This summer, climate deniers will gather for their annual meeting of the twisted minds, the International Conference on Climate Change, organized by the Heartland Institute and underwritten by the good people who brought you climate change in the first place. Their choice for a venue? The beautiful Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.

On the surface, it seems like the perfect location. Vegas is built on fakery and denial. It’s a metropolis of 2 million people designed to look like Anytown, U.S.A., never mind the blazing desert at its fringes. The Strip, the metro’s thumping economic heart, is a blow-up sex doll of an urban experience, carefully engineered to make you feel rich even after you’ve been bilked of your last penny.

But despite all the sleight of hand, Vegas has had to grapple with some thorny realities — and climate change is bringing more.