A blog by a Las Vegas taxi driver about Las Vegas, Nevada, including the good, the bad, and the ugly: The Nevada Taxicab Authority, cab company owners and supervisors, Metro Police, dispatchers, door-persons, the "pit", back-loading, front-loading, long-hauling, meter-rolling, high-flagging, run-outs, robberies, drunks, accidents, and mandatory 12 hour shifts. All cab drivers in Las Vegas are employees of the nine taxicab companies that own all the taxis in Las Vegas. Las Vegas has 40 million annual visitors, the 4th busiest airport in the U.S. with an average of 8600 taxi pick-ups per day, 22K conventions a year, and 15 of the 20 largest hotels in the world.

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Vegas Taxi Driver

Las Vegas Driver Blog Articles



Former Las Vegas Taxi Driver Phil Staudt is currently posting his blog articles on philstaudtblog.com.

There may be more articles published at this Vegas Taxi Driver blog, but Phil Staudt has not driven a taxi in Las Vegas for over three years, and has no plans to do so again, and the interest in Las Vegas taxi policy politics, Las Vegas taxi companies, the Nevada Taxi Authority, and the real stories about being a Las Vegas driver, are relatively boring, and there is a very small audience for that (although there is still a big audience for telling lies and phoney tales about being a Las Vegas taxi driver, but I do not want to go there).

Many times I think about taking on the bad taxi companies (and they are not all bad) in Las Vegas, and use the internet to expose their evil ways, but then I look at my list of things to do, and save that one for another day. Fortunately for me, I was able to work for 3 1/2 years for a good company, Western Cab Company, where the owners and the manager treated me very well, and never once pressured me to be a crook, and let me work the best shifts and drive a new cab, even though I was not a high booker.

The first blog articles I ever wrote, were written in 2005, when I was a taxi driver in Las Vegas working for Las Vegas taxi companies, before I worked for Western Cab Company. Since that was the beginning of my blogging, I will not get rid of this blog, and maybe some things will come to me about my taxi driving experiences in Las Vegas that are worth publishing.

In the meantime folks, if you want to read blog articles written by Phil Staudt (the author of vegastaxidriver.com and a former Las Vegas Taxi Driver), you can do that at philstaudtblog.com.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

PHILIP RAYMOND STAUDT
Former Vegas Taxi Driver

The Las Vegas Taxi Driver Blogger Will Be Back



The Las Vegas Taxi Driver Blogger Will Be Back

by Phil Staudt
Vegas Taxi Driver
July 18, 2010

I apologize for not being diligent in posting regularly recently to this blog. I have been very busy working on some other online projects, but it is almost time for me to get back to doing some blogging. I have not been a cab driver for 1 1/2 years, and I was only a Las Vegas taxi driver for less than five years, in 1994 and 1995, and up until Feb 2009. I was also a cab driver in Portland, Oregon back in 1990. I never wanted to be a cab driver, even for one day, but I have suffered some serious set-backs at different times in my life. The most recent was having a stroke in 2008 while I was working as a cab driver for Western Cab Company in Las Vegas. Everything was fine, and I kept on working, but I lost my ability to talk and write, because of aphasia caused by the stroke, and I had to spend lots of time rehabilitating and learning how to talk and write all over again. I still have problems with it, and speaking and writing is way more difficult for me than it ever was before.

So, I guess this blog article is to let anyone who stumbles across the Vegas Taxi Driver Blog know, that the Vegas Taxi Driver will be doing more blogging in the future.

The comments have all approved, except for the spam, and the one that stated with one F word after another that I did not know how to use English (which was spelled wrong) and that I was boring and a waste of his time.

Now that I am not beholden to anyone, and am not employed in the Las Vegas taxicab field, I have considered starting over with new articles where I can say whatever I want, without being concerned about repercussions. We'll see.

by Phil Staudt
Vegas Taxi Driver
July 18, 2010

New Asian Fusion Restaurant in South Las Vegas

 
Here is the letter I sent to President Obama.

New Asian Fusion Restaurant Opens In South Las Vegas 

by Phil Staudt
March 29, 2010

New Asian fusion restaurant opened on March 20, 2010 in Las Vegas.

Match Restaurant in Las Vegas

Match Restaurant in Las Vegas is a new Asian fusion restaurant at Maryland and Silverado Ranch Rd. It is located just down the road from the South Point Hotel and Casino, in the Silverado Ranch community, at the corner of Maryland Parkway and Silverado Ranch Boulevard. Match Restaurant is a superb place to go for late night drinks and dining.

Las Vegas locals now have a pleasant place to chill and unwind at night, after a hard day of work or golf, located on the southern side of Las Vegas, at the corner of Maryland Parkway and Silverado Ranch Boulevard. If you want to gather with business clients, or spend some romantic time with your special one, or just hang out with some good friends, private rooms are available for small groups. There are also private Karaoke rooms to have some late night fun while dining and/or having drinks.

Match Restaurant is owned and operated by Gregory Arianoff and Chef Randy Liu.

Match Restaurant is a new restaurant in Las Vegas that was designed by industry professionals. Chef Randy Liu is the owner of Ta Ta Asian Bistro in Henderson. GM Gregory Arianoff was formerly the GM of Morel's French Steak-House in the Palazzo Hotel and Casino, and the GM of Market City Caffe inside the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino. On March 20, 2010, they opened Match Restaurant, which is an Asian fusion experience for evening and late night dining and drinking and socializing.

Go to Match Restaurant on the south side of Las Vegas and check it out. Tell them that you found out about the place on VegasTaxiDriver.com. If you tell them "777Buzz" you can get a 20% discount on your entire check from now until April 22, 2010.

For more info and pictures and coupon
click here.

by Phil Staudt
March 29
, 2010

Tags:         

Match Restaurant in Las Vegas is an Asian fusion restaurant.

Las Vegas Cabbie Makes Money Online

 

Former Las Vegas Cabbie earns Internet income 

by Phil Staudt
February 16, 2010

Internet Income Business Opportunity

An Internet Business I Endorse.

My name is Phil Staudt. I grew up in Gladstone, Oregon, and graduated from Gladstone High School in 1978. Now I live in Las Vegas, and I am a full time Internet marketer and I make money with affiliate programs. I also used to be a taxi driver in Las Vegas, and I worked at several restaurants in Las Vegas. I have also been a salesman, entrepreneur, I have been a factory worker, waiter, bartender, restaurant manager, bar manager, and owner of several small businesses, including a janitorial service, t-shirt business, commercial salmon troller, and limousine service.

