Tag Archives: economy

Cheap Beer Buzz Comes to Las Vegas

Nothing beats sweltering 110-degree days in Las Vegas and chugging down cold suds.  7-Eleven is banking on it.  The third largest beer retailer is rolling out their store-brand beer at a budget price- but, they say, with a premium taste. 

The Game Day beer launch, happening this month at 7-Eleven stores nationwide, takes advantage of the current economic downturn, hoping a long, cold one is the elixir for sagging beer sales. 

Game Day beer follows the introduction of the Yosemite Road private-label wines in 7-Elevens last year. 

Game Day comes in two varieties. Game Day Light is 3.9 percent alcohol by volume and 110 calories per 12 ounces. Game Day Ice is 5.5 percent alcohol and 155 calories. The price is between $6.99 and $8.99 for a 12-pack, depending on local taxes and distribution costs, and 24-ounce singles are available for between $1.49 and $1.89. 

The beer is being made by the 150-year-old City Brewery in La Crosse, Wis., one of the country’s largest contract brewers.

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Men’s Journal Names Las Vegas on “Best Places to Live” List

Las Vegas now has a spot in Men’s Journal’s “Best Places to Live 2010” list, but, sadly, there’s a pock mark on the distinction:  The honor is largely attributed to the foreclosure crisis that has cost thousands of people their homes. 

“Buy Someone Else’s Dream House,” the headline proclaims before giving a brief description of the city’s housing woes. 

 “The good news?” the magazine reads, “You can get a recently built house in a great area with mountain biking, climbing and a bit of nightlife nearby, for $100 per square foot.” 

It’s true, record foreclosures — Nevada led the nation in March and was high on the foreclosure list for many months — have created a small housing boom, as thousands are taking advantage of low prices and the soon-to-expire federal tax credit.

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Las Vegas Tapped for World Travel and Tourism Summit

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has selected Las Vegas as the host city for its 2011 Global Travel & Tourism Summit, following an endorsement from local tourism organizations. Earlier the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) had voted to invest $1.5 million in the event, which is scheduled for May, 2011.

With heads of industry and government from around the world expected, the Aria Resort & Casino has been selected to host the prestigious event.

WTTC chief executive Jean-Claude Baumgarten told the Associated Press recently the group had selected Las Vegas in part because the city is symbolic of tourism in the United States.

“We cannot choose a better place than Las Vegas,” Mr Baumgarten explained. “The whole economy, all of what we are seeing, all the impacts of travel and tourism on the economy, on jobs, on the future and investment make Las Vegas a better choice.”

Approximately 244,000 people are employed in the leisure and hospitality industry in Las Vegas – more than 30 per cent of Las Vegas’ total work force – according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

The so-called Sin City is famous for gambling as much as tourism.

This year’s WTTC summit is scheduled to begin in Beijing, China on May 25th.

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Jay-Z, Beyonce, Champagne & Dining Mix to Revive Slumping Las Vegas

Las Vegas is definitely showing signs of perking up and bouncing back if popping champagne corks and dining on haute cuisine is any indication. 

What city needs Big Brother and trillion-dollar bailouts when you’re lucky enough just to have Jay-Z and wife, Beyonce, grace your presence?

Jay-Z and Beyonce battled preganancy rumors like true rock stars last weekend — by hitting up Las Vegas with gusto. After Jigga rocked out at the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms alongside Young Jeezy and Trey Songz, he joined B at the hotel’s Mint High Roller gaming lounge around 4 a.m. 

Music mogul Jay-Z was also celebrity host and a big part of the crowd draw at Tao nightclub last Saturday night with Beyoncé. 

A colossal 3.9-gallon bottle of Ace of Spades champagne is now for sale at the Tao nightclub in the Venetian for $100,000, thanks to the big price boost that comes with Jay-Z’s autograph on the bottle Saturday. 

The bottle, known as a Nebuchadnezzar in the bottle family – only two in the world -holds five times the amount of bubbly that comes in a double magnum, but is only half of the king of champagne bottles, the 30-liter Melchizedek. 

Jay-Z featured the champagne in his 2006 video “Show Me What You Got” after Cristal boss Frédéric Rouzaud made some disparaging remarks about the music mogul’s fondness for Cristal. Jay-Z led a boycott of Cristal and switched his allegiance. 

The mega-club Tao, which opened in September, 2005, announced it had a monster night that didn’t include champagne imbibing last Saturday– a record 1,400 dinner covers on the restaurant side and more than 7,000 people going through the nightclub, another record. 

Then, further down the Strip at CityCenter, the Light Group nightclub Haze at Aria was the scene of an epic champagne-buying spree last Saturday night. A photo of the high roller’s receipt for $182,000-plus turned up on an Aria casino host’s Twitter site. 

