I’ve finally found something Republicans and Democrats in Las Vegas can all agree on.
Out-of-touch casino executives have made a tragic mistake. They’re trying to get blood from a stone.
Some genius at MGM Resorts International decided everyone should pay for valet parking — something that has been free since the beginning of time in Vegas. In a world that tries to drain us of every penny we’ve got, free valet parking in Vegas was a great perk.
It’s a golden rule for success in business: Give people something free or nice, make them like you, and they’ll thank you by spending.
But Vegas casino executives evidently didn’t get this memo. They didn’t just do away with free valet parking. They didn’t decide to charge $1 instead. They went from “free” straight to $13 to valet park your car. Thirteen dollars!
First it was MGM. This week Caesars and Wynn joined in the fun. They just killed the goose that laid the golden egg.
The middle class has been squeezed for eight years under President Barack Obama. Not just average working-class and middle-class Americans, but upper-middle-class professionals and small business owners such as me. We’ve been savaged from so many directions, our heads are spinning.
Almost one in five Las Vegas homes are worth less than what’s owed on the mortgage. Our incomes are dramatically down. Our taxes are dramatically up. Our grocery bills are way up. Because of Obamacare, my health insurance, health-care costs and prescription costs have quadrupled.
The cost of college can only be described as insane.
Add it up and none of us can keep up with the bills. We’re drowning.
There are 2 million locals. Free valet parking was a win-win-win. Consumers won. Valet was fast, easy and made average people feel like a million bucks. Casinos won because the consumer was happy, walked inside and spent or gambled money. And employees won. Valet parkers had great jobs with great tips.
That’s all dead now. Everyone loses.
I have spent the past 15 years having business lunches and dinners at restaurants inside casinos. Now you want me to pay $13 extra every time I choose to eat at your restaurants? So a $100 bill becomes $113 (plus tip). Where would the extra money come from after taxes, Obamacare and college costs?
All they had to do was validate valet tickets for paying customers. If I spend money at your restaurants or shows or spas or gift shops, simply validate my valet ticket and it’s free. Now you’re forcing me to go elsewhere.
You can’t get blood from a stone. You’ve just chased away a great customer. I will take my business elsewhere.
Once you’ve lost a great customer like me — who spends lots of money, tips valets $5 every time and eats out 10 times a week — the party is over. If I’m done with MGM, Caesars and Wynn, then so are 2 million other Vegas locals.
You just killed the goose that laid the golden egg.
Wayne Allyn Root (Wayne@ROOTforAmerica.com) is a best-selling author and host of “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” from 3 to 6 p.m. daily at 790 Talk Now. His R-J columns run Wednesdays and Sundays.