Jitters could dampen nascent recovery on Vegas Strip


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Is the Las Vegas Strip about to shake its run of bad luck?

For more than three years, visitors to Sin City have clung tightly to their cash, which meant sinking revenue for debt-laden casino companies. But this week, the two largest Strip operators reported some second-quarter trends that handed this recession-weary town a shot of optimism.

First, MGM Resorts International said tourists have been shelling out more for shows, meals, slots and table games, business publication Vegas Inc. reported. “They’re getting on with their lives — and going on vacation,” said Chief Executive Jim Murren.


Then privately held Caesars Entertainment said its customers had loosened their wallets as well, with Strip revenue jumping 10.3% compared to the same period last year, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Also, visitor volume and room rates have ticked up through the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2010.

That said, let’s hold off on the champagne.

Recent economic developments don’t bode well for the Strip, which depends on visitors feeling financially secure enough to blow savings on roulette and Cirque du Soleil tickets. A roller-coaster stock market won’t help. Neither will talk of a double-dip recession.

--Ashley Powers


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