My Las Vegas/part 2
following article was posted by Jim on the
There have been many contributing factors why Las Vegas has
lost its charm and quaintness. From this article and the
next few I will attempt to discuss some of these major
factors. For now, I will establish, a list far from being
complete, of what I believe are the important elements to
discuss fully or some just to touch upon:
The Culinary strike of 1984.
The introduction of the bill
The loss of individual casino
owners replaced by Corporations.
The tip compliance program
initiated by the Internal Revenue Service.
The Internal Revenue Service
W2-G compliance program.
The Indian Gaming Act of 1988.
The money laundering provisions
of Title 31.
The digital age.
The Corporate philosophy that
every department must show a profit.
The high cost of individual entertainers and the
limited fewer up and coming talent.
The destruction of smaller hotel casinos replaced
with huge, monstrous entities.
Loss of the gaming monopoly and introduction of
The introduction of shopping malls started with
The Fremont Street canopy, zip line, et al taking
away from the neon and history of this historic street.
Letís take a look at the culinary strike of 1984 and how it
changed Las Vegas. Hotel casino employees have always
believed they were/are under paid. They read about the
gaming profits of the casinos and believe these casinos
should share some of the wealth with them. The casinos, on
the other hand, want to reduce the number of employees at
every chance they get. This is just the nature of business.
Reduce employees and you increase the profit.
Without discussing the two positions letís examine what
results were produced for the customers who live here as
well as those who come to our town to enjoy what it has to
In one simple conclusion, this two and one half month long
strike destroyed and eliminated the hotel casino dinner
shows. I donít consider the Excalibur dinner show where one
tears apart a Rock Cornish game hen with their hands as a
Who benefited? Well certainly not the culinary union that
lost thousands of positions for employees who worked those
dinner shows. Maybe the hotel casinos that no longer had to
lose money on the lost leader dinner shows. In reality the
losers were you and me and the many tourists who come to
town and looked forward to enjoying a dinner show and seeing
a top named entertainer at a reasonable price.
The current Las Vegas shows are conducted in showrooms that
look like an auditorium or movie theater. You purchase your
ticket at ticket Tron or some such outlet. You donít need
many culinary workers to take care of the patrons. The
customers dress like they are going to a movie theater. The
glimmer and glitz is gone. Ladies do not wear evening gowns
and men do not wear suits or even sport coats. Opening night
is no different than any other night.
For the most part live orchestras have been replaced with
prerecorded music. There are no runways and no one cares.
The casinos are happy they now have less people to pay and
provide benefits for. The Union looks around and asks ďwhat
happened?Ē The customers donít even realize what they have
We are the losers. The young tourists and locals who never
experienced a Las Vegas dinner show will never know what
they missed or what helped make Las Vegas the entertainment
capital of the world! Furthermore, they donít care. They are
tired of coming to Las Vegas but donít know why. They know
something is missing but canít quite put their finger on it.
There is nothing special to make their trip memorable.
They are encouraged to shop in the many shopping venues
built within each of the hotel casinos. Many of them do not
gamble and just play poker. In another generation or two
the concept of dinner shows will be relegated entirely to
the history books. Isnít change wonderful?
See you next week,