Posts tagged vegas seven

Keeping the Clubs Safe | Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I talked to security experts about how to make Las Vegas casinos and nightclubs safer:

The recent tragic shooting at Drai’s after-hours club in Bally’s casino hotel has raised questions about just how much security both casinos and nightclubs in Las Vegas should provide. Not surprisingly, there is no consensus on the answers.

via Keeping the Clubs Safe | Vegas Seven.

Talking to three experts gave me a broad sense of what’s going in the national security industry and also highlighted that there is no simple solution for this.

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.

In Monte Carlo, Back to the Past | Vegas Seven

If you have heard the most recent Vegas Gang podcast, you heard my thoughts on Monte Carlo. In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I elaborate:

If you were born in a gambling city back when that meant you were a little different from everyone else, you grew up vaguely holding Monte Carlo as the platonic ideal of what a gambling town should be: refined, elegant and timeless. Actually visiting the place, though, reveals something quite different.

via In Monte Carlo, Back to the Past | Vegas Seven.

One of the points that struck me is that Monaco is proof that there is life after casino gambling, even for cities that have been historically defined by it. With a trip to Atlantic City last week, I’ve got a lot to consider when it comes to what happens after the gambling gold rush ends.

I don’t know what this signifies, but on my AC trip I saw that the storied Monaco Motel, where I once worked as a desk clerk, assistant night manager, and even occasional night manager, has been demolished. Looks like the plan is to build $1.2 million condos there.

For Linq’s Future, Image Is Everything | Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take a closer look at how one of Linq’s new tenants fits in:

That’s where Linq comes in. As with most Caesars decisions, each element of the development has been meticulously analyzed. The observation wheel, for example, was chosen over other attractions because, in survey and focus groups, customers indicated that this was the single attraction they would walk 1,250 feet to see. Likewise, the list of tenants has been carefully calibrated by Caesars management to entice a significant number of the 20.4 million people who, according to a 2009 study, walk past the Linq’s Strip frontage each year. One of those tenants, the Polaroid Fotobar, gives us a glimpse into the kind of experiences Linq is trying to create

via For Linq’s Future, Image Is Everything | Vegas Seven.

It is a little funny to me that I finished this the day before the whole fuss over that newsletter that “warned” of a CEC bankruptcy broke, and I pretty much used everything I said in the first part of the column (about why the company needs Linq to be successful) to frame my responses.

The Book That Tried to End Las Vegas | Vegas Seven

There is no Green Felt Journal in this week’s Vegas Seven. But I did write the cover story, a historical dissection of the notorious Green Felt Jungle:

When Trident Press released The Green Felt Jungle on December 13, 1963, it promised to tell the real story of Las Vegas. Most residents winced; this could only be bad news.

For $4.95, readers could read tales of cash, crime and corruption. And sex—plenty of sex. Authors Ed Reid and Ovid Demaris meshed gossip, innuendo and rehashed reportage in a book whose premise—that the mob owned Las Vegas, body and soul—was anathema to Nevadans. Two talented writers—Reid won a Pulitzer in 1951 for his investigations into Brooklyn organized crime, and Demaris was in the midst of a string of best-sellers—were tackling the glitzy gambling oasis. It couldn’t miss.

via The Book That Tried to End Las Vegas | Vegas Seven.

I love the chance to write these in-depth feature stories for the magazine. Thanks as always to my editor, Greg Miller, who worked me through a few drafts to get the story to where it is. And Ed Walters was a fascinating interview subject–I’m looking forward to learning more about his life and times in Las Vegas.

Once Grandissimo is out, I’m going to pick my next book project. I’ve been leaning towards something contemporary, since that’s what experts say people want to read about, but the more I write historical pieces for Seven that get such a positive response, the more I’m convinced that it’s time for me to write the history of Las Vegas casinos that I’ve been talking about. I’ve gotten as far as sketching out chapter ideas, and I think that it would have a lot of material that people are interested in.

I’d really like to fill in the gaps in what most people know about Las Vegas casinos. For most, it goes cowboys–>gangsters–>corporations, without too much consideration of the interplay between those groups (and others) that created the industry we know today. Ten years ago in Suburban Xanadu, I said that there was a lot more continuity than change between the past and present of the casino business, and I think that’s true. I’d like a chance to really tell that story in a narrative, non-academic way, starting with the first gambling halls on Block 16 and ending with today. I covered much of this in Roll the Bones in summary form, but there is plenty more to say.

For now, though, I’ve got a book to publish and promote, so through October I’m 100% about Grandissimo.

