Gaya Herrington is KPMG's Sustainability and Dynamic System Analyst Lead. Gaya says a best selling book written by an
MIT think-tank in 1972 that predicts the collapse of civilization is right on schedule. She compared the models they used with the actual data over the past 50 years. She discovered that the book's model for economic collapse are right on target.
The book was called Limits to Growth. The book was written by a team of MIT scientists. The team developed the system dynamics model which identified several unavoidable "limits to growth (LtG)" meaning that society could not continue to expand economically at the same fast pace forever. Industry cannot expect to grow every year given these 10 key variables:
Gaya found the current data lines up with two scenarios known as the 'Business-as-Usual' (BAU2) and the 'Comprehensive-Technology' model. Both models show that industrial output will begin to slow down and then halt in the next 10 years or so. That does not mean humanity will cause to exist. What will happen is economic and industrial growth will continue to decline which will hurt food production and standards of living.
Over the net decade, we will decide the fate of human civilization. There is still time to make a truly sustainable civilization given the technology we have on hand.
A bomb scare at the World Trade Center site evacuated several portions as a person was suspiciously dropping packages with explosives. Police received multiple calls that a man was seen “live-dropping” suspicious packages possibly filled with explosives. The man fled the scene but was later apprehended.
Most likely the man was mentally ill or disturbed. Police apprehended the man around 7:30 pm on Saturday night. No word yet on what was in the packages.
Amazon Go stores technology have arrived in New York City, Seattle, London, Chicago and San Francisco. Go stores use a semi-self automated checkout process. To enter the store, you need the Amazon Go app. The Amazon Go app links the user to their Amazon account. Anything the Amazon user purchases at a Go store will appear on the users Amazon account.
Amazon Go stores use geofencing, deep learning, computer vision and sensor fusion to track the user’s purchase.
Las Vegas is currently experiencing a staffing shortage. Tourists are complaining that wait times are exceeding 45 minute for most restaurants, even fast food. There are not enough restaurant workers, primarily servers. This is an indication that the clientele visiting Vegas is not tipping because service industry workers are indicators. Servers move to places that have the most money. As a result, many workers in Las Vegas have moved away.
Weekly rentals are called "suites". They are a common place for temporary housing; they do not require credit checks, or a security deposit, or the first months and last months rent. If you have $300 cash, proper ID and a clean record (no prostitution, drugs or felonies) you can get a furnished room within minutes for as long as you need. Many restaurant employees, construction workers and sex workers opt to live in these apartments for the convenience.
The closest apartments to the Las Vegas Strip you can get are weekly rentals. Perfect for restaurant employees.
Many restaurant employees move to Las Vegas for a season. This saves them the hassle of signing a 12 month lease. The construction workers come from California and Arizona. They don't live in Las Vegas. They work there for the job and then head back home. As a side note, these weekly rentals are paying the stadium tax.
The tourism industry is seasonal. Las Vegas has two major industries : tourism and construction. However, construction is completely dependent on tourism. I used to joke that every weekend a new town of 350,000 people would come to the strip. The vibe of Las Vegas was determined by who was visiting. The rodeo crowd in December gave Las Vegas a very different vibe than the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Many cocktail servers work in the sex industry during the off-season. The pandemic closed all casinos restaurants for about 3 months. The bars and restaurants opened at 25%, then 50%, now they are at 100%. The strip clubs and brothels were closed for over one year. Closing the strip clubs in Las Vegas for over a year essentially forced every sex working girl in Las Vegas to move to Florida, Texas or New York.
One of the main reasons the ballers choose Vegas over Orlando is because of the selection of working girls. Let's be adults. This demographic is not going to like the new Las Vegas
The restaurants opened at 25% capacity. Servers and back of house employees were laid off by the dozens. Many servers went to Only Fans, a website where women charge $5 per month for their followers to see their sexy posts. The servers who were not sexy enough to be sex worker, could not pay rent. While the Governor placed a moratorium on evictions that allowed tenants to stay in their apartments without payment, it did not stop the greedy rental corporations from demanding back rent. Back rent could be anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000.
