The recession rolls on. Debt-strapped Station Casinos has listed the 30 acre former site of the Castaway Casino with a local commercial broker and is asking $39.5 million for it. Two additional parcels were also offered for sale ; nearly 8 vacant acres near Boulder Station and almost 5 acres adjacent to Sunset Station. The gaming company is attempting to accumulate cash in order to improve their position with bondholders who are critically important for signing off on a prepackaged bankruptcy plan that Stations has prepared.
I'm curious if some of the execs at these financially strapped Vegas resorts just meander around with a constant thought in their minds such as "Slap me, beat me, make me write hot checks" ? I hope they all hang in and things improve sooner than later.
Southwest Vacations just announced 3 ($75 savings per reservation) or 4+(save $100 per reservation) night air - hotel package specials involving any MGM Mirage property in Las Vegas. As an additional goodie, they will provide free transportation to and from McCarran Airport for your convenience. Restrictions include a 5 - day advance purchase and must be booked now through April 30th for travel between 4/25 and 10/28, 2009. Some representative package deals from specific departure cities, specific MGM Mirage properties, and 3 night stays are :
Albuquerque / MGM Grand from $280 per person
Chicago / Excalibur from $276 per person
Indianapolis / Bellagio from $378 per person
Houston / Excalibur from $248 per person
Sacremento / MGM Grand from $254 per person
Sachet to Vegas and save with these deals. Typically, the above and all listed fares at the linked site do not include those spurious taxes and fees. A subtle yet important plus associated with Southwest is that they don't charge any baggage fees for the first and second bags if the bags fall within 50 pound max weight and linear dimension specifications.That alone will cost most fliers an additional $35 - 40 at most other airlines if they check two bags. This is an important savings consideration with Southwest. Enjoy!
The economic downturn has resulted in hard times nationwide and particularly in the the Silver State. Bankruptcy petitions in Nevada for 2008 increased 71% while the national average rose by 31%. The gaming, tourism, and real estate entities have always driven the Vegas economy and all these have been particularly hard hit during the crash. Real estate values have plummeted and tighter credit policies have placed a stranglehold on many tourism - based businesses , including the casino conglomerates which have the additional problem of massive debt loads. Even the casino moguls are having to scramble to avoid debt default and / or bankruptcy. MGM Mirage is shucking, jiving, and pleading to avoid filing due to massive debt associated with completion of the City Center project and attempt to stay afloat amidst reduced visitation and occupancy rates. Harrah's and Station Casinos are on the cusp of default and bankruptcy as well though both have made recent moves to extend their positions for approximately 30 days. Terribles has already filed and is meandering through the bankruptcy reorganization process.
I wonder what the time frame is for becoming a bankruptcy lawyer? Worth considering....
Farecast predicts when airfares fluctuate down for subscribed e-mail alert participants. It is an excellent site to obtain info on hot airfare deals. Their most recent fares and predicted dates to Vegas include the following.
LAST MINUTE DEALS :
Newark to Las Vegas (4/13 - 4/21) $220 Minneapolis to Las Vegas (4/21 - 4/28) $151
WEEKEND FLIGHT DEALS :
Chicago to Vegas (6/20 - 6/22) $219 New York JFK to Vegas (6/6 - 6/8) $239 Minneapolis to Vegas (5/28 - 5/30) $179
During the next two weeks some more air-hotel packages from United Vacations have been announced and , again, significant discounts are available. The gist of the sale follows but visit the website for specifics.
Save up to $375 on 3 night air hotel packages to these assorted 4.5 star and higher hotels : Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, MGM Grand, The Signature, THEHotel, Encore & Wynn, Venetian, Palazzo, Caesar's Palace, Four Seasons, Trump, and Vdara.
Save up to $195 on 3 night packages at these 4 star hotels: Luxor, Monte Carlo, New Yorl, New York, TI, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Golden Nugget, Palms, and Hard Rock.
Save up to $155 on 3 night deals at the following 3 star locales : Excalibur, Circus Circus, Stratosphere, Riviera, Four Queens, and Hooters.