Why do I tell you who I am? Because I want to let you see that I am a real person who is writing this. I only endorse a few things, and that is only when I have enough knowledge about them, and I know what they are all about, and who is behind them. Then, and only then, I am not afraid to use my name to promote things. The online companies I am promoting at this time are owned by an individual I have worked with, and have known since 1986. Timothy L. Drobnick Sr. has been working online as an Internet marketer since 1995. I have only been a full time Internet marketer since March 2009, but I have done part time online marketing and have promoted affiliate programs since 1999. I recently hooked up with Tim Drobnick because he was getting ready to launch a new company that interested me greatly. Timothy L. Drobnick Sr. launched his latest business less than two weeks ago.

There are a lot of snakes and crooks and swindlers and scammers on the Internet. The Internet has made it possible for the crooks who were using mail order and telemarketing to run their scams in the 90's, to magnify their scamming operations and train the new scammers on how to rip people off on a grandiose scale. They use bogus names and tell all kinds of big bold lies, and nobody is monitoring them or stopping them or pressing charges against them. Every now and then you hear of a rogue seller or swindler, but for every one who gets caught or punished, there are thousands upon thousands of unscrupulous individuals who know how to hide and sneak and run, but not until after they steal and deceive and laugh their ass off. That is the way it is in Internet marketing.

Why do I tell you that? I learned early on that it is not good in sales to bad mouth the competition. Doing that instills fear and aprehension in the minds of your potential prospects. They start thinking, "Yeah, you're right. And come to think of it, you are probably just as bad as them." Well, at the risk of losing some potential customers, what I look for over the years is somebody who is willing to be real and honest and up front. If I turn some people off, and cause them to be discouraged, and they don't get into business opportunities that I make money promoting, that is fine by me, as long as I have given them the best advice I have to anyone who wants to make money online: BE CAREFUL!!!

How do you know if an Internet marketer or online marketing program is honest and ethical? One way is to google the name of the promoter or company. But does that really give you an accurate picture? Any real Internet marketer who has been on the Internet for a few years or more, who uses their name to sell things, is going to have a lot of results on google or bing. Anyone can join all the social networking sites, and build a few fancy looking websites. That does NOT mean that they worthwhile or reputable.

There are malicious websites that have been put up for the purpose of defaming people and companies. They tell malicious lies to discredit individuals and organizations. But it is always important to consider the sources of websites. They are either hiding under a rock, or they are one of the websites that specifically target a lot of reputable businesses online and call them scams, and intentionally slander them and make false claims, because it gets people to go to their website and pay attention to them. One of those websites is ripoffreport.com. Check them on wikipedia and see if what I am saying is true: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripoff_Report. They have been sued many times, but to no avail.

There are also the websites that are put up that use the word "scam" to get people to go to their website. If you google popular marketing programs or people, many times you will see their name on google next to the word scam. But if you click on the link, you will find that it says absolutely nothing about that person or program or website that is being used in the link. It is just a ploy to get traffic to their website and get people to look at what they have to sell. There a many many tricks and schemes online, so expect them, and be wise to them.

The Internet is the wild wild west and there are not any sheriffs in town.

If you check out Timothy L. Drobnick Sr. on the Internet, and his websites, you will find that there are very many good people who have been doing business with Tim Drobnick for many years, because he is honest and fair, and truly wants to see people succeed as Internet marketers. Timothy L. Drobnick Sr. does not mind if you do your due diligence, and there is no time clock telling you have to sign up in five minutes to get a hot deal. There is no pressure to whip out your credit card right now, because anything that is a good deal today, will also be a good deal tomorrow.

Any body can put up some bogus testimonials, but you will find out that he has real testimonials on his websites, from real people, who are involved in other Internet businesses and marketing programs, who use his websites and programs all the time to promote the other things they are doing. Timothy L. Drobnick Sr. does not tell people that they should only pay attention to his websites or marketing programs exclusively, because he is not afraid of people comparing his websites and affiliate programs to other ones. Some Internet marketers sound like you are joining a cult or a gang, and that if you dare look at other opportunities or see what other people are doing online, that you are breaking some kind of code and will be cursed. Tim Drobnick believes in free enterprise and respects the freedoms he associates with to look at lots of opportunities and create multiple streams of income.

That is why I want to introduce my friend to you, who owns several online businesses and is a real person. You might meet him in person and shake his hand, and think to yourself, this guy is just like me. He has worked doing real jobs at real companies. Tim Drobnick grew up poor, and their were no rich uncles or successful mentors to take him under their wing and make him successful. Timothy L. Drobnick Sr. had to go out there and struggle, and search, and learn, and get ripped off, and he has been lied to and cheated, and has been robbed just the same way that others have been. However, he is an eternal optimist, who never gave up on himself and always believed in his ability to overcome the odds without any deep pockets behind him, and his persistence has paid off. He could be a hell of lot richer if he had been willing to lower his standards and cheat people out of their money.

Don't lower yourself to being a scammer, or promote something you would not recommend to your mom or best friend.

Be picky about who you sleep with. Remember that you have to sleep with yourself for the rest of your life, so don't get stuck going to bed with a crook.

Be careful. Don't get scammed. And make lots of money.


by Phil Staudt
February 16, 2010

http://internet-income-business.info

PHIL STAUDT FACEBOOK FAN PAGE

Tags:         

Las Vegas taxi driver has info about how to get a cab from a Las Vegas cab company.

SuperBowl Commercials Suck

SuperBowl Commercials - Why I Hate Them

by VegasTaxiDriver
February 8, 2010

Sorry, but I hate all commercials; even SuperBowl commercials; especially SuperBowl commercials.
_________________________________________________

First of all, I don't like being sucked into something.

The popularity of commercials during the SuperBowl is proof positive that if the media tells people they like something, then they go ahead and like it. Every television network and ad agency and newspaper and conventional form of media, has been telling everybody for years that SuperBowl commercials are wonderful, and everybody likes it, and that watching SuperBowl commercials is the "in" thing to do. And that, and only that, is the reason why SuperBowl commercials are popular. SUCKERS!!!
_________________________________________________

Secondly, those stupid SuperBowl commercials ruin a perfectly good NFL football game.

