Las Vegas, as with all vacation destinations in the world, is feeling the sting of recession. Unlike the big auto makers, banks and stock market firms, there has been no government bailout billions to help it through the tough times.
Worse, and no matter what your political affiliations, you can’t deny that President Obama did a perfect hit ’em while they’re down shot at Sin City. Right after he gave billions to General Motors so they’d hire more workers in the U.S., he told businesses to cut back on their expenses by cancelling their Vegas meetings and conventions.
Maybe Vegas can’t blame the President for all the woes, but they are starkly real. The city and county have one of the nation’s highest unemployment percentages, now hovering near 20%. Hotel occupancy is down 10% from last year and not improving.
One significant figure is that until the last several years, military reunions in Vegas averaged about 100 a year. When scanning the schedules recently, there were 15, with few that attracted more than 50 attendees.
Along with the stagnant economy, there are other reasons for such a drop. Until recent years, virtually all military reunions were composed of World War II veterans, whose ranks once included ten million men and women. A total of all the wars since involve fewer veterans.
In that war, they usually served together in the same unit or ship for three or four years, and they later continued much closer companionships and more patriotic attitudes than veterans of all wars since. Statistically, surviving WWII veterans are now in their mid-80s and older. More than half are already gone, and survivor numbers are quickly diminishing.
Whatever the reasons, Las Vegas is hurting. If involved in planning your next military reunion, consider Vegas. It still boasts the most luxurious resort hotels at the best bargain prices in the world, Broadway quality entertainment, the fantastically cheap buffets and, of course, the casinos.
For more information, check out reunion deals in Sin City with your favorite hometown and/or online travel agency. For more details, go to VegasMeansBusiness.com