Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Delivery trucks and local news

I came in to work this morning and found the early line up in place. This is the view from the bridge from the Team Member parking garage to the back entrances – hotel to the left, convention center to the right, new tower construction in the center. Trucks go down underneath the conference center to unload.

I never thought about what it takes behind the scenes to keep a business running. We don’t even have a big show, and yesterday and today there are at least a dozen big trucks lined up to unload downstairs at the loading docks. And the line of trucks stays this long for half the day! I guess when you have 4,000 hotel rooms, a couple of dozen restaurants and lots of bars you need lots of supplies. Most of the trucks have logos from food companies painted on the sides – one today is for a lobster and seafood place – ‘We go to great depths for you!’, but there is always a Coke and a Pepsi truck (or several of each) here every day.

The conference center is full – there are always small meetings and training sessions. There are over two hundred meeting rooms, most of which have movable walls to create larger spaces for bigger groups. The smallest hall does have a small show: the Micky D’s western regional conference, the central region finished up yesterday. Where franchise holders get a glimpse at the new products and campaigns, and suppliers show off new signs and baby changing tables and playground equipment and seating options. This group had about the fanciest buffet layout I’ve seen – no hamburgers for them.

And some bad news for Anna. There are stories around about a new group buying up the New Frontier hotel/casino. The property, next to the Fashion Show mall and across from the Wynn, is selling for $40,000,000 per acre. The 38 acre site will change hands for a little over 1.5 billion dollars ($1,500,000,000). It’s difficult for me to comprehend spending that much just to get a site that will probably be cleared for new construction. Yes, the hotel will probably be biting the dust. Which means Anna will not get to participate in the bikini mud wrestling or bikini bull riding competitions at Gilley’s next time she comes out. Sorry A. Maybe I can buy you one of those interesting bathroom setups if the fixtures are sold off.

On the local front, airport commissioners are trying to pick a new company to run all of the stores and concessions at the airport. LV airport is the sixth largest in the country (in number of takeoffs and landings). That’s pretty impressive if you consider that we are a destination airport, not a transfer point. The two largest airports are Atlanta and Chicago, where most people just fly in to change planes and fly out again. Here everybody gets off and hits the strip. The three biggest companies in competition for the franchise each have political connections, one having paid a big fine for bribing politicians at some other city. Some of the commissioners bowed out of voting because of ties to the attorneys for one group or another. LV is now rather sensitive to that, having several city officials currently in prison for accepting bribes.

The city is also getting ready for an upcoming grand prix race. Like Long Beach and Monte Carlo, Las Vegas will soon close downtown and the streets will be filled with cars trying to hit 200mph legally. In a few weeks the course will circle Fremont Street in a three mile circuit. I don’t know how many visitors are expected, but our mayor is quite pleased. We just had a round of Nascar races a few weeks ago up at the racetrack.

Out west a new Grand Canyon attraction is getting close to opening. From a story in the the Review Journal, the local Hualapai Indian reservation (no, it didn’t say ‘native American’ reservation) has a walk over the canyon partially completed.

Soon you will be able to walk out on a glass walkway (yes, the floor is glass) hanging out over the Grand Canyon. Take a look at that – for those of you with no fear of heights. The canyon is about a mile deep at this point. Straight down under the walkway.

Of course, somehow the reservation will have to get the twenty miles of dirt road up to the site paved. On our last trip to Arizona we stopped at the store that is closest to this, and the girls there say the road is so bad that somebody is towed off every day. And when it rains (ok, it does rain sometime out here) the mud is so bad that no vehicle can make it. Unfortunately a private person owns the land that a good part of the road runs across, and he doesn’t want the extra traffic and is refusing to have his part worked on. Legally he has to permit access, since the road has been there for so long, but he does not have to improve it. There are also shops and restaurants and the visitor center to be built, only the walkway is done.

On the state front, our new governor is under investigation for improperly accepting campaign contributions. He’s got a big ‘legal defense fund’ that falls outside of federal laws on the size of contributions he can accept. We’ll see what becomes of that.

Nationally, our pres is fighting congress over an investigation into the firing of federal attorneys. I don’t know what all the complaints are about, the attorneys work for him and work ‘at his pleasure’. Other presidents have had similar firings, with Clinton firing 93 of them (W only fired a dozen or so). I wish congress would stop paying attention to little stuff like this, which are great for headlines, and concentrate on getting our soldiers out of Iraq, or figuring out a good national health care plan. But I guess headlines and fighting the president are more interesting and news worthy than doing useful things.

And since we started this discussion with food, I might as well end up with it.

Bean burritos – good!

No comments: