Friday, January 07, 2011

Visitation back to 2006 Levels?

According to McCarran airport officials, a record 14,495 taxis were loaded on Wednesday, January 5th. This broke the previous record of 13,927, which was set on January 4th, 2006. Both records coincided with the Consumer Electronics Show.

While one day of taxi data is a very small sample size, it has to say something that the record was broken. 2006 was the heyday of Las Vegas boom time, and the fact that we are now approaching these numbers (if even for only one day) shows that visitation is fairly robust.

Some people would argue that visitation has always been strong. Even in the worst of the recession there were many people in Las Vegas, but they were spending less money. This is true, but I have a feeling that is about to change. I think visitation numbers are going to be pretty strong in 2011 and room rates are quietly going up.

Source: Las Vegas Sun.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Alex Restaurant at Wynn Closing

In another sign that Las Vegas visitors might be moving away from high end dining in favor of more casual fare, Alex restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas will be closing after dinner on January 15th.

Alex was a Michelin two-star restaurant and was generally regarded as one of the top high end restaurants in Las Vegas.

Chef Alex Stratta will continue to operate "Stratta" his other restaurant at Wynn. Stratta is a more casual, Italian restaurant.

The economy seems to be improving, but many restaurants are still struggling. Last year Hubert Keller's french restaurant Fleur de Lys closed and recently re-opened as a scaled down tapas restaurant. Could other top restaurants like Guy Savoy at Caesars and Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand be in jeopardy?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Gold ATM at Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget is a fitting name for the first hotel in Las Vegas to install an ATM machine that dispenses gold instead of cash.

The Gold to Go machine will dispense gold coins and bars ranging from 1-250 grams. Prices are adjusted on a minute by minute basis to reflect current market prices, and then marked up by about 5%. By my calculations one gram should currently run about $50. A gram isn't very big though (finger nail size) so you'll probably want to go with a full ounce, priced at about $1500.

I think this is a pretty sweet concept. Las Vegas has some great money blowing options for those lucky enough to leave the casino ahead, but this one might actually give you a return on your investment.

For more information check out Gold to Go.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Star Power at Marquee Grand Opening

Marquee, the new club at The Cosmopolitan opened with a huge New Year's Eve party this past weekend.

So many celebrities were at the club that it will be hard to list them all but here's a sampling of the bigger names at the party:

50 Cent
Alex Rodriguez
Aziz Ansari
Blake Lively
Cameron Diaz
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin
Emmanuelle Chriqui
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Forest Whitaker
Gwyneth Paltrow
Jennifer Lopez
John Mayer
Kanye West
Kirsten Dunst
Marc Anthony
Mark Wahlberg

Along with this list, there were many, many more lesser known celebrities at the grand opening.

It looks like Marquee will quickly become a very hot spot in Las Vegas. I don't know that much about the nightclub scene but I think the general consensus is that XS at Encore is the hottest club in town. I wonder if Marquee can challenge XS for that top spot?