Recession and Recovery: A View from the Strip

Fri, 20 Aug 2010 14:05:30 +0000

I was in Las Vegas for most of the last week, and blogging was (tied with a lot of other things for the title of) the furthest thing from my mind.  But, being an economist, I am always on the lookout for markers of economic recovery. Walking around town, I noticed that there was barely any construction going on.  There is a new facility going up at the Venetian complex, but nowhere else that I could see.  But the best source of information always seems to be the taxi drivers.  We took a total of four cabs, two of whom had chatty cabbies.  The first told us that the recession ended in Vegas four months ago.  Since then, things have been back to normal.  The second suggested to us that the new normal wasn't as good as the old normal.  Conventions that used to not only bring people but throw lavish parties were still bringing the people but not throwing the same kind of parties.  Convention goers from nearby areas were finding their companies willing to fly them in and out for day trips rather than let them stay locally and potentially run up entertainment charges.