Some things do get your attention. For example, a body inside a barrel was found on the newly exposed bed of Lake Mead, just outside Las Vegas. That’s actually not the big news. Forget the possible mob connection. More importantly, it’s clear a drought has depleted one of the largest U.S. reservoirs.
While more bodies could still be found (more publicity for the Mob Museum?), the drought itself brings real challenges to Las Vegas. What happens when there is less and less water flowing into the valley? Las Vegas will step up and become inventive in its marketing and operations—turning potential disasters into new experiences.
Here’s what could happen when the apparent solutions hit the wall (or the Dam). Let’s start with Lake Mead itself, considered part of the Las Vegas experience, especially for the international market. First, it’s time to give up boating, swimming and water skiing. Second, start a business that rents ATVs for visitors to drive on the bottom of Lake Mead. Other Lake Mead ideas: Want to find more bodies? Organize a scavenger hunt. Tired of hiking? Take a walking tour of the lakebed.
But what about the Strip itself? What changes can the drought inspire in resort executives? They would need to dive into the problem.
• An enterprising beverage director could have all bars in the resort only offer dry martinis.
• Why not rebrand an existing resort as the Drought Hotel and Casino? Imagine the copy on the brightly lit reader board: “Bring your own water.” (or the “D” hotel can slap “rought” stickers to their name).
• A smart comedy club owner could feature comedians with a dry sense of humor.
• The Venetian could add wheels to their gondolas.
• The Manneken Pis statue at The D would cease functioning (would the property need to have a urologist on standby?).
• The Four Seasons Hotel would become The Three Seasons Hotel, eliminating summer until Las Vegas sees rain again.
• Treasure Island markets a search for treasure, which turns out to be a case of water.
• Mandalay Bay becomes Mandalay Stream.
• The Mirage—enough said.
• Every resort will have a promotional tie-in with Canada Dry.
• The Vegas Golden Knights learn to skate on concrete and join a Roller Derby league.
These suggestions, of course, are not a literal exercise. Las Vegas will, no doubt, survive and prosper during the drought because of its creativity.
If not, you can say I’m all wet.