Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

February 20, 2007

Is Las Vegas Losing Its Luster?

Posted by detroit1051

Has Las Vegas become too big to continue to be an attractive destination for middle Americans? Negative publicity from the NBA weekend and today's story in the Review Journal on the mess at McCarran make me wonder when, or if, typical visitors will decided to try other casino/entertainment venues closer to home. In my opinion, the infrastructure in Vegas is so inadequate, it will take years, if it is possible at all, to fix traffic and airport issues. The weekend shootings at a strip club and MGM Grand parking structure and reported problems at Wynn add to the problem. Surely, MGM must be concerned with so much at stake with its properties and CityCenter. What are they doing to at least help correct infrastructure problems? Here are some recent articles:
Weekend shootings and fights at Tryst:
Weekend Violence
Local TV Coverage
Massive Lines at McCarran
I recogniize much of the violence came from LA gang members, but it sure doesn't help Las Vegas' image.
What do you locals think?


Read archived comments (10 so far)
February 20, 2007 5:16 PM Posted by BillyInLasVegas

Take it from a local, I've experienced the biggest holidays in Las Vegas both as casino guest and as casino employee, and all I can say is there's was a total lack of preparation.
I've seen bigger crowds for New Years Eve, Super Bowl, and even some boxing events. I don't think anyone at McCarran or at some of the strip properties were expecting the amount of people that actually showed up.
Luckily this Sunday was Chinese New Year and all the lost revenue will quickly be made up.
The real surprise was that nothing happened at the Palms or that every single nightclub in town (even some that were on the verge of shutting down i.e. ICE) had some type of celebrity event.

February 20, 2007 6:17 PM Posted by rob

If you could have been walking the strip this past weekend or wandered through any casino at any point, you would never want to come back to vegas again. This past weekend was a huge blackeye for vegas and I would not be surprised to see higher tourism at other casinos in atlantic city and louisana

February 20, 2007 7:39 PM Posted by motoman

Well the traffic and growth issues needed to be addressed *before*, so proper infrastructure needs could've been addressed. Can't blame gov't totally for that, there are powerful forces that have opposed decent planning. After-the-fact yields Band-Aid solutions.

Water or the lack thereof will put a cap on things at some point, even though the multi-billion dollar pipeline that will dessicate northern NV is likely a done deal.

I've come in the new terminal at McCarran a couple of times and will give 'em credit for accomodating the massive increase in tourism since my first visit back in the '90s.

February 21, 2007 2:01 PM Posted by Tom

I got FREE vip tickets to the NBA all-star event...from what I saw and the type of people it draws...I would never go again even for free.

As far as I can tell the crowds weren't bad except where the actual event was...on the UNLV campus. I think the campus police were not prepared.

In the local paper I was reading while waiting for my flight, the airport was a mess, the mayor talked about getting a local NBA franchise.

Tip: If it's for the locals don't put it on the Strip or downtown area...I wouldn't want to mess with the locals as a visitor.

Tip2: Why is Vegas building all those luxury apts on the strip? What infastructre do they have? I wouldn't pay $125K for one of those properties...and they are asking $550+ Somebody is going to be in a world of hurt.

February 21, 2007 9:46 PM Posted by Chris

Transportation issues come up every weekend but only seem to show up in the press when there is a big event or other reason for people to write about it. The strip is always jammed with cars on Saturday nights and Southwest always has lines after a long weekend. Granted this past weekend it was worse than usual but acting like it was some kind unprecedented out-of-control situation is a tad bit of sensationalism by the press.

It seems like all the negative comments about "the crowd" are from grumbling middle-aged white folk, who seem to have the impression that the weekend was targeted at young families from the suburbs but then was suddenly and inexplicably invaded by gun-toting gang members from Southern California.

The crowd itself however was having a blast, transportation woes notwithstanding they all seemed to be having a great time with each other. No one seems to have thought to ask the 21-30 year old black man if HE would want to come back to NBA All-Star again.

That crowd may not be my cup of tea, but then neither are the NFR or NASCAR crowds. It's not my place to say who is or is not welcome in the city just because they don't listen to the same music or drink the same drinks as I do. The level of violence associated with any given crowd is obviously a huge concern, but no more so with the NBA crowd than it is with the Laughlin River Run crowd. The bottom line is that if Vegas is going to continue to grow it needs to keep an open mind and be willing to expand to events that are targeted at more than just 35-50 year old white males.

February 22, 2007 12:40 AM Posted by D

Las Vegas is host to many huge events because of the many convention centers in the area and at the casino's. You never hear about any crime increase when these events are in town, just only crime coincidentally increases when the NBA All Star Game is in town. Gee, lets take a wild guess why? I foreshadowed that one when they announced that the All Star Game would be comming to town. I either took a lucky guess on that one or it's just a coincidence that this happened.

I live in South Jersey an hour away from Atlantic City, and to the second poster who said Atlantic City would probably gain higer tourism rates due to this bad news in Vegas, I can tell you that won't ever happen. The day Atlantic City tourism rates increase is when they clear out all the thugs, low income housing, and projects that lie within it. It's like the Vegas NBA All Star crowed moved in permanently to live there. In Atlantic City you're lucky you can atleast walk on the Boardwalk and on the street that the new convention center and shops are on (I think that's Oregon Ave) just because of the fact of what we are discussing. I guess that's just a bazarr conincidence too? That doesn't become a problem in Las Vegas untill you travel to North Vegas (gee I wonder why?). Vegas is fortunate this was it's first mishap with such an event like the NBA All Star Game.

February 22, 2007 3:41 AM Posted by Punter

It's a mixture of a few things but I've lost almost any interest in Vegas. You could offer to pack my bags and put me in a private jet to fly out there and I still wouldn't go.

But then there are tens of millions of people who feel differently....

February 22, 2007 10:56 AM Posted by mike_ch

I don't think problems are attributed necessarily to the number of people as much as it was the number AND the type of people. England seems like a fairly civilized country unless you look at their football/soccer hooligans, and the All-Star game was pretty much a convention of football hooligans.

Mark Cuban expected the event to quite likely shut down the whole city saying on his website: "I've been to many Super Bowls, The World Series, NBA Finals, The Olympics, The Final Four, The Stanley Cup, The Oscars, Bowl Games, The Consumer Electronics Show, Comdex at its height when cab lines took hours at any hotel at almost any time. I have been to pretty much every major event that draws major crowds, but there is nothing to compare to the NBA All Star Game. The NBA All Star Game Weekend beats them all. The NBA All Star Weekend is the ultimate party weekend. There may be only 17k tickets for the game itself, but there must be what seems like a million people who come just for the parties. Celebs come to truly party. Fans come to truly party. People who have never seen an NBA game come to truly party. Will it shutdown Vegas ? Stay Tuned."

February 22, 2007 9:23 PM Posted by Chris

I found a good article about the experience here:

It closes by saying:
"All in all, NBA All-Star Weekend did not enhance Vegas, and Vegas did not elevate NBA All-Star Weekend. Vegas is still Vegas. And All-Star Weekend is still a little too ghettofab."

I wouldn't call it Vegas Losing Its Luster, just Vegas trying something new that didn't quite match with people's expectations of what "Vegas" should be.

March 1, 2007 12:04 AM Posted by mike_ch

BTW, isn't Metro always complaining about the safety dangers of tourists abandoning their vehicles in the middle of LVB to get a picture with the big Welcome sign?

I know they are, so then why did they choose to hold a press conference there on the 19th?