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June 1999 Article

Exclusively Found in the Insider Viewpoint of Las Vegas

Only in America. . .
Gambling or Playing Games!

By: Frank Rosenthal

Only in America, three words that guide the destiny of mankind. Throughout history, societies have suffered nature-driven and manmade Armageddons. No society throughout the centuries has been as resourceful, resilient and as free as the United States. The maladies of society haunt and will haunt our infrastructure; however, we manage to balance good and evil unlike any nation in history.

Our place in today’s world dominates as no other empire, nation, nation state and/or any form of society ever known in history. The United States self-regulates itself, allowing no individual to dominate where self-interest becomes a peril to the precepts of our society.

The human phenomenon known as Bill Gates is testing this basic logic, but he too will face boundaries. He, unlike our subject, has transformed the world into a new era.

Our beloved Las Vegas has also found itself in the grips of ego-driven talented individuals. One personality has emerged over the past two decades to dominate the green felt desert. He has been both innovative and daring.

The landscape in Clark County has been transferred from rectangular objects (ordinary hotel lodgings), a normal grid pattern to a Mecca of fountains, a volcano, ships battling to the duplication of cities, landmarks and events through uniquely structured facades. One extraordinary individual should be given the golden globe of producing and directing the new Las Vegas.

Undoubtedly, George Lucas could be the ideal presenter. Today the event would be entitled "Only in America." After the accolades for his accomplishments, the question (again) must be answered… "NO." Las Vegas has allowed one individual to create, build and direct a runaway locomotive under the guise of progress.

He has bullied, intimidated and cajoled his will on the city. The herd theory was quickly adopted by the other corporate-types in control of the city.

Once you strip away the outer skin of "today’s" Las Vegas, you find a very interesting anatomy. At the epic center is found one person’s egocentric self, covered with a self-indulging epidermis. If you extricate this layer – behold you find a boldacious self-promoter who is also intelligent. Unfortunately, his self-imposed 11th Commandment "What is good for him is good for Las Vegas," is set to implode the real interior fabric of the city.

He has built over the class and style of Las Vegas for a quarter of a century. The ashes of the volcano are beginning to cover the real city. The corporations that own the gaming establishments are finding that ‘big is better’ was not one of the precepts of the principles taught at Wharton. One man’s vision seen through his own reflection, spells trouble. The balance sheets of these public companies are wet with the perspiration of nervous hands. Red is the color not of choice but of fact. Uncontrolled ego manifested through unlimited expansion leads to cannibalization of your competition. The billion dollar monuments are just those – monuments.

Yes, Las Vegas is the most unique Entertainment City in the world. It is the brightest star in the desert, but its spirit is dim. Only in America, do we or can we find such an unicity. The man responsible for this unparalleled metamorphous has begun his descent. His burden is heavy, for what one man created, many men must try to salvage, Only in America, can the overwhelming odds against saving one of the great institutions of enjoyment can be overcome.

To paraphrase one of the more no-table quotes emanating out one of our more spirited past vice presidential debates – "You, Mr. Las Vegas are no Bill Gates."

FLRInsider.JPG
Frank Rosenthal

 

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