The weekly rental companies such as Emerald Suites, The Budget Suites of America and the Siegel Suite received millions of dollars win federal bail out money to cover the cost of tenants who could not pay rent. Instead of discounting the amount owed for back rent, these corporations were trying to force their weekly tenants into a contract to pay back the money. That’s collecting double rent. The landlords made more money during the pandemic than without pandemic.
$300 a week does not sound like much until you must pay back 6 months in a lump some or a payment plan. Most restaurant employees do not have $7,200 cash lying around. The landlords of the weekly rentals wanted them to make payments. Instead of $300 a week, they would now get $450 or $500 a week. $2,000 a month for a crappy Siegel Suites is insane. You can get really nice 2 bedroom apartments in Las Vegas for $900 a month.
Siegel Suites, Budget Suites, Emerald Suites and others received federal bail out money to cover the rent for tenants who could not pay during COVID. However, instead of passing the federal money on to the tenants, the Emerald Suites, Siegel Suites and the others wanted double rent. They did not even offer a discount.
That’s why all everyone left. All the workers moved away. What else could they do with the landlords demanding rent and threatening eviction?
Hate to bring this up, but it looks like Marc Badain is leaving Las Vegas and looking forward to "new ventures". We think he's leaving Las Vegas for the following reasons:
3.) Not enough tourists
The Allegiant Stadium is being paid for by tourists who visit Las Vegas. Nevadans have made it clear they are fine with a football team as long as they do not have to pay for it. What's happened is the casinos are giving away or discounting rooms to entice tourists to gamble or spend money at the shops, restaurants and nightlife. We heard a New Yorker say that he visited over July 4th weekend and all he could say was "Vegas is depressing." Anyone who has been to Las Vegas recently will tell you that Vegas is depressing. The crowd can best be described as a "cruise-line crowd". The average age is over 40 years old, married with young kids and looking for vacation deals.
Marc Badain is quitting the Las Vegas Raiders after less than a year in Las Vegas. No one knows the real reason Marc left the Raiders but I would suspect it has something to do Marc realizing that he is not happy living in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is a full of racists. It’s hateful town full of the greediest, uneducated people despite what the local media says. It’s no wonder there is a severe worker shortage. The people who have moved to Las Vegas have pushed them out.
People move to Las Vegas because they are greedy. They might not like gambling or sex workers, but they love having a brand new modern house in Rhodes Ranch. They do not care that the weather is miserable six months out of the year. They do not care that Las Vegas is running out of water. They do not care their kids will be going to one of the worst education systems in the Nation. They only care about their beautiful, perfectly cut green grass filled communities. Californians sell their expensive homes there and buy bigger, cheaper houses in Nevada.
Vegas' worker shortage
Service industry workers are leaving because Las Vegas has gone down market. Las Vegas used to be a place where Uber drivers would brag about the enormous tips they would receive. That was in 2016. Today., the draw to Vegas is different. The Allegiant stadium attracts a certain demographic to Las Vegas. To be blunt, these customers do not tip. They pride themselves in not tipping. They hunt for bargains. These are the coupon shoppers. In the old days, you’d comp a guy a $200 room and he’d spend $500 in restaurants and bars. The new Vegas traveller is about discounts and buffets. Give them a discount on a room and they will be looking for the closets 2-for-1 all-you-can-eat buffet. That's why the servers left Las Vegas followed by the kitchen staff and management.
Las Vegas is desperate to fill rooms. Clark County has had to dip into their reserves twice to cover the payments for Allegiant Stadium. Allegiant Stadium is being paid for by tourists who stay in hotel in Clark County. The tax is to cover the expenses to build the stadium. The County will have to pay from their reserves and then the general fund of not enough tourists visit Las Vegas. What the casinos are doing is discounting the rooms but charging the stadium tax and resort fees. This fills the rooms with bodies but the clients are not the high end clients from 2015-2016.
Imagine living in a city where the locals are mostly white, greedy, transplants and the main business is serving tourists who do not tip. You might quit the Raiders and move back to the Bay Area too.
