DJ guests, seeing Britney Spears in concert for the first time, and a gig featuring rap stars 50 Cent and Snoop Dog.

Despite the transient nature of the party city, the high profile music and sporting stars performing there and the sheer number of people, security and personal safety was never something that I found to be an issue in Vegas.

The city is tightly policed with armed officers a regular sight on the thronged Vegas Strip.

And with so much activity, bag checks and closely monitored queues are another regular feature.

Security staff were an ever present in my hotel and I became accustomed to security checks, particularly going into event venues.

Recent terror attacks across Europe have made us all more cautious, but its a heartbreaking reality of the world we live in now that there are those all too willing to take advantage of moments of what should be all about joy, fun and excitement.

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People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival  October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was hear on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was hear on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Getty Images

Las Vegas police stand guard along the streets outside the the Route 91 Harvest country music festival grounds after a active shooter was reported on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Las Vegas police stand guard along the streets outside the the Route 91 Harvest country music festival grounds after a active shooter was reported on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Getty Images

People carry a person at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

People carry a person at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Getty Images

A crowd of  people at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

A crowd of people at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Getty Images

People run for cover at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

People run for cover at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Getty Images

A man in a wheelchair is taken away from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

A man in a wheelchair is taken away from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Getty Images

People tend to the wounded outside the festival ground after an apparent shooting on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

People tend to the wounded outside the festival ground after an apparent shooting on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Las Vegas police stand guard along the streets outside the festival grounds of the Route 91 Harvest on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Las Vegas police stand guard along the streets outside the festival grounds of the Route 91 Harvest on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Getty Images

People tend to the wounded outside the festival ground after an apparent shooting on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

People tend to the wounded outside the festival ground after an apparent shooting on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Getty Images

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Getty Images

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01:  People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Getty Images

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) People carry a peson at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) People carry a peson at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Getty Images

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01  People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01 People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Getty Images

People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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