Episode #5 of the Vegas Gang has been posted below:
This features Tom Breitling, formerly of the Golden Nugget, talking about his new book. Enjoy!
Categories: Business of Gaming, Downtown Las Vegas, Interviews, Vegas Gang Podcast
Tags: breitling, goldennugget, lasvegas, podcast, vegas, vegasgang
Great discussion as always.
I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Breitling at the Borders book signing (but no, I was not the little boy he mentioned... though I do dream of owning a casino). A class act all the way.
I'm not surprised to hear that - he seemed like a really easy going guy on the call - very easy to talk to.
While the 'Gang+Guest' format works well for some topics and we have a few more planned with potential guest speakers, we'll be doing more straight up punditry as well.
A topic for Vegas Gang should be the number of airlines that have gone out of business recently, two of which served McCarran, and both were two of three liners that served Hawaii. The R-J already downplayed the impact on Boyd's downtown business, but that says nothing about Joe Average in Hawaii who either is not on Boyd's radar or isn't interested in them.
Furthermore, who is next? Since it's been all low-cost, seem to me like Frontier and Virgin America are the most vulnerable.
Mike, you mentioned the RJ. I may be too cynical, but it seems to me that the RJ always stands ready to be the casino operators' unofficial PR Department. The LV Sun has become more aggressive in its reporting since it changed format. This is good for journalistic integrity, in my opinion.
I was reminded of this again today when I read the story on the health of tourism and lower hotel rates in the Sun. I hope there isn't a "perfect storm" coming for Vegas with the economic downturn and reduced airlines and flights.
Add to the demised Vegas related airline list Champion Air which was originally MGM Grand Airline. Those seemed like small potatoes, though, so I wonder if any impact will be felt at all--maybe Hawaii residents visiting but not sure how much traffic that represents.
When I lived in Detroit, I often flew ATA and Champion non-stop charter flights to Vegas. Now, they're both gone. Northwest is Detroit's biggest carrier and has four non-stops a day to McCarran. There used to be five daily non-stops.
Champion supplied the cheap charter flights from Minneapolis as well. You were packed in, but for 99 or 149 you got to Vegas. We've still got options (AmericaWest, Sun Country) vs Northwest but those were 250+ even before the fuel pinch. Not a back-breaker, but every little bit reduces the frequency of leisure travel from these parts.
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