The U.S. Gov’t did a study. In 1940, they told people to eat less red meat and eat more fruits and vegetables. Since then, obesity + overweight rates in America have gone from 40% to over 75% today.
The Jedi have listened to the doctor's health and nutrition advice since we were little kids. We did not start improving our physical and mental health until we stopped listening to doctors and started trusting our feelings.
Las Vegas was experiencing a slow-down after October 1st 2017 before the pandemic. Las Vegas is about selling investors on Las Vegas. Many are using the pandemic as an excuse. They do not care if a project is viable. That's why you are hearing "Vegas is back" but it's not. Case and point is the old Algiers property that was originally the Thunderbird Hotel & Casino and then the El Rancho Hotel & Casino.
Case study: The Fountainebleau
The Drew, formerly the FountaineBleau Las Vegas, is now the J.W. Marriott. Jeff Soffer co-founder of Fountainebleau Resorts, had his company purchase the property in 2005. They broke ground on 2007. Funding was pulled in 2009, only a few months from the scheduled opening in November 2009. The building was nearly complete when funding was pulled. The bank pulled the funding because construction was substantially over-budget. The original budget was $2.8 billion but they needed $4 billion. An independent audit accused the Fountainebleau of "fraudulent billing practices and inappropriate payment methods". Fountainebleau went into bankruptcy when they lost the lawsuit.
Carl Icahn purchased the property out of bankruptcy in 2010 but did not restart construction. Instead, the building depreciated as Carl searched for a buyer. He finally sold the 70% completed project in August of 2017 to the Witkoff Group and New Valley LLC. A few months later, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred October 1st 2017 at the Mandalay Bay. Witkoff partnered with Marriott International in February 2018 and announced the Fountainbleau would be named the Drew after his 22 year old son, Andrew, committed suicide using OxyCotins. However, the project was halted again in 2020, this time blaming COVID. But I never saw any construction progress occurring between 2018 and 2020.
Jeff Soffer had the Fountainebleau partner with Koch industries and purchased the property back from Carl Icahn in 2021. On July 17th, Koch Industries announced the new name for the resort will be the J.W. Marriott Las Vegas Blvd to be opened fourth Q 2023.
The Marriot will debut their EDITION brand in Las Vegas.
This is one example. MGM properties, Caesars properties, The Las Vegas Sands and the Palms have also sold to new owners since 2019.
The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas sold to San Manual Band of Mission Indians for $650 million making this the largest purchase by a Native-American Indian tribe in the U.S. in Las Vegas. However, they will not reopen the casino until 2022.
The Drew was the Fountaine Bleu is now the J.W. Marriott Las Vegas.
Wall Street Traders in New York City have been working at home since the shutdown. A mandatory pay adjustment goes into affect tonight at midnight: your pay will be adjusted accordingly if you work from home. You will only make Manhattan salaries if you work in Manhattan. For example:
if you work from home in Rhode Island, then you will not get be able to get Manhattan dollars. Your pay will be adjusted to reflect Rhode Island wages.
The Federal Government is expected to declare a Tier 1 water shortage in Nevada. Water levels continue to drop.
Steve Wynn conceived the Bellagio in Las Vegas when he purchased the Dunes property in 1993. The Bellagio opened in 1998 and became one of the biggest reasons people came to Las Vegas. Steve Wynn spent $88 million on the opening. Steve followed up by opening the Wynn in 2005 and a replica of the Wynn called the Encore.
Genting is run by Lim Kok Thay, a Malaysian entrepreneur with an engineering degree and attended a 6 week management class at Harvard Business School in 1979. He is the chairman of Genting, a conglomerate active in leisure & hospitality, power generation, oil palm plantations, property development, biotechnology, and oil & gas business activities.
Las Vegas needs hotels rooms filled or Nevadans will have top start paying for Allegiant Stadium themselves.
Las Vegas has multiple personalities. There is the Las Vegas Strip we know that has glitz, lights, girls, casinos, tourists and Nightclubs. Then there are the locals.