I have not watched most of the SuperBowls BECAUSE of those stupid commercials. The game takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer than what an NFL football game usually is. This year I watched the last half of the SuperBowl, only because I woke up and did not feel like taking a longer nap.
_________________________________________________

Thirdly, I hate television commercials.

I set my DVR to automatically record my regular news shows so I can forward through the commercials. In fact, I spent the first half of this SuperBowl watching a couple of recorded news programs -which I watched without seeing any commercials.
_________________________________________________

Fourthly, I like watching NFL football.

I am not a huge sports fan, and the only sports I have time to watch is NFL football. I enjoy a good NFL game.  . During the NFL season, the only television commercials that I consciously watch are the commercials that air during NFL football games during the regular NFL football season, because I enjoy watching what is happening in real time on the NFL football games. But no matter how much I enjoy watching NFL football, I hate the commercials enough to not watch the SuperBowl most of the time.
_________________________________________________

For the past few decades, all the media has been on a campaign to promote the popularity of SuperBowl commercials. With the threat of low-cost Internet advertising and the choice of 300 television channels to choose from, the SuperBowl commercial popularity is the one thing left that has been successful and profitable. The question I have is that if they had been telling everybody that eating spoiled food during the SuperBowl was the "in" thing to do, would everybody do that, too?

Did I mention that I do not like SuperBowl commercials? Of course, I have never watched one episode of American Idol or Survivor, either, so I know that I am not the one to follow if you want to know what people like.

by VegasTaxiDriver
February 8, 2010

Also, the Super Bowl half time show was nice - for a nursing home.
_________________________________________________
http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/whats-a-boy-to-do/2010/02/superbowl-commercial-roundup.html Superbowl Commercial Roundup
http://www.splendora.com/blog/leisure/superbowl_commercials Superbowl Commercials
http://www.moviesonline.ca/movienews_17708.html Superbowl Commercial: The Wolfman Remake!
http://www.amyoops.com/2010/02/funny-superbowl-commercials.html funny superbowl commercials
http://www.axipe.com/2010/02/top-10-superbowl-commercials Top 10 Superbowl Commercials
_________________________________________________

http://internet-income.philbucks.com/2010/02/06/internet-income-business-opportunity.aspx

Letter to Obama from Las Vegas Taxi Driver

 
NOTE TO READERS: The author and creator of this article, Phil Staudt, is neither Republican or Democrat, or affiliated with any political party. He is not against Obama and he does NOT want Obama to fail. He was a taxi driver in Las Vegas for years.
 
Here is the letter I sent to President Obama.
Letter to Obama from Las Vegas Taxi Driver

by Phil Staudt
February 3, 2010

Dear President Obama,

Look...You just don't get it!

Decades ago, there were leaders in Las Vegas, who wanted to change the reputation of Las Vegas and get Las Vegas past the era of Chicago-style mobsters, and turn the Las Vegas economy into a vibrant business meeting environment and the convention capital of the world. They succeeded in doing that, and they were able to sway many big conventions away from cities like Chicago, because the convention organizers realize that when they hold conventions in Las Vegas, more people show up for the conventions, because Las Vegas is a lot cheaper and convenient and way more fun than places like Chicago.

Or wait...Maybe you DO get it! You're from Chicago!

Or maybe, President Obama, you are not trying to get back at Las Vegas for stealing conventions away from your beloved Chicago. Maybe you just have the wrong impression about Las Vegas.

President Obama, you have certainly watched lots of movies about Las Vegas, where you probably got the impression that the little place in the middle of the desert with gambling, was just a place for people to gamble so that gangsters and mobsters, in places like Chicago, could make a big fat profit. While you were learning about the godfathers and mob families in Chicago, and the way that all the politicians who come from Chicago are corrupt with mafia ties, you learned that Las Vegas was a place that these illegal syndicates and leaders of organized crime could launder their money and use casinos as fronts for loans to businesses. So, Pres. Obama, that is probably why you got the impression that Las Vegas is not a place where anything goes on besides foolish gambling and drinking and partying and carousing.

On the other hand, President Obama sir, maybe you have friends in high places who belong to religions that think that Las Vegas, i.e. Sin City, is a horrible place with nothing more than a city full debauchery and lasciviousness. So maybe you are trying to appease them.

Yes, President Obama sir, I did in fact read your carefully worded statement of apology that you made yesterday to Senator Harry Reid, which seems to me like it may have been written before your speech, saying that you were sorry about what you said in your speech. It was noticeable that all you had to say about Las Vegas is that it IS fun, but you still went out of your way to NOT mention that Las Vegas has more conventions and business meetings than any other city in the world, and that it can be the cheapest place to have those meeting and conventions. 

I know you are a superb speaker, and you carefully craft each word, so it is hard for me to imagine, that you would say the same thing that you did a year ago, that drew so much ire from Las Vegans then, just by accident. And, just like one year ago, this Freudian slip precedes a trip you have planned to Las Vegas. Most of the newscasters and commentators in Las Vegas, are trying to help you, by pointing out to the handful of folks who live here in the middle of the desert, that this was just an innocent and cute little mistake. Because, Barack Obama would never intentionally do anything that harms the city that stole conventions away from Chicago and is hated by his religious connections.

So, Barack (may I call you Barack?) it would behoove you to say that, "Las Vegas is the business convention capital of the world, and that businesses should book their trade shows and business meetings in Las Vegas, because it is very economical and convenient to do so, and it draws better crowds, making it more profitable and beneficial." However, Barack, we know you won't do that, or even close to that, for the sake of those you are tied to in Chicago, and those whom you associate with who are anti-Vegas for religious reasons.

The speech was a good one. In fact, I was just sitting down to commend you for it on my personal blog (http://blog.philstaudt.org). The fact that we currently have a President who is at least talking about reducing the deficit and not piling up more debt, is a good change. Hopefully, you are going to continue to make lots of speeches about cutting back and fiscal responsibility and debt control.

Thank you for reading my letter, President Obama, and please try not to hurt the Las Vegas economy too much, even though I understand you need to take care of cities like Chicago which have way more people as the scanty two million residents in the Las Vegas area. And I know that the votes in Nevada are not really needed by you, and that it is more important to you to take care of your buddies in Chicago and Illinois.

