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.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I consider the future of transportation in the “core” of Las Vegas:
Today, Las Vegas gladly welcomes 42 million-plus visitors each year. But there’s one more guest who has been showing up too much lately: gridlock.
Read more:The Future of Las Vegas Transportation – Vegas Seven
In some ways, Las Vegas is a victim of its own success here. As it is able to convince more visitors to vacation here, moving them around becomes progressively more difficult. I’m very interested to see what kinds of solutions actually are enacted.
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.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I look at the resurgence of locals casinos in Las Vegas:
Since the recession, the locals casino market has endured some tough times, but the 2015 numbers so far suggest those tough times might be over. In particular, North Las Vegas and Boulder Strip properties, after several rough years, are showing revenue increases. Is it because value-conscious visitors are venturing off the Strip? Is it a sign of a reinvigorated economy? Possibly a little of both. Whatever the cause, the stronger neighborhood casino market is a positive sign for Southern Nevada’s overall economic health.
Source: Locals Casinos Are Back in Business | Vegas Seven
Since neighborhood casinos were hardest hit by the recession, their comeback could be a positive sign for the local economy.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I share some insights from the latest Las Vegas Visitor Profile:
Increasing international visitation has long been a goal of the LVCVA, and the numerous investments the agency has made toward that end continue to bear fruit. In 2007, 12 percent of visitors came from abroad; in real numbers, this accounts for about 4.7 million people. Last year, that percentage jumped to 19 percent, which when factoring in increased visitation—we topped 40 million last year—translated into more than 7.8 million international visitors. That’s a two-thirds increase in seven years.
via Gambling Is No Longer Las Vegas’ Main Attraction | Vegas Seven
Looking at this year’s profile really drives home the demographic and behavioral changes in visitors to Las Vegas.
In this week’s Green Felt Journal, I look at how the Vegas visitor is changing–and what that means:
The big question is, Why do people come to Las Vegas in the first place? Naturally, there are many reasons, so GLS Research, which compiles the profile, asks subjects for the primary purpose of their most recent visit. Having heard so much about how the Strip is about “more than gambling” these days, the trend is surprising: 15 percent of respondents said they came here primarily to gamble—more than three times the 4 percent who said that in 2004.
via A Fresh Study Sheds Light on the Habits of the Vegas Visitor | Vegas Seven
The one constant in Las Vegas is that the visitor is always changing. It’s up to the casinos to evolve to fit emerging demographics without alienating the old.
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.
In this week’s Vegas Seven, I’ve got the cover story: a look back on John F. Kennedy’s visits to Las Vegas:
It was a meeting for the ages: the midcentury King of Cool getting together with one of the nation’s fastest-rising political stars. The star of From Here to Eternity and the hero of PT 109. An idol of the pop charts and a Pulitzer Prize winner. And it could only have happened in Las Vegas, in that heady era when Frank Sinatra reigned from the stage of the Sands’ Copa Lounge and everyone, even presidential aspirants, wanted a front-row seat. On February 7, 1960, future President John F. Kennedy got one.
via JFK in Las Vegas | Vegas Seven.
I had to do some real digging for this one, and I’d like to thank Larry Gragg for his help in sharing his citations for articles about Kennedy. If you like, you can learn more about his book Bright Light City right here.
I’m also glad that I get a chance to do long-form pieces like this for Seven–it’s a good bridge between the bi-weekly Green Felt Journals and academic articles for me.
Busy week, so I’m just posting this week’s Green Felt Journal about the EB-5 program, which is changing Las Vegas:
“Invest In Your American Dream,” reads the text next to a photo of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. The words are quickly replaced by “LAS VEGAS EB5 IMMIGRATION CENTER IS YOUR BEST CHOICE,” with a view of the Strip at night, followed by “THE OPPORTUNITY TO OBTAIN U.S. GREEN CARD,” against a pastiche of a billowing American flag with extra stars, the Statue of Liberty and the Capitol building. Then, just to make the message clear, we get “THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE AMERICAN LIFESTYLE,” laid over a skyline that’s definitely not Las Vegas.
via Investing in America | Vegas Seven.
I learned a good deal researching this one…it will be interesting to see where the program goes in the next few years.
I’ve been wanting to write more about Macau, which is such a huge gambling story, for a while, and when given a feature slot for Vegas Seven, jumped on the chance to talk about Macau’s impact on Las Vegas. The result is this week’s cover story:
Back in the early days—2006 or so—American executives signing on for tours of duty in Macau felt like they were stepping into the Wild West. Street violence had subsided since the island’s 1999 reversion to mainland control, but there was still a sense that this was a frontier, a place where anything could happen. And when strangers rode into town—often from the former frontier town of Las Vegas—they went where strangers always go first: the saloon. In this case, that meant the Embassy Bar at what was then the Mandarin Oriental hotel. It was an admittedly upscale saloon, but for an expat executive it was an oasis, a free-port, a place to make crucial first connections and ease into Chinese life. It offered just enough reassuring familiarity, and just enough tantalizing strangeness.
via The History of Our Future | Vegas Seven.
At 4,000 words, this is a long magazine piece for me, but I think you’ll agree it packs a lot of story into those words. The great art really helps. I’m as proud of this as I am of anything I’ve written so far.