Pondering life after football in Vegas Seven

My final bit of writing for this week’s Vegas Seven is a Green Felt Journal column about the impact of a potential NFL work stoppage, exclusive of any lost gaming revenue. Here, I’m looking at how the locals would be impacted: That a work stoppage will hurt the casinos of Las Vegas—particularly on the Strip—is … Read more

Vegas Mob Scrubbed Clean in Vegas Seven

A few weeks ago, I visited the Las Vegas Mob Experience at the Tropicana. I shared some of my thoughts here, and then thought about it some more. The result is a feature piece Vegas Seven magazine: With fedora-wearing ticket-takers and an almost-Technicolor presentation, it’s clear that the Mob Experience isn’t a dry, academic colloquium … Read more

Sahara Vs. Trop in Vegas Seven

This week I’ve got three separate pieces in Vegas Seven. The first is a short news item comparing and contrasting two Strip casinos with similar origins and dissimilar fates:

The Tropicana and the Sahara are a study in contrasts despite some shared history; at opposite ends of the Strip, both holdovers from the 1950s managed to survive into the 21st century. Both drifted further and further down market as they faced larger and more luxurious competitors. And, as of today, they are facing profoundly different fates. One is closing, while the other has a new lease on life.

via A Tale of Two Casinos | Vegas Seven.

Why did they end up going in different directions? I’d say it’s equal parts decision-making and geography. Obviously, the Tropicana’s going to get much more walk-in action and attract more people who want to be around other casinos. The Sahara, as of today, is almost in a no-man’s-land. The decision making part is: the Sahara folks (SBE) wanted to go for a massive renovation project that would have aimed towards the luxury market, and missed the timing. Two years earlier, and they’d have gotten funding, no problem. The Tropicana, on the other hand, took a smaller approach, simply remodeling its rooms for the mid-market.

Loosening Up Downtown in Vegas Seven

The new Vegas Seven is available online now, and I’ve got an interesting piece about some happenings Downtown: The folks running downtown’s Las Vegas Club hotel-casino think the slot players are right. PlayLV, which operates the club for the multinational investment group Tamares, has embarked on an ambitious course of slot-loosening—and a pull-no-punches campaign to … Read more

Buffet of Buffets price hike

This is in today’s Vegas Seven. Again, since it’s a short piece, there’s no online link, but here’s the text: Last spring, Harrah’s Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment) rolled out an offer that, for those who like to stretch their waistband without stretching their dollars, sounded almost too good to be true: the Buffet of Buffets, … Read more

Short piece about Darryl A. Smith in Vegas Seven

Page 18 of Vegas Seven has a brief profile of our last Gaming Research Fellow, Dr. Darryl A. Smith. Don’t tell Darryl A. Smith that Las Vegas isn’t a thought-provoking town. The Bonanza High School graduate has long been fascinated by the tensions just underneath the city’s surface. He channeled his wanderlust into academics, pursuing … Read more

Frank Riolo’s leap of faith in Vegas 7

Finally, another Green Felt Journal in Vegas Seven. And this is a good one, too: It’s not often that a CEO becomes a hero by jumping off a building, but most CEOs aren’t like Frank Riolo. And most companies don’t operate observation towers attached to a Las Vegas casino. Since May 2008—just about the start … Read more

El Cortez suite competition winner in Vegas Seven

It’s Thursday, so I’ve got a Green Felt Journal column in Vegas Seven. This week, I dig a little deeper into the significance of the El Cortez’s Design-a-Suite Downtown competition: When the El Cortez announced the winner of its Design-a-Suite Downtown competition recently, the downtown stalwart did more than decide the look for its suites; … Read more

Station hiring in Vegas Seven

It’s Thursday, which means another Green Felt Journal is available for your reading pleasure in Vegas Seven. This one is a look behind Station Casino’s recent hiring push: The local employment picture has been a dire one. In the past five years, the unemployment rate has more than tripled. That’s why a local company hiring … Read more

Kyle Markman profile in Vegas Seven

This Thursday, there’s no local news section in Vegas Seven since it’s a special People issue. Instead, I wrote a brief profile of Kyle Markman, who’s been doing some very interesting things at Station Casinos: Kyle Markman knows how to throw a party. In June 2008, it was his job to set up a celebration … Read more