Sincerely,

Phil Staudt

by Phil Staudt
February 3, 2010


Mayor Oscar Goodman: Obama 'A Slow Learner'/// Mayor: President May Not Be Welcome In Vegas
FOX 5 News Local Las Vegas
February 3, 2010
Mayor Oscar Goodman has a bone to pick with President Barack Obama after he suggested people shouldn't spend their college savings on a trip to Las Vegas.

President Obama Apologizes Over Las Vegas Comments
Channel 8 KLAS-TV LasVegasNow.com
February 3, 2010
President Obama has written a letter of apology to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid regarding comments made Tuesday about trips to Las Vegas.

Obama and Las Vegas, at odds again
USA Today
February 3, 2010
What's said in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas - though apparently that doesn't apply to what's said about Las Vegas elsewhere in the world.

Obama Clarifies Sin City Comment in Letter to Sen. Reid — UPDATED
ABC News Political Punch
February 2, 2010
- Karen Travers and Rachel Martin 
ABC News' Teddy Davis contributed to this report.
At a town hall meeting there today President Obama tried to hammer home his message that the federal government needs to rein in its spending in tough economic times, just as Americans shouldn't gamble their money away in Las Vegas.

http://davidbellavia.com/2010/semperpapa-whats-up-with-vegas/
http://loadstonerock.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/what-happens-in-vegas-is-apparently-beyond-criticism-even-when-presented-humorously/
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/what-does-the-president-have-against-sin-city/
http://markese91.blogspot.com/2010/02/vegas-versus-obama.html
http://prattspub.com/blog/2010/02/04/video-ooops-obama-did-it-again-las-vegas-mayor-calls-obama-a-slow-learner/

 

Maybe you would like to send a message to Barack Obama at the WhiteHouse. You can send your message to Barack Obama at www.whitehouse.gov/contact.

Here is the shortened version (less than 2500 words) that I sent today to Barack Obama at www.whitehouse.gov/contact:

Dear President Obama,

Look...You just don't get it!

Decades ago, there were leaders in Las Vegas, who wanted to change the reputation of Las Vegas and get Las Vegas past the era of Chicago-style mobsters, and turn the Las vegas economy into a vibrant business meeting environment and the convention capital of the world. They succeeded in doing that, and they were able to sway many big conventions away from cities like Chicago, because the convention organizers realize that when they hold conventions in Las Vegas, more people show up for the conventions, because Las Vegas is a lot cheaper and convenient and way more fun than places like Chicago.

Or wait...Maybe you DO get it! You're from Chicago!

Or maybe, Pres. Obama, you are not trying to get back at Las vegas for stealing conventions away from your beloved Chicago. Maybe you just have the wrong impression about Las Vegas.

Yes, Pres. Obama sir, I did in fact read your carefully worded statement of apology that you made yesterday, which seems like it may have been written before your speech, saying that you were sorry about what you said in your speech. It was noticeable that all you had to say about Las Vegas is that it IS fun, but you still went out of your way to NOT mention that Las Vegas has more conventions and business meetings than any other city in the world, and that it can be the cheapest place to have those meeting and conventions. 

So, Barack (may I call you Barack?) it would behoove you to say that, "Las Vegas is the business convention capital of the world, and that businesses should book their trade shows and business meetings in Las Vegas, because it is very economical and convenient to do so, and it draws better crowds, making it more profitable and beneficial." However, Barack, we know you won't do that, or even close to that, for the sake of those you are tied to in Chicago, and those whom you associate with who are anti-Vegas for religious reasons.

Sincerely,

Phil Staudt

(you can read the entire letter at:
blog.vegastaxidriver.com)

 
Tags:         

Las Vegas taxi driver has info about how to get a cab from a Las Vegas cab company.

 
 
 

Las Vegas Marathon Video and Pics

 

Las Vegas Marathon Video and Pictures

by Phil Staudt
December 6, 200
9

This is a video of Las Vegas marathon runners heading west on Twain between Arville and Decatur. It was still cold outside.

2009-12-06 las vegas marathon



You can see the tops of the hotels on the Las Vegas strip. This is the truck that was escorting the elite men runners in the Las Vegas "Rock N Roll" marathon.

They are heading west, going away from the Las Vegas strip, on Twain between Arville andDecatur. 

Look at the beautiful mountains that surround Las Vegas in all directions. The area has 2.2 million residents and housing developments that go right up to the foot of the mountains.  

ROCK N ROLL!!!

Once again, you can see the Las Vegas strip behind them. 

You can tell by looking at the police officer that it was still plenty cool at 7 am. 

by Phil Staudt
December 6, 200

 

Las Vegas taxi driver at VegasTaxiDriver.com has lots of info about Las Vegas taxis.

 

Dayna Roselli and Dave McCann from Channel 8 News Now hosted the event on Sunday morning, and there are some great pictures and videos of the Las Vegas Rock N Roll Marathon below. 

Channel 8 News Now lasvegasnow.com
December 6, 2009
Las Vegas Marathon 2009 Attracts 27,000 click here
LAS VEGAS, Nv — More than 27,000 people gathered in the cold Sunday morning to take part in the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon.
Las Vegas Now Videos click here

ROCK 'N' ROLL LAS VEGAS MARATHON: Kenyan wins women's race, prize for quick time click here
Las Vegas Review Journal reviewjournal.com
December 6, 2009
By PATRICK EVERSON
"Showing little sign of exhaustion, Rotich broke out a broad smile as she split the tape. And why not, as she stunned Ivanova with her late rally to claim the $15,000 first prize, while also winning the race’s male-female challenge, good for another $10,000."

Rock N Roll Marathon
click here
Another Las Daily Photo Blog
anotherlasvegasdailyphoto.blogspot.com
Posted By Mo

 
 
 

Las Vegas taxi driver has info about how to get a cab from a Las Vegas cab company.

 

Las Vegas taxi driver at VegasTaxiDriver.com has lots of info about Las Vegas taxis.

 
  MG4HYGQEHGUA

Las Vegas Marathon On Strip Is Bad For Las Vegas

 

Las Vegas marathon on Las Vegas strip is bad for Las Vegas

by Phil Staudt
December 6, 200
9

Las Vegas plans to fail; Kills business once a year for sake of marathon.

If you hate Las Vegas, and you want to see the Las Vegas economy take another hit, you will love this!

I am pro-marathon, and I would like to see the Las Vegas marathon grow every year, but it does not need to hurt the business in Las Vegas that is the life-blood of the State of Nevada.

