Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

June 13, 2008

Vegas Gang #10 - Economic Woes to Bankrupt LVS?

Posted by Hunter

Vegas Gang #10 is up -

This episode focuses on the CityCenter walkout and the economy vs. Las Vegas. We cover a few stories on the specifics, including an entry suggesting that LVS is heading for Chapter 11. That may be an extreme outcome but its an interesting discussion point.

Also, a little bit on the iPhone and its impact on Las Vegas.

Enjoy the show and feel free to post your comments here.

UPDATE: Stiffs and George's has a story about Palazzo's underwhelming performance:


Read archived comments (9 so far)
June 13, 2008 3:52 PM Posted by Brian Fey

LVS going bankrupt??? I gotta listen to this...

June 14, 2008 10:33 AM Posted by Mike P.

It's a tease Brian, like last week's non-story about possible Harrah's interest in Wynn.

I have to say though there are signs of panic at LVS visible on the casino floor. Palazzo opened with lots of decent video poker for the dollar and up player. They were even competitive with Wynn, which has been relatively player friendly since it opened. Not any more. Every single machine outside the high limit room was downgraded sometime in May. The Venetian has been following suit in June.

On average they've knocked about 2% off the theoretical return on their video poker. If they're doing that to machines where you can tell the return by looking I'd sure think twice about sitting down at a slot machine there.

June 14, 2008 3:32 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Thanks for another great episode. They really do get better each time.
A couple of ideas.
1. How about a segment about each member of the panel? An in depth profile that could be done every episode or so that would allow each member to tell us about their job duties and employers, plus personal info, if they wish. I think we'd be interested in, say, Greenspun Media, and how they operate there, etc.
2. In addition to the Macau coverage, how about some more on the Downtown and outlying markets (Jean, Primm, Laughlin, etc.)? I think 98% of your listeners will never go to Macau, though I'm also guessing that over 60% of your listeners have been to the outlying markets, and 98% have been Downtown. They may not be hip markets, but I'd think we could all benefit from the panel's knowledge about these areas.
3. Are the shows fully funded? If not, how can we donate to help with the cost of providing these episodes?
Thanks, again.

June 14, 2008 4:19 PM Posted by Hunter


Thanks for the kind words.

As to your comments:

#1 - Doing segments on each panelist could be interesting. While I think all of us would agree that we're not the story, it could be fun. I'm personally game and I'll put it to the other guys to see how they feel about it.

#2 - No doubt that we have a lot of Macau coverage compared to other markets. A big part of that is because we're following the news and given its huge economic impact, there's no shortage of stories about that area. I've got no problem in covering other areas more but it could be hard to find stories. One way that you guys can help is by suggesting stories for our discussion - if you see a story that you think would make for interesting coverage, feel free to suggest it, either by commenting here on the blog or by submitting it via email (editor AT ratevegas DOT com). That will help some of those stories from falling through the cracks.

#3 - Very nice of you to ask. At the moment our expenses are under control. All of the panelists appear free of charge. There are technology costs (Web site, bandwidth for hosting) but I've been able to piggy-back on my other 'real' business by leveraging existing resources. There may be special events or other expenses that come up down the road and if that's the case, we may post a note to let folks know in case they want to contribute. So far, we're good but if you see me at the bar, feel free to buy me a drink.

Thanks for listening.

June 16, 2008 4:12 PM Posted by Ray


Thanks for another really fascinating conversation. I do have just a couple of suggestions I'd like to offer, but I don't want them to come off as harping or such. I really offer them as constructive criticism, things that can make an awesome show even better. So please accept them in that spirit!

In a nutshell, the podcast would be even better if you made it a bit more "professional" in its presentation and production value. Please consider putting together a regular show opening, with a little theme song and a standard "script" to follow so that your opening is short and to the point and covers all the bases. For example, you don't always fully identify the speakers and their affiliations.

Please also consider encouraging the speakers, at least the first couple of times they speak each episode, to identify themselves briefly (e.g., "this is Jeff Simpson from the Sun, and I think..."). That will help listeners get more used to the voices.

Finally, please be aware of the sounds or tone of what you say. Sometimes you sigh or sound bored with a topic as you end it and move into another topic. Be aware of times when you might not sound so upbeat or forceful, maybe have some prewritten closing words to end the topic and then move in a very purposeful manner into the next topic intro. Try listening to some other talk shows and pay close attention to the production elements, the intros and outros, the scripted bits, how they recover from dead air, etc.

It's a great show, and with some tweaks it'll be even sharper and more professional sounding and you'll be on your way to even greater fame and fortune! Thanks again for considering these suggestions, and regardless I'll keep listening and encouraging my friends to do so as well! Cheers!

June 16, 2008 9:54 PM Posted by Hunter


I'm not offended, I appreciate the feedback.

I would certainly describe myself as a 'reluctant host'. I have a lot of fun doing the show but it doesn't always come as easily as it may for others. You mention some things I wasn't even really aware I was doing (or not doing).

I don't know about fame and fortune but I'm always game to improve the show.


June 17, 2008 12:35 PM Posted by GregoryZephyr

I really enjoy your content but I would agree with Ray that a little intro pizzazz would be good. (Although I could do without the Worst LV podcast "chicka chicka cha cha zoot zoot" theme.) Don't be afraid to advertise more as the sponsor, too. Even PBS has promos.

I listen during my commute which is a little under an hour so it's mildly annoying that I usually have to stop play somewhere around 2/3rds through and then pick it up at a later time. It might be helpful to listeners like me to have a brief break at the 30-35 minute point or at least between topics to allow us to stop and start at logical spots.

I don't really need a lengthy biography of the contributors because they all seem very knowledgeable and professional. But, if other listeners are interested in that, I suppose it is fine.

It's been years since I have been to Reno and never been to Laughlin so it might be interesting to hear a little more about what is new there but probably not as an ongoing thing--just a one time review of the current state of the gaming industry in those locations.

Thanks for the interesting podcast!

June 23, 2008 8:53 AM Posted by Jeff Simpson

Long New Yorker article about Sheldon Adelson with brief mention of the Las Vegas Sun and me is now online at:

June 26, 2008 11:59 AM Posted by Hunter

For the next show, I may try putting in chapter markers for the topics.

This would mean using AAC instead of MP3 for the file type... Now, for those people with iPods and iPhones, they won't notice any difference - and I think most other devices support AAC as well - but it's possible some weird device might have issues with an AAC. Maybe I'll publish both.