Saturday, October 27, 2018

E-282: O'Sphere Irish Bar

Random Vegas 
Gary Loveman was the perfect fit for CEO in the Harrah’s business model, offering a quality experience at a reasonable price.  Despite the wealth he acquired from his various business successes, Gary and his family didn’t live like millionaires.  True, they did have a vacation home on the beach in North Carolina and at one point Loveman did have a Ferrari but he ended up selling it because he said it wasn’t practical.  Not wanting the invasion of privacy, the Loveman family even elected to clean their own home ever Saturday rather than hire a housekeeper.  It was reported that one of the weekly choirs the CEO of Harrah’s had was to clean the toilets.  (Jackpot - Harrah's Winning Secrets to Customer Loyalty) 

Twitpic of the week 

Creedence Clearwater Revival.  3 words I would have never thought would find their way into a Twitpic of the week monolog.  But every time I look at this week's winner from @vegasphotograph, the phrase "I see a bad moon rising" comes to mind.  Not just because it features a brilliant oversized moon hovering over a collection of properties but because it's a fitting metaphor for what's happening to the market and the danger it finds itself in.  Unlike any time before in Vegas history, the market is experiencing a slump that has nothing to do with the economy, it's the current experience available at fault in this case.  Resort fees, Pay for Parking, CNF charges and the likes have taken the record breaking attendance the city has seen over the last few years and given all those first time visitors an experience that won't encourage them to return.  

When Vegas was growing up, even the mafia understood the most important thing to establish with the customer is that the game is fair.  The house already has the advantage so there is no reason to build in scams to cheat the customer out of their money.  That philosophy developed a trust that has lasted over a millennia and made Las Vegas the #1 tourist destination in the world.  Today, that trust has been broken and the market has lost its integrity.  Visitors now need to keep a vigilant eye out for the metaphorical shell game that does exists around every corner.  You're room doesn't cost what it was advertised to cost, your meal is more expensive than the price of your food and the things that made Vegas different from every other place on the planet are falling away one by one.  Uninspired industry leadership like Jim Murren are succeeding in turning the Las Vegas experience into one that can be had in every other major city in America.  And with gambling becoming legal across the country, if the Vegas experience is no different than the one available back home, why go.  There was a time when people would ask me what they needed to do during their first visit to Las Vegas.  That response used to always start with "There's so much to do it just depends on the experience you want to have".  Today, it begins with "Beware." 


Saturday, October 13, 2018

E-281: De-WTFing

Random Vegas
In the original King Tut exhibit at Luxor, the hieroglyphs were authentic replications and King Tut’s tomb is said to be exactly the way it was originally found by archeologists (Super Casino)

Twitpic of the week
It may be another end of an era or just a little de-what the fucking. Either way, @VitalVegas and @JamesInLasVegas shared this week that Harrah's appears to be the next Vegas property to de-theme.  Truth be told, the Mardi Gras/Carnival theme has always felt a bit shoehorned into the space originally designed to be a riverboat when it opened in 1973.  It wasn't renovated into its current incarnation until Harrah's bought the property in 1992.  Renovations in recent years to the properties interior have already removed many of the other themed elements, most notably in the hotel check in area and Porte cochere.  While a de-theming is only speculated what is clear is that, post Planet Hollywood marquee renovation, Harrah's is next for an LED upgrade and that includes replacing the north corner jester riding another jester bird thing.  So long old friend, you always sort of creeped us out.


Saturday, October 6, 2018

360 Vegas POV: Casino E-4

In this installment, we continue our analysis of Martin Scorsese's movie Casino by analyzing the view from Ace's Penthouse when Nicky comes to visit and the car ride Ace and Nicky take around Fremont St.