Fifty years ago a Life magazine cover asked—“Las Vegas—Is Boom Overextended?” After all, three hotels had opened in the spring of that year costing a total of $15 million and two more were opening that summer including the $5 million Dunes. “Had Las Vegas pushed its luck too far?” Life wondered.
Nearly 30 years later, Malcolm Baldrige, while serving as Secretary of Commerce in 1984 was quoted as saying, “the current boom in Las Vegas could last four more years.”
But, of course here we are 20 years later, and Sin City continues to boom.
What Life Magazine and Poor Malcolm failed to grasp is what really makes Las Vegas—Las Vegas. The town is ground zero for high time preference. People go to Las Vegas to have a good time, blow their money and maybe be a little bit naughty. After all, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas (or according to the Palms casino “didn't happen at all”)”. Let's face it you don't go to Vegas to be civilized or prudent, just the opposite. As Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman told the Denver Post: "People don't come here from the Midwest to go to an AA meeting.”
An interesting article about Las Vegas and the seemingly perpetual prediction of its demise and how it never comes about. Although the article does go into depth into the real estate slowdown happening in Las Vegas even as it continues to grow.