The Jedi first moved to Las Vegas in 2013. We didn't have a car. We would take the bus to the strip and hang out all day. There was free food & cheap drinks. It was fun. We could sit for hours and watch the people. We had no money and we were never asked to "move along." We were "riff-raff" but we could see that Vegas had an upscale demographic because we often felt underdressed. But after walking the Strip on Saturday night, it was obvious that the Las Vegas demographic has changed to a "San Padre Island" crowd. If you are not from Texas, then find someone who is. They will explain what that means. .
Jedi Rich remembers in the early 2000s inviting his closest friends at the time (Dan Nieder & Gregory Hedges) to meet Uncle Ralph (who worked for Sheldon at the Venetian). Jedi Rich was attending his Cousin Carlos' wedding in 2003. Uncle Ralph comped a full weekend room rates for Dan & Gregory & their dates. Back then, the Venetian was established to keep out the Vegas "riff-raff. They had a dress code just to walk in. They had no comps unless you were someone special. There wasn't a table with less than $10 min bets. Back then, many casinos were still offering $2 craps. The Venetian had lifted
Las Vegas' status from a tramp town to attract the highest International ballers from around the globe. Vegas had abandoned the "Leaving Las Vegas" imagery and had become "high class" again.
Today, the walk down the strip reveals that these same casinos are having to accommodate the same "riff-raff" they were hoping to exclude. The problem? $49 room rates & restaurant Groupons will attract the cheapest customers that most establishments hope to minimize.
The solution? Vegas will need a complete re-brand. No more slogans. And please, no more martyrdom for Vegas.
Bottom line: The riff-raff will scare off your big fish & International players.
Jedi Rich Lightowler changed his life after 9/11 to follow his passion for modeling, art, photography, music, video and filmmaking.
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*NOTICE: Ideas and opinions are meant to provoke and initiate conversation