International Tourism Benefit Las Vegas Retailers

The tourism industry in Nevada is booming alongside its real estate industry, one which has seen an increase in the sales of properties on the Las Vegas Strip in recent times, amounting to billions of dollars. As Las Vegas positions itself for more good tidings to come, the retailers in Las Vegas are also beginning to smile to the bank with a lot of cash in their hands, thanks to international tourism which has increased exponentially.

Over the years, companies such as Berger & Son Fine Jewelers who have been in business on the Strip since the 80s have not only seen an increase in the number of customers patronizing them, the number of their international clients has also skyrocketed, contributing as much as 80% of their profits.

When Berger noticed an increase in the number of international clients patronizing his business, he researched and came up with a unique concept that allowed him to create a steady stream of customers from China, United Kingdom, Russia as well as Brazil, from the airport to his business premises at the Fashion Show Mall. When he was asked to share the secret, he said “Go to McCarran airport and see what the flight schedule looks like for the day, and that is my customer”, leveraging on the women’s penchant for shiny jewelry and men’s taste for whatever is hot to improve his business.

According to Statistics released by Chris Jones the chief marketing officer at the McCarran International airport, the number of foreign visitors at the airport leapt from 2,729,997 to 3,436,619 in 12 months, indicating a 26% increase, and would hopefully increase when airlines such as Hainan Airlines begins their three-day-a-week flights from Beijing China to Las Vegas.

How do these retailers leverage on international tourism to make good profits from their business?

CEO of Fashionbi, Milan, Ambika Zutshi says, “different factors in different countries have led to growth in shopping tourism in the recent years”. He cited some of the following factors as some of the main reasons international tourism has increased.

  • Product unavailability in foreign countries
  • High tax rates in Asia drive Asians to the United States (he pointed out that the cost of products in Asia could cater for travel expenses and the goods itself in Europe)
  • Authenticity of products in foreign countries where they are produced
  • Prestige attached to shopping directly from manufacturers stores or showrooms.

These factors have led retailers to start

  • Marketing to them as from their home countries till they enter Las Vegas through social media campaigns
  • Partnering with hotels to offer discounts for guests who would purchase their products
  • Partnering with authorities at tourist hotspots such as the casinos and museums
  • Opening duty free shops or offering huge discounts at peak travel seasons

There’s a likelihood of more retailers benefitting from the boost in international tourism in Las Vegas in coming months. Retail shops like Bonanza are gearing up to provide shoppers more souvenirs and gifts now they’ve been bought out by Hiam Gabay in a $50 million deal.

Vegas Hockey Trademark Rejected

Bill Foley, the owner fo the Vegas NHL team, kept saying the reason he was delaying releasing the name of the team was that he had to cross all the “T’s” and dot all the” i’s” to make sure he owned the name he wanted.  Looks like he forgot to cross the one important “T”.  That would be the Trademark office!

According to news reports, the Vegas Golden Knights’ trademark request was denied by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday because of a “likelihood of confusion”  with another trademark.  The College of Saint Rose is a school  in Albany, New York, uses the Golden Knights nickname as well.

The name and the logo has been in dispute with fans and foes alike since it was first unveiled in a ceremony on November 22.  Many saying it’s not what they expected for a Las Vegas professional sports team.  A town built on excitement, flash and neon deserves a name & logo that befits that image. Not one that looks like it belongs with the Knights of the Roundtable!!

The “Vegas GoldenKnights” or whatever they end up being named, begin play in the 2017/2018 Season and will play their home games at the T-Mobile Arena(That we do know is true!)

Photo: Tom Donoghue

Big Gift Shop Sold For Big Bucks

Clark County records have shown that for a whopping sum of $50million, Hiam Gabay, the one-year-old tenant operator of the popular 2-acre gift shop Bonanza, has bought the property after receiving $10 million and $25 million loans from the seller of the property and a bank respectively. This comes in at a time when investors have been spending billions of dollars purchasing properties especially malls on the strip. Gabay was said to have sold two of his shops on Fremont Street to Derek Stevens for about $13.5 million, which he used to partly finance the purchase of Bonanza.

Bonanza is the world’s largest gift shop located at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Ave. Established in the 80s, the gift shop ousted two casinos (Honest John’s Casino and Big Wheel Casino from where it got the big round sign) and some smaller stores along the strip to occupy over 40,000 square feet of the shopping space it sits on today.

Sometime in 2014, the owner of the store Lynn Morris was reported to have sold the gift shop to MGM, although the reports were denied by Morris. Then in October 2015, another report surfaced about the sale of the gift shop to PRE Sahara Square LLC, a group which wanted to buy into the increasing likelihood of a rebirth of the Strip.

