Sin City may not be on its death-bed. But it’s enduring a puny spell, according to our Johnny Kampis this morning. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Las Vegas is having its troubles, what with Americanos being able to gamble just about anywhere these days. And as for the family-friendly attractions it boasts of, I guess my wife and I missed these in our recent visit there (our first and last visit). Either that, or families are even more dysfunctional nowadays than I feared they were.
The most family-friendly attraction I can recall there is Finn, the bat-dog for the Las Vegas 51s (of the AAA Pacific Coast League). He’s a pure delight. But I doubt many turistas travel thousands of miles at great expense to watch minor league baseball in the desert, even with such a fine added attraction as Finn. (Who knew dog slobber neutralizes pine tar?) Saving Sin City is a mighty big chore for a five-year-old black Lab. And, anyway, you don’t pay for the Raiders’ sports palace selling hot dogs and beer at the old ball park.
Speaking of whom, Kampis makes a good point that for folks that supposedly know the odds, the NFL is a very bad bet. Spending gazillions for a plush ball-yard for the NFL Raiders is clearly buying the past rather than ensuring the future. The NFL’s numbers, though still gaudy, are falling off faster than those of Las Vegas. The NHL’s Golden Knights supplied some good clean fun this past year. But the new of an NHL franchise will wear off. And don’t count on the Knights being in the Stanley Cup playoffs every year. I suspect the biggest raid the Raiders will pull off is the big one on the public treasury.
Las Vegas, like Bryce Harper, has had slumps before. And, like young Bryce, they’ve always pulled out of them. But the fundamentals of this one look a bit more ominous. More, well, fundamental. Maybe, at last, betting against the house makes sense. That is if the house is on Las Vegas Boulevard.