Faded, baby: Las Vegas not doing enough to woo back tourists


Leaving Las Vegas after a three day stay has me wondering if Tinsel Town has lost a bit of its glamor. Yes, the strip is still full of lights and mammoth hotels, but it looks tired and in many ways, outdated. It starts when you enter the airport and are bombarded with billboards announcing the exciting "new" shows like Bette Midler, Cher and Wayne Newton. I'm sure they are all enjoyable, but I would hardly call them new or cutting edge. It is more like a Geritol convention.

Checking into Mandeley Bay, I was surprised that we weren't offered some free gambling chips, a drink coupon, or, for that matter, anything FREE. As a city trying to lure customers back, I certainly didn't feel catered to. No one held a door, offered to help me with my luggage, or really even acknowledged me. Much of the help did not understand English, let alone great customer service. It goes without saying, there was no free paper outside my door in the morning.

We made our stop in the casino as you really can't help but make a stop at the gambling hall. All the hotels in Vegas are designed that you have to go through the casino to get anywhere in the complex. But our stop was a disappointment too. I don't mean that we just lost money (we did) but the games were hardly anything new or trendy. As I played a game with Dean Martin smiling and singing, I realized that my kids wouldn't even know who that was. John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, and Joey Bishop are relics that few people younger than me even know.

For Vegas to really come back as an entertainment capital, it needs to update and offer guest unique experiences and impeccable customer service. If I wanted to be ignored, I could have just stayed at home.

Barbara Bartlein is The People Pro. For her FREE e-mail newsletter, please visit: The People Pro.