The sale of malls and shops at the strip came at a time when land investors decided to ignore undeveloped lands parcels and projects on the drawing boards because tourists were spending their money elsewhere other than in casinos. First, The Shop at Crystals was acquired by a property group based in Indianapolis, Simon Property Group alongside Invesco of Atlanta. Then came TIIA that bought 50% stakes in Fashion Show and Miracle Mile Shops which was also sold to Calpers and Miller Capital Advisory.

John Knott, a Las Vegas broker in a statement said that Bonanza could have fetched its owners as much as $70 million if they had sold it the previous year while also pointing out that Gabay would continue managing the shop for as long as possible, adding that so far, Gabay had done very well in running the shop owing primarily to the fact that the shop had always interested him.

Speculators in many quarters are of the opinion that one of the reasons why investors were buying up malls on the Strip is because the IRS permitted them to postpone tax payments on profits from such properties if they reinvested the proceeds into similar properties.

Many who patronize the Bonanza are hopeful that the shop would still have in stock the souvenirs and other items they are used to buying such as Polly the Foul-Mouthed-Fowl.

 

What is your favorite purchase from the Bonanza Gift Shop??

Vegas Hockey Team Gets Named on Tuesday

The Las Vegas NHL team that has yet to have a name will finally have a name this coming Tuesday.  They just won’t have any team jerseys for their fans to buy and wear.  But the team will finally have a name! Hallelujah, Amen and About Dang Time!

This is such a big deal, the NHL will stream it live on the NHL Network and on NHL.com.  It all starts at 5:30 pm at Toshiba Plaza in front of the T-Mobile Arena with the name being announced at 6:00 pm.  The event will be free to attend and parking will be free for all in the New York-New York parking garage.

After the announcement, T-Mobile Arena will be opened for fans to tour and the 16,000 Season ticket-holders will be able to sit in their chosen seats. Team representatives will also be on hand to answer any questions and resolve any potential issues fans may have with their seat selections.

Team and NHL merchandise will also be available in the team shop at T-Mobile Arena.  Unless you want the team jerseys to wear in the Las Vegas winter, those won’t be available until spring. Go figure!

  • The team will play in the 2017-2018 season
  • The T-Mobile Arena can seat 17,368 for hockey

 

I loved attending the Frozen Fury last month at T-Mobile, it’s a perfect venue for the team and the fans.  The first drop of the puck on the new ice is still a year away, and we now will have a team name to cheer for and get excited for.

So I hope now that he got his ego satisfied with a team name that he likes, maybe he can stop listening to the NHL marketing people and put together a Las Vegas based marketing team.  Then turn his management people loose to get everything moving in the right direction.  The last thing Las Vegas needs is another failed sporting experiment.

Your Thoughts??

 

Donny & Marie Stay For Another Year

When their contract with the Caesars Entertainment was about to expire, many were speculating as to whether Donnie and Marie would stay on in Las Vegas or not. However, in August 2016, the sibling-headliners hinted during the opening of the nine-year in the making sequel “Jason Bourne” that they might stay on at the Donny & Marie Showroom at the Flamingo.

Caesars Entertainment made the announcement in a news release early morning on October 11. Officially, they both have agreed to stay on till the end of 2017 at their showroom. The duo was originally signed for six weeks in 2008, but has been in Las Vegas for nine years and counting. Their announcements didn’t come as a surprise to many people because early this year, Donny moved into a Summerlin home with his wife of 38 years, Debbie.

Since 2008, Donny and Marie have performed as much as 1200 shows and have also featured their friend and fellow superstar Olivia Newton-John since 2014.  According to documents from a lawsuit with their  management company, Donny and Marie are paid a base salary of $1.6 million, plus 40 percent of the box office gross.

Long Time Performing

Donald Clark Osmond, a former teen idol, and one of The Osmond Brothers – consisting of him and four of his brothers – has been in the show business as far back as the mid-1960s with his siblings particularly his sister Marie who is two years his junior, and with whom he has been running shows with for more than 30 years. Donny and his brothers would always be grateful to Jay Emerson Williams, Andy Williams’s father, who persuaded his son to allow them to sing on the successful show where Donny sang “You Are My Sunshine” at the age of five. Donny and his brothers went on to become one of the most successful and most fatigued singing groups of the 70s. Donny has a long list of songs to his credit and they include Go Away Little Girl, Puppy Love, Sweet and Innocent, Hey Girl/I knew You When, to mention a few.