Las Vegas is now only months away from officially becoming a major professional sports city. We have rapidly moved from famine to relative feast — last year landing an expansion National Hockey League franchise and last month learning the city will be the new home of one of the National Football League’s most storied teams.
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Quick, name the heavyweight champion of the world. Still thinking on that one? OK, try naming another boxing belt holder in any weight group (don’t forget, Floyd Mayweather is retired, at least for now). That is boxing’s current popularity problem in a nutshell. The answer to that first question is Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder, depending on which governing body one prefers.
Although Las Vegas is just entering the arena of major professional sports, the city has attracted its share of slightly under-the-radar events that has provided for a deceptively sports-heavy culture. Annual and periodic local athletic events have thrived in the city for decades and are likely to remain popular even as the Golden Knights and Raiders move into town.
The Raiders will be kicking off in one of the most expensive stadiums on earth beginning in 2020. Many local residents may be surprised to learn that the city has already served as home to professional football which was not played in indoor soccer-sized arenas. In 1994, the Canadian Football League expanded into the United States, placing a franchise in Sacramento. The following year, three more American teams were added, including the Las Vegas Posse. Coached by Ron Meyer, former head coach at UNLV and two NFL teams, the Posse played their home games at Sam Boyd.
Few thought it would ever happen that Las Vegas would attract an NFL franchise. The NFL’s public aversion to gambling — despite the game being the most popular sport in the country in part because of it — was a big hurdle to overcome.
Casinos double down on parking fees
Scientific Games Corp. announced earlier this month that it has reached an agreement to license the James Bond franchise for its lottery games, social slots and land-based gaming.
After breaking its record with 42.9 million visitors in 2016, Las Vegas was forecast to surpass 43 million this year. But with a strong U.S. dollar making it more expensive to travel to here and fallout internationally from two travel bans enacted for several Muslim-majority countries by President Donald Trump’s executive order, Las Vegas runs the risk that tourism and business travel from abroad could be impacted.
A court case that could legalize sports betting, if the plaintiff is victorious, is sitting at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, though it could take several months before it’s decided if it will be heard. Besides opening the playing field for sports bettors in the U.S., a win in the case could also bring a slam dunk for a local company.
It’s the worst nightmare of contingency planners at resort casinos – one of the busiest weekends of the year and the power goes out; and more than 1,000 room guests have to be relocated to another property.
While some people celebrate a birthday month, Las Vegas casinos have celebrated a birthday year, and it’s not done.
“Mr. Bill Boyd, our executive chairman, will be at both properties on Dec. 20,” said Tony Taeubel, vice president and general manager of Gold Coast and The Orleans. “We will have a line dance at the Gold Coast. At The Orleans we will have a Mardi Gras parade and photo opportunity with the Madri Gras girls that afternoon.”
Stepping off the Fremont East sidewalk into the El Cortez in downtown Las Vegas does not provide an illusion of time regression — but rather a crossroads of different eras. A sleek 1941 Cadillac Fleetwood shares space near the reception desk with a The Walking Dead–themed slot machine. A large flat-screen television mounted above the bar offers coverage of a Premiere League soccer match from Birmingham, England.
The recently opened Lucky Dragon isn’t the first Las Vegas property to cater to Asian-Americans. Palace Station and the Gold Coast have been marketing to the Las Vegas Asian-American community for more than a decade.
The Lucky Dragon, the first casino built from the ground up since the Cosmopolitan in 2010, celebrates its grand opening Dec. 3 with fireworks and dragon and lion dances in celebration of Chinese culture.
The gaming industry is excited about a Trump presidency and what it could mean for economic growth and fewer regulations, but no one is expecting Congress to move along any legislation quickly that would have a direct impact, such as legalized sports betting.
A restaurant named after a Rolling Stones song, Ruby Tuesday, has grown into a part of Americana during its 44 year-history. Today, Ruby Tuesday is revitalizing its image, with plans to expand its Las Vegas presence.
It’s party time. End-of-the-year holiday celebrations are a traditional part of the workplace calendar, and Las Vegas offers a range of options from economical to extravagant and even outright thrilling for managers and executives to consider when deciding on company party arrangements. Many companies had been putting the party on hold since the 2008 recession, but businesses who host corporate events say that is quickly changing.
A growing convention business and the opening of T-Mobile Arena have been a boon to MGM Resorts International; and the opening of Park Theater in December will be a further boost.
The debate is over. The votes are done, and Gov. Brian Sandoval has signed legislation that finances an expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center and the building of a domed stadium.
During a breakfast presentation to the Las Vegas chapter of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, Chris Meyer, vice president of global business sales for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, had some encouraging words about the Las Vegas market.
About 80 marketing executives, many from the major Las Vegas casinos, met Sept. 29 to consider potential growth and obstacles in the city’s ability to draw international tourism.
When the “Life Is Beautiful” festival opened its gates at 2 p.m. on Sept. 23 for its fourth annual three-day event, it was anticipated that nearly a year of planning would result in a huge economic boost to some of the downtown businesses.
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