Is It, Or Isn’t It
The economy really took its toll on this city. It started a few months after the rest of the country but once it hit jobs disappeared, businesses closed, and homes were lost. As far as worst hit cities, I think Las Vegas was on the top. In about a year and a half our population dropped about 500,000 and our unemployment jumped about as quick as our homeless. I realized that having the job I did was a blessing in disguise. The hardest part for my family and I was dealing with my income being cut nearly in half at one point. I kept reminding myself that it could be worse, at least I have a job and we have a roof over our head.
Over the last year it seems industries around the world are making a come back and traffic flow rose about 20% in Las Vegas. If our convention traffic is up then things must be doing well. But it wasn’t just the convention traffic, our tourist traffic was on the rise also. As our city started to shift back into gear we simply had to accept that the way we made money had to change. People were no longer coming to town to gamble and just toss their hard-earned money around, but were here doing things outside the casinos and making sure they are getting something for their money. It seemed to take a few weeks (maybe months) for some but the city shifted with the time and is moving forward. We’ve had two new properties open totaling 4 Hotels and 2 condo towers during the slump and while not pulling the numbers they may have hoped for, are doing well enough. Unfortunately, we still have some dirt lots and partly constructed properties out there. But all in all we are on the up swing, at least I think.
With traffic increasing and my income raising we are still hitting some massive bumps in the road that cause me too worry a bit. New Year’s Eve didn’t seem as busy as I thought it would be based on the months leading up to it. Thank god for “CES” a week later.That was a perfect start to what seemed to be another better year to come. Both “CES” and the “AVN” show’s drew better numbers than last year and hopes were high. “Concrete” and “SHOT” came to town and really boosted our hopes with record income days for me in the last two years. Even the week between shows I found ways to pull in good numbers and was coming at this last week with high hopes and not a bad thought in mind. This last week was WMC and I have a little secret that only a few of us drivers know about that brings in a ton of fares and high tips.
The show started and I pulled up to my little secret and loaded with in seconds. Sweet, we are off to a good start. I drop off and
headed flew back to get my next fare. I pull in the parking lot only to see a bus in my way. I can’t see if there is any one needing a ride and I’m getting pissed now. I monuver around to the doors and see a ton of people standing there. I give the horn a tap and wave at them only to get blank stares in return. What are they waiting for? Why is my cab empty? WAIT! Why are they all getting on the bus? No one out there would talk to me, not even guys who I’ve been taking to this market for the last 4 years twice a year. I know they recognized me but wouldn’t even come close enough to the cab to give me the middle finger. After the last of the group got on the bus I pulled off mad as hell. Now what am I going to do?
I weave through downtown and notice all the cab lines are full and no one is moving. I then slither around the strip only to see long lines and angry drivers. After seeing the poor state on the strip I quickly pick up my radio mic and swipe the first open call. I talked to someone from my super secret location and found out that all the Vendors showing this year chipped in and got all the companies bus transportation to and from the show (about twice as many busses as normal). This was the way they were able to get the numbers for the show so high. The furniture industry is not doing so well and people are tightening the belts. All I have to say is good for them for finding a way to get people here, but a part of me curses them for taking all my fares.
Needless to say I spent the rest of WMC in the residentials.