It's only been a day since George Clooney and his partners announced their plans to open a "classy" casino and resort in Las Vegas, and already so-called "experts" from the gaming industry are crapping all over their fancy dreams:
Clooney, who is investing millions of his own money in a $3 billion hotel and condo complex called Las Ramblas, has floated the idea of having a dress code in the casino similar to those enforced in many European casinos. [...]
"It doesn't make that much sense to me," said Jeff Voyles, a casino management instructor at the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at UNLV. "I think they have hotel, condo and real estate guys giving them advice rather than gaming guys."
"You can't achieve the revenue you need (to make a casino profitable) by narrowing your focus," said Voyles, a casino executive at MGM Mirage. "Do you know how many millionaires are walking around Las Vegas wearing jeans and polo shirts? You cannot tell somebody who is 35 to 45 years old, very successful and makes a quarter of a million dollars per year that he has to wear a jacket."
A quarter of a million dollars a year? Clooney finds a forgotten half-mil in the pocket of his bathrobe on the way to the shower. At the Las Ramblas, people in the 250K tax bracket will be affixing those sanitary paper strips across the toilet bowls, wistfully imagining what it would be like to sip a stiff martini with the well-dressed high rollers at the craps table. This project isn't about making money, it's about class, about the spirit of Old Vegas. If Clooney and his pals were merely concerned with maximizing profits, would they be building incredibly expensive animatronic replicas of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra to prowl the casino floor, weaving from table to table and cold-cocking any mouthy gambler bold enough to complain when they get fresh with their
tomatoes girlfriends? We think not.