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.

7
Oct

Old-School Is New Again at the Global Gaming Expo – Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I consider what I found on the G2E expo floor:

It was clear that the big question asked last year at the expo—how to appeal to a new generation of gamblers—has not been fully answered, but we got several tantalizing glimpses of the future.

Old-School Is New Again at the Global Gaming Expo – Vegas Seven

I think there is a desire and need for new kinds of games. Of course slot machines still make billions each year, but past changes in gambling have shown that all that can change. People didn’t stop playing faro or start playing slots overnight. Is “social” or “skill” going to replace slots next year? No. In twenty years? It’s possibly that something will.

24
Sep

Gaming Hall’s Class of ’15 in Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I talk about the latest inductees into the Gaming Hall of Fame:

The American Gaming Association recently announced three new inductees entering the Gaming Hall of Fame this fall: bookmaking pioneer Victor Salerno, tribal gaming advocate Lynn Valbuena and longtime industry executive Larry Woolf. Let’s get to know the class of 2015. Read More

Gaming Hall’s Class of ’15 – Vegas Seven

It has been interesting watching the Hall evolve alongside the industry the past few years. I wonder who will be inducted in 2025?

7
Aug

The Long, Hot Summer of ’55 | Vegas Seven

 

In this week’s Vegas Seven, I have a cover story on the frustrating summer of 1955–a year that has plenty to teach Las Vegas 2015:

Lanza’s no-show aside, opening night at the New Frontier was regarded as a success. One of the Strip’s first resorts had reinvented itself for the Atomic Age, bigger and better. It whet the appetite for what was to come.

Source: The Long, Hot Summer of ’55 | Vegas Seven

This was a story that I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. Thanks to Matt Jacob and Greg Miller I have.

First, it’s got the story behind the openings (and subsequent struggles) of the New Frontier, Royal Nevada, Riviera, Dunes, and Moulin Rouge. It also talks about lesser-known failures like the Desert Spa.

For today’s readers who are interested in more than “just history,” 1955 has clear parallels to the recession, and the pivot Las Vegas did in the years after 1955–chiefly, moving towards conventions and investing significantly in them–has lessons for today.