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July 22, 2008

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Gaming is unlike other forms of entertainment in that much of it requires face-to-face interaction. Transportation has gotten much cheaper over the period of Las Vegas's growth. One theory is that Vegas has grown as transportation costs have decreased. Clever use of psychology hasn't hurt revenues, but doesn't account for the growth. If that theory is correct, then we can expect that the high cost of oil, the main input to transportation, is going to hit Vegas hard.

I don't disagree with the larger point you're making here, which I would summarize as "services (like entertainment) can add value to an economy." But Vegas is the wrong poster child.

Whoa. What is real, indeed.

I have to wonder, though, if Vegas's growth will be forever thus, given the slow down in the construction markets.

Also, the state of Nevada is developing a reputation for corruption with its current governor in trouble. Might that adversely affect the business climate, given how construction markets are usually associated with corruption?

Hey Tim,

Thought you might find this article from The American written by Joel Kotkin pretty interesting. http://american.com/archive/2006/december/new-economic-map/?searchterm=Vegas

Here's the essential quotation. Notice how fast Vegas is expanding employment!

"Between 1994 and 2005, the Phoenix area expanded employment by 52 percent, Orlando by 48 percent, Charlotte by 31 percent, Boise 44 percent, Reno 36 percent, Houston 25 percent, and Las Vegas an astounding 86 percent. By comparison, New York City and greater Chicago expanded by only single digits, while the Cleveland, Baltimore, Detroit, and Philadelphia areas all lost jobs. It’s no surprise that many people—particularly in younger families—are moving out of the slow-growth cities."

If Gross National Happiness by Arthur C. Brooks is any guarantee, the people who ditch the commute may in fact become happier people. Seriously.

Robert VerBruggen reviewed it in the National Review Online and here's the essential paragraph.

"... In the average person’s day, the most miserable part is the commute to work. Marriage increases happiness, but kids decrease it."

So here's to hoping high gas prices means shorter commutes as folks don't buy those big homes up in the hills.

Let's try this - Vegas will profit from the high gas prices because with all that money you're losing on transportation, people will need to risk it and try and win their money back. Eh? Anyone? Anyone? :)

Betting exchanges allow consumers to both back and lay at odds of their choice. Similar in some ways to a stock exchange.

Greetings

I am curious to know why las vegas has become so affordable, so quickly. Yes I realize revenues must be down for the Casinos... but There still has to be a ton of jobs in that town.. Shouldn't they be one of the most robust economies in the country

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