Friday, May 09, 2008

Get Ready

For pandemics, frogs falling from the sky and the flesh-eating zombie apocalypse. The end times might be closer than ever before. Why do I say this?

Because Las Vegas is losing money. Newsweek magazine says so, in an article titled

Down on Its Luck
Las Vegas used to be a recession-proof oasis. Not anymore.

According to the article, only once since 1970 have gaming revenues fallen, and that was in the aftermath of 9/11. At that time gaming revenues dropped 1%. So far this year revenues are down 4%.

The formerly fabulous Tropicana has declared bankruptcy.

Part of the problem is that non-gaming revenues now account for 60% of all income, as opposed to the last big economic downturn in 91/92 when non-gaming revenues accounted for about 42%. As Las Vegas has made itself less of a gambling destination, it's made itself more vulnerable to the current economic downturn.

In the whistling past the graveyard department, though, there's still $30 billion in new construction scheduled, and 40,000 new hotel rooms scheduled to come online by 2011.

I've written a bit about Las Vegas in the past, mostly about casino implosions and our visits there. I like it, and it entertains me, but New Orleans has no need to get jealous. Even though I'm pretty sure I'll visit Las Vegas again, I can take it or leave it. If airfares continue to go up, Las Vegas will no longer be a cheap getaway, and we'll stop going.

The folks at the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority are afraid of this, and they've launched a new ad campaign titled "Vegas Right Now." The ads urge potential visitors to stop thinking and "do Vegas right now".

The Newsweek article closes with this quote from a Las Vegas "regular", responding to the ad campaign:
"The message is 'Don't think about how crappy your economic situation is, just come to Vegas, damn it. If you don't, you're a wallowing loser."
That's Vegas, baby!

And that's George W. Bush's America, here in the year of our Lord 2008. The house of cards collapses, and even the fake city built on gambling, fake boobs, gluttony and greed takes a hit.

May as well have another drink, put on some Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine, and dream of better times:


Freida Bee said...

Oh sweet jeebus, now I know I'm getting old 'cause I liked lounge music. Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine. Now, that's some Gen X marketing and smooth cheese.

I drove through Vegas once. It was such a florescent eyesore in contrast to the rest of Nevada, I was just in radiation overload.

(I wonder if there will be a day Las Vegas goes green.)

Anonymous said...

Dang. So where will I take our "tax rebate" to invest now?

Bubs said...

formerly, thanks to the shell game that is our economy, you have plenty of gaming opportunities all over the country now. Heck, you're heading north right by Atlantic City AND Foxwoods.

Frieda, the great irony of Las Vegas is that it was originally founded by Mormons. It is possibly the least green place in the world, except maybe some of those places in Dubai like the indoor ski slope. Just contemplating all the casinos with water features, in a desert, is mind-numbing.

Splotchy said...

they've launched a new ad campaign titled "Vegas Right Now"

I heard a runner-up slogan was: "Vegas: HEEEEEEEEEELLLLP!"

Erik Donald France said...

Right on. Come to Detroit to gamble!

New Orleans whups Vegas any day.

Anonymous said...

We're going to the north rim of the Grand Canyon next month, and I foolishly put stopping in Vegas on the way up for a family vote. Now, unless I declare martial law, I'm screwed. Any tips on enjoying Vegas for someone who hates Vegas?

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Oh. My. Gawd. I'm leaving my husband for Richard Cheese! While I have always thought I might be the Queen of Kitsch - Mister, you are the KING (see how I tied that into the whole Vegas thing?)

Thank you a million times! (Have you heard of James Bee?)

Distributorcap said...

that's it --- bush should encourage us to travel domestically -- to vegas and indian casinos where we can easily get back into the financial security game!

brilliant bubs!

Bubs said...

DC, brilliant! There should be a new Orwellian slogan from teh Bush administration, something like "Double Down On Prosperity" or something...

Baroness, I want Mr. Cheese's sport coats. I have not heard of James B. Who is he?

Kirby, email me and I'll give you the full SRC Las vegas travel guide.

Erik, how is the gambling working out for them?

Splotchy, heh.

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