The Las Vegas marathon could be a great way to ADD tourists to Las Vegas instead of HURT business on the Las Vegas strip, which is what is doing now. There are over 200,000 tourists in Las Vegas on anaverage wekend, staying in the 140,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas. So when they say that the marathon attracts 27,000, it does not say how many tourists were inconvenienced and are not going to come back to Las Vegas, because of the horrible nightmare that it created for them, and it does not say how many people who did not come to Las Vegas last weekend to spend money because they got caught in that mess in years past.

First of all, I am not against marathons, I am not against having a marathon in Las Vegas, and I am not even against having a marathon that goes down the Las Vegas strip. But I am adamantly opposed to shutting down the money-making part of the State of Nevada during the busiest night of the week, and deciding that Las Vegas and the residents of Nevada have to take a huge financial hit in order to accommodate some runners.

Las Vegas shut down its money-making operation on Saturday night to cater to non-gambling health nuts who have to go bed early to get up and run a marathon. If you own stock in MGM-Mirage or Sands or Wynn, you are out of luck this week. If you are visiting Las Vegas this weekend, and want to get from the Las Vegas strip to the airport on Sunday, sorry about your luck. If you know what it is like on Saturday in Las Vegas, which is the busiest day of the week for businesses on the Las Vegas strip, then you know how much it hurts to have the Las Vegas strip blocked off to traffic on a Saturday night. What a disaster!

The economy is hurtin' for certain in Las Vegas, and instead of boosting the Las Vegas economy by trying to increase Saturday business, which is what pays the bills for all the residents in Nevada, who do not pay State income tax, and rely on tourists to pay the bills for them, the geniuses who run Las Vegas shut down the Las Vegas strip on Saturday night, to cater to Sunday morning non-spenders who want to run a marathon. The media in Las Vegas always promotes the marathon on the Las Vegas strip as a great deal for the City of Las Vegas. How stupid! I say, "The king has no clothes".

No wonder the economy is bad. I am sure that there will be reports about how much money the marathon brings to Las Vegas, and they will be as accurate as a gambler who says they won $1000 in Vegas and doesn't mention that they had to spend $2500 to win it. The huge gaming corporations have been tearing down the good old buildings that gave Las Vegas its unique pro-gambling look, and replacing them with buildings that look like they belong in Paris or London or New York. The cheap buffets, and good deals on hotel rooms, and cheap drinks, and cheap shows, and a friendly atmosphere for average folks who like Las Vegas, (which is what turned Las Vegas from a cow town to the #1 tourist destination in the world) has been replaced by fancy architecture and over-priced rooms and drinks and shows, which attracts the elite social hierarchy and snobs, who are above low-life gambling folks.

I hope I am all wrong, and getting rid of what worked in Las Vegas, and increasing what is not working now for Las Vegas, is what works in the future. Maybe it is just the economy, and not really the stupidity that I see, that is hurting Las Vegas. If Las Vegas was still centered around all that cheap tacky stuff that it used to be famous for, people who are being careful with their money would be flocking here during bad times. But since Las Vegas spent a decade trying to chase them away, they are staying at home saying, "Fool me once...".

by Phil Staudt
December 6, 200
9

Las Vegas taxi driver at VegasTaxiDriver.com has lots of info about Las Vegas taxis.

Here is an article I wrote back when I was still driving taxi, regarding the marathon, back when the economy was at it's all-time best in Las Vegas:

 

Las Vegas Marathon on 

Las Vegas Strip Is A Bad Idea

by Vegas Taxi Driver
December 2, 2007

Marathons are a family thing. Lots of kids show up to watch and participate. The last place parents should be taking their kids is the Las Vegas strip, and unless they plan on eliminating gambling and drinking and sex from Las Vegas (which many of the residents in Las Vegas would like to do, but they like extracting money from the Las Vegas Strip to pay for services and keep taxes low), then parents taking their kids to hang out and be on the Las Vegas Strip is a really sick and stupid idea. There are lots of nice places away from the Las Vegas Strip that are built to be kid friendly.

The Las Vegas Marathon is a prime example of the stupidity of the idiotic people who now run Las Vegas, and their stupidity went on display again on Saturday night at midnight before the Las Vegas Marathon. On the busiest night of the week at the busiest time for traffic in Las Vegas, the dummies who are in charge sent out dozens of trucks full of barricades and workers who began blocking off every major street in the only part of Las Vegas that is busy at that time, with people from all over the world who come to get away from normal home town activities like marathon running.

I would like to apologize to all of the unsuspecting tourists and gamblers and nightclub goers who paid good money to come to Las Vegas to experience what Las Vegas is supposed to be, and what Las Vegas should be, only to be abused and disrespected by Las Vegas. The morons who are supposed to be running Las Vegas allowed some non-gambling, non-clubbing, non-spending, and non-tipping buffoons, who operate this nonsense, to ruin your weekend. I don't blame the real customers who come to Las Vegas, for what Las Vegas is supposed to be, if they boycott Las Vegas in the future on marathon weekend. I think some tourists have already learned not to come here that weekend. That can't be good for the casinos. How much did the casinos make last night from all the marathon runners and fans that went to bed at 7pm so they could be up at the crack of dawn for the Las Vegas Marathon? The reason Las Vegas became one of the most well known and popular cities in the world is not because it allowed its life-blood to be crippled during its prime time.

Tens of thousands of tourists who went downtown on Saturday night were stranded and unable to get back to the Las Vegas strip without their cab driver being blockaded and stuck in miserable traffic jams. Bus drivers were at a loss, with blockades making it impossible for them to run their routes, and I saw buses going in circles from block to block trying to get through (I was too!). Club goers could not get back to their hotels, and many many people missed their flights home on Sunday because the main roads were blockaded. If you are a person who understands Las Vegas and the business at hand, then you can see how ridiculous and inexcusable it is. It is bad for Las Vegas business. It hurts. It is no good. It is stupid.

Wouldn't it be cool if the New York Marathon went right through the trading floors on Wall Street during the middle of the week, and barricades blocked all the traffic all day long in Manhattan on a busy Tuesday or Thursday? That would be so cool! Unfortunately for marathon fans, dummies do not run New York City. Wouldn't it be cool if the marathon surrounded all the trucking hubs in Kansas City and blocked off all the freeways during the busiest traffic time of the week? Wouldn't it be cool if the Atlanta Marathon went down the middle of the busiest freeways on Friday and they blocked off all freeways in Atlanta from Thursday night until Saturday? But, unfortunately for marathon enthusiasts, morons don't run those towns.

