Beer pong, free parking and a tent in the desert


The pan-Arab media is speculating about Gaddafi losing his grip and control of the country.  Al Jazeera is even reporting that some neighborhoods in Tripoli have been abandoned by the pro-Gaddafi supporters – forces, army and Al Gaddafi tribal members – to the forces of evil – the drugged children of the army of Bin Laden. Al Arabia has a very insightful set of predictions from a physiologist – this will stun you.  There are, according to the physiologist, three possible outcomes for Gaddafi; he will kill himself, someone else will kill him or he will simply disappear. We don’t know what he is thinking because he hasn’t said anything publicaly today – damn shame, he is entertaining; at least to one sitting safely thousands of miles away from his guns, bombs and madness.

The casino operators in Atlantic City are faced with a crisis of their own; their customers, unlike the Libyans, are not demonstrating or calling for anything.  They simply left town about four years ago, partly because they did not like the smoking ban, partly because over the last three years everyone has had less money to fritter away, but mainly because there are casinos closer to their home and there is no longer a compelling reason to go to Atlantic City.  The new governor of New Jersey is on the case; he has reduced some regulatory restrictions, helped Revel find financing, created a special administrative district in Atlantic City controlled by the state to manage tourism and anything else he that he thinks might help.  But like the forces in the streets of Libya or Egypt time and tide are against him – the times they have changed – thank you Bobby once again for the phrase, it has served my generation well for the last 40 plus years.  The casinos in Atlantic City are doing their own dances of desperation (if you know the musical Chicago you get a great visual with that metaphor), this year is barely begun and already two casinos have sold – at prices about one tenth of the asking price four years ago.  In the casinos themselves, the managers are also desperately grasping at straws; beer pong, free parking and bring your dog. Wow, now that is going to make me change my vacation plans – who would go to Las Vegas with deals like that in Atlantic City?

Desperate times call for desperate measures – in business that can produce some pretty funny ideas; I toured a casino a couple of days ago that had taken out hundreds of slot machines since the last time I was there.  In one area that once contained between 100 and 150 slot machines, each did a $100 15 years ago, there are now rows of beer pong tables – awaiting the arrival of the pongers and the beer.  I wonder how much a day those tables do?  It is easy to make fun of things that don’t affect me, of decisions I didn’t have to make – but with dear old crazy Muammar Al-Gaddafi there is no fun.  It is a very dangerous situation – he is an unpredictable man with resources available to him that are dangerous to everyone in Libya, but also dangerous to everyone in the Middle East and Europe, if not the world.  Lets hope he does disappear into a tent in the desert from which he came without first doing a serious harm.


1 Response to “Beer pong, free parking and a tent in the desert”

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