Vegas is hilarious to me. I think it is pretty awesome that people come from all over the world to experience all of the different things Vegas has to offer. I was in Vegas last weekend visiting friends and doing some due diligence on a few casino stocks I own (hat tip J and Z) and I noticed some items worth sharing:
1.) Cab drivers are giving stock tips again? I was surprised to be questioned by my cab driver why I owned WYNN (traded on Nasdaq) when the better play, in his expert opinion, was the WYNN Macau stock that trades in Hong Kong (ticker: 1128.hk). When cab drivers are giving away investment tips I tend to get nervous.
2.) Vegas is still hurting. Steve Wynn said things will not get much worse but you can tell they are reaching to squeeze every ounce from the public. I was annoyed to find out that I could not get Wi-Fi in my room unless I paid the resort fee of $30 a day. That was not as bad as the $1.50 extra charge for bleu cheese olives in my martini. Lastly, table service at the club must be down a good amount. I got far too many cordial texts from the VIP guy at the WYNN asking me when will I arrive at the club. Back in the bull market, they used to drop your reservation if you did not show by midnight. Now they text you until 2 a.m. begging for your business.
3.) People are really serious about risks from the 'Death Ray' at the new Vdara hotel. If you are not familiar, the sun's reflection off the south face of the hotel is so strong that "if you're at the hotel's swimming pool at the wrong time of day -- it can singe your hair and melt your plastic drink cups and shopping bags." Check out one artist's rendering of the giant sized "ant and the microscope" catastrophe at the Vdara below. This is pure genius:
4.) The slot machine industry is mocking its own customers by putting new ridiculous games on casino floors. I came across a slot machine at the Palazzo that I had to take a quick snap of. Below, I compare a traditional slot machine (on the left) to one of the new "win on multiple lines" games (on the right). Are you kidding me? It is bad enough that people don't have to use the hand crank anymore but now they get to follow not 1 or 2 more lines....but 100 lines!
Here's to the people that plug into slot machines until they have to be woken by security...without you gentle folks, the casino's would be forced to charge Angelo Mozilo and the other sunbathers extra, when exposing them to magnified gamma rays like those at the Vdara.