Posts tagged green felt journal

Burton Cohen: The Man You Wanted Running Your Hotel | Vegas Seven

Here is this week’s Green Felt Journal, a tribute (in mostly his own words) to Burton Cohen:

Cohen grew up in the hotel business in Florida, and his 16 years of practicing law made him a perfect chief executive, able to read contracts and grasp their subtleties but also aware of operational realities on the front lines. In a 2009 interview with Claytee White, the director of UNLV’s Oral History Research Center, Cohen sketched out his life in Las Vegas, starting with the changes under way when he arrived in Las Vegas. The mob was on its way out, and big money was on its way in.

via Burton Cohen: The Man You Wanted Running Your Hotel | Vegas Seven.

Cohen had a huge impact on Las Vegas, and I wanted to show how that impact was most keenly felt by the men and women he worked with.

Needs of High Rollers, Government Leave Casinos in a Bind | Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take a look at FinCEN, the federal bureau that, I think is going to make a big impact on Las Vegas in the near future:

Would-be high-rollers, take note: If you ever have a transaction of more than $10,000 at a casino, the staff there will gather information from you and file a report with the federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. You probably haven’t heard of FinCEN, but it’s a major player in our city’s biggest industry.

via Needs of High Rollers, Government Leave Casinos in a Bind | Vegas Seven.

As I suggest in the article, the tension between federal reporting guidelines and traditional credit practices has the potential to become a huge issue for Las Vegas.

The American Gaming Association Takes a Smart New Direction | Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take a look at the resurgent American Gaming Association and what it means for Las Vegas:

In the past few months, the American Gaming Association has almost completely regenerated itself. Even though the gaming industry’s chief lobbying group has the same name and offices, it has a renewed mission under new President and CEO Geoff Freeman: to promote the overall positive community impact of gaming, urge a streamlined regulatory process and underline the reality that online gaming is not going away.

via The American Gaming Association Takes a Smart New Direction | Vegas Seven.

I think this is one of stories to watch–a changing AGA might lead the industry into directions that none of us foresee.

The Action, for Resorts, Is on the Street | Vegas Seven

Here is my final Green Felt Journal of 2013. It’s perhaps appropriate that it looks ahead to 2014:

While 2013 was mostly a year of building and transition, Las Vegas should definitively enter the post-recession era in 2014. That won’t mean a return to pre-recession prosperity, but rather a shift in how casinos approach visitors. In fact, it may turn out that the restaurants, retail and entertainment of the Linq will mark the biggest change on the Las Vegas Strip since the county began installing pedestrian overpasses in the 1990s.

via The Action, for Resorts, Is on the Street | Vegas Seven.

As I mention in the column, I think that the ultimate transformation that the inside-out model will bring hasn’t been fully considered, and it may bring some changes that are unexpected.

Rockhouse, PBR Rock Bar Owner Just a Local Kid on the Strip | Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take a look at one of the entrepreneurs who is shaking things up on the Strip:

Jonathan Fine is a case in point. Fine—who operates some of the Strip’s hottest midmarket nightspots—comes from one of the most illustrious families in Las Vegas: His grandfather, Hank Greenspun, founder of the Las Vegas Sun, was one of the community’s pre-eminent leaders. His father, developer Mark Fine, was instrumental in the growth of Green Valley and Summerlin. And his brother, Jeffrey, is involved in numerous enterprises, including Fifth Street Gaming, operator of the recently opened Downtown Grand and other gaming locations.

via Rockhouse, PBR Rock Bar Owner Just a Local Kid on the Strip | Vegas Seven.

I think fine has done some interesting things, and I’m eager to see what he does next.

Real Estate Rebel: How the Late David Atwell Set the Standard for Megadeals on the Strip | Vegas Seven

This week’s Green Felt Journal was a difficult one for me to write. A few months back, I struck up a friendship with a long-time Las Vegan, David Atwell, who I learned was involved with some of the biggest real estate deals in the city’s history. We had conversation after conversation about the development of Las Vegas and the colorful personalities that made it happen.

In the past few weeks, as David had a few setbacks, we kept in touch, talking enthusiastically about current news in Las Vegas and some of the deals that got us to where we are. He’d urged me to write more about this aspect of history, but I really wish that I had written this article about some of the big deals of the Strip with him as a source, not as the subject:

When we look at the Strip, the builders get all the headlines. We read about the towering figures who transformed the Strip with Caesars Palace, Bellagio and CityCenter. They take an empty space—which, given our penchant for implosions, might be relatively recently empty—and create something that benefits the community.

