Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Las Vegas' Amazing Growth Spurt

If you've been to Las Vegas lately you've seen a lot of change. Old favorites are gone, and new Casino/Resorts are starting to sprout.

It can be frightening, the power of the almighty dollar, and the speed with which it can destroy and create.

The Palazzo is the latest to open, well it's not really officially open yet -- but the games have no trouble taking your money, that is very real. Which reminds me, I didn't mention the chandeliers in my post yesterday. You can always judge a resort by it's chandeliers, and like much of the rest of Palazzo, they are just average. Although I was on the whole unimpressed with the Pal, the PR machines continue to grind out the gospel, and daily in the local press there is word of the Pal, Sheldon Adelson, or both.

This article from the Review Journal entitled "Gaming Outside of Nevada -- LV Casino Executive on a Roll" showcases Mr. Adelson's future and past. Yes, Sheldon is a powerful man, still I'm not frightened to say, his slot club stinks.

I'm looking over the rules of the club, and $1 coin-in on video reels equals 1 point. That's not so bad, but it says you have to cycle through $20 increments to earn points. If I earn $2,500 I get slot credits of $15, a gift card of $10, or $5 cash. Well, it's something anyway. The club folder says "Earn just 30,000 points in the current year and earn Gold status." I don't know about you but I don't have $30,000 to dedicate to the Pal's slots. How about I show up, and they give me a $10 food credit (I don't think the Venetian or the Pal has a buffet) and/or $10 free play?

Like I said in my earlier post, definitely walk through the Venetian to the Pal if you are playing slots, the selection in the new joint is superior -- but don't plan on any comps for your trouble.

Now, back to the growth spurt thing. So the Pal is pretty much open, and it appears Wynn's Encore is topping off and should be the next one ready. Then Hard Rock has an expansion that shouldn't take too long. I believe City Center will be next, followed by the Foutainebleau, Echelon, and then the Plaza Project. The last four are major projects indeed, with City Center touted as the largest private development ever. So the question is, can Vegas really support this growth -- if they build it, will they come?

The overwhelming answer is YES! Even as gambling becomes more readily available the world over, Vegas is the most traveled to city in the U.S. maybe the world. And of course the cold hard cash for all the glitz, glamour, and surge in development runs through (no, it's not the Baccarat tables) the SLOT MACHINES!

Certainly Sin City wasn't born of slot machines, but it has grown up on them. So next time you drop a $20 in a slot machine in Vegas, marvel at the majesty your money buys. It's your town, so enjoy it.

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