Casinos are finally learning to appreciate how much Hispanics corazón Vegas
By STEVE FRIESS
"You know,” Michael Weaver says to me at the tail end of a lunch appointment that has been filled largely with gloom about the state of the Vegas economy, “there actually is one segment of the population that is actually up over the year before.”
“Yeah, it’s the strangest thing,” the Harrah’s marketing veep for Paris, Bally’s and Rio continues. “It might surprise you who.”
Hmm. Let’s see. We’re in the worst downturn in decades. Gaming and traveler figures have plummeted by numbers so shocking that even the biggest pessimist does a double take. Mammoth hotel structures stand along the Strip stuck mid-construction to taunt a greedy, overreaching industry that didn’t plan for the possibility that the boom would ever slow. And me? I had to travel to godforsaken Battle Mountain, crowned by the Washington Post in 2001 as the Armpit of America but thriving now as the price of gold soars, to find a story on anyone benefiting from this misery.
Yeah, Michael. I’d be surprised. Not just about who but by the very concept of good economic news. Hit me with it.
“Hispanics,” he says. “The Asians, the gays, the general market, customers in every age, geography and gender category are all down. The one consistent demo where you see increases are Latinos.”
We’ll get around to why this may be in a moment. But first, an answer to my—and likely your—first question: How do they even know?
Read the rest HERE