The locals have changed Las Vegas over the past 10 years. Las Vegas has grown from a small town into a metropolitan city with 3 professional sports teams. That's fast growth by any measurement. The locals are mostly transplants from California looking from more house their money and lower tax rates. They move to Vegas because they can have more cars, more money, more house, and more everything.
People who move their family to a desert with the worst schools in the nation can be described in many ways:
This tweet from Dr. D exposes how most people in Clark Country feel about the Raiders Stadium: "It's fine as long as Nevadans never have to pay into this stadium ourselves".
Las Vegas has transformed into a large population of greedy hockey moms and their kids. They do not like casinos, sex workers, night clubs or bars. They love money. That is the dilemma facing Las Vegas today.
If Las Vegas is booming, the why did MGM & the Las Vegas Sands bail out of Vegas but stayed in other cities?
What everyone forget is that Las Vegas' downturn began in 2017 after the Mandalay Bay shooting. MGM Resorts International was forced to sell the Bellagio, the Mandalay Bay, The Delano, Circus Circus and even their flagship casino, The MGM Grand. They sold those properties in 2020 before the pandemic. Then, the pandemic shut down Las Vegas for 3 months in 2020. MGM sold Aria and Vdara in 2021. The Las Vegas Sands sold Venetian & Palazzo in 2021.
That might now sound like much to you but $15,000 a year is what most hourly working people in Las Vegas bring home a year. That’s why they need two jobs.
Apparently so does Steve Hill. Hill was also the chair of the Las Vegas Stadium oversight committee. He was supposed to make sure the Allegiant Stadium project did not go over budget and was built safely. The project was $200 million over budget. But no one in Las Vegas ever reported the overage. They just pretended that the original budget was never set at $1.8 billion.
Las #Vegas is more family oriented now that the hockey moms have relocated from Bakersfield to Summerlinn. Now, no one feels like having sex when they see strollers in casinos and kids playing on the Las Vegas Strip. That’s not me, that’s #Freud.
Vital Vegas is a blogger on Twitter. Vital Vegas is owned and founded by Scott Roeben. Roeben moved to Vegas about 20 years ago from Hollywood. He’s a very good writer who studied at the University of Hawaii. Scott wrote for the Screenwriters Guild’s website in Hollywood. His claim to fame is he’s an “Internet and Social Media Specialist.” I would agree he’s an excellent writer. He’s also really good at social media. However, I don’t get the sense that Scott is guru on updated updated hypertext transfer protocols, internet communication protocols or proxy servers. But what do I know? Maybe he is.
Today Scott tweeted:
Scott says that Las Vegas is seeing 4x the number of players requesting credit but he doesn’t know why. He says the old time casino industry experts haven’t got a clue either.
Most likely, the reason gamblers are seeking more credit is because they do not have cash. This would be another indicator why the Jedi feel that Las Vegas’ recovery is wide but not very deep.
The Jedi made a list of 8 reasons why we feel Las Vegas is struggling. Resorts World has been poaching business from other casinos. Earlier this week, Resorts World stole several VIP Hosts from Wynn. Then they gave the hosts the ability to lure the clients with higher than normal rebates. Typically, casinos would offer rebates anywhere from 10% to 20%. Resorts World upped the offer to 25%. I imagine the other casinos have responded accordingly.
Casinos are competing to lure high rollers to Las Vegas
The fact that Las Vegas Casinos are giving players 4 times the amount of credit prior to the pandemic could be an indication that Las Vegas is struggling to find gamblers with cash. The hosts are luring gamblers by offering looser credit requirements, higher credit limits, and a 25% rebate on actual losses for high rollers. This would allow gamblers to gamble more money. As for the casinos, they are competing with Resorts World who is forcing all the other players to follow suit. At the end of the day, this means less outside money flowing in to spread amongst the other casinos in Las Vegas.
8 reasons the Jedi have concerns on Las Vegas' recovery:
We keep hearing, "Vegas is back". How could Las Vegas be back when Steve Wynn, Sheldon Adeleson, the Las Vegas Sands, Caesars and MGM have sold out of Las Vegas?
