pacomartin
pacomartin
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September 18th, 2010 at 11:01:58 AM permalink
If in fact 40 year old Plaza never re-opens their hotel, I think it will be only the second time in American history that a domestic hotel of a 1000 rooms or more was closed.

The first time was The Stardust with 1550 rooms. Of course, the intention was to rebuild on The Echelon on the same site. The New Frontier fell just short of 1000 rooms, and I am not sure about the size of the Aladdin casino which was closed on November 25, 1997.

I can't think of a hotel in any other city. Of course, there are not that many hotels with 1000 rooms.

Any thoughts?


Personally, I think that the Fitzgeralds Casino and Hotel ( a 34-story, 638-room hotel) will also close the hotel. Downtown will survive on
2345 rooms at Golden Nugget,
400 rooms at Vegas Club,
100 rooms at Golden Gate,
100 rooms at Gold Spike,
365 rooms at El Cortez,
1600 rooms at the combined three Boyd hotels,
690 rooms at Four Queens, plus
Motels like Motel 6, Quality Inn, and collection of older motels.
mkl654321
mkl654321
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September 18th, 2010 at 11:16:13 AM permalink
Actually, it must have happened dozens of times--there are, and have been, hotels with that capacity all over the US, and at least some of them must have closed over the years.

In any case, "1000 rooms" is an arbitrary benchmark--if you found some hotel with 981 rooms that had closed, it wouldn't be much less significant.

Generally, if a hotel closes, that means that the building will eventually be demolished, as it's pretty much impossible to convert it to any other use--and the fact that the hotel closed in the first place means that it's unlikely anyone will try to operate a hotel--in the existing building or a new one--in that location again.

The Plaza suffered from a not-great location relative to the rest of downtown, and the choo choo trains in the back of the hotel making 1/2 of the rooms, shall we say, not restful. Given that it's adjacent to some usable empty land, perhaps when the economy picks up, someone will build a water park or a bear baiting ring or something.*

*I think a legal brothel would do wonders for downtown (especially with all that foot traffic, and the Girls of Glitter Gulch could simply walk down the street and start working there), but for some reason, my proposal to the city fathers has fallen on deaf ears.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
pacomartin
pacomartin
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September 18th, 2010 at 11:28:47 AM permalink
Quote: ©Las Vegas Sun



Mayor keeps prostitution legalization debate going
He suggests prostitutes could be treated very well
By Sam Skolnik
Friday, Jan. 23, 2009 | 2 a.m.

Mayor Oscar Goodman insists he’s not in favor of legalizing prostitution in downtown Las Vegas. He just wants there to be an open discussion of the topic.

But his argument is clear as a July afternoon in the neon desert: Most everyone — even locals — seems to think prostitution is legal here, so why not formalize it and make hundreds of millions of dollars from the enterprise?

That’s why Goodman floated the idea publicly in 2004, again to an appalled New York Times columnist in 2007, and, this month, discussed the idea with an unidentified state legislator and people “in the industry.”

Goodman had a great deal to say on the topic at his weekly news conference Thursday.

He acknowledged that some will have “very legitimate” moral objections, arguing that women are debased by prostitution and that the state should not profit from it.

“On the other hand,” Goodman said, “I’ve met with folks from that industry who make a very compelling argument that it could generate 200 million a year in tax dollars, and that would buy a lot of textbooks, pay for a lot of teachers.”

Legalizing the trade would get prostitutes away from abusive pimps, or “exploiters,” as he said he prefers to call them.

Goodman spoke of the humane way in which the city’s new red-light workers would be treated.

He said they — presumably brothel owners high on the idea — are talking about a “sort of an acculturation type of program for employees where they could get education, they could receive child care instead of leaving their kids in a latchkey situation, classes on self-esteem, those kinds of things.”

State Sen. Bob Coffin raised the issue this week when he said he would grant a hearing on proposals to legalize and regulate prostitution in Las Vegas and other urban areas of the state.

Prostitution is legal in most of Nevada, but state law prohibits it in counties with populations of more than 400,000. That means it is illegal in the state’s largest cities, including Las Vegas, Henderson and Reno.

Critics of legalized prostitution maintain it not only dehumanizes women, but that the women are often coercively trafficked into the field by organized criminals, frequently from overseas, and sometimes are forced into the business as children.

According to a 2007 study by prostitution researcher Melissa Farley, more than four-fifths of the 45 legal prostitutes she spoke with in Nevada wanted to leave the business — but were prevented, often physically, from doing so.

Soon after Farley’s report was released, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert weighed in, claiming that Goodman’s talk of legalized brothels in Las Vegas had set a tone for the “systematic, institutionalized degradation” of women.

Yet the debate is far from one-sided, even among women’s activists and academics.

