Las Vegas Real Estate
Stiffs & Georges
They burned the Monte Carlo ... and may get away with it
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They burned the Monte Carlo ... and may get away with it
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OK, so it was a derelict that's been closed for 10 years and unlikely ever to reopen. But the Alystra is now officially "a total loss." Too bad. It was an attractive building that happened to sit in a sort of mini-Bermuda Triangle where no casino could flourish. It also was operated in a manner that brought it afoul of the Nevada Gaming Control Board. There were some flutters of interest 16 months ago, then silence. Since the Alystra had become a homeless hangout, it'll probably be no great mystery how it caught fire.
A bad month for Adelson. First, there was a shaky performance on the witness stand in the Richard Suen/Las Vegas Sands lawsuit. Then a first-quarter loss. Now he's been questioned in a bribery investigation of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government. Sheldon will probably have to do a little 'splainin' to the Control Board when he gets back from Jerusalem.
Luxor 2.0: A review of the ongoing makeover has been posted at VegasTripping.com. The verdict: "Pharoah's Tomb Meets Airport Bar." Hard to believe that Luxor is already 18 years old -- unlike Excalibur, which only looks like it's been around for 30 years or so.
Nathan Burton at the Flamingo. I went. I saw. (And the stunt pictured here does not figure in the act, so caveat emptor.) The magic tricks were sloppily executed -- you had to wonder what the coterie of rival magicians in attendance thought of them -- and almost made one nostalgic for Hans Klok. For this Harrah's Entertainment ditched Society of Seven?
No warp speed here: A story that broke on the Web last week (and was picked up by LVA's "What's News" page six days ago) finally crept into the pages of the Dogpatch Daily. (UNLV's David Schwartz has a good critique of the situation, though.) The same writer who branded Strip casinos as "monuments to gullibility" now turns his scorn upon patrons of the Las Vegas Hilton's Star Trek attraction -- while managing to meet the R-J's two-factual-mistakes-per-story quota and confusing "premiere" with "premier."
But he's not alone. A local publisher mistakes "ringer" for "wringer" in ...
An utterly ridiculous column that suggested the Democratic presidential ticket be suggested by a coin-toss. Seriously. It's difficult to decide if this is a bigger insult to Las Vegas Sun readership or to the democratic process itself, this flippant (pun intended) notion of hinging the fate of our country -- and perhaps, by extension, the world -- on a game of chance. As one Sun reader notes, "I admire your ability to get paid for this."
Since one normally needs to pack a lunch and some No-Doz to finish a Brian Greenspun column (and I couldn't even get through this one w/o skimming), I'll boil down the "logic": "Hillary Clinton has worked harder than any person I know of to become America’s president [and] running for president, and the presidency itself, has to be the hardest job on the planet."
So? Meaning if Greenspun's next-door neighbor worked harder than Hillary Clinton to be on the donkey-party ticket, then he/she would deserve it even more? As Clint Eastwood's William Munny observes in Unforgiven, "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it."
Greenspun cites exit polls as holy writ, whereupon his moving finger moves on to write, "We all know that the polling this year has been wrong at best" (Who's this "we all"? I know no such thing. Do you?) "People, for good or bad reasons, don’t tell the truth to pollsters when it comes to race or gender." Well, if true, that puts paid to those exit polls in which Greenspun places so much stock.
After calling upon the respective campaigns not to "short-circuit the democratic process," out comes the loony coin-toss idea. Why? "We accept the coin toss in every other facet of our lives," quoth the suddenly Solomonic Greenspun. Oh, do we? Maybe that's how they make important decisions at Greenspun Media but I don't think, for instance, that the board of Harrah's Entertainment decided not to accept Penn National's buyout offer because the nickel came up "heads."
Hey, let's have representatives of the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis over to the Bellagio poker room to decide the fate of Iraq in a game of Texas Hold 'Em, with Halliburton taking a "rake" of the pot. Works for me.
The clue to Greenspun's thoroughly trite and un-democratic "solution" can be found in a passing comment that enfranchisement "for far too long has been a burden to Americans rather than a blessing." I'll leave you to ponder the disturbing -- and elitist -- implications of that telltale remark.