23
Jun

Caesars’ Room Art Gives Guests Something to Gawk At – Vegas Seven

Reading the VegasTripping review of the new Julius Tower rooms, I was struck by the art. So I wrote my latest Green Felt Journal about it:

Usually, hotel room art at best presents a regional accent; at worst, it says nothing and moves no one. For the creatives at KNA Design, the distinctly Caesars touch was essential.

Read more: Caesars’ Room Art Gives Guests Something to Gawk At – Vegas Seven

This was a lot of fun to write. It’s fascinating to learn how much thought goes into room design.

26
May

E-sports Start to Take Hold of Casinos’ Imaginations – Vegas Seven

This week’s Green Felt Journal is a night in the life of an esports lounge in a Las Vegas casino. In other words, exactly what I thought I’d be writing about when I went to graduate school. I love that this is a concept that you might not be able to explain if you time traveled back to the 1960s, just like you couldn’t explain a craps pit if you traveled back a little further:

A bunch of millennials playing video games on a Saturday night in Las Vegas. Not too long ago, that might have been a casino operator’s nightmare. But in the last few months and with accelerating velocity, competitive video game playing—e-sports, as it is best known—has become a reality, just steps away from roulette wheels and slot machines. Read more: E-sports Start to Take Hold of Casinos’ Imaginations – Vegas Seven

I think that this is a compelling story for casinos and will continue to be for a long time.

12
May

Betting on Locals – Vegas Seven

From this week’s Green Felt Journal:

Last year, I wrote that locals gaming was on the rebound (“Locals Casinos Are Back in Business,” July 8). At the time, several indicators suggested it was in the midst of a resurgence after several rough years. Its revival has become even more apparent thanks to recent moves by two locals giants. Read more: Betting on Locals – Vegas Seven

Since I wrote that, Red Rock bought the Palms, which answers the question “what next” in the short term. Long term, I would expect to see more expansion from both companies.

29
Apr

LVCVA Visitor Study Reveals Who’s Really Coming to Town – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I look at the numbers in this year’s LVCVA Visitor Profile Survey:

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority recently released its 2015 visitor profile study. This report, based on interviews with Vegas visitors, charts the behavioral and demographic shifts in the population of those who come to town. The results for this year raise more questions than they answer. Read more: LVCVA Visitor Study Reveals Who’s Really Coming to Town – Vegas Seven

This is always quite a source of numbers. It is fascinating to see how visitation is shifting.

21
Apr

A Community Garden Takes Root – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Vegas Seven, I wrote about one of my favorite places, the Vegas Roots Community Garden:

Urban farming is on the rise across the country. School, community, backyard and even rooftop farms and gardens are becoming more prominent in American cities from New York to Los Angeles. Las Vegas has its own urban agriculture pioneer, Rosalind Brooks.

More: A Community Garden Takes Root – Vegas Seven

This was a lot of fun to write. You should definitely check the garden out and, if you are a local business, think about sponsoring a plot.

14
Apr

Moulin Rouge Rebirth? – Vegas Seven

My latest Green Felt Journal is a brief look at a group that is proposing a revival of the fabled Moulin Rouge on Las Vegas’s Westside:

That interest, though, never translated into meaningful action, which leads us to 2016. Scott Johnson, president of Moulin Rouge Holdings LLC, is committed to change on the Westside. His family has owned small businesses in the area for more than a half-century. Born in Arkansas, he’s been in Las Vegas for 30 years. But why take on the Moulin Rouge? Read more: Moulin Rouge Rebirth? – Vegas Seven

As I discuss in the articles, over the years there have been numerous attempts to first reopen and, lately, rebuild the Moulin Rouge. Here’s hoping that this one happens.

4
Feb

2015 Casino Report Card – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I consider the meaning of the 2015 Nevada casino numbers. How did the state’s gaming industry do last year?

Overall, it was a year that showed the continuing transition in Nevada gaming. Read more: 2015 Casino Report Card – Vegas Seven

It really was a continuation of 2014, with slight growth statewide and a slight decline on the Las Vegas Strip–despite record visitation numbers and higher overall spending. It’s not really news anymore to say that non-gaming is growing while gaming really isn’t (on the Strip, at least), but it’s worth repeating, since it gives some of the developments on the Strip context.

21
Jan

Check-In Kiosks Represent the Latest Evolution in Hospitality – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take a look at why you might be checking into Caesars properties at a kiosk, and what it means:

Yet times have changed. If you are one of the 42 million plus who come to Las Vegas each year, you can’t help but be aware that the city doesn’t act like it’s here only to make your wishes come true. Traffic. Hustlers, costumed and otherwise, on the sidewalks. Resort fees. And the inescapable fact that you’re not the only one looking to have a good time: Even in a smallish Strip resort, you are one of thousands of very special, very important people, each of you needing what you need right now. Obviously, you’re not all going to get it when you want it.

Read more: Check-In Kiosks Represent the Latest Evolution in Hospitality – Vegas Seven

This is a pretty big investment in technology for Caesars, and so far it looks like guests are using it. Skipping the line should be way more convenient, at the very least.

3
Dec

How Howard Hughes Changed Las Vegas Forever – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I consider the changes that swept Las Vegas thanks to an arrival over Thanksgiving weekend, 1966.

For the weekend, though, it was business as usual. That Friday, 5,000 doctors arrived for an American Medical Association convention. Don Rickles could be seen at the Sahara’s Casbar lounge. And a young stand-up comedian named Woody Allen made his Las Vegas debut at Caesars Palace’s Circus Maximus showroom.

Down the boulevard at the Desert Inn, a guest who would change Las Vegas forever checked in—Howard Hughes.

How Howard Hughes Changed Las Vegas Forever – Vegas Seven

The basic explanation that you hear is that Hughes chased out the mob, brought in the corporations, and made Las Vegas respectable. I take a more nuanced look at his impact here, but mostly I wanted people to consider how one person’s arrival can shuffle the deck.

4
Nov

Get to Know the 442nd Regimental Combat Team – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I talk about a truly amazing group that recently visited Las Vegas:

The men gathered in this room, however, are extraordinary. They are members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of the United States military.

Read More: Get to Know the 442nd Regimental Combat Team – Vegas Seven

It really was an honor to meet this group of Nisei veterans. I spoke with Lawson Sakai for about 45 minutes. Being as enthusiastic about history as I am, it was an unbelievable experience for me. Mr. Sakai is not just an eyewitness to history, he made history. I’m going to be sharing what he told me with students for a very long time.