Sunday, January 11, 2009

Questions answered

LJ wondered: "Did you notice if there were fewer tourists there? A few of my coworkers who have went to LV & love it have wondered if the economy is affecting LV yet."

Whew boy, you'd better believe it, Lisa. Things still seemed to be hopping by our standards, but everyone from our cab driver to several of the dealers told us that 2008 was a bad year for Vegas. We noticed a lot of empty tables, but then we were there during the week. When we checked in, they asked us if we wanted to upgrade to a suite; Marty writes that they tried to get him to stay another night at the Bellagio. We had heard that some of the construction was being suspended, and I just read yesterday that the big new CityCenter complex (it's huge!) is slowing down construction. The Harmon hotel (part of that complex) is halting construction for a few months, and I believe it was the condo portion that they have completely halted, and will give the money back to those investors.

So by all accounts, Vegas is hurting. Casinos and hotels are offering deep discounts on their room rates, and show tickets are easier to get at a discount. Perhaps it will put a halt to the almost out-of-control building that went on for the past few years. Caesar's Palace, of all places, was putting up another building. If you've ever seen Caesar's--or been caught in the seemingly endless twists and turns of the place--you'll know that it's this huge network of buildings and underground shops. I'm not even sure how many buildings there are in Caesar's, but it seems like a couple of dozen! (I'm exaggerating. Probably no more than half a dozen.)

I just saw an ad online for cruises, and I told Ken that if we had the money for another cruise right now, it would be a great time to get a deal. Ken said he has a feeling it will be that way for a while, and I suspect he's right. Tourism would be a tough trade to be in right now. Did you hear that several Broadway shows are closing early? I think I heard "Hairspray" and "Jersey Boys" are going dark a few months before scheduled. So yeah, it's a tough time, and I think destinations like Vegas will be hurting for a while.

Question Two: I mentioned that the Golden Gate had the first phone number issued in Las Vegas, and said that anyone who guessed it would get a gold star for the day. I suppose I need to up the ante, so to speak, because only one person, Laurel, hazarded a guess. She guessed "7," and that's a pretty good guess. She realizes that this was long before the seven digit phone number, or area codes. Remember when phone numbers consisted of a word and a few numbers? For instance, if you were told to dial "CIrcle-842", you'd dial the corresponding digits to C and I, then 842. Maybe the most famous example of this was Junior Samples on "Hee Haw" and his phone number "BR-549," which I believe later was used as the name of a country group.

But I digress. The Golden Gate's phone number (and this was before it was called the Golden Gate--I think at the time it was the Hotel Nevada, or something like that) was even simpler than that. Their phone number was "1." That's it. If I were a marketer back then, I would say that a good slogan would have been "Dial 1--for fun!"


  1. Thats funny Beth I wanted to say the phone number would be 1...but felt a bit daft !!!
    I am sure the recession is going to hurt many many is the same over here, so many being made unemployed or not getting work in the first place. My great nephew has now been unemployed now for almost three months and no sign of any jobs on the's hard when they have a wee boy only 2...
    we must thank God for what we do have,
    Love Sybil xx

  2. We certainly did our bit to help the local economy, we will see when the statements come :o)

  3. i will definitely tell my friends what you said....there are gobs of casino's in Indiana and thereabouts that Ohioians go to and my friends get HUGE discount offers in the mail constantly...lots of offers of free rooms if they buy so many pulls at the wheel or whatever it is called....a few friends got offered a deal to take a plane to Vegas for 3 days and nights and the air fare was only $50 from Columbus!! Can you imagine? Then they were offered rooms somewhere in Vegas for hardly a thing...they still may go. Thanks for your interesting posts about this. XOXO

  4. I remember watching Hee Haw! I loved that show!

  5. The only thing I remember from my economics class in high school is the principal of supply and demand. I think prices have been falsely inflated over the past decade (or more) because our country was so affluent. I appreciate that costs are going down due to the recession. It was a shock to me to find out how cheap rent is here in the mountains compared to the northern Atlanta suburbs and Jacksonville (the other two places I've lived in the past few years). I enjoy that the cost of living is a bit less here. Of course... my financial situation changed to the extent of not being able to travel any time soon... but it's nice to know that if I could... it would cost less! I'm so glad you guys had a good time in Vegas. I have great memories of that place (and none were from my honeymoon! Ha!)

    Love, hugs and prayers!

  6. I worked as a long distance operator from July 1960 thru September 1964, so I definitely remember the old phone numbers. You could actually tell which part of town a caller lived in by the name of their prefix. I frequently drive by 2 different casinos here near my home and there's rarely an empty parking place. Of course I'm sure most of the patrons in Vegas are tourists. These local casinos don't seem to be hurting one little bit. Yes Ceasar's Palace is gi-nor-mus! It goes on forever. Linda in Washington state

  7. Hi Beth,
    You're definitely right ... Las Vegas is hurting. When the Bellagio offers to lower their rate from $350 to $128 to get you to stay another night, you know they're in pain. Hotels are usually fully booked during the CES show but this time, there were vacancies all over town. Not to mention the fact that all these buildings had been going up at a feverish pace ... now the condos are sitting there unsold or in foreclosure.

  8. If only people had the money...It seems like everything from air fares to automobiles are at an all time low. I figured Vegas would be the same way. If you have any money, you are afraid to part with it.
    Hugs, Joyce

  9. I think it was Saturday morning I was flipping through the channels and one of the morning shows were talking about Vegas and the slow down in tourism and the deals to be had right now.

    The cruise prices are fantastic right now - we always book a balcony suite and we just saw the price for a 12 day Royal Carribean balcony is LESS than what we paid for one person last cruise! If only we had the time. (big sigh)


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