In their rush to book a Formula One racing event, Las Vegas city fathers have intentionally or otherwise conducted a 20,000-person human sacrifice in the form of a forfeited convention. Congratulations, Sin City, you’ve just lost the 2023 NAR NXT, a major conference of Realtors. Your loss shall be Anaheim‘s gain. Let’s let the official press release tell the story, shall we?
|Although our contract was signed in 2014 with Las Vegas hotel properties, a Formula 1 race was recently scheduled that will occur over the same period as our conference. Given this unexpected—and sudden—development, we are proud to say that NAR’s Meetings & Events and Legal teams have acted swiftly and skillfully to secure an efficient, immediate transition of the event from Las Vegas to Anaheim.
This Formula 1 event draws an international crowd twice the size of the Super Bowl. While the race will be held throughout the streets of Las Vegas on Saturday, Nov. 18, numerous qualifying races and practice sessions are scheduled in the city in the preceding days. This will, in effect, shut down the area in the middle of the racetrack (where the Venetian hotel is located) and would make accessing other parts of the city time-consuming and inefficient. As a result, it would have been extremely challenging for our over-20,000 attendees to access essential venues used for our events, and we project these complications would have made for a less-than-ideal meeting experience for both our members and partners.
Hey, what’s a contract, especially one that was signed eight years ago? No doubt, in the grand scheme of things, the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority considers 20,000 realtors very small potatoes compared to “an international crowd twice the size of the Super Bowl.” Still, how many other shoes are going to drop, given the LVCVA’s cavalier attitude toward pre-existing convention bookings? Sadly, given the ways that MGM Resorts International and other casino companies are openly looking to profiteer off Formula One, we suspect that burnt offerings like NAR NXT are going to be the new way of doing business.
Speaking of realty, new-home sales are down in the Vegas area—sharply so. Given the ticky-tacky nature of home building in the valley, we’re not entirely broken up at the news, but maybe growth-zealous executives like the ones at Station Casinos should be giving the Wall Street Journal a read. Builders and homeowners alike got badly caught out by the 2008 recession. The former say they’ve learned their lesson and the latter would appear to have done likewise, judging by the sharp drop in adjustable-rate mortgages. Nor do top gaming execs expect more than a mild recession next year. Still … what goes up economically must come down, or, as the WSJ puts it: “After a pandemic-fueled buying spree that unleashed the most powerful U.S. housing boom in 15 years, demand has plummeted as mortgage rates have risen.” That means falling prices for idle inventory.
The good news, such as it is, is that safeguards have been put in place, both by lenders and builders, to prevent another 2008-style meltdown. “They still had the good credit, they still had the good job,” one builder says of the current mini-crisis. Rising interest rates “just squeezed them out of the market.” Is Station mistaking inventory for demand when it pencils in multiple, parallel new-casino developments? Is that why it was slow-walking some of that bold talk in a recent investor meeting? Just wondering.
Jottings: Exit J.B. Smoove, enter Vince Vaughn. The popular actor has been signed by Caesars Sportsbook to be “the Sultan of Slots and the Ruler of Roulette.” What was that about reducing digital-marketing costs? … We’re still against putting a certain baseball bettor in Cooperstown. However, with the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati soon taking wagers, shouldn’t it be at the “Pete Rose Memorial Sportsbook”? Think about it, BetMGM … Will Nebraska racinos be taking walk-up sports bets? Regulators for the state have approved it but the matter rests with gaming-averse Gov. Clay Ricketts (R, above) … If Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) loses his re-election bid, as appears likely, he won’t be penning any thank-you notes to Resorts World Las Vegas. Despite being allowed to continue construction throughout the Covid-19 lockdown, saving Resorts World valuable months and enabling it to open on the crest of the Las Vegas recovery, President Scott Sibella and his cohort have thrown all their money behind Sisolak’s challenger, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (R), currently ahead in the polls. Ingratitude, they name is Genting.