Monday, July 19, 2010

Vegas Is Frozen In The Heat Of The Moment

Vegas reminds me of a steady candle flame that is suddenly interrupted by a short burst of wind and for a moment one wonders if the flame will survive the intrusion; and so the flame bends over and back, and the candle flickers for a moment, but just as resolutely recovers its former brightness. Only soon to be blown down again and again ...

I remember when we all felt that the future of Vegas would be forever bright. Vegas was recession proof; we heard pundits say that people gambled even more when times were tough. But I think that like that candle in the wind, Vegas is currently in a very precarious position.

On what do I base this pessimism? Only intuition, and several years of reading news stories and blogs. One reads of Steve Wynn's trials and tribulations about keeping his workforce intact; one reads about the reduced visitors but increase ( or decrease ) in gaming revenue all hanging on the fortunes of some very high rollers from Hong Kong who escaped from Macau, playing hi-stakes baccarat. But mainly, it does not seem like very long ago that I read about Vegas' expansion plans, its certainty to attract a major sports franchise, and a high speed train to Anaheim.

Now all I read about is fluff about which starlet ( who cares? ) is baring all at the celebrity pool party, or the latest officer involved killing (not that this isn't important news, but it seems to be getting worse every day), Nevada's soaringly high unemployment rate, or that old stand by --- the excessively hot weather. The news is as stale as the desert air, because frankly, nothing seems to be moving very fast in these summer doldrums.

A new wind of fresh air to get things moving again would very much depend on ( ta da ! ) --- job creation. You may insert your own political theory of how we get there from here. But dear locals and visitors, please, let's all do our share to help keep the flame of Vegas burning.


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