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Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.

By Andrew Pollack on 07/24/2009 at 02:23 PM EDT

I'm in Las Vegas for a Penumbra meeting this week. We're at the NYNY hotel and casino, which is very interesting on the outside, and to its credit is creatively and attractively designed in the casino area. Vegas is what it is though. A giant machine designed to suck as much cash as possible from the vast hoards of occasional middle class vacationers. Chief among its tactics is offering the illusion of luxury and opulence when in fact there is very little real luxury to be had.

The real win in marketing Vegas has been in selling the definition of luxury and wealth as being one giant club scene all the time (e.g. "Entourage" -- though it started back with the "Rat Pack"). Vegas lets every trailer park living mid 20 year old girl spend a weekend dressed up like a James Bond girl drinking herself silly to a never ending club beat -- and has her believing that this is what luxury is all about. I keep thinking it has to crash at some point, but I always underestimate the sheer number of these people willing to buy in.

I'm in a hotel room that's called a "Spa Suite" -- an upgraded room which features a ridiculous 4 person hot tub as part of the living space -- on the 34th floor. Sounds nice, right? This "upgraded" room is designed to give the appearance of luxury. What's the reality?

The room is comfortable but dated - with the furnishings you'd find in any decent airport business hotel. Sure, there are cut stone tile floors in the bathroom -- but they're just cheap, poorly matched 12 inch squares available in the bargain area at any home store. They're cheap to maintain for the hotel, too. The room has no coffee maker, no premium channels or extended cable channels on the TV -- both of which you'll find in almost any cheap business hotel anywhere in the world. Good TV, Coffee, comfortable work desks -- these are things that will encourage to enjoy and spend time in your room. These places don't want you to do that. You want coffee? Come to the casino floor and get some. You want entertainment, come spent a couple of hundred bucks for a 2 hour show. There's pay per view of course, and room service, and anything else you could ever want to pay for.

What's the result? The result is clearly visible at 2am with broke, drunk people stumble back to their rooms. The result is me having to call security at 3am because the couple next door decided to escalate their yelling match until the guy started throwing punches at his wife. (That's not something I'm willing to stand by and let happen, but calling security is better than knocking on the door myself, because that tends to escalate the problem). The result is overwhelmed, drained, used up people drifting home as soon as their value to this place has been completely sucked dry.

Vegas isn't luxury. It's a cheap and cheezy imitation of luxury. I can't wait to go home.


There are  - loading -  comments....

re: Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.By Declan Lynch on 07/24/2009 at 04:11 PM EDT
The lack of coffee pots in the room is not unique to NYNY, none of the hotels
in Vegas have coffee pots in the rooms.

Apart from the reasons you have given I have been told that it was a cost
cutting measure as housekeeping would not have to clean them.

Last time we were in Vegas we brought our own one mug travel brewer.
re: Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.By Dan Sickles on 07/24/2009 at 04:26 PM EDT
Real luxury can be had, but it's no less expensive than elsewhere and it's
still Vegas. I would recommend to stay off the strip but the strip attractions
are why most people come here.
re: Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.By Devin Olson on 07/24/2009 at 04:31 PM EDT
My last time in Vegas was the last (final) Lotus Advisor Conference out at JW
Mariott. The "usual suspects" were all there as well.

I haven't gone back, and aside from an onsite customer engagement, I do not
plan to ever return.

Truth be told, there is one (and only one) thing I miss about Vegas: The
Peppermill restaurant on Las Vegas Bvd (between the Stardust and the Riviera)
-quite possibly my favorite coffee shop in the entire world.
re: Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.By Dan Sickles on 07/24/2009 at 04:41 PM EDT
I miss the Advisor conferences here. We used to crash the reception party.
re: Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.By Dan Sickles on 07/24/2009 at 04:43 PM EDT
the Statrdust is no more.
re: Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.By Nathan T. Freeman on 07/24/2009 at 11:11 PM EDT
LOL Do I reveal too much when I say "bring on the hotel hookers!????"

Okay... I exaggerate. But I quite enjoyed the over-the-top allure of Vegas.
Then again, I never had a domestic dispute in the next room.

I would never imagine Andrew feeling luxurious in Las Vegas. That says as much
about Andrew as it does about Vegas. ;-)
re: Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.By Devin Olson on 07/28/2009 at 01:31 PM EDT
"Firetrucks and Guns and Hookers" -my kind of party ;-)
re: Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.By Devin Olson on 07/28/2009 at 01:33 PM EDT
fudged the quote. should have been "Let's have a party with chicks and guns
and fire trucks and hookers and drugs and booze!"
re: Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.By Nathan T. Freeman on 07/24/2009 at 11:12 PM EDT
Sidenote: I can't help relating the title of this article to the IT industry...

Am I being obtuse?
re: Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.By Bob Balaban on 07/25/2009 at 07:31 AM EDT
I also dislike Vegas, mostly. I'm not into the gambling, and I detest being
surrounded by cigarette smoke.

However, there is one thing I do enjoy about Vegas whenI have to be there
anyway: the restaurants. There is GREAT food to be had in Las Vegas. The best
stuff is expensive, but less so than in NY or LA or London, and you can get
same-day reservations at most places.
re: Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.By Timothy Briley on 07/26/2009 at 09:00 PM EDT
Agreed about the gambling and the smoke, not about the restaurants. I think
they are overpriced even compared to other big cities.

Although I don't go to many conferences I went to as many as I could. I
wouldn't even consider a conference if it was in Vegas.

The one time I was there, not only were they trying to get you out of the room,
they didn't even want you at the pool. I was at the pool at Treasure Island at
6PM on a Saturday night. The area had a few hundred people in it, mainly
families. Then the whistle sounded and the staff announced "Everybody Out
Immediately". I half expected automatic weapon fire to speed up the stragglers.
It wouldn't hurt my feelings to see it return to the desert.
re: Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.By daddys little girl on 07/27/2009 at 10:53 AM EDT
hi dad
re: Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.By Matt Cook on 07/27/2009 at 11:39 AM EDT
My thoughts on Las Vegas.

http://planetlotus.org/blogs/mjcookstl/2006/03/09/domino-7-upgrade-seminar-las-v
egas/
re: Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.By Danny Lawrence on 07/27/2009 at 01:50 PM EDT
Gee Andrew, tell us how you really feel!

Seriously tho Vegas is what it is, the wife and I enjoy the times we spend
there. But I'd hate being there without her even if I were attending a
conference.

BTW there are some no Smoking casino areas in Vegas, at least in some of the
Race Books (where I spend my time gambling).


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