Vegas never recovered after the Mandalay Bay Shooting Oct 1st, 2017
Las Vegas took a huge downturn after the massacre at Mandalay Bay in 2017. Jim Murren devised a plan called #MGM2020. The plan was to cut costs. They needed to survive after the shooting literally killed tourism in Las Vegas. First, they lowered prices. In fact, all the casinos in Las Vegas dropped their rates.
The Jedi know because the Jedi are on the streets
You would not have noticed Vegas hit a slow down unless you actually served tourists in Las Vegas. As a customer Vegas looks busy. All the rooms are full. Are the table games seem crowded. But this is not the same energy as 2016. They have lowered rates and air fares to attract anyone to fill the rooms. This not to say Las Vegas casinos are trying to bamboozle investors with smoke and mirrors. This is to note that the depth of the Las Vegas tourist has diminished significantly and no one is saying anything except the Jedi.
To put it bluntly, Las Vegas transformed from high class in 2016 to "high" trash in 2019.
Then the shutdown hit in 2020. It's as if God, Satan, Buddha, Jesus or Mohammed literally came to Las Vegas and said "No, you cannot scam investors anymore; you are shut down"
The Jedi are on the streets. We saw the clientele shift. There is more violence on the strip. There is more discrimination by security guards with high profile guests like Meek Mill. The crowd changed Las Vegas from a posh, international party spot for the ultra rich to a cheap getaway for families looking for good deals.
Then, they beefed up the police. In 2018, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department encrypted their radios. They started stinging working girls. They even arrested the photo girls on the strip. It was clear that sex was not going to be a part of the New Vegas. This was part of the New Vegas transformation from Sin City to Hockey Mom City.
As Vegas tried to rebound after 2017, they brought in a stadium tax
But that didn't stop Clark County's plan to bring three professional sports team to Las Vegas. The most controversial acquisition was bringing the Oakland Raiders to Nevada. The Oakland Raiders are predominately a black & brown fan base. Nevada is predominately white. what's worse, Las Vegas is home to Nazis and white supremacists (google Ralph Englestad Nazi). Then the Asian community is being drawn to Vegas by the new Resorts World. You know there is going to be a clash.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal was against the stadium. The paper felt was a burden that Las Vegas could not afford. But Sheldon wanted a sports team for his grandchildren. Voters rejected the Raiders Stadium proposal twice. Then, Sheldon Adeleson secretly purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2015. After the purchase, the Las Vegas Review-Journal was in favor of building the Stadium, even though it would bring a $750 million tax burden to every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. They got the approval to build the stadium but as Las Vegas needed to lower room rates after October 1st, 2017 instead, now they had to increase rates to cover the extra tax burden.
Clients changed, the Jedi took note
2018-2019 was a struggle for the Jedi. We knew the clientele had changed. We knew the Raiders were not welcomed by the locals. We knew that violence on the strip would increase as the room rates plummeted. We knew the police would respond with iron fists. We knew that the LVMPD killed a man in custody for riding his bike without a a safety light in 2019. The coroner later declared it homicide. We knew that Las Vegas made it illegal to be homeless on the streets of downtown, a violation of the 8th Amendment in 2019. We knew that the stadium went over budget by $200 million but no one at the Review-Journal said a thing. They just changed the number from a $1.8 billion project to a $2 billion project.
I bring this up, not to kvetch, but to give a reason for what happens next. The Jedi trust karma. Karma says if you ignore 700 people getting shot who were mostly white conservative Trump supporters at a country festival concert, then Karma will respond to you.
Nothing changed after October 1st, 2017. They literally swept it under the rug.
