Opinion: Massacre has stripped glitz and glamour from Las Vegas

OPINION: It's impossible not to be in awe of the grandeur of the Las Vegas skyline. It epitomises glitz and glamour. The Mandalay Bay Hotel lives up to that with its glaring, golden façade.

But as I drove into the city from the airport, it was the little black dot in the top right corner that stuck out.

From my vantage point in a taxi, a mere black dot, but up close the shattered glass where Stephen Paddock sat and rained bullets down on Las Vegan concert-goers.  

At that point, it really hit home what had just happened less than 24 hours earlier.

My taxi driver told me how almost every fare he'd taken today had been someone affected in some way by the tragic shooting.

He ferried shaken passengers out to the airport, cutting short their dream Vegas holiday after a night out they won't forget for all the wrong reasons. He brought in family and friends of those directly affected by the massacre.

"It's not my usual Las Vegas fare," he told me, referencing the sombre mood of most of his passengers.

But as I walked around Las Vegas there was also plenty attempting to return to normality in the City of Sin.

One Kiwi I spoke to who was in the midst of Vegas last night said they were returning to their usual holiday plans the today.

"If we run away from the city we're letting them win," she told me.

She's absolutely right.

Simon Hampton is a freelance journalist working for Newshub, based in the US.