Sunday, June 29, 2008

Government "Wisdom!"

The Las Vegas Sun is reporting that Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons wants to tax food comps. He claims it would close a $150 million "loophole." This is despite his pledge of "no new taxes." I can only assume Gov. Gibbons has talked with his compatriot in the Sacramento, Arnie Schwarzenegger, as they both are No New Tax guys except they are both all for "fees, closing loopholes and revenue enhancements."

This "wisdom" is no different than the grips I have with the management over at the Venetian (See my June 21st Rant below.) When things are tough, you reduce taxes (or margins) not increase them! You have to be more lean and nimble not fatter and more bloated. So instead of giving us a reason to come to Vegas, the brilliant folks in Carson City just give the 35 million people in California more reason to gamble at the local Indian casino!

One more thing that needs to be noted here... Gov. Gibbons also said "“I want them (the Legislature) to close that loop so that we don’t get ourselves in a further problem dealing with it down the road.” Anyone who has ever watched a political mind at work know exactly what this means... Instead of closing a "loophole" the Governor is just opening up the floodgates. Does anyone really believe that once government taxes food comps that free rooms, shows and drinks are not far behind. Once they gets their fingers on a tax, they never let go just look for more ways to feed the ever growing beast. Just pathetic!!!

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Deals are Coming!!!

In the past 24 hours alone, there have been quite a few signs that the casino operators have finally come to grip with reality and the discounts are starting to flow. Room rates are down considerably for the holiday weekend and that trend seems to be continuing into the summer.

A report from the JP Morgan Gaming analyst shows that rates for the upcoming July 4th holiday are down an average of 18% over last year with Caesars taking the biggest hit, down 42%. It is the 13th consectutive week of declining room rates. Amazingly, Planet Hollywood's rates are actually up 18%. Apparently they are very proud of a property that has no real draw whatsoever.

Further anecdotal evidence of better deals ahead... In the past day; I have received email offers from TI starting at $76 with all sorts of goodies thrown in. New York New York is "Taking 20% Off!" according to their offer and Luxor is offering $50 in gas credit for making the drive to Vegas. I also have been looking at rates for my next trip in July to Mandalay Bay. Last month, it was $279 a night and this morning I got an email for $229.

It's about time these places have woken up and smelled the recession. The decline at Caesars, in particular, doesn't surprise me since in the past 2 years or so they have regularly charging over $300 a night on weekends. That is just absolute insanity even in good times. The arrogence of Planet Hollywood to raise rates is just stunning. Yet another reason to avoid that place like the plague. With management running the joint like this, how long before it follows in the Aladdin's footsteps to bankruptcy?

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