Ron Paul would like to have CSPAN let him give campaign speeches for 10 hours every week during the time when they have the most viewers, but the people who run CSPAN are not going to let one candidate have that because they are not idiots. Hillary Clinton would like to be the only guest on the Larry King Show for the next five weeks, but the people who run the Larry King Show are not going to allow one candidate to do that because it would be stupid and detrimental to their ratings. But the people who run Las Vegas are just that stupid.

Marathons are great and having a marathon in Las Vegas is a great thing. I am all for it. Las Vegas encompasses hundreds of square miles from mountain to mountain, full of beautiful roads. The roads on the outskirts that separate hundreds of beautiful gated communities in Las Vegas are bigger and better than the run-down roads close to the Las Vegas strip, because the idiots who now run Las Vegas suck money out of the casinos, that draw 40 million visitors from all over the world, and use the money to make the roads surrounding their voters nice, instead of taking care of business on the streets that are important to tourism traffic. That is because the people who live on the outskirts get to vote and the 40 million tourists do not, and the morons who now rule Las Vegas, let developers build non-Vegas style communities for hundreds of thousands of non-Vegas style people to move into.

For the Las Vegas residents and politicians who want to attract as many non-gambling non-drinking non-smoking events, like marathons, in order to change the image of Las Vegas, having the Las Vegas Marathon go down and around the Las Vegas strip should be repulsive. You know that the Las Vegas Strip is the only part of the Las Vegas Marathon that will be paid attention to, and an opportunity is missed to show the world that there are miles and miles of beautiful areas in Las Vegas that are not even near the Las Vegas Strip. All the attention gets paid to the Las Vegas Strip instead of all the beautiful outlying areas.

Unlike most business areas of most major cities, where Saturday and Sunday are the slow days and the least busy times for hotels and restaurants, weekends are the busiest time on the Las Vegas strip with 133,000 rooms in Las Vegas full at the highest rates. The Las Vegas strip and its businesses do not need a shot in the arm on the weekend. I am sure there will be reports that the Las Vegas Marathon brings money to Las Vegas. The truth is, it hurts Las Vegas, and costs the hotels and casinos and nightclubs millions of dollars in lost revenue, because it is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Stockholders of MGM-Mirage and Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands should be aware that one of the 52 weekends of the year is seriously hindered by the dummies running Las Vegas. If a tornado swept through Los Angeles or Chicago or New York City there would be analysts calculating how much business was lost and what the negative impact was on the city. They should do the same in this case.

The businesses and hotels on the outskirts of town would benefit from having the added business of the Las Vegas Marathon going through the outlying areas. Do we have a mayor?

Earlier this year these same dummies crippled business at the downtown casinos for about five weeks because of some car race that had a poor turnout.

LAS VEGAS is getting more and more undesirable to the big spenders and big players that are the life-blood of the city because of the idiots who run Las Vegas. Maybe they should hire some imprisoned mob bosses to be consultants and tell them how to do it.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
December 2, 2007

 

Roads, including Strip, to be closed for Sunday marathon click here
Las Vegas Sun lasvegassun.com
By Kyle Hansen (contact)
Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009 | 2:05 a.m.
"Runners will be taking over some of the area's busiest streets — including the entire Strip for much of Sunday — for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon. More than 25,000 people are expected to participate in the race, which will also shut down some public bus routes."

Route Changes due to Rock 'N' Roll Marathon Sunday click here
KTNV Channel 13 News ktnv.com
Posted: Dec 4, 2009 01:18 PM 

Drivers Brace For Marathon Delays, Detours click here
Closures Begin At 3 A.M. Sunday
Fox 5 News fox5vegas.com
POSTED: 7:57 am PST December 4, 2009
"LAS VEGAS — Getting around southern Nevada will take some planning ahead for a lot of drivers this weekend...Drivers need to be aware of more than two dozen closures during the event, with the majority of delays around the resort corridor...The earliest closure begins at 3 a.m. and several last until Sunday afternoon. Some freeway ramps will also be closed for the event..."

by Phil Staudt
December 6, 200
9
 
 

Las Vegas taxi driver has info about how to get a cab from a Las Vegas cab company.

 

Las Vegas taxi driver at VegasTaxiDriver.com has lots of info about Las Vegas taxis.

 
 

Western Cab Company Las Vegas NV Has Been Very Good To Me

 

Western Cab Company Las Vegas NV

 Has Been Very Good To Me

republished by Vegas Taxi Driver
November 19, 2009

The below blog article was written while I was still working as a cab driver. A few weeks after writing this article in February 2009, I quit driving a cab and working at Western Cab Company. Since then, the economy in Las Vegas has actually gone down from where it was, and some of the other Las Vegas cab companies have fired many of their long time cab drivers who were not willing to degrade themselves to become lying stealing crooks. Three months after quit working for Western Cab Company, I went to work at a different Las Vegas cab company that hired part time drivers, was closer to my home, and was supposed to have a good reputation of treating drivers decent. That is what I told Western Cab I was going to do, but I did not last there more than two weeks with that fine establishment, because they had a new manager who was a disrespectful jerk and a snot, and I am just not that desperate. Besides that, the cars they had me drive were unsafe and very poorly maintained. And they wanted me to break laws. So, my opinion of Western Cab Company as a good employer, and a rose among thorns, is even higher than it was when I wrote this article.

Western Cab Company Las Vegas NV Has Been Very Good To Me

Western Cab Company has been very good to me. I have been employed as a taxi driver for Western Cab Company for over three years. I like Western Cab Company and the people I work for and the people I work with, so I decided to say why I like working for Western Cab Company.

I am just an employee at Western Cab Company, and I am in no way trying to represent or speak for Western Cab Company. The opinions and statements and facts on nevadataxidriver.com are not necessarily the views of Western Cab Company, and Western Cab Company has not endorsed anything on my website or blog or asked me to say anything to anyone, and nevadataxidriver.com is an independent entity owned by the sole owner of the nevadataxidriver.com domain name, and is independent of any agencies or organizations or companies.