And for today, you’ve got a nice little slice of 1960s Las Vegas to read about–including an appearance by Meyer Lanksy in the Fremont coffee shop. Here’s to Las Vegas history!

Crime and Perception | Vegas Seven

In today’s Green Felt Journal, I take on a subject that some in the industry don’t like discussing–whether high-profile crimes mean the Strip is less safe than it should be:

When tragedy strikes, police and tourism officials are usually quick to stress that these are random events in an otherwise safe city. They point to the fact that crime rates on the Strip have been falling lately down in 2012 and early 2013 as proof that a Vegas vacation is fundamentally safe. Is this just public relations spin, or do they have a point?

via Crime and Perception | Vegas Seven.

Some feel that the best move is to ignore crime on the Strip, and to downplay incidents that get public attention as random, unconnected acts. I disagree; I think that by being honest with visitors about crime, and by educating them about how to better protect themselves, the city will get a much better handle on its crime problem by getting out in front of it than by pretending it doesn’t exist.

The Other Convention Business | Vegas Seven

In today’s Green Felt Journal, I look at the growth of Las Vegas as a family reunion destination. It all really fits:

Family-friendly Las Vegas never went away—it just doesn’t get the same press as nightclub Las Vegas or tech-startup Las Vegas. For proof, look no further than the burgeoning business the city does in hosting family reunions.

via The Other Convention Business | Vegas Seven.

I wrote this after browsing the upcoming convention listings for the LVCVA and having my curiosity piqued by the number of family reunions listed there. It’s definitely a growing part of several casinos’ sales approaches.

Poker Pioneers | Vegas Seven

In today’s Green Felt Journal, I look at a few of the personalities behind Ultimate Poker:

Online poker seems so … unearthly. Hands are dealt on a glowing screen. Cards are made out of pixels, not pasteboard. And yet it’s here, and it’s very real.

For now, there’s one company that offers online poker in Nevada: Ultimate Gaming. It’s headquartered in an industrial strip mall on Harmon Avenue, a few blocks west of the Strip. And it’s filled with an interesting mix of about 60 administrators, techies, creative types, marketers and casino veterans.

via Poker Pioneers | Vegas Seven.

Ultimate Poker has a great story–I’m hoping to write more about them and their competitors, once other sites go live. Fascinating to see history unfold.

Smokeless on the Strip? | Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I tackle the issue of smoking in casinos on the Las Vegas Strip:

The implicit question raised in those cheeky billboards is this: Smoking is banned in restaurants, movie theaters and indoor arenas. Why is it still permitted in Nevada casinos? The short answer: because casinos were exempted from the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act, which voters approved in November 2006.

via Smokeless on the Strip? | Vegas Seven.

Two things I want to mention here….

1. I love the art for this column.

2. This, I think, is the most divisive issue in the gaming industry today. Casino execs get very dismissive/defensive when the topic of banning smoking on casino floors comes up. Personally, while I respect the right of people to smoke, I also think that my right to be in a public place without breathing in smoke has to rank somewhere. Doesn’t it?

I’d like to see one of the two big companies experiment with making one of their casinos smoke-free. Let’s say, Monte Carlo for MGM Resorts and Planet Hollywood for Caesars. Give it a three-month trial run at the very least: see what it does to occupancy, gaming win, overall spending. Would it work? Revel would seem to indicate no, but Revel’s problems didn’t start with not permitting smoking on the casino floor. In other states, there has been an initial revenue drop followed by a recovery. While I’m sure some people would gamble less, other people may gamble more, and I suspect that traffic at restaurants might increase as well, with non-smokers not having to run a smoky gauntlet before getting to their eatery of choice.

Pin Interest | Vegas Seven

In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I take up bowling, which seems to be heading towards a renaissance in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas’ first casino bowling alley opened in 1959 when the off-Strip Showboat added lanes as part of its successful effort to refocus on locals, driving growth at the property for the next 20 years.

Showboat’s success has made bowling a mainstay of locals casinos—so much so that the International Bowl Expo came to Paris Las Vegas this month it ends June 28. Yes, it’s ironic that the expo settled on a casino without a bowling alley, but the lanes have been the purview of locals casinos: Station has five bowling alleys in the Valley, with lanes at Red Rock, Sunset Station, Texas Station, Santa Fe Station and Wildfire Sunset.

via Pin Interest | Vegas Seven.

Researching this gave me a chance to learn a little about bowling. I really like that aspect of writing the Green Felt Journal: I get to learn quite a bit on a variety of subjects.