Las Vegas Breaks Losing Streak





Publisher Anthony Curtis’ weekly nationally syndicated column.

January 13, 2010

Ending one of the longest losing streaks Las Vegas has ever had to deal with, the year-over-year gambling win finally showed a gain in the most recent reporting month. Casinos throughout Nevada registered a 4.4% uptick in November after 22 consecutive months of declines. The increase was 8.3% on the Las Vegas Strip. The declines represent a reduction in win total, not losses for the casinos. However, the Las Vegas economy has, for the past 20 years, been predicated on yearly increases in revenue, which did not materialize during “the streak.” Supporting the gambling-win numbers is a corresponding increase in visitation, which has also been rising over the past three months.

New Deal on Shrimp: The other shoe has finally dropped on Las Vegas’ best shrimp cocktail deal at the Golden Gate. Formerly a bargain mainstay at 99¢, the Gate raised the price to $1.99 last year, but offered the old price to customers who showed the casino’s players-club card. That loophole has now been closed and everyone must pay $1.99. Is it still the best shrimp-cocktail deal in town? Yes, though the gap has been narrowed.

Bus Fares Rise: Bus fares are also up. Single rides on and off the Strip have increased by 25¢ to $2, day passes by $1 to $5, and 30-day passes by $5 to $30.

Ride Detailed: The Stratosphere’s lock on the Vegas thrill-ride market will tighten in April with the debut of “Skyjump.” The newest addition to its tower-top inventory will drop riders 855 feet at a speed of up to 40 mph, thanks to a patented “descender machine” and harnessed jump-suit. The ride will be priced at $100.

Question: I see that there’s a new restaurant at the Plaza called Firefly. Is it the same as the good tapas restaurant on Paradise east of the Strip?

Answer: Yes—same owners and menu. Firefly is a long-time locals favorite, Now, in its second location, you can eat its tasty creations while taking in the excellent view of the Fremont Street Experience from its glass-encased dining room.

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