Viva Las Vegas …

Let me begin today with two “Las Vegas items”.  Earlier this year, the Nevada Gaming Commission expanded the number of things that the sportsbooks there could include on their betting menu.  For the first time, sportsbooks in Las Vegas could take bets on propositions related to the NFL Draft.  That experiment was deemed a success even though the handles reported seem awfully small to me by Las Vegas standards.  According to an report, some books said their handle was “as much as $60,000”.

Presumably based on that declaration of success, the Nevada Gaming Commission has now approved proposition wagering on the NBA Draft taking place tomorrow.  Here is a sample of the propositions offered by the Westgate sportsbook:

  1. Number of Duke players drafted in the first round.  O/U = 3.5  OVER = +145 and UNDER = -160.
  2. Number of Kentucky players drafted in the first round.  O/U = 2.5  OVER = -300 and UNDER = +250.

All wagers have to be in by close of business tonight (June 21); don’t get shut out at the windows…

Unless you have been on a tour of one of the newly discovered exoplanets for the last several weeks or are just coming out of a coma, you know that Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor are going to fight one another in Las Vegas in August.  Before I retired, I had to spend a week at a conference at Nellis Air Force Base just outside Las Vegas in mid-August.  I do not have a degree in meteorology, but I can report that it is generally outrageously hot in that part of the world at that time of the year; when I was there, temps all week got into the 110 – 114-degree range.  As you might suspect, this is not the peak season for Las Vegas tourism…

The hotels in Las Vegas do not charge premium prices for the rooms that they do sell in August – – except for one weekend this year.  As soon as the date for the fight was set and the hype begun, room rates in Las Vegas jumped. reported that a weekend stay (3 nights) at the Rio on the strip in Vegas cost $133 per night before the fight was announced; once that announcement hit the streets, the price of a room for the weekend of the fight was $233 per night.  That is a 75% increase.

According to ESPN, this is in line with the price jump at other hotels in Las Vegas for the weekend of the fight:

  • Flamingo – up 72%
  • Harrah’s – up 76%
  • New York New York – up 68%
  • Treasure Island – up 60%
  • Wynn’s – up 70%

The two fighters are going to make a whole lot of money for this fight; it appears that the Las Vegas economy is going to do very well also…

I do not eat a lot of “fast food”.  This is not some sort of sanctimonious statement about the healthiness of fast food or the sustainability of fast food; I do not eat much of it because I do not think most of it tastes very good.  Specifically, regarding McDonalds, my main patronage for these restaurants over the past 20 years or so has been to go in to relieve myself of previously consumed coffee along the highway and to get another cup of coffee that will eventually be delivered to another locale along the highway.   Based on recent reports, however, I may need to reassess my patronage and stop in for a Big Mac – – assuming of course that McDonalds still sells those things.

McDonalds has been a TOP partner – The Olympic Partner Pregramme – with the IOC for more than a couple decades.  McDonalds has terminated its relationship with the IOC before it expired.  The IOC characterized the split as McDonalds seeking to “focus on different business priorities”; McDonalds said basically the same thing.  What I take this to mean are these things:

  1. McDonalds has disassociated itself with an entity that is venal and corrupt to the core.  I give them points for coming to that realization and doing something about it.
  2. Future Olympic athletes will have to eat something else in the Olympic village when the IOC finds another food vendor to take McDonalds’ place as a TOP partner.

Prior to McDonalds’ withdrawal from the TOP Programme, the composite of the TOP partners was:

  • Alibaba
  • Bridgestone Tires
  • McDonalds
  • Omega Timepieces
  • Panasonic
  • Toyota

The IOC said it had not decided whether it would seek to replace McDonalds with another entity in the retail foods business segment.  What I take that to mean is that the IOC is accepting offers from companies in all business segments to assume the position that McDonalds had occupied; they will take money wherever they can get it.

If I remember correctly a Big Mac was “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion on a sesame seed bun.”  I need to go an eat one of those bad boys just to show my support for this divorce.

Finally, with the College World Series underway in Omaha, here is some reporting from Brad Dickson in the Omaha World Herald:

“The TD Ameritrade Park concession is offering an item consisting of two Omaha Steaks patties topped with melted provolone, cheddar, mozzarella and jack cheese. It’s called the Double Play Burger. Sounds more like Triple Bypass Burger.

“There’s also the giant “Strike Zone” Calzone, which is 1-1/2 feet long. It’s the first concession item that could be mistaken for a section of the Keystone XL pipeline.

“Since large umbrellas aren’t allowed inside TD Ameritrade Park, in the event of rain take refuge under the 1-1/2-foot calzone.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



4 thoughts on “Viva Las Vegas …”

  1. Hey Curmudge. While I certainly understand your desire to show Mickey-Ds some support for fleeing from the Olympics, don’t eat that burger! Vile things. Take any Macdonalds burger patty, wipe off all the toppings/sauces and taste it. I’d rather chew on a wad of masking tape. Blech.

    1. Bones:

      I do not plan to become a regular consumer of those things, but I do want to do something symbolic to show my approval of their divorce from the IOC. Any other suggestions…?

  2. The coffee and restrooms are the only reason to stop at McD’s. The rest is what I call food-like products designed to create the illusion of being satiated until you arrive at the next freeway exit.

    1. Doug:

      I cannot quarrel with any of your culinary analysis here. However, I want to do something – one time will suffice – to show support for splitting from the IOC. Suggestions …?

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