Friday, March 19, 2010

Desert Ridge Development

Notwithstanding the sign in front of its sales office offering to provide accessibility measures upon request, Desert Ridge Development in North Las Vegas is not accessible and does not provide accessibility upon request.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Marketing Strategy for Downtown Vegas: "Fuck You If You're Disabled. "

The Fitzgerald's in downtown Las Vegas has just 86'ed my wife, a PhD in sociology with a billion years of experience in undergrad-level instruction, for recharging her mobility scooter with one of their electrical outlets.

When we first moved here, three years ago, there was actually some expressed interest in making the Fremont Street mall (aka the "Experience") more accessible to disabled patrons. I'm not sure if the interest was legitimate of if it was just "handling. " In either case, it is gone now.

Downtown Vegas has supposedly struggled to redefine itself in the last two years. But I'd like to know who the marketing genius was who came up with "Fuck You If You're Disabled" as a feature of the new strategy. Overlooking every other thing that is immediately stupid about the matter, disability is correlated with age, and retirees make up a disproportionate share of the (remaining) patrons of the downtown area. I don't expect brilliance from "marketers," but an inability even to read elementary demographics is a new pinnacle even still.

The "Old Vegas" paradigm used to mean "good food, good whiskey, and a good gamble," to quote Benny Binion. The subtext was one of affordability, among other things: Las Vegas survived its adolescence by offering the thrill of the casino lifestyle to the 99% of the travel industry's customers who could not afford to pursue it on the level traditionally required by European gaming hot spots. Las Vegas faced a number of criticisms, but it was one of the short-listers on the destinations list where affordability was concerned, and no one disputed the matter for long. Nowadays, the implicit arrangement is a grotesquerie of its historical self: show up and walk around for three days, and you can tell all of your friends you've been to "Las Vegas. "

Open resentment of the client/customer has been faddish in marketing circles of late. A number of going concerns have decided that a first principle of their relations with the public will be to display irritation that the public doesn't just stay home and mail in money. But if this is the best that the marketing minds behind the New Old Vegas can do, that says something about the quality of management at the establishments in question. Not even the recreational gambler is a complete sheep, and some are less sheeplike than others. The strategy in question raises other issues as well in each specific case (such as rudimentary competence in execution). It's a little harder than just deciding to decide this time, folks.

I have no personal interest in this matter. If downtown Las Vegas wants to continue to shoot itself in the foot, I won't care too much. But it annoys me as an MBA to see the goodwill (in both senses of the term) of an 80-year-old brand wasted. Downtown has always been cut-rate, but that used to be true in a good way. Now it is just petty, insubstantial, and ultimately trashy: there is nothing trashier than playing adolescent dominance games to the point where self-interest itself is compromised. You can take your one-and-a-half stars and go to hell for all I care.