Las Vegas is fighting back against the recession that has hit the city hard in the last few years. I last visited Las Vegas in 2005, just before the American economy took a nose dive and with it the number of visitors to LAs Vegas slumped.
Unemployment in Las Vegas is over 15% and the hotels in Las Vegas lost a record $6 billion in 2010. Something needed to be done so the city decided that Celine Dion had to come back to the save the city from financial meltdown !
I went to see Celine Dion in Las Vegas in 2005. She was in the middle of a run of shows that lasted between 2003 and 2007. In that time every ticket for every show was sold and Caesar’s Palace made profits of over $400 million as huge numbers of visitors went to Las Vegas to see her show. The singer is returning to Las Vegas for a 3 year run of shows and I can recommend that you go and see her.
It is estimated that Celine Dion will create upto 7,000 indirect jobs and bring in $114 million of economic activity a year. The show has already taken over $10 million of box office takings for the first month of the show alone.
Celine Dion has been called a ‘one-woman economic stimulus package’ and I think there’s a lot of truth to that. People will come to the city just for her and they will spend money and as a consequence, she has an outsized impact on the economy,” said Stephen Brown, director of the Centre for Business and Economic Research in Las Vegas.
Dion, 42, is the best-selling female artist of all time – hits include the Oscar-winning theme songs from the films Titanic and Beauty and the Beast. She has sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, won more than 1,000 awards and enjoys a deeply loyal fan base.
Few people are under any illusions that Las Vegas can be single-handedly salvaged by one woman and a microphone. On the same day that her new show opened, the fabled Sahara hotel and casino, one-time favourite of stars including Sinatra, Elvis and the Beatles, and the setting for the movie Ocean’s 11, announced that it will close in May, driven to the wall by the recession after 59 years in business.
Appropriately enough for a star expected to work the Midas Touch on Las Vegas, among her songlist on opening night was the theme from the James Bond film Goldfinger. But the star, who is reaping a $500,000 pay packet per show, claims not to believe in her own powers of financial influence.
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