5. Number of annual Vegas visitors 40,000,000 (and dropping)
6. Number of licensed gambling entities 1700
7. Hours per day average visitor gambles 4
8. Annual state gaming revenue 9 billion (and dropping)
9. Average gambling budget per trip 560 (and dropping)
10. Mean price per acre in valley 161,000.00
11. Price per acre on the Strip 11,000,000.00
12. Number of hotel rooms 137,000 +
13. Number of pillowcases washed at MGM daily 15,000
14. Number of doors at MGM 18,000
15. Annual no. toilet paper rolls used at Bally's 1 million
16. Lucky The Clown marquee sign at Circus Circus has
1232 fluorescent bulbs, 14,498 incandescent bulbs, and
3/4 mile of neon tubing light (no wonder they're replacing
17. In good times, Excalibur goes through over 44,000
Cornish game hens, 15 thousand pounds of hamburger
meat, and 4200 pounds of prime rib monthly
18. Caesar's Palace has used 2 million plus maraschino
cherries, 11 thousand ounces of caviar, 2 million ounces
of tomato juice, and close to 600 thousand ounces of
vodka yearly (bloody mary winner?)
19. Mandalay Bay has 5,300 palm trees and their wave pool
has a capacity of 1,640,270 gallons of water
20. Average nightly room rate 119.00 (and dropping)
21. Average number of Vegas weddings per day 300+
22. Number of golf courses 37
23. Miles of neon tubing on the Strip and Downtown 15,000
24. State's nationwide rank in gold production 1st
25. Cost of Nevada marriage license 35.00
26. Average cost of filing for divorce 450.00
27. Average length of stay for visitors 3.7 days
28. Number of hosted conventions annually 3750
29. The electric bill to operate the Luxor pyramid beam is
approximately 55.00 per hour.
30. Las Vegas has 17 of the world's 20 largest hotels
"WHERE'S MY WALLET , ETHEL!? "
Just a cautionary tip when in Vegas.. there are active
pickpockets all over town. I experienced this first-hand
and came within 10 seconds of losing my cash stash last July
while visiting one of those upper end joints on the strip.
I was gambling significantly at a video poker machine, unabashedly slipping C-notes in them. Somebody had been
observing my wagering behavior. I was happily winning at the time and my cautionary tendencies regarding my bankroll
money went south and out the window.
A lady approached me from behind as I played and was all aglow with my run of good luck. She initiated a conversation about nothing and anything . I was concentrating on proper VP strategy and responding to her comments with a lot of "yeah-yeahs". I was fortunate enough to get ahead on the machine again and I cashed out. I had a satchel (I normally never gamble under those conditions) with me that had assorted trip stuff in it. The satchel presence and the relatively high denomination coin-in amount collectively screamed " please rob me!" I placed my wallet in the satchel along with the machine cash-out tickets and proceeded to reconnect with my family and head to our room.
I had developed a sense of cautionary unease as I mulled over the contact with the effusively talkative woman at the VP machine. My senses told me that something about that encounter was skewed, although at the time I didn't know what it was and I wasn't bleeding profusely..yet. My group then proceeded to meander through a very crowded slot machine aisle and some other 6th, 7th, or 8th sense that vaguely detected an impersonal yet succinct encroachment into my personal space kicked in. Instinctively, I immediately dug into the satchel to locate my wallet and it was gone. I then immediately turned around and backtracked about ten feet (a matter of maybe 3 seconds, tops) as my endogenous adrenaline kicked in. I'm not sure that my hair wasn't on fire briefly.
I then spotted my wallet (and life) in a woman's hand who was playing a slot machine. I walked straight at her and demanded it post-haste in a tone that screamed seriousness. I immediately grabbed the wallet and called for security. The woman claimed she picked it up off the floor and so did the man (her accomplice) behind her, both vowing that they were planning to remit it to the security desk. My svelte ass they were.
This team of thieves including the woman who was all goony-googoo at the VP machine were pros. I have to claim part of the blame for the openly careless manner I had displayed with my money. They were held by security and the eye-in-the-sky tapes were to be reviewed.
The good thing is I didn't lose a cent because my peripheral senses kicked in immediately and they didn't have time to bury the evidence ( perhaps they weren't the best of pros?). Take heed folks..these people are everywhere in Vegas. Know where your cash is at all times; take precautions to protect it, don't flaunt it around carelessly as I did, and if you sense something is awry while gambling trust your instincts.
Distractions from one member of a team of thieves is a common MO. Store your gambling session monies in a front pants pocket or in one of those god-awful front-loaded fanny packs (pride be damned). The lesson I learned here after several years of Vegas gambling experiences turned out to be one of the most valuable for me personally.