According to the casino host, the big spender ordered super-sized bottles: one each of Cristal, Moet Chandon, Dom Perignon and an unidentified brand of vodka. 

He left a $30,000 tip on top of the automatic 20 percent gratuity. 

The man made the purchase after asking for an entire section of the nightclub. Told he would have to “buy big” for that to happen, he ordered the four bottles, which appear much larger than magnums.  A magnum holds two bottles, a Jeroboam four bottles and a Methuselah eight bottles.

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Got a Body to Die For? Get Hired in Las Vegas for Pool Parties!

Maybe you’ve noticed the recent flurry of full-page ads for Las Vegas jobs that started popping up in publications over the past few weeks. This is unusual: Most employers, even in Las Vegas, don’t take out full-page glossy ads to fill vacancies- particularly in this choking economy.  But this is a particular and peculiar niche of employment opportunity: The big casinos are hiring for their pools and “daylife” parties, cocktail servers, bartenders, porters, bussers, bar backs, security officers, runners, VIP hosts and amenities girls. Oh, and lifeguards, too. 

The new Wynn’s Encore Beach Club and Surrender nightclub alone will fill 400 positions. More than 1,500 applied for the 160 positions at the Hard Rock’s two pools. With the Las Vegas unemployment rate at 13.1 percent, this is just a drop in the ocean, of course. But it’s something. And when the four-month Spring Break known as pool season begins March 12 at MGM Grand’s Wet Republic 53,000-square-foot “ultrapool,” it will bring a much-needed splash of cash into the local economy. Pool parties = liquidity. 

Several new cement ponds have been added to our pool of pools: In addition to the $100 million Encore aquatic complex, this season sees the debut of the Liquid pool party at Aria and the Lavo party at Palazzo. These join the other luxe swimmin’ holes, including the venerable Rehab party at the Hard Rock, Relapse at the Flamingo, Tao Beach at the Venetian, Voodoo Beach at Rio, Venus Pool Club at Caesars Palace, Bare at Mirage, Day Dream at M, and Ditch Fridays at the Palms. 

The hiring process for these parties is called “casting,” and applicants are instructed to “bring your swimsuit for your audition photo.” In other words, these jobs aren’t available to every body—the beauty bar is set pretty high. But those of us who wouldn’t dare to bare it at these parties—even as a guest—can take cold comfort in the fact that pool-season employment will keep a few thousand dangerously pretty people off the streets.

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Nevada’s $6.8 Billion Casino Loss in ’09 the Largest Ever

As a result of declining gaming revenues, reductions in hotel rates and reduced consumer spending, Nevada’s highest-grossing casinos generated a net loss of almost $6.8 billion in fiscal year 2009- the largest ever for Nevada. 

The huge loss resulted from a total revenue of more than $22 billion including money spent by customers on gaming, hotel rooms, food, beverage and other attractions.

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Free Food for Starving Las Vegas Residents that Pay Their Rent on Time

It’s seen prominently throughout Siegel Suites’ advertising in Las Vegas: “Live Here. Eat Free.” The free-food concept is simple. Daily food vouchers for a meal at the Golden Grill at downtown’s Gold Spike—which Siegel Suites owns—are given to tenants who pay their rent on time. Stay a week and it’s five vouchers; two weeks, 10.

Siegel Suites has 16 Las Vegas locations and gives away a whopping 15,000 free food vouchers a month. 

The program will also soon expand to the Barcelona hotel-casino, one of Siegel’s recent acquisitions, when that site’s restaurant is remodeled later this year.

As altruistic as free food may sound, it’s still a solid marketing tactic. Siegel Suites residents are introduced to a Siegel gaming property via the token hot dog or grilled cheese sandwich plate. Of course, giving away food and drink to lure in gamblers is as Vegas as neon. And it’s just one of many ideas that owner Stephen Siegel likely has for putting bodies in front of slots at the Gold Spike.

Siegel and his investors have put some serious cash into the Gold Spike, about $5 million and counting. It’s an effort that seems to have gone beyond a labor of love to more of a labor of, well, labor. Underneath every decayed layer peeled back at the old property, Siegel admits, lies another layer that could eat up more time and money.

The trials of renovating an old property have pushed back the project’s completion about six months, to the first quarter of this year.

The Golden Grill has been updated with a modern-diner look. The menu is standard American-grill fare: burgers, wraps and a $4.99 prime rib. But the Siegel Suites vouchers are tied to a limited menu tucked between salt and pepper shakers and sugar packets. The menu has a single offering for each day. Items tend to be less exciting—chicken fingers, BLTs and hot dogs to grilled cheese sandwiches and spaghetti with marinara—but still perhaps worth the price of a bus fare.

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