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Q&A

“I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think we had some shot encouraged that people are returning. We’ve got a healthy convention and sales business. at some kind of momentum.” But, people are more conservative in their spending. We’re also seeing younger audiences that are coming more for the nightclub scene than for gambling. We still have some strong international play, but that’s mostly manifested at the high-end parts of the properties that cater to them. I think we’re going to have to work hard; I don’t think it’s a slam dunk. I think we’re flat. SF: Is the nightclub boom a shortcut to profit? EW: I’d say it is filling in the deficiencies left by the contraction of other things. They’re spending less on food, for instance. The old gourmet rooms are a thing of the past with one or two exceptions. And even the great gourmet chefs are doing these new modern kinds of plating options to appeal to a younger audience. I don’t know if they’re going to go to too many shows anymore. The younger ones just

wanted to go clubbin’, and that makes up for a chunk of lost revenue elsewhere. SF: Does it make you nostalgic? EW: I’m a rare breed. I was here in the ’60s; I came when the Rat Pack was here. So, I have a sentimental view about Old Las Vegas. But, I can’t really complain, because we built New Las Vegas. You have to change with the times. The nightclub scene is the new stuff. With social media and instant friending, nightclubs become the opposite of the virtual world. It’s still a place where you get to meet people in person, and be with them side-by-side, as opposed to being on a screen. SF: Wow, so you’ve evolved to thinking nightclubs are the savior for actual contact. EW: Yeah, I think it is a direct reaction to

human need for actual, physical interaction. Once you’ve Facebooked and Twittered and tweeted, the whole point is to lead to a meeting, and the nightclubs provide the meetings. SF: There was a lot of attention paid to Las Vegas in 2012 because Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson gave huge amounts of money to Republicans. What was your impression of the attention Las Vegas got over all of that? EW: We live in a free society where people lawfully are entitled to use their funds to support the candidates and causes that they care to support. Ultimately, the only ones who can judge if that’s a good exercise or not are the people who do it. Now, I don’t think their return on investment was very good! (Laughs.) If it had been a company, people would’ve said,

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44 | Desert

Companion | April 2013

Desert Companion - April 2013  

Desert Companion celebrates the passions and aspirations of Southern Nevadans. We inform, entertain, engage people and define the spirit of...

Desert Companion - April 2013  

Desert Companion celebrates the passions and aspirations of Southern Nevadans. We inform, entertain, engage people and define the spirit of...