Saturday, April 17, 2010

What a few days in Las Vegas tells me

Las Vegas is in big trouble, and it's not a stretch to say that if this city is struggling then the rest of the state is equally bad.

The evidence I see:

1. Longer lines brought on by fewer service-related industry workers
2. More time necessary to tear down large convention events brought on by fewer workers
3. Newspaper and broadcast reports about a continuing over supply of housing and too many people needing work
4. Additional stories about people weathering the economic crisis

It should come as no surprise that the state's unemployment rate has ballooned past 13 percent.

The contrast between seeing the Las Vegas Hilton (where I stayed from Tuesday through today) stuffed with people is striking. The casino was empty the first three nights I was here, but last night it appeared that every airplane flying in this country brought people into this city and to that hotel.

I was left to wonder as I heard the slot machines incessantly dinging and saw the card tables two or three deep that the rest of the country remains in flux. But what hit me even more was that if Las Vegas didn't remain the attraction it is for conventions, vacations and short-term getaways, that the economic mess here would be a Depression-like crisis.

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