The first of the year is a special time for a lot of people. For most of you, it probably meant the end of a long holiday season. For the Las Vegas resorts and casinos, or at least those on the Strip and downtown, their holiday is just beginning and it will be fast and furious.
The first six weeks of the year is when they will usually make their most profits. What happens now will set them up for the rest of the year. The problem is that in these six weeks, they have to cater to three very large, very specific groups of visitors and each has very different needs. Requiring a lot of attention to details as well as adhering to some tight timelines for setups and conversions.
CES Starts the year
The new year always starts with the largest consumer technology convention in the world. About 160,00 industry professionals will come to Las Vegas for 3 to 5 days and get to see, touch and explore what is coming to your world real soon. This is where the newest gadgets, the newest technology for your life, meet the buyers and marketers who will be deciding what you will be buying next month and next year.
It’s kind of an intimidating experience because for those who attend, no matter how new your technology is when you attend, you will feel like you are three years behind the curve when you see whats on display!! Each year they have the “It” product. One product that will dominate the market the rest of the year. Last year it was drones and virtual reality (VR). This year it looks like it will be artificial intelligence (AI) and voice.
This event will take over the Las Vegas Convention Center (2 million square feet), the Sands Expo and Convention Center (2.5 million square feet), plus all the major resort suites will be booked fo either CEO’s or for private exhibit spaces. Plus most of the top named restaurants will be sold out for special events and some of the biggest names in entertainment will be brought in for private events and concerts.
CES is January 9-12, 2018
The Big Game
To most people, its known as The Super Bowl. For Las Vegas, we have a little bit of a feud with the NFL the last decade or so over the name, so we usually call it “The Big Game”. That will bring in about 200,000 people for the weekend. More people will be here for the game then is in the host city. This year that would be my hometown, Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the tied for being the biggest betting day in Las Vegas along with the Kentucky Derby. ($150 Million in 2016)
Name Your Poison: All the casinos will have huge “Big Game” parties, a lot of the theaters and showrooms are turned into viewing centers with catering that ranges from hot dogs and beer to Caviar and Dom Perignon. Name a retired sports legend and chance s are they will be someplace in Las Vegas doing autograph sessions and private meet and greets.
Although the game is on Sunday, in Vegas, we start the party early, on Friday before. The Super Bowl is February 4, 2018
Chinese New Year
Each of the above two events requires a different mindset and focus for the casinos and resorts. CES means not a lot of gambling, but a lot of entertainment. The Big Game means lots of gambling and not much entertainment.
As soon as CES moves out, they start to gear up for the Big Game, keeping an eye on the NFL playoffs and depending on what teams win the playoffs, will determine the type of fans who will make the trek to Las Vegas. When Green Bay was in the Super Bowl, you could find the greatest chefs in Las Vegas making bratwurst and sauerkraut!
However, in the background, while catering to these two different groups, the Strip casinos are working overtime for their Christmas present and that would be Chinese New Years. This is their biggest gambling week and they will do whatever it takes to make every Asian gambler or Chinese tourist feel at home here. The carpets are changed, the positions of the gaming tables, the colors of the fabrics and the flowers will all match whatever is that years lucky number, color, plant and animal according to their zodiac.
If there is anyone who claims to be the greatest Feng shui Master and they are available for hire in January, they are not that good because all the best in the business are usually busy in Las Vegas. And not just for the casinos and hotels. People who travel and entertain Chinese guests will be busy having their homes and business are being Feng shui’ed as well.
The most famous Chinese entertainers will be in Las Vegas performing and the major casinos will have traditional dances and celebrations.
According to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle, the Chinese year beginning in 2018 is the year of the Dog. Dog years are believed to be the most unlucky for people born in previous years of the Dog (2006).
Chinese New Year, also known as the “Spring Festival” in modern Mainland China, is China’s most important traditional festival. China’s Spring Festival public holiday starts on the Chinese New Year and lasts for 7 days.
Chinese New Year is February 16, 2018
And thats how we start our year off in Las Vegas. Enjoy!!