Las Vegas Little Black Book Blog
Number of Vegas Cabs to Increase 
6/28/06, 4:02 PM

Cab Companies
The cab owners wanted 10 new cabs per fleet. The owners said that a lack of cabs was causing tourists to instead choose limousines, shuttle buses and mass transit to get around town.

Taxi Drivers
Cab unions wanted no additional cabs, claiming that there was already a glut of cabs in Southern Nevada.

Taxi Cab Authority
The Taxi Cab authority decided on 6 additional cabs for each of the 16 cab compaines.

I say the more the merrier. Having to wait an hour for a cab at the airport or 45 min for a cab at a hotel on a Saturday night, just kills the Vegas experience.

Now, we need to push for a Taxi Rider's Bill of Rights...

NYC Taxi Rider's Bill of Rights:
- Riders may travel to any destination in the five boroughs and may direct the route used.
- Air conditioning and a radio-free trip must be available on demand.
- The taxi must be clean and the air free of smoke or incense.
- The driver should be courteous, English-speaking and should know and obey traffic safety laws.
- The passenger may refuse to tip if service is not up to standard.

Click Here for the Story from the LVRJ
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Vegas Monorail: Perfect for Conventions 
6/27/06, 4:22 PM

Today in the LVRJ, a story about the monorail and its decline in ridership.

I like the Monorail. Anything that is an alternative to taxis on a busy Vegas weekend is a plus. Here is my take on it:

The Monorail is perfect for conventioneers.
Taxi lines get long and its a simple and efficient way to get to the Las Vegas Convention Center. While the Monorail keeps pushing the "price" side of the equation, by offering discounts and group rates, the majority of business travelers get reimbursed for travel expenses. The Monorail needs to push the convenience of the monorail.

The Monorail is not perfect for the vacationer.
Most vacationers wander around the city, with no real plan. So they would choose to walk because they donít know where they are going. Only people that know where they are going are going to take the monorail.

Click Here for the Story from the LVRJ
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What does a $20 million renovation get you? 
6/27/06, 6:02 AM
Big News: The Montbleu Casino in Tahoe (formally the Caesarís Tahoe) under went a $20 million renovation.

Seems like pennies with all the big numbers we here down here in Vegas. For example, the renovation of the Green Valley Ranch steakhouse from "BullShrimp" to "Hank's" was at least $9 million. Granted, one of the chandeliers cost half a million by itself.

The Montblue website makes the place look Red Rock Station, which cost almost $1 billion to build. Caesar's Tahoe was purchased for $45 million and then $20 million was put into the remodel.

I am going up to Tahoe in two weeks to check it out. I'll give the real scoop.

Montblue Website
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Room Rates and Occupancy Light This Summer 
6/20/06, 5:12 PM
Rooms are inexpensive this summer, every casino is dropping rates. Most of them have already gone deep to the database with offers for the summer - now they are dropping prevailing rates to non-database customers (website and normal reservation number). There are some pretty good deals out there.

Vegas lives and dies by the convention business. Without convention business, rates drop dramatically. They have to fill up the rooms somehow.

Click Here for the Story from the LVRJ
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Room Inventory Article at 
6/20/06, 3:52 AM has a great article on the future of rooms in Las Vegas. As resorts close to build new resorts, Vegas will actually see a decrease in the number of rooms in the upcoming years.

Economics 101: When supply shrinks and demand grows, prices go up.

VegasTripping is a great Vegas site. Great content, right up the alley of the Las Vegas Little Black Book. Be sure to check their prices for hotel rooms when shopping for your next vacation.

Click Here for the Story from
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Broadway Musicals 
6/19/06, 5:59 AM
The media is all over the new broadway musicals in Vegas. Since they get such great media attention, when they fail, it becomes a big deal. I don't think that the failure of these ventures is that significant. First, shows start up and fail all the time in Vegas. Just because they are part of the broadway trend, it does not mean that they are more imporant than the other shows. Second, Broadway shows even fail on Broadway, it is a tough business model.

So, just because Broadway shows are not successful in Vegas, it does not mean that Vegas is going into a down trend. It just means that musicals don't fit into the type of entertainment that vacationers are looking for in their Vegas Experience.
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The Plans for the New Frontier 
6/17/06, 6:38 AM

The New Frontier is one of my favorite places to gamble. Phil Ruffin, the owner, has announced plans for the resort, to be named Montreux. The opening is slated as early 2009, which means the New Frontier should be closed down and imploded soon. I will miss it.

While I am skeptical about other projects on the Strip, I believe the Phil will follow through with the development.

With the Wynn and Venetian expansions, the mid-north corridor of the Las Vegas Strip may soon become the new epicenter of action.

Click Here for the Story from Forbes Magazine

Click Here for the Story from the Las Vegas Sun
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The Economics of Future Vegas Growth 
6/15/06, 6:42 PM

The article in the LVRJ states that the future of Las Vegas will be more dependent upon the success of the overall US economy. The reason: the increase in the inventory of upscale rooms.

Three Risks for the Future of Vegas Development were listed:

- High-end residential development is dependent upon the real estate cycle, both for pre-selling and financing.

- Construction costs continue to escalate in Las Vegas and could result in presale prices insufficient to cover development costs.

- The lending environment for single-site development projects by new entrants on the Las Vegas Strip seems to be becoming less attractive due to higher interest rates and the uncertainty regarding consumer spending

Let's Calculate:

According to the chart above the average two night trip for a couple to go to Vegas would be:

$2,337 not including travel and airfare.

While this seems high to me for the "average visitor" (the gambling number is skewed because of big gamblers), is any other travel destination much different?

Click Here for the Full Story from the LVRJ
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Why Vegas Loves a Weak US Dollar 
6/14/06, 6:19 AM
There is one other factor that has really helped Vegas in the past 5 years: a weak US dollar. If any of you have traveled to Europe lately you know what I mean. A US dollar does not get you much.

A weak US dollar helps Vegas in two ways:

- Helps Vegas build international tourism because the vacation is so cheap for a foreign visitor.
- Makes US tourists consider not traveling oversees - instead staying domestic for their vacations.
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Does anyone go to Laughlin anymore? 
6/13/06, 9:00 PM

What is the future of Laughlin? With gas pricing rising and no large airport, Laughlin lives and dies by drive-in business. There have been a couple of casino purchases in the last year, but no major improvements or renovations. While Vegas has huge convention business and massive marketing dollars to attract visitors, Laughlin is going into a downward sprial. The less people staying there, the less Lauglin has to spend to attract guests. Thus, less people visit in the future.

Visitor Reports for April 2006

- Las Vegas April 2005 visitor count was 3.3 million, up 0.3 percent from April 2005.

- Laughlin's 308,797 April visitor count was off 12.9 percent from 2005. Year-to-date, the tally had slipped by 12.3 percent.

- Mesquite reported 144,262 April visitors, down 3.7 percent. Year-to-date, its count was 6.3 percent less.

Click Here for the Stort from the LVRJ
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