Hi.

I'm a private weather industry business leader with over 20 years of applied operations, sales and marketing experience. 

BOO!

I'm back.
My wife and I have been in Las Vegas for the past 6-days and we're finally back home where the temps are reasonable, prices for this, that and the other are normal and when you order something at a restaurant, people you are ordering from speak English therefore you get what you order. If you ant to skip my Vegas observations and skip right to some pics from our adventures, click here and visit the Vegas Gallery.

Las Vegas was a little weird this go-around; I was more inclined to stay in my room and relax than get out and see the sights.
Generally the streets are full of tourists, both rooms and table games are full in the hotels and the price of overindulgence is at a reasonable level. Not this time.
I believe Vegas will be a HUGE recession story in the coming years. The whole spirit of Las Vegas is missing. What I would consider a "perfect storm" is hitting there. A nationwide recession of large proportion occurring at the exact same time as a major increase in Vegas construction/expansion.
While there is still the obvious draw of Las Vegas; gambling, free flowing booze, hookers and whatnot, the price to play is enormous. New construction in recent years has caused pricing to skyrocket. If you want to stay somewhere that looks a little different than a Motel 6 on the inside, be prepared to pay, dearly. Our $340/night room is pretty standard for the newer resort/hotels. In addition to high nightly rates, food is simply outrageous. My wife and I easily spent over $100 per day on food (no reservations needed as per usual). In addition, the little things such as a 20oz bottle of pop at $7.00 and a 6oz cup of shitty coffee at $5.00 made the price to play that much higher.
On the gaming side of things, I was very surprised by the amount of open tables there were. Casinos had areas with no activity at all which is unlike any time I have been there before. Still though, waiting on a table was necessary because of an apparent lack of dealers (probably due to the cheap-ass casino not hiring enough). While gambling, we had the standard issue Asian dealers who don't communicate, don't make eye contact and aren't at all helpful. They must be cheap labor but I believe the cost savings come with several major issues the casinos should recognize will no doubt affect their bottom line. Also, casinos are majorly skimping on comps. I played blackjack at the same casino for around 10 total hours. At one point I was down nearly $400. All the while I was comped about 20 "Cokes" that were supposed to be Jack and Coke and earned $1.06 in cash compensation toward a casino-owned buffet! I showed them though and left Vegas $155 in the black by the time I was finished on the blackjack tables - I also had a mean caffeine buzz! A special thanks to Aaron for his mad blackjack teaching skills.

The service industry in Vegas is abuzz about the cutbacks happening at casinos. "The strip is in trouble" - I heard this line twice. If existing hotels and casinos are feeling this economic downturn now, imagine when another 10,000-12,000 middle to high-end hotel rooms come online in the next five years due to current construction! Will Vegas continue to rape the collective wallet of those who are still traveling there to spend their loose change on a "chance"? Or, perhaps, will Sin City revert back to the old Vegas ways and start focusing on the cash cow that IS gambling and bringing back the comps and reasonably priced accomodations?
Why gouge people for a soft drink or light dinner in the very hotel in which they stay and will ultimately gamble if the pricepoint is met? Why price the tables out of what normal, reasonable people are willing to spend to play? Casinos operate on quantity - how many people can we get in here and how much can we make them lose in the least amount of time.
The Palazzo where I stayed had a moderately empty casino most of the time. Table minimums were $10 in the morning, $15 by lunch and $25 at night. Where I actually went and played was Imperial Palace where tables were $5. I imagine there are other people out there who do the same. That's a shame as it would have been nice to stroll downstairs and play, not walk 3/4 of a mile. Oh well.

Here are some pics:
View from our hotel room 32 floors up. The Trump Tower there is minimally occupied, Trump cant get a casino license in Nevada and is losing money on this property hand over fist. It's important to note the windows are made with 24k gold film.

Ballagio Fountains
In the background is George Clooney's city within a city project that you will likely see on the news in bankruptcy in the coming year or so.

Lake Mead from 15K ft

The Grand Canyon from 30K ft

Reverse Psychology

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