I remember visiting Vegas as a teenager. My family stayed at the Excalibur Hotel and there was a lot of entertainment for kids with arcades and kid friendly games. We waited in line for the $1.99 steak buffet dinners. Parking was always free. Fast forward to 2017 and that Vegas is long gone and today's Vegas is much more flashy and expensive. The cheap buffets have been replaced by celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and Thomas Keller. You can easily drop $50 just on lunch. Maybe I haven't looked very hard but I don't see any video arcades anymore. It is now all grown up entertainment from magicians to Celine Dion to Britney Spears to Jerry Seinfeld. And lots of people walking around with giant alcoholic beverages. This is the first time that I was hit with a mandatory $35 resort fee for wifi and not sure what else. And even free parking is gone. The casinos finally figured out that they could be collecting millions of dollars instead of giving it away - kind of feels like how the airlines charge for every little thing and it adds up fast.
You can get a feel for the economy by visiting Vegas which is a cyclical boom and bust town. In 2006, their real estate market was one of the biggest bubbles and it imploded in just as grand of fashion. Vegas real estate prices have rebounded but doesn't look like a bubble which is good news. Prices are now just in line with its long-term growth trend. I'm here for one night in Vegas and it feels like things are booming. Everything is crowded. People are spending money in the casinos, restaurants and luxury stores. Even the major sports franchises are coming. The NHL will be first with the Vegas Golden Nights kicking off its season this year and the NFL will follow with the Oakland Raiders moving to town in 2020. Baseball and basketball can't be far behind. There is no sign of slow down here in Sin City.