Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

November 10, 2011

Vegas Gang #69 - November 9th, 2011

Posted by Hunter

Episode #69 is up!

Listen here:

This time on the show:

Another installment of 'Meet the Gangsters', this time featuring Jeff Simpson (@simpsonlasvegas).

This is a long one but Jeff goes into a ton of detail about his background, the industry, where it's going and more. Great talk.


Read archived comments (5 so far)
November 11, 2011 7:19 AM Posted by Jeff Simpson

During the podcast I mistakenly said Glenn Schaeffer, former Station Casinos CFO, was a fellow Wittenberg University student. I was referring, of course to former Station CFO Glenn Christenson, who was a fellow Wittenberger.

November 11, 2011 2:00 PM Posted by chuckmonster

Great interview! Thanks!

November 13, 2011 6:19 PM Posted by detroit1051

What a great two hours. I had to take a break after the first hour to join friends in from Sarasota for dinner. Somehow, they brought up the New College of Florida and said, "You've probably never heard of it." Thanks to Jeff Simpson, I was able to talk about it. Perfect timing.

Jeff talked early on about the lull in Las Vegas between the time of Caesars/ the original MGM Grand and the opening of The Mirage, and then at the close of the interview talked about the current lull. Made me realize there is another step forward for Las Vegas, but it may take a few years.

Jeff's first time in Las Vegas was about the same time as mine, but Jeff had the advantage of being much younger. His comments on Laughlin potentially being the next Las Vegas were interesting. In the early '90s, I wanted to move there because I thought it was going to be a boomtown.

Hunter's interjection, "That's bullshit" when Jeff was talking about MGM and Wynn was priceless.

Jeff's discussion of the RJ-Sun JOA was fascinating as were his comments on his career post-RJ/Sun.

Fun and informative podcast. Thanks to you both.

November 14, 2011 5:31 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Just a great conversation. Well worth the 4 hours I've spent listening to it, so far. The in depth discussion of Wynn and the Sun speak to a couple areas of Las Vegas I am very interested in. Simpson is closer to my age (b 1958) than I thought.

Regarding the "pretty nice Volvo" statement. Having worked on many of them through our referral with the local dealer at the time: Unless it was a P1800 or a Bertone Coupe, I'd find it pretty hard to describe any Volvo as nice! ;-) Those cars were just trucks with better seats. Very safe, but coarse.

I hope to send more later. Thanks for doing this interview, Hunter and Jeff.

November 25, 2011 6:19 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Regarding the Sun and the Greenspuns:
From my viewpoint here in Oklahoma City, it seems like the Sun was the platform that the Greenspun fortune was built upon and they have always given it short shrift. I recall reading stories from Mrs. Greenspun and other family members about how money was so tight that they had to reuse typewriter ribbon by loading it backwards, etc. Yet, at probably the same time, they were buying all the land they could possibly get their hands on in the Henderson area, which they wound up calling "Green Valley". Land that was the basis of billions (?) of dollars in developement revenue. Part of me thinks that as they also got into other ventures, such as the cable TV franchise for the Las Vegas area, they deliberately kept the Sun down. Since the image of the "scrappy, little afternoon newspaper that fights for the little guy" was much better for their long term goals. Rather than "number one visionary for the future of Las Vegas who brought the mob in to get the town growing and then brought in Howard Hughes get the city to the next level." (A paraphrase of Brian Greenspun's account around page 137 of "Quiet Kingmaker". )
Surely the demise of the afternoon newspaper was obvious to them by the late 1970's and early 80's. Yet the Sun was one of the last handful of papers to give up the ghost. Around the turn of the century, wasn't it?
In this century it appears they were working to become an award winning, significant paper. The Pulitzer was the well deserved end resut. But it appeared that the Sun had become a vanity project for the family, rather than a commercial business venture.
The question now is if the Sun's recent KBF (Kardashian Buff Focus) is the visionary step that Brian Greenspun has made as one of the least brick and mortar encumbered papers/local information sources in America to place them in a position of success. Or a desperate attempt to squeeze positive cash flow from a news organization that hasn't had to do so in almost a generation?