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November 23, 2017

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Readers weigh in on entertainment council in Las Vegas to address mega-clubs


Tom Donoghue/

The fifth-anniversary celebration of The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage on June 8, 2011.

My June 26 story about a proposed entertainment council to help combat steep theater ticket discounting for shows on the Strip because of effects of nightclub popularity prompted letters.

Here is a sampling:

From Andy Walmsley: I loved your article about the clubs and Electric Daisy Carnival killing live entertainment in Las Vegas. This is a big worry to me. There’s a whole generation of 21-year-olds who don’t go to shows and certainly won’t when they hit their 30s and 40s. My sad prediction is that 20 years from now, there won’t be any production shows in Las Vegas; just a handful of headliners. A great shame.

From Dick Franco Entertainment: I read your recent mega-club article with interest. I can tell you, it’s not just the clubs that are killing entertainment in Las Vegas; they are just the final blow. The hotels that rent the space are responsible, as are the advertising outlets and merciless ticket brokers. Rather than focus on creating quality shows that last, the focus is on cleaning out any producer who is naive enough to try to create a show! Grab every cent of the pre-pro money they have and then sit back and watch them die, failure after failure after failure for the producers, while the system piles up cash and overlapping, nonrefundable deposits.

I spend a lot of time in Europe and over many years would bring back proposals of the best, most innovative and profitable shows from around the world. These days, international producers laugh when I mention doing a show in Las Vegas. They are on to the scam and have no interest in getting skinned alive by the Las Vegas entertainment “system.” You can’t improve the situation without the cooperation of those mentioned above. —Dick Franco (currently in Branson, Mo.)

From David Hardy: Your article was very informative. I wasn’t aware of the effect the clubs are having on the entertainment industry here in Las Vegas. I will encourage my friends to see shows instead of clubs when they visit. Us locals can make a difference that way.

From John McEntee: Excellent job on the article about Las Vegas forming an entertainment council. Sorely needed before it’s too late.

From Seth Yudof: I read your column about the entertainment council. I have a different view on things. I really think that the casinos and shows have done this to themselves, by turning what used to be amazing entertainment that was inexpensive or free into ridiculously overpriced events that make it difficult to afford to see more than one show. It’s self-defeating.

Once a hotel rapes me for $160 to see a production show, I’d just as soon leave the property as quickly as possible to find something cheaper to do afterward. Before when I could see Lance Burton for $20 at the Hacienda, I’d have spent hours at that property eating and gambling and having fun. Also, if the show/lounge entertainment was more reflective of what younger people are interested in, then they would go to the shows and lounges.

From Jonathan Turoff: Hotels can’t have it both ways. Twenty-somethings will stick to a budget when they come to Las Vegas, and that will go to nightlife over gaming. It’s a younger crowd visiting Las Vegas, and seeing a show just isn’t high on the list over a club. I love gambling and entertainment and did both over EDC weekend, but that crowd doesn’t get much out of either. It will be adapt or die.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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