Vegas Gang #90 – May 16th, 2013

This time on the show:

– Followup (mentioned article:
– Visiting The Quad
– Hanging Out @ The D
– Casino Personification
– LINQ, SBE and RD&E

and more. Leave comments here on the site!

** Reminders **

– Flipboard Magazine: Viva Vegas (Now on Android!)
VIMFP 2013 @ The D Las Vegas
Roll The Bones : Casino Edition

** Sure Bets **

Chuck – Chuck Loves Everyone
Dr. Dave – ISS Crew and Cmndr Hadfield
Hunter – OmniOutliner | Wicked Pizza

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11 thoughts on “Vegas Gang #90 – May 16th, 2013

  1. Sam from SLS will get some local clientele. I’m one of them. I live at SKY which is located almost across the street. My neighbors at Turnberry are likely to play there as well. Many other condos, apartments and timeshares (Hilton Grand Vacations) are in the area. SLS will be our likely choice over the very low end places like Circus Circus or super high end like Wynn. Admittedly people from Summerlin or Henderson will not go there but you’re underestimating the number of locals who will welcome a locals casino.

  2. Good comments about the presumed oddities of Zappo’s culture. But I think we might miss the point by focusing too much on that issue. Hseih is spending lots of money downtown, and it will bring changes his company won’t fully control. Some of this is grants and investments in tech and fashion startups. Some of it is plans that will appeal beyond the Zappo’s workforce.

    I live downtown and have nothing to do with Zappo’s. But Hseih’s investments have already improved my neighborhood, and will continue to do so. I guess my point is that when some entity spends that kind of money on a relatively confined geographical area, lots of things can start to happen.

  3. Bill – absolutely. I tried to be somewhat circumspect with my comments. While I do think some of the culture stuff is pretty strange, it may ultimately end up as a very small footnote in a wide ranging success story overall.

  4. As for your mention of a hologram attraction at the Linq, I thought a Michael Jackson hologram would be a real show stopper for the new Cirque Michael Jackson One. Imagine Michael jumping off a screen and dancing on the stage. The crowd would go wild.

  5. SLS has one insurmountable problem, and that’s location. That neighborhood has become the Bermuda Triangle of Las Vegas. Downtown has captured the north strip’s tourist clientele, and the skeletons of Echelon and Fountainbleu act as a repellent for foot traffic wandering north of Encore. Locals won’t come to the north strip. That’s because neighborhood casinos are 1) nicer, 2) have more attractive loyalty programs, 3) have looser machines and paytables, 4) aren’t thronged with annoying tourists, and 5) are easier to drive to and park at. In the podcast Chuck mentioned that at the D recently, it was packed almost shoulder to shoulder with humanity. The kind of crowd you have to turn sideways to walk through. Go to the Riviera and see if you have to turn sideways to get through the crowd.

    And pricing SLS as a luxury hotel in that neighborhood – best of luck. It will be depressing to check in at the SLS website room-rate calendar every week to see how the prices have come down another $10.

    I think SLS has one ghost of a chance to succeed. If they can make the nightclub so good that it becomes the next clubbing hotspot, they can use it as an anchor to draw people to the building. That’s where SBE’s core competency lies, that’s what they should push.

  6. Visionaries look beyond the present condition and recognize opportunity. Location is not an “insurmountable problem” for SLS. They are investing a small price to get into the hottest new neighborhood on the strip. Sahara, Riviera and Circus Circus are today’s Dunes and boardwalk. The north end of the strip is where most of the new development will take place. It would have happened already absent the economic crisis. The owner of SLS just may be the Steve Wynn of 30 years ago when everyone thought downtown was dead and the Golden Nugget renovation was crazy. We need a new generation of visionaries in Las Vegas. Maybe we have one at SLS.

  7. It’s interesting you use the word visionary. Visionaries not only see opportunities that others do not but they have to be able to articulate that vision so that all of the people that they need to make the project a success are willing to take that leap with them. “Leave your safe job to come do this crazy thing with me.”

    Watching Nazarian at the lunch event I didn’t come away feeling I had been in the presence of genius. Even a 30-year-old Steve Wynn, while yet mostly unproven, was charismatic enough to make you believe that he had it all figured out.

    I agree that the North Strip is ripe for redevelopment and some people will get rich doing it but what I wonder is what the timeline will be. Given the slow-down in development overall, will it be five years or ten? More? I get the impression from their statements and other public documents that SBE isn’t well capitalized enough to survive that long if the thing doesn’t make money.

    We do need a new generation of visionaries but I’m not currently sold on the concept that Sam is one of them. We’ll see.

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