The taxi business in Las Vegas is totally regulated by the Nevada Taxicab Authority, and has its own unique situation which is different from most cities. All of the cab drivers in Las Vegas are straight commission employees, and they do not lease their cabs and they are told what hours to work and what days to work (drivers at union companies bid on shifts and days and cabs based on seniority). Because the cab companies make all of their money from the meters, instead of receiving lease money and dispatch fees from drivers, a unique relationship exists between the cab companies in Las Vegas and the cabbies, and the cab companies need to monitor the amount of money being booked by drivers to make sure they are putting in an honest day of work and that drivers are not ripping off the company or . Las Vegas cabbies receive medical insurance after being employed for a year (six months at some companies), but they have to work 55 to 60 hours per week to qualify (some drivers work only four 12 hour shifts if they have been with a company for many years). I have never been opposed to working a lot of hours as long the income is worth it and I can save a lot of money.

Western Cab Company is not a union company. For a person who wants to be a career cabbie, working for a union cab company in Las Vegas may be the way to go, as long as a person wants to stay with the same company for many years. I have worked for union and non-union taxi companies in Las Vegas, but since I never intended to work for a long time as a cabbie, the union cab companies are not good for me. If you are in a union and are a cabbie in Las Vegas, and if you quit your job or want to switch companies, you lose all seniority and you start on the bottom. That is the biggest problem with the union system as it pertains to cab companies in Las Vegas. The cab companies in Las Vegas with unions realize that their drivers need to stay at their company or they lose their seniority and have to start over working the worst shifts and days and driving the oldest vehicles. As a new driver, the supervisors at the union cab companies that I encountered acted as if they needed to play games with me to let me know who is boss. I don't do games well.

Before I went to work at Western Cab Company I had been a taxi driver for four out of the nine parent companies that own taxi companies in the Las Vegas area. I have never been fired from a company in Las Vegas. I just never intended to stay working as a cabbie for more than a year at a time. I have been divorced for over twenty years and I like to be able to move around. (All my ex's live in Denver.) I have moved in and out of Las Vegas several times in the past 17 years. The first time I was a cab driver in Las Vegas was in 1994. I have spent just as much time working in restaurants in Las Vegas as I have driving for Las Vegas taxi companies. Driving a taxi was just a way to work a lot of hours for awhile and save up some money and be able to take time off to travel or move on to something else.

I have been employed for over 50 companies of various kinds in five states over the past 32 years, and six of them were cab companies in Las Vegas and Oregon. I have also owned several businesses, including a janitorial service, a t-shirt business, a limousine service, a restaurant management and consulting business, a commercial salmon troller, a night club, and an Internet marketing company. Most of my life I was managing businesses for other people or myself. I just want to get back to being self-employed, and cab driving is a stepping stone to get there.

In 2003, I owned a few businesses in Oregon. One of them was a bar. On February 1, 2004, there was a gang-related shooting in the parking lot of my business. Three customers were shot and one of my employees was almost killed. There were also a dozen gang-related shootings within a few miles of my club during the same week. This was the second time there had been a gang-related shooting at my club in three months, and one customer was shot the first time. There were no suspects in either incident. I was strapped for cash because my bar had only been open for seven months, and I did not have deep enough pockets to pay for the added security and surveillance that I believed I would to have in order to keep my customers and employees and myself safe, so I shut down the business. As a result, I ended up owing a lot of money. 

I was totally broke and in debt, so I moved back to Las Vegas in Febraury 2004, and got hired at a good restaurant in the Monte Carlo Resort. They treated me well, but I thought that I could make more money driving a taxi in Las Vegas, especially since I was willing to work every day and didn't mind long hours. Most restaurants do not allow employees to work more than 40 hours in a week, and they have to cut hours for employees during slow times. I wanted to work lots of hours and make enough money to save up money so I could work at making money online with Internet marketing. So I gave the restaurant a 30 day notice, and went to work at a cab company other than Western cab Company. I worked almost every night, 13 1/2 hours a night, and worked as hard as I could. I worked 45 days in a row at one time. But no matter how hard I tried, I could not get ahead at that company, because I was not willing to long-haul passengers.

So I quit that company, and went to work at a unionized taxi company which had great benefits and was a good company, but I didn't have the patience to put up with the jerk who was my supervisor and was on a power trip and likes playing games with drivers.

By the time I applied to work at Western Cab Company, my expectation for going to work for a Las Vegas cab company was very low. All I was hoping for was a place to work and survive for a year and make some money without too much harassment. I did not intend to work there for more than a year. Before going to Western Cab Company, I called one of the cab drivers I had worked with at another cab company, and asked him how he liked Western Cab Company. He had driven for other cab companies in Las Vegas for many years, and he had nothing but good things to say about Western Cab Company. I thought that was interesting, because I met him while I was working at a cab company where the manager used to threaten drivers that if they lost their job that they would end up working at Western Cab Company, as if that was a bad thing. The company we had worked for before Western Cab Company was a terrible company to work for, and we should have just gone to work at Western Cab Company right away instead of putting up with their crap for one day. He is still working for Western Cab Company and says he loves it.

When I walked on to the cab yard to apply for a job, I knew nothing about Western Cab Company, except for things I had heard from cab drivers and cab companies. I was interviewed and hired by the founder of the company, Herb Tobman. I was impressed with him from the moment I met him. He was down to earth and treated all of his employees with respect. He was strict, but respectful. Unfortunately, he passed away several months after I started working for Western. But during the few months that I knew him, he was almost always there when I came to work and he would ask me how I was doing, even though I was a new employee. Every employee at the company liked Mr. Tobman.

From the time I started working at Western Cab Company, I realized that the way Western Cab Company is run is different from other cab companies I have worked for in Las Vegas. Drivers are treated like grown ups. There are minimal restrictions and rules, and drivers are expected to be responsible on their own, without somebody telling them what to do all the time. The drivers are not required to stand in line and wait to get a trip sheet from a supervisor or talk to a supervisor to get a cab assigned to them. There is a grease board with the numbers of cabs, and drivers' names are next to the numbers. Drivers come to work, find their name on the grease board, check their name off with a grease pen, grab a blank trip sheet, find their cab, and go to work. Drivers at Western Cab Company are not required to shave, which is a big plus for me. (My face does not like razors.) There are no road supervisors running around harassing drivers. If you do what you are supposed to, everything will be fine.

