Thursday, March 26, 2009

A doctor's office in a casino!?!?!

Back when Hunter Hillegas of RateVegas.Com and I ambled through the opening night of M Resort, we both took pause at the notion of this...

It struck us and others that placing a pharmacy inside a casino served just one purpose, to lure in geezers. And luring them in with promises of free co-pays and the like seemed to be preying on geezers who aren't well and who probably are short on cash. In my interview for The Strip this week, though, Marnell defended it as an amenity just like the buffet and said he believes most oldsters are getting free meds anyway from the government so how could it be "predatory," as I felt.

Well, back when I first wrote about this for a VegasHappensHere.Com post on March 1, I wrote: "Why not have a doctor's office and eyeglass shop, too? As Hunter cracked, which locals casino will be first to market with funerary services?"

So imagine my surprise when, in quizzing Marnell about this and asking him what the next logical move was, he said that he's about to OPEN A DOCTOR'S OFFICE. Hear all about it starting at around 1:15:30 on this week's episode of The Strip. He says he's recruited a doctor who is popular in the region.

There was other news out of this conversation:

* The famous M Blimp will be retired in a few months when the contract runs out. Plans to sell advertising on it failed because the ad market has dried up and the idea of selling rides in its gondola just didn't make sense if the ship itself wasn't making revenue.

* The player's club has hit its 100,000th enrollee. (A press release on this went out today, a day after the interview.) Marnell said 95 percent were people coming into the property and the remainder via the Internet.

* Even though MGM Mirage invested $160 million in the project, which cost $1 billion, they own a 50 percent equity stake. I'm wondering if there's someone out there with, say, $200 million, who might want half of a beautiful new resort that seems to be doing well and also to help MGM out with its cash-flow crisis. Paging Mr. Boyd...

* There were plans to build a movie theater and bowling alley on the property but Marnell said they ran out of money.

I feel like I'm forgetting something, but I can't remember what. It's a good interview, even if you don't care about a locals casino. Marnell has lots of stuff to say about his dad, too, and what he's built. Go listen to it. No word on when the M Funeral Services office will be opening for business.


Anonymous said...

I would think a Doctor's office and Pharmacy are a great idea, if only to keep more of the workforce closer to their jobs. Don't they employ over 1000 people? I think employees miss more time for health related issues than anything else, and in house health care could help attendance and productivity 5 or 10%. I haven't listened to the show yet, if this is redundant, I apologize.

Jeff in OKC

Anonymous said...

My wife and I each take daily medications and we're in our 30's. If we're old geezers, then your demographics are skewed. I personally would appreciate having a pharmacy in case one of us ran out of medicine while on a trip.

ShortWoman said...

Am I the only person who has seen the M Blimp in the air? The character in the logo is just to thin to see from the ground. I wouldn't have known what it was if I hadn't seen the thing on the ground. There's your point of failure.

Anonymous said...

Feisty episode - you guys should play good with each other ;)

Anonymous said...

Actually a nice place quick wait times, better pricing than most other places on drugs. I just had my script filled at the pharmacy