Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

February 13, 2009

Vegas Gang #26 - February 12th, 2009

Posted by Hunter

We're back with another episode! It can be downloaded here.

This time around we discuss:

* Atlantic City
* Las Vegas Economic Woes
* Tropicana Re-Brands as Value Property (!)
* City Center's Harmon is Stunted

Also, be sure to check out the new podcast from the UNLV Center for Gaming Research. You can subscribe to that here:


Read archived comments (9 so far)
February 13, 2009 12:16 PM Posted by mike_ch

Is Dave M still going to post on the blog here from time to time?

February 13, 2009 12:28 PM Posted by mike_ch

Also, Dr. Dave doesn't quite get it right. They didn't want corporate junkets on bailout money, not stimulus money. A corporate meeting in Vegas with stimulus money is actually meeting it's intended consequence. Bailout money is supposed to be used to get banks lending again even though the current joblessness makes them think they'll never get the money they loaned back.

They could have used the Bahamas, or Hawaii, or cruise ships, or whatever other example they wanted, but they used Vegas. Doesn't mean people shouldn't go to Vegas, just that they shouldn't do it on public funds that was intended to be used for other purposes than corporate housekeeping.

February 13, 2009 5:10 PM Posted by John H.

In terms of the economic woes--at least in the case of these convention cancellations--can't one say that this is really, in addition to the other obvious factors, the bastard child of LVCA's love affair with the "Only in Vegas" mantra? I mean, had the city not so openly and brazenly embraced the whole "Vice is Good" idea, as was mentioned in the podcast, the city and the companies trying to hold conventions in it wouldn't be in quite the predicament they're in now. Yes, there still might be problems, but we really have to look at this as something of the city's own making. I guess the question is, though: What does the city do to try to correct this? Do they create new marketing campaigns designed toward the business/convention side of the city, in order to relieve the above mentioned stigma? Can that dark mark be removed?

February 13, 2009 6:10 PM Posted by Anthony

Economy hitting Harrah's pretty hard. Using the last of their revolving credit line

February 13, 2009 6:13 PM Posted by SaratogaEd

Regarding the Trop and P/R Firm, Chuck's posting of "Rearranging Deck Chairs On The Titanicless" is spot On! And just think if one of the big joints followed his advice, ie Harrahs, MGM.........3-2 BlackJack, better VP Paytables, Daily CashBack and no TimeShare Sales ....I can see No Vacancy Signs, Higher Room Rates....ooops maybe we should be thankful for what we have now----NeverMind.

February 13, 2009 10:24 PM Posted by mike_ch

John H: This was discussed tonight on Nevada Week in Review ( but the video of this week's show is not online yet as of posting) and Steve Sebelius of CityLife knocked it out of the park about how the LVCVA is simply reaping the reward of what they have sewn over the years with the sexy, "do something you wouldn't do at home" line of advertising they have taken over the years.

As he put it (or close to this), "we never tell people to come here because of the quality of the mahogany desks."

February 15, 2009 1:21 AM Posted by Art

If this weekend is any sign, things are about to turn around. It is absolutely nuts here. Empty vending machines, 2 hour buffet lines and 45 minute waits for a cab.

February 15, 2009 12:48 PM Posted by John H.

Yeah, but it's a holiday weekend. One can only depend on so many of those during the year. It has to be those interim periods that need to turn around. What was the town like last weekend? What will it be like next weekend? These companies and the resorts they operate simply can't depend on one "good" weekend each month.

February 16, 2009 1:02 PM Posted by Mike P.

We just spent two consecutive weekends and the week between at Bellagio. The strip was dead the weekend of 6-8 Feb, picked up a little bit around mid-week with a couple fairly sizable trade shows in town, then got busy the 13-15th. We were glad we thought ahead far enough to get lunch reservations Fri.-Sat. because both Sensi and Olives were turning away walk-ins. David Burke was as full as I've seen it in a year or more on Saturday.

When we left on Sunday though I decided at the last minute it might be a good idea to get a limo, and I had no trouble booking one a couple hours in advance. We got through hotel checkout pretty quickly, and when we got outside noticed there was no cab line at all, so we could have saved the limo fare. At McCarran we breezed through security in 15 minutes or less. Of course departures were no doubt spread over Sunday-Monday, so this was a lighter than average Sunday.

My impression was it was a busy weekend, but it was only average compared to any old weekend in the recently past boom years. The strip wasn't gridlocked, it looked like I-15 was moving, casinos were busy but not jammed, and the sidewalks were even walkable if you could bulldoze your way past the phalanx of porn slappers.