Losing Las Vegas?

There are many things in Las Vegas that are gone but not forgotten. Those things were often signature elements of the Las Vegas experience. Veteran observer Ira David Sternberg has thoughts about how to replace them.

Losing Las Vegas?

Las Vegas has a fascinating history, but what about the future?

Are we losing our pizzazz? Will there be no more (neon) brightness in our future? Are we turning into another typical American city? Can we ever imagine our city as just ordinary?

We’ve been locked down for a year, which has given us ample time to contemplate the future. Now that things are loosening up and looking up, let’s look at what’s disappeared from Las Vegas and how we can steer our own gaming industry down the new road ahead.

First, let’s look at what we lost:

  • The mob is gone (but on display at the Mob Museum).
  • The neon is mostly gone (but on display at the Neon Museum).
  • The showgirls are gone (but on display at the Nevada State Museum and Vegas Golden Knight games).
  • Free parking is mostly gone.
  • Cigarette girls are gone.
  • Shrimp cocktails (for a decent price) are gone.
  • Comps feel like they’re gone.

Let’s see what we can do to adapt and keep our city from the abyss of ordinariness and our resorts from inertia. Let’s get creative and take what’s left of Las Vegas to another level. Here are tips to bring some energy to the Las Vegas gaming industry:

  • Send buffet trucks to Las Vegas neighborhoods. It will remind residents of their favorite casinos and offer them something that they generally can’t get anymore.
  • Send casino entertainers door-to-door to perform…with masks, of course. While it’s an expensive way of presenting performers, they need the work.
  • Offer free transportation to the Strip for locals. They’ll save parking/valet fees and spend that money in the casino anyway.
  • Show some value to casino customers by bringing back slots that drop actual coins. It would be a little bit of old Vegas, complete with blackened fingers and hand wipes, and they will love you for it.
  • Bring back coupons! Everybody loves a bargain. Go old school and bring back the coupon book!
  • Diversify your property theme to reach more customers. For example, Circus Circus’s Spa could offer a massage from a clown.
  • Utilize unused hotel convention space for larger-than-life escape rooms. Set up bars to sell drinks as guests work up a thirst trying to get out of the room.
  • Build a nuclear-themed resort. Hand out Geiger counters to guests at registration, creating a green glow lighting effect in the casino.
  • Bring back the showgirl, a true Las Vegas icon. You don’t need a new production show. Just have them parade through the casino. No cover charge and cheap thrills.
  • Make sure your celebrity chefs actually appear at their restaurants. Never mind. Won’t happen.

These are just some suggestions for recreating the magic of Las Vegas in a new challenging era. Can we do it? The odds are we can.

Even without showgirls.

Articles by Author: Ira David Sternberg

Ira David Sternberg is host of “Talk About Las Vegas With Ira,” a weekly podcast that features engaging conversations with celebrities, entertainers, writers, and personalities. He is a veteran casino publicist with executive experience at the Tropicana and Las Vegas Hilton, as well as a writer and broadcaster. Listen to Ira’s weekly shows at https://talkaboutlasvegas.com. He can be reached at isternberg@cox.net