Actually, I think the plan is more for a celebration than a lament. It is hard to say, because sometimes I get a press release so breathtakingly stupid I have to remind myself that maybe this is simply genius that I am too conventional a thinker to recognize.
Today that press release came from the room-tax-supported Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. This is the organization that is responsible for promoting tourism here. Their most famous success, as LVCVA would be the first to point out, came from providing the money behind the “What happens here…” advertising campaign. And there is no denying that tourists were packing the Strip thanks to that message back in 2006 or so. But to quote the New York philosopher Lou Reed: those were different times.
So what do these great thinkers responsible for getting tourists to come to Las Vegas have to say to us in the midst of the worst economic times in the Strip’s history?
“The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is urging all Las Vegans to show their support for the No. 1 industry to our economy by wearing blue on Tuesday, May 12.”
I was so flabbergasted by this release, at first, I thought it was not authentic. But the release then goes on to contain this forceful quote from LVCVA leader Rossi Ralenkotter, who acts as if this act of mass color coordination is actually doing something:
“There has never been a more important time for all of Southern Nevada to come together to support our main economic driver. Everyone needs to join the travel and tourism industry and wear something blue on May 12 to show the solidarity of our community.”
We “need” to wear blue? Or what, something bad will happen? It isn’t like there are layoffs and budget cuts and foreclosures and bankruptcies happening all over town to remind Las Vegans how dependent we are on tourism. Oh, wait that is exactly what is happening. I guess, maybe, it is theoretically possible that a tiny group of people, say, people who are paid by a room tax, might not have to face these facts on a daily basis. Thankfully, LVCVA has invented Blue Tuesday on May 12 to do the trick for those who live in that bubble. Then all Las Vegas as one will admit our total and utter dependence on tourism.
And, how will this fix everything? Anything?
Thanks, LVCVA. I am so glad you are working on a plan to fill our hotel rooms again.