April 17, 2009

It's Vegas, Baby, And Your Nose Knows

I've spent the last few days at a business meeting in my least favorite place on Earth -- Las Vegas. Some observations:
  • Those who think advertising is dead should come here and see the future. Every square inch is covered in promotional material.
  • The average tourist in Las Vegas is a 60-year-old woman, 30 pounds overweight, wearing a tank top.
  • Las Vegas has a bad version of every good restaurant in America.
  • There are two types of gambling. The first type is real gambling which is fair, unfixed, and gives you as good a chance to win as anyone -- like a game of poker. The second type is not really gambling at all -- it is fixed, unfair, and you have little to no chance of winning. Casino gambling is the second kind. The phenomenon I find fascinating is that all the rubes who come to piss their money away prefer to do it in the most extravagant environments, as if they're getting more value if they're throwing away their salary beneath a faux crystal chandelier.
  • In Las Vegas there is no white space.
  • Nobody not looking for a tip is smiling.
  • Only in Las Vegas: a drunken dwarf walking arm-in-arm with two hookers.
  • Unlike 99% of marketers, the hotels and casinos here understand their heavy users. I'm staying at a large hotel and every elevator you step into is playing baby boomer hits. Contrast that with the clueless NBA that markets to their players. The average season ticket holder is a 50-year-old fat-ass white guy and the NBA blasts hip hop music all night.
  • What happens in Arkansas stays in Las Vegas.
  • No matter how much glitz and cheesy opulence they try to build in, your nose tells you the truth. Every hotel and every casino has the cigaret-induced smell of a low dive in Brooklyn.

...to readers who have emailed me recently. I'm traveling and might not be able to return emails till late next week.

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