Save the Riviera! - by Victor "Vegas Vic" Royer
unfathomable to me that Las Vegas
power-brokers have become so utterly stupid that they are systematically
destroying and dismantling all that made Las Vegas
great. And what are they doing to replace it? Building yet another series of
bland convention halls, and a parking lot in the middle of the Strip.
that Las Vegas can get even more
conventions, populated by endless streams of conventioneers, almost none of whom
so MGM Resorts is salivating over a $300,000 dinner bill at the Bellagio that 25
diners dropped during the recent Consumer Electronics Show, while buying
$15,000 bottles of wine with their steaks at the Prime Steakhouse. The “lucky”
patron who footed the bill is said to be Shane Smith, CEO of Vice Media Inc.,
who is also reported to have won around $100,000 from the casino’s Blackjack
tables. So, he added another $200,000 to the wad, and splurged in an orgy of
if at least most of the people who attend a convention in Las
Vegas would gamble like this, then I wouldn’t be all
that upset over the death of the Riviera.
After all, if we tear it down, and build another convention hall, maybe – just
maybe – out of all the tens of thousands of extra conventioneers we might get
another one like Mr. Smith. Perhaps we may even get a Mr. Jones. And if all
goes well, maybe we can even get three or four of those conventioneers to
aren’t the actual facts.
see, this Mr. Smith is not a measure of the reality rule. He is what is
commonly known as “an aberration”, meaning one of the few conventioneers who
actually visit a casino, and then actually play in it.
what about the rest of the time? The rest of these tens of thousands of
that’s precisely the problem with this kind of thinking that’s prevailing among
the powers-to-be that now control Las Vegas.
They just don’t seem to think things all the way through. At least not like casino owners and operators should be thinking.
guess the bigger question should be this:
many of the other 25 guests that Mr.
Smith treated to those $15,000 bottles of wine actually gambled in the casino?
another question should perhaps be:
many of all the other attendees of
the Consumer Electronics Show did also gamble in the casino?
how much was Mr. Smith actually and really “worth” to MGM Resorts?
how much were all the other attendees
to the CES actually worth to the casinos of Las Vegas?
any of them gamble? Anything like Mr. Smith? Was there a Mr. Jones among them?
see, the facts are simple – conventioneers just do not gamble. Period. And while
Mr. Smith may be a maverick who has more than the “vice” in Vice Media Inc., to
his credentials, the simple facts are that conventioneers like him aren’t
usually found in the casinos.
how does this affect the Riviera?
I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.
Las Vegas, tearing it down,
shredding it to pieces, putting up endless rows of bland convention halls,
parking lots, drugstores on every corner of the Strip, and more and more
shopping malls and high-rise residential units.
that the perspective we really want for Las Vegas?
what about the casinos?
yeah … you mean those annoying things that waste floor space where we can stick
another convention hall? Oh, don’t worry … we’re on top of that one. We’ll be
tearing it all down soon enough.
so, now comes the death of the Riviera.
it wasn’t enough that everything that was once great about Las
Vegas has already been destroyed. Now one of the few
surviving great icons of the greatness of Las Vegas
is being bought by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), and
they are going to tear it down, shred it, destroy it, bury it. And then do
are going to replace it with yet another convention hall for what they are
calling “The Global Business District.”
what will this do?
will attract more conventions flooded with people who don’t gamble. Yes, it
will pump around $300 million per year
into the “non-gaming” economy. But the casinos – even when run badly – still
pump more than $1 BILLION into that same economy every month!
what else will this “Global Business District” do for Las
will increase traffic jams and pack the strip with business suits instead of
gamblers. (Mr. Smith and his Blackjack prowess notwithstanding.)
will drive away visitors who come to see and experience “Las
Vegas”, and now, instead, will find bland convention
halls, Bus Depots, and parking lots.
is already happening. Have you been to Las Vegas
recently? Have you seen the destruction of all that was once great?
Strip is packed with Palm trees, which do nothing to “beautify” the Strip. All
they do is block the neon. What little is left of it, that is. Palm trees are
synonymous with Hollywood, and California,
and Beverly Hills. Las
Vegas used to be famous as “The Neon Jungle.” But now,
after these power-brokers who are destroying it get through with their
heavy-handed and misguided mayhem, Las Vegas
will instead become known as “The Boulevard of broken dreams, once great and
shining with bright lights, and now buried in the dust of dull and grey
oh, by the way – if you’re wondering how the thinking is going among casino
owners and operators who ignore the casino – in the fourth quarter that ended
Dec. 31, 2014, MGM Resorts reported a net loss
of $342.3 million, compared with a loss
of $56.8 million in the same quarter a year ago. The result translated into a loss per share of 70 cents, compared to
a loss of 12 cents per share last
who’s the winner here?
that’s the real cost of short-sighted thinking that’s destroying Las
least do something right – for once.