"Making Sense of Nevada's [2018] Fiscal Year"

written by Kris Caballero (February 14, 2019)

Famously known as "Sin City," and what ever happening occurs in Vegas is restricted from outside sources knowing, topics about business aren't often kept up by folks who have visited, previously resided, and/or currently is visiting/residing in the city of lights. While the city has provided endless entertainment, sight-seeing tours and gambling, we have come to a time when penny-pinching has become the norm; The job market's fluctuating opportunities not enough to pay off a stable income; A modern way of living where majority know that gambling isn't a huge profit-making chance; In contrast, living in a time when searching for cheaper alternatives is the best option for locals/consumers.

Newspaper Las Vegas Sun, per The Associated Press, reports Nevada casinos sought a $1.2 billion-dollar loss in the fiscal year of 2018. Reports state that Caesar's Entertainment spent millions on re-organization being the reason for this loss. Other reasons include hotel prices, decrease in tourism, amount spent on the venues which include sports teams, and the dreaded parking fees.

Perhaps it's so easy seeing through what came of "The Meadows" during their year overall ("Las Vegas" is a Spanish name meaning "The Meadows"). Visitation has dropped since the tragedy that occurred in October 1st, 2017 caused a massive plunge in not wanting to enjoy the energy and lights of Vegas. After nationwide announcements and rumors in professional sports leagues establishing a team in Nevada, things have slowly picked up, one of them being the big relocation of the Raiders from Oakland to Vegas. To improve tourism, the city has been marketing toward international tourists to come over and visit the gambling capital of world. Along with small to moderate businesses launching and expanding to Vegas, and new housing projects taking place, there's a multitude of growth that continues in the desert. Las Vegas may not be the new-day Hollywood but entertainment, sports, food and gambling are increasingly getting glamorized and favored nationally, encouraging many potential travelers/customers to come over and unwind in Sin City.

Revenue has been steady for casinos, but the billions in loss should serve as a pushpin punctured in the fingertips for these casino owners. Whether they are casinos listed publicly (stock market) or small independent/local ones, it's been a closed-wallet kind of thinking entering in this second half of the 2010 decade. Judging by the comments section via social media, charging for parking is the number one complaint by both locals and tourists when stopping by a casino. This may cause visitors to opt for taxis, driving services like Uber, Lyft or DriveTime, or drop-offs by a mutual friend/family member. It's the same move by those who have done business with AirBnB as opposed to booking hotels directly to the casino or by other travel agencies such as TripAdvisor and Hotels.com. There isn't a concluded statement that this parking charge was a ploy to offer more business to the taxi industry, however, the assumption that the increase in tourism will create more profits thus capitalizing in revenue that surpasses the average annual median.

Adding fees to the vanity and complimentaries get passed off as understandably permissible, yet eliminating the need for parking charges will still keep casino owners afloat, meeting their annual target goal for the fiscal year. There isn't a more frustrating realization to the patron knowing they will visit and make time to gamble, drink, eat, stay in the hotel and attend an event in the casino—all which require money—than charging for parking. The thought of paying for visitation just to pay for what the patron knows they want is enough for patrons to lose interest, which will eventually lead to losses in customers. Folks interested in gambling seriously have learned the challenge and the likelihoods in winning a small fortune as casino games give the House a bigger advantage. Though it may be easy to put the low tourism in the forefront as part of the reason in losses, along with the expenses used by Caesar's, increases in the said amenities may have something to do with immediately meeting the annual average the state often makes. This desperate move isn't without its distaste by locals and tourists alike.

Casino owners are able to sleep well to this day, despite the massive losses going into this 2019 year. If any upgrades were to take place not by one casino but the entire state as a whole, things will pick up (removing parking charges will win more than 70% of the patrons back). This happening won't take place anytime soon, although, consumers recently have begun making their voices heard by "hitting [casino owners] in their pockets." The resul to this effect toward other businesses big and small has proved successful, coercing owners to either drop prices or eradicate fees completely. Such worse case scenario(s) has also caused these companies to layoff their staff members who unable to garner capital that accomodate their employees. It's becoming the normal move, at times considered an angst-filled boycott, against businesses/companies who worn the mask of corporate greed by spiking up prices that may otherwise be unaffordable for the average customer. Again, it has proven effective, thus owners becoming extremely cautious from price changing to public comments interpreted as "unprofessional" or "discriminatory."

Attracting consumers itself is challenging on top of rewarding them for their loyalty, but satisfying people who have no problem dropping their spending to a business that integrates charging for things like parking is enough to lose them for good.

SOURCES:
1. [LAS VEGAS SUN]: Nevada’s largest casinos report $1.2 billion loss in fiscal 2018

2. [WIKIPEDIA]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Vegas

3. [NBC SPORTS]: The Oakland Raiders are moving to Las Vegas

4. [NEW YORK TIMES]: Las Vegas Works to Charm Travelers From Asia

5. [FORBES]: Wynn's Reversal On Paid Parking A Sign Of Las Vegas Future

6. [LAS VEGAS SUN]: Wynn, Encore first Strip resorts to dump parking fee

7. [LAS VEGAS CONVENTION AND VISITORS AUTHORITY]: Las Vegas Visitor Statistics