According to its most recent position paper on the issue, the National Organization for Women supports the decriminalization of prostitution — so long as the women are adults and not trafficking victims — “in support of a woman’s choice what to do with her own body.”

UNLV sociology professor Barbara Brents, who has conducted about 50 formal interviews with Nevada prostitutes for her research, notes that legal brothels are “far, far safer places to work than illegal ones.”

Brents says that if the business were legalized here, Las Vegas would have an opportunity to “do it right, to be even more respectful of women, to give them more rights.”

Surely, music to Goodman’s ears.





Biff's Pleasure Palace was modelled on the Plaza in Back to the Future Part II . You are just trying to make it come true.
mkl654321
mkl654321
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September 18th, 2010 at 1:45:59 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Back to the Future Part II . You are just trying to make it come true.



Well, I wasn't entirely joking. I think it would work, and work well. I don't see it ever happening, though, because American society is so paranoid/Puritanical/silly about sex. If Las Vegas were in the Netherlands, however....what a fun town THAT would be (and there wouldn't be no steenkin 15% unemployment, either).
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
pacomartin
pacomartin
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September 18th, 2010 at 2:05:01 PM permalink
Amsterdam statistic showed 142 licensed brothels in the city, with about 500 window displays, and officials estimated that sexual transactions in Amsterdam account for about 100 million US dollars per year. The red light district is also a popular tourist attraction, so the revenues that Amsterdam earns in tourism can be partly linked to brothels.

When the Dutch government legalized prostitution in 2000, it was to protect the women by giving them work permits, but authorities now fear that this business is out of control: "We’ve realized this is no longer about small-scale entrepreneurs, but that big crime organizations are involved here in trafficking women, drugs, killings and other criminal activities", said Job Cohen, the former mayor of Amsterdam.

It probably wouldn't do anything for unemployment in Vegas since the girls would undoubtedly mostly be imported from other countries.
mkl654321
mkl654321
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September 18th, 2010 at 2:49:34 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Amsterdam statistic showed 142 licensed brothels in the city, with about 500 window displays, and officials estimated that sexual transactions in Amsterdam account for about 100 million US dollars per year. The red light district is also a popular tourist attraction, so the revenues that Amsterdam earns in tourism can be partly linked to brothels.

When the Dutch government legalized prostitution in 2000, it was to protect the women by giving them work permits, but authorities now fear that this business is out of control: "We’ve realized this is no longer about small-scale entrepreneurs, but that big crime organizations are involved here in trafficking women, drugs, killings and other criminal activities", said Job Cohen, the former mayor of Amsterdam.

It probably wouldn't do anything for unemployment in Vegas since the girls would undoubtedly mostly be imported from other countries.



Why would they be imported from other countries when there is a large talent pool in this country, and particularly in the state of Nevada? Not to mention the small army of "weekend warriors", suburban secretaries and bank tellers who come up from L.A. every Friday night to earn a little extra cash. (Several years ago, I had very reasonably priced sex with an L.A. DJ who was trying to save up for a down payment on a house.)

And as far as "drugs, killings, and other criminal activities"--well, that was the original argument against legalizing GAMBLING, way back in 1931. The solution was tight policing and regulation. If the business in Amsterdam is going out of control, that is the fault not of the business itself, but a failure of law enforcement. In Nevada, legal brothels operate without causing any particular crime problems.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
pacomartin
pacomartin
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September 19th, 2010 at 11:16:23 AM permalink
Benjamin Spillman did do this article on my analysis of the Downtown Market. I didn't look at just revenue, but historical expenses such as payroll, electric bills, payments on land, etc.

In the past (i.e. 9-11 crisis) downtown did not increase revenue, but was able to restore profitability by cost cutting. My conclusion was that there was no way downtown ccould deal with this reduced revenue by simply cutting payroll and other cost savings measures (closing bars, limiting hours, more automation, cheaper food and/or no hot food at night). It was inevitable that some places would close.

The article was a little ahead of its time. Binions closed their hotel on December 14, 2009 and The Plaza on November 4 2010.


1 http://www.lvbusinesspress.com/articles/2008/12/03/opinion/columnists/spillman/iq_25371206.txt ' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'> Downtown may lose a casino or two, analyst says 3-Dec-08 Benjamin Spillman Las Vegas Business Press


In reality I thought it would be the Plaza that would close first. It probably would have been except for the incredible deep pockets of Poju Zabludowicz.

I also think that Fitzgeralds will also close their hotel, but I think the remaining ones will stay open.

There were very strong indicators as far back as Spring of 2007 that Goldman Sachs was way overpaying for the Stratosphere (and the two Arizona Charlie's properties and the Atlantis in Laughlin). If I was CEO I would have thought they were crazy for paying $1.3 billion for those properties. Once again, I base my analysis on information that was available at the time, not knowledge gained after the fact.

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