While Vegas residents don’t all live in hotels, a good share of us do live in weekly motels. Why?

My experience with extended-stay motels is limited to two instances: A friend once stayed for a month while his home was being renovated, and an overseas editor crashed for six weeks while working on a Vegas guidebook. I think this pair of pals is part of a tiny minority; most weekly motel residents are there more by circumstance than choice. Weekly motels offer basic living accommodations on a low-risk, pay-as-you-go arrangement. Few, if any, demand the credit checks and hefty deposits that renting an apartment or house requires. Further, utilities are also included, abating the normal process of setting up accounts with each provider—and possibly being denied service.

Who would need such an arrangement? Often, people whose lives are on a severe trajectory, either up or down, and Las Vegas attracts plenty of trajectory-challenged folks. From the hopeful new arrivals with no cash and few possessions looking to land a job and reboot, to those struggling with various demons, the weekly motel offers a crossroads from which to start—or save—a life.

Where is your favorite place to enjoy Halloween in Las Vegas?

When I was a young Darth Vader, roaming Vegas neighborhoods with a pillowcase packed with treats and tricks (shaving cream and toilet paper), Halloween was a night for kids to either scare or be scared. Many people in my ’hood even created “haunted houses” in their garages, terrorizing us with creepy, strobe-lit “graveyards” and dads dressed as mummies—all for a roll of Smarties. Cliché as it may sound, today’s world is indeed a different place, and many parents (perhaps still suffering garage-haunt nightmares) prefer to cart costumed kids to “safe” trick-or-treat events often held at very non-scary malls. Judging by the number of nightclub- and bar-sponsored costume contests, and places such as the Goretorium and the Freakling Bros. haunted houses, it’s clear that Halloween has been co-opted by adults. And while I prefer an old-fashioned Dead Man’s House Party, I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding a super spot to try out your Honey Boo Boo or Magic Mike.

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