Las Vegas use four primary differentiators to establish a brand. The first is the atmosphere, the theme of the hotel, its pool area and other amenities. The second are gambling limits (minimum and maximum stakes) and payouts (ranging from 90 to 101%). The third are on-site bars, clubs, and restaurants that it houses. The fourth is its headliner features and/or shows.
Las Vegas shows fall into four categories: animal acts, comedy and performer-centric entertainment, musical acts, and theatrical productions. Even before the accident involving the former team of Sigfried and Roy at Hotel Mirage, this has never been at the high-end of entertainment. Shock and traditional magic acts such as Penn & Teller and Lance Burton perform multiple times per week. Recently, Celine Dion signed a 100.000.000 USD contract for three years (2006) at Caesar's Palace. Celine also receives 50% of the profits in the 30.000.000 USD stage show. More recently, huge multi-million extravaganzas have made inroads such as Cirque de Soleil's O.
Today, Las Vegas is a family vacation and weekend getaway destination. Part of this transformation has been to move from topless revues to less risque entertainment. The hotels themselves have incorporated themes into their eating and dining establishments.
Appealing to the younger adults, a number of night clubs have opened at the newer casinos. In the late nineties, the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel off the strip was 'the place' to see and be seen. The heavily grotto'd pool lent a bit of the Playboy Mansion atmosphere to what is already known as 'Sin City.' By the new century, the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay was competing with and surpassing the Hard Rock Cafe in terms of visiting entertainment acts and the exclusivity of its velvet rope.
Today, other clubs such as Hotel Rio's Club Rio, Hotel Luxor's RA, Hotel MGM Grand's Studio 54, Club Seven, and the Palms Resort's Rain compete with the Casino Hard Rock Baby's Nightclub, and House of Blues.
Many people rave about the Las Vegas nightlife and the clubs. The clubs are filled with tourists and are not exclusive. In this sense, they cannot compete with the clubs from larger metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City. However, I find this very democratic.
The photos to left are from a rather sanguine Voodoo Lounge and Club Risque. Hard Rock Hotel was much too far and passe to warrant a trip on my last holiday. Next time, I will look to take some photos at RA and Rain. I may take some photos at House of Blues. But, it looks just any other House of Blues, so no real surprises.
For the more sophisticated, there are also what I affectionately call the old man bars. These include most bars at Bellagio and Napolean's at Hotel Paris. Red leather couches, over-priced drinks, cigar humidours, and service by scantily clad cocktail waitresses.