But before those city-defining resorts were built, they had to secure the land to build upon. That’s where David Atwell came in. Atwell, who died November 25 at the age of 63, is an almost-native Las Vegan. Moving here with his family in 1955, he grew up watching the city grow up around him. Armed with a degree from UNLV, he went into real estate in the mid-1970s, soon focusing on hotel and casino transactions. Among the numerous deals that Atwell helped broker, three stand out as particularly important to both his career and the current shape of the Strip.

via Real Estate Rebel: How the Late David Atwell Set the Standard for Megadeals on the Strip | Vegas Seven.

Looking at the Strip today, you should appreciate just how big the Dunes deal was. The way history happened, Nangaku bought it in 1987, ran into trouble, and sold it to Wynn in 1992, leading to Bellagio and Monte Carlo right way, and, eventually, CityCenter.

But let’s say that David Atwell isn’t as tenacious in bankruptcy court, and someone else walks away with the Dunes.

If Steve Wynn gets it, maybe The Mirage happens differently; after all, he’d have a whole lot more land to build on at the Dunes.

If Sheldon Adelson gets it, he probably doesn’t buy the Sands in 1988, and the Venetian ends up where the Bellagio is.

Kirk Kerkorian might have turned the property into the MGM Dunes, adding a few thousand rooms and casino space to parts of the existing property, as he did with the Marina, which became part of the MGM Grand.

Hilton and Caesars…it’s hard for me to imagine what they would have done, except that maybe it would have become the site for Paris in the former case and a second Strip resort for Caesars in the second.

So if you’re a fan of the Strip as it is today, you can thank Masao and David Atwell. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know a truly incredible Las Vegan.

Forward to the Future at G2E | Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I consider the real significance of this year’s Global Gaming Expo:

The casino industry isn’t known for being introspective; the focus is usually strictly on the bottom line and the here and now. But the annual Global Gaming Expo, held late last month at the Sands Expo Center, is the gambling business’ chance to do some soul-searching. This year, that meant finally accepting that the status quo is gone.

via Forward to the Future at G2E | Vegas Seven.

Every year there are some changes, and this is what I thought stood out this year.

The British Are Coming! in Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take a look at how a British invasion has changed Las Vegas nightlife:

The two biggest demographics in Las Vegas these days seem to be nightclubbers and international visitors. As a bit of anecdotal evidence of the trend, the casinos in development that have stoked the imagination plan to cater either to the former SLS, Gansevoort or the latter Resorts World. So when you get the two together—international visitors who like to party—you know you’re talking gold mine. Add in that they’re from one of the most lucrative feeder markets for Vegas—the United Kingdom—and you’re practically printing cash.

via The British Are Coming! | Vegas Seven.

Interesting that my last two GFJs have been about the influence of other cities (London, Macau) on Las Vegas.

Does Las Vegas Have a Nightclub Bubble? in Vegas Seven

This week, I’ve got four pieces in Vegas Seven magazine. The first is the Green Felt Journal, where I take a look at whether nightclubs are reaching a saturation point:

If there’s a proven moneymaker on the Las Vegas Strip today, it’s a top-flight nightclub. With tremendous margins on bottle service and measureless lines of customers waiting to get in, clubs have been casinos’ best bet during the recession years. Once a niche amenity, clubs are now everywhere—and few expect the proliferation to slow any time soon.But are we on the verge of overbuilding? Some recent Strip history might be instructive.

via Does Las Vegas Have a Nightclub Bubble? | Vegas Seven.

I’m sure many won’t agree with me, but I think it’s important to point out that the nightclub sector in Vegas can only grow up to a point–and, as with hotel rooms, when we reach that point, there are going to be some losers.

Nightlifeless in Vegas Seven

Vegas Seven’s nightclub issue is out today! And what better topic for the Green Felt Journal than…casinos without nightclubs:

If you’ve been on the Strip in the past five years, you know that nightclubs are front-and-center at most big resorts. Which begs the question: What’s a Vegas casino look like today when you subtract the nightclubs?
via Nightlifeless | Vegas Seven

When I found out that this was the nightlife issue, I had a dilemma: I don’t really have much to say about nightclubs, but I couldn’t write about something totally unconnected. So I figured this was a fun way to look at the impact of nightclubs on casinos.

I’m hoping for a fun segment on the next Vegas Gang: vibe dining vs. Seafood Shack. I’d really like to have that discussion, because to me you’ve got two extremes: upscale/pretentious vs. homey/tacky. I know which I feel is preferably, but I’d like to hear what the other guys think.