In the 1950s and early 60s, there were certain assumptions you could make about your New York Jews: They lived in Brooklyn (or, believe it or not, Newark), ate at kosher Jewish delis, and spent their winter vacations in the Catskills.
The so-called Borscht Belt, the Catskills were a collection of Jewish-owned resorts in the mountainous region located in the tuchus of New York State. These skiing shtetls catered specifically to the Jewish patron with kosher meals, kosher comedians, even kosher mountains featuring gentle, modest slopes that would be reserved for the young or infirm in a more high-end ski mecca like Vermont or Colorado. Perfect for your Tanta Ida or your Uncle Chaim.
Nowadays, Brooklyn still has some Jews, but there are towns in Poland that have more evidence of their formerly Jewish roots than Newark does. The New York Jewish deli is a dying breed — most surviving on as tourist traps with almost none of them conforming to kashrut. And, at this point, visiting the Catskills is like visiting good old Tanta Ida at the nursing home, strained carrots and all.
So where's a young, Jewish, hotelier like Steve Wynn to go to make his fortune these days?
Vegas, baby, Vegas! Sure the gambling, glitz and glamor is about as far removed from the Catskills as Jackie Mason is from Cirque de Soleil, but you take what you can get in this assimilated society and Steve Wynn certainly has got while the getting was good.
Has it cost us some cultural identity? Sure. But you want to turn down all-you-can-eat shrimp for a bowl of borscht? What are you, meshuggenah?