The economy and room rates

Hey, they’ve finally posted my latest piece in the Las Vegas Business Press. Here’s a taste:

The economy, as the blurb that crawls across your television screen says, is bad. Really bad. And don’t you forget it.

For those dealing in luxury goods and services, the perception of an economic decline is just as ruinous as its reality. Whether or not we’re in a recession (not, since we haven’t had two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth) doesn’t really matter. If people believe that they need to tighten their belts, they might be disinclined to splurge.

Here in Las Vegas, the past 20 years have seen a shift toward the luxury-end of the travel market. Does this mean the Wynns, Lannis, and Adelsons who’ve ramped up the luxe factor — and their room rates — made the wrong decision? Not at all, because in an era of casino proliferation, cheapness and convenience are no longer compelling reasons to visit Nevada instead of, say, Barona resort in California or the Horseshoe in Tunica, Miss.

Regardless of whether recession is real, perceptions affect behavior

Seriously, it’s like the national media is rooting for economic decline–that’s all you hear about.

I was inspired to write this after reading the piece in Vegas Tripping 3 weeks ago about the Sahara’s “spin the wheel, make the deal” promotion.

If ripping off of Halloween Havoc 1992 can’t buck up the visitation stats, we’re really in deep trouble here.

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