Las Vegas News Media is solely sponsored by home builders and casinos
The Las Vegas news media is sponsored by home builders and casinos. Every news station and TV ad seems to support the idea that Las Vegas is a great place to eat, gamble & party and an even better place to buy a home. After October 1, 2017, the news slowly stopped talking
What I experienced living in New York after 9/11 was vastly different to what experienced living in Las Vegas after Oct 1. Everyone in Las Vegas, except for a few, wanted to sweep the tragedy under the rug. The press kept pumping up Las Vegas as if nothing had changed. Contrast that to New York City, where everything came to a standstill. Business stopped. I was in high-finance software sales. No one was buying. Every business told me all projects were on hold indefinitely. I got laid off. That's what happens. But not in Vegas. They didn't want to lose their jobs just because 58 people got killed at a concert. History will show us how Karma felt about that.
Then, the pandemic shut down Las Vegas-- but everything is 'Just Fine'
The people who live in Vegas moved to Vegas for one reason: greed. No one moves to Vegas for the climate or the culture, except for maybe the Jedi. Most people who moved to Las Vegas came from California. They just sold their overpriced home in order to buy a bigger, cheaper house in a Nevada and to take advantage of no state income tax.
Any bump in the Las Vegas economy will result in layoffs. Layoffs mean less money flowing through Las Vegas. Less money means less patients, clients, customers and viewers. Nobody in Las Vegas wants to believe the economy has hit a downturn.
The Jedi remain bearish on Las Vegas stocks.
The $370 million Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville Resort is now open in Times Square Manhattan.
Was watching YouTube when this came on.
The Jedi are influencers to the influencers. We make content for social media. But we did not go to college to learn how to write. We did not go to art school to learn how to take photos. And we certainly didn’t take classes on how to use social media. Rather, the Jedi learned from experience. That’s why our methods are so unique. That’s why our videos are so much better than an entire production crew can produce.
In fact @brendanstonestreet photography literally blocked the Jedi on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a business website! It's a website for people seeking jobs. The Jedi are in New York City. Not sure why Brendan Stonestreet Photography in Las Vegas would be threatened by a couple of Jedi living in hotels with only an iPhone and a DJI stabilizer. But this tells the Jedi that we have more influence and more impact on the industry than we ever dreamed possible.
Anyways, the Jedi have never written anything but positive comments to Brendan and his company. In fact, Brendan Stonestreet Photography would actually "like" our comments. He should. He posted several times a day. Some might consider that spamming since he's not looking for a job. Brendan was constantly spamming my Linked-In feed. But he would often have zero likes. So, the Jedi gave him some support because no one else would support him.
The Jedi believe loving each other brings good karma, especially amongst other artists and certainly to those who are immigrants to America. However, some people are very insecure. Someone who manages Brendan Stonestreet Photography’s LinkedIn blocked the Jedi— on LinkedIn!? Other photographers would appreciate the positive feedback. So why would Brendan at Brendan Stonestreet Photography block another artist? We can only think of two reasons:
1. Wedding photography is not doing well in Vegas
Brendan Stonestreet is a wedding photographer. Weddings have been on hold in Vegas. People don't really need to hire a wedding photographer anymore. Brendan is probably feeling insecure that his business is on rocky ground. He should be concerned. He is not a good photographer.
2. Photographers must be fit.
Brendan and his crew literally take ice cream breaks. So, everyday Branden is getting fatter and fatter. His shirts do not fit. He’s bulging out of his shorts, but not in a good way. Meanwhile, the Jedi post about diet, nutrition, and improving one’s health. We can only assume that the folks at Brendan Stonestreet Photography do not want hear about other videographers who maintain healthy habits. Maybe Brendan and his crew want more ice cream breaks.
The Jedi could help Brendan with his diet. We can see that he’s eating way too much sugar and drinking too much caffeine. But unfortunately for Brendan, he will never learn. Brendan chose to shove his head up his own ass. He blocked the Jedi. Let’s see how Brendan looks a year from now.
3. He is jealous of the Jedi.
Jedi art is the best. We the get the most views using the cheapest gear. Brendan has his photographers take photos of Brendan using expensive old fashioned umbrella lighting, lots of fancy gear and big backdrops. It can be frustrating for other photographers when one photographer using only an iPhone and a DJI stabilizer can take better photos and video than his entire studio and staff can produce.
As a side note, I’ve never seen a photographer post more photos of themselves than Brendan Stone Street Photography.
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