Sunday, May 24, 2009
As always, there were other odds and ends from my exposure to Bethlehem and the Sands Bethlehem casino there to share. This, above, was among those, the fact that they charge $7 -- and I heard people said things like, "Oh, that's a lucky number" -- for valet parking. The only hotel that charges for valet parking in Vegas that I know of is the Four Seasons.
Let's see...what else. Well, I found it a bit shocking that Las Vegas Sands would build a casino in a jurisdiction where the state takes a 55 percent share of the gaming revenue. Did you people in Carson City trying to find a few more sheckels between the cushions hear that? LVS thinks it's worth it to spend $743 million to build a thing where they'll get 45 percent of the revenue!
Hey, remember that big crane with the Sands logo on it? Well, look at what they've got attached to it:
This was what is known as a very, very soft opening. Besides the fact that they didn't have the hotel or mall ready -- and won't for more than a year -- the belly-up bar (as Hunter and Mike E call the central-casino bars) didn't even have matchbooks. So I was reduced to doing this for a souvenir:
They had a gift shop called Sands & Co., I think, which is a strange name. I did pick up a couple of T-shirts, a mug and a shotglass I plan to sell off to support the show for $30 or more. Something in the gift shop I did NOT buy:
As you can tell from my other posts as well as my radio, podcast and newspaper work on this story, these folks are very proud of their steel heritage. So proud, in fact, that when Mayor John Callahan took me to another part of the city to see a redevelopment project, I spotted this mural on the wall of a gym:
I also thought it was cute that Bethlehem's non-steel-related nickname is the Christmas City. People mail their mail there in December to get special Christmas-related stamps. Here's some:
Back at the casino, it was also interesting that there are designated nonsmoking areas such as this. That's what that yellow sign says.
You might recall from a recent post here that not only do none of the Vegas joints offer such a thing to my knowledge, but at the Palazzo (owned by LVS, natch) this sign stands in the casino...
...without giving any indication of where said corridor is.
Of course, I loved checking out the Express-Times, the local paper, as they celebrated and reported this opening. Here's the cover of the Exposed section, the Friday entertainment section:
Of course, everything is overdone with gambling cliches. The front-page headline, for instance, was "Today, all bets are on," for instance. That piece included some advice from Michael Bluejay of VegasClick.Com on how to beat the slots. His answer, essentially: You can't.
They might as well learn sooner than later, huh?