February 22, 2008
- Remember the days when Las Vegas used to be something of a
Disney World? All that super-sized artifice and hidden
treasure. Okay, so maybe it's still got that, but you have
to admit that the landscape of Las Vegas has undergone some
drastic changes over the years. And it will most certainly
continue to change. As condo and residential development
reaches an all-time high, the image of Las Vegas is becoming
more tolerable and real.
It appears that Las Vegas is finally getting the picture that people are
smarter than originally thought. Before, the strategy was to shove countless
opportunities to gamble in the casino down everybody's throat. Slot machines
waiting around every corner, no clocks, weird patterned rugs, comps...you know
the deal. These days, however, casino resorts are trying to get people to spend
more money on shopping and dining. You know, something they know they will
actually get a return on, whether it be a full belly or a new pair of shoes.
Take, for instance, the Palazzo, which is fronted by the premiere New York
based department store Barney's. Not only do sidewalk passerby's on the Strip
have direct access to Barney's, those who venture into the Palazzo and casino
floor can hit up Barney's from just about every angle.
High-end, unusual stores and walking jackpots has thus far proven to be a
successful combination. Other Strip casinos are doing the same, such as the
megalithic MGM Casinos. No doubt you've probably heard of MGM's City Center,
which is currently under construction. Rather than fronting the nearly $8
billion project with grandiose waterfalls, statues and Bengal tigers, the Strip
epicenter will feature more high-end stores accessible directly from the
sidewalk. An outdoor mall if you will, taking a step inside the city within a
city, visitors will have a horde of dining options, more shopping and that one
other thing - casino gambling.
There's no doubt Las Vegas is changing. With more tourists sojourning to the
Strip for the spas, desert sun and nightlife, casino gambling is not just what
it used to be. Sure, it will always be the lifeline of Vegas. But unless the
blood is flowing to the lungs and brain, there's no life at all. Just take a
look at Freemont Street. If it gets the entertainment, shopping and nightlife
the Strip had, you can bet it will be on the map once again.
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