After three to six months of working at Western Cab Company, drivers are usually assigned a cab that is their regular cab. Driving the same cab all the time is low stress because drivers get to know everything about their cab, and they know they are going to be assigned that car for a long time, and so they take care of it. If they don't, they are just hurting themselves. If drivers work extra days, they can request to work their regular cab on those days. Sometimes drivers are allowed to take days off if there are extra drivers available.

The first cab I was assigned to already had about 120,000 miles on it, and had not been cared for by the driver who had been driving it before, who got fired. It took me a couple of months to figure out everything that was wrong with it, and I kept taking it into the shop until things worked, and then it was a good cab. Less than two years from the time I started working at Western Cab Company, I was assigned to a new cab, and I have been driving that cab since then, and it is still in great shape, because the day driver and I have taken very good care of it.

The thing that I like the most about Western Cab Company is that I have not been harassed or punished or restricted or suspended or penalized for booking too low, even though many times I have booked much lower than the average. They have allowed me to work my regular shift and drive a new car and not be restricted, even though my book has been way lower than the average at times, because I refuse to long haul customers to book more. I know that some Las Vegas cab companies would have harassed and penalized me, and maybe even fired me, for booking too low.

Prior to working for Western Cab Company, my opinion of taxicab companies in Las Vegas was not good at all, and my experiences working for cab companies in Las Vegas were not good ones. During the first year I worked there, I did not talk to other drivers at Western Cab Company, and I just went to work and did the best job I could, and tried to stay under the radar. Since I started working for Western Cab Company, I have always told people that Western Cab Company was the best cab company to work for in Las Vegas, but I still had a bad opinion of all cab companies in Las Vegas. I assumed that Western Cab Company was probably as bad as other companies, just run by nicer people. I used to look at the system in Las Vegas of not allowing competition and not allowing cabbies to own their own cabs as just about greed and power. I still think that it creates a situation where some Las Vegas cab companies are allowed to abuse and mistreat employees. But now I believe that if all the cab companies in Las Vegas were as conscientious as Western Cab Company, and if they genuinely cared about their employees like Western Cab Company, and if the Nevada Taxicab Board did their job properly, the position of being a Las Vegas taxi driver would be getting better instead of getting worse. Now I can safely say that the people who own and run Western Cab Company have gone out of their way to be fair and decent to their drivers, even though some drivers do not deserve it.

During the past two years, I came to realize that Western Cab Company was not just an okay company, but that the owners and managers are exceptional people and are very good to work for. I know that they would be happy if I would book more, and I would like to make more money, but I have not been harassed or punished or restricted or suspended or penalized for booking too low, even though I have booked much lower than the average, because I do not long haul. Western Cab Company takes into consideration that I work hard and am conscientious and safe and follow the rules outlined by the Nevada Taxicab Authority. They have allowed me to work my regular shift and days and drive a new car and not be restricted, even though my book has been lower than the average, because I am not long-hauling and ripping off customers. Some Las Vegas cab companies would have harassed and penalized me, and maybe even fired me, for booking too low. Instead, Western Cab Company has treated me much better than I ever expected.

About a year after I started working at Western Cab Company I got to know one of the drivers who had worked for Western Cab Company for over five years. He used to be my neighbor and we lived in the same building. He was always late for work and did not book much and he slacked off a lot. He also had a lot of health problems. They continually tried to get him to improve, but finally they had to let him go. I still talk to him from time to time, and he is working at a different cab company, but even when he was fired from Western Cab Company he never said a bad word about Western Cab Company, and he wished that he was working for them now. There are many drivers at Western Cab Company like me who have been burned by other cab companies in Las Vegas, and if you talk to them you will find that they like working at Western Cab Company.

I was expecting to be working at something besides cab driving by now. After one year had gone by of working at Western Cab Company, I decided that it was an okay place to work for a little longer, I liked the people that worked there, and it was close and convenient for me. After working there for less than two years I was ready to give them my 30 day notice to go back to working at restaurants, so I could have less hours and spend more time working on Internet marketing. However, two days before I was going to give them my notice, I was assigned to drive a brand new cab. They must have had intuition or something, but I decided to not quit at that time. I figured I might as well stay and drive the new cab for a while before quitting. 

After two years of working at Western Cab Company I had the opportunity to work for a brand new restaurant in the Palazzo which is owned by the same people I had worked for at the Monte Carlo, but since I was driving a new cab and Western Cab Company kept treating me well, I decided to stay there a little longer.

During the spring of 2008, I was making better money at any time that I worked at Western Cab Company, and I was finally getting ahead and saving money so I could move on to something else. I didn't even hate my job. But then, on May 29, 2008, I had a stroke while I was working. The only thing that it affected was my ability to speak and write, but I was out of work for almost six weeks. It has been difficult for me to learn how to talk again. I have aphasia as a result of my stroke. I am functional at speaking and writing, and most people who do not know me cannot tell I have speech problems, but it bothers me immensely that I cannot speak as well as I used to. It takes me much longer to write things, and I have to go back and find places where I omitted words.

I am just glad that I have a job with health insurance. Now I need to have a job with health insurance, even though the pay has been poor recently because of bad economic times. I have been able to work less than my scheduled 55 hours every week, because there are lots of extra drivers available right now, and I am trying to not push myself because of my health problems, because I do not want to have another stroke. Even though this would be a good time to start long-hauling people and stealing rides from other cabbies, I am above that. I have passed up many opportunities in my life where I could have made ten times as much money as being a cab driver if I was willing to be unethical. In the future, I will look back on this time and feel good about myself that I was not a crook, and that I ended up working for a good company that does not pressure me to be a crook. Because I work for Western Cab Company, I do not have to be a crook. Western Cab Company has been very good to me. I appreciate Western Cab Company.

I am just an employee at Western Cab Company, and I am in no way trying to represent or speak for Western Cab Company. The opinions and statements and facts on nevadataxidriver.com are not necessarily the views of Western Cab Company, and Western Cab Company has not endorsed anything on my website or blog or asked me to say anything to anyone, and nevadataxidriver.com is an independent entity owned by the sole owner of the nevadataxidriver.com domain name, and is independent of any agencies or organizations or companies.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
March 13, 2009

 
 
 

Make Money Online >>> click here

 
 

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Bob Stupak my first Las Vegas employer dies at 67

 

Bob Stupak Dies @ 67

 My first employer in Las Vegas

by Vegas Taxi Driver
September 25, 2009

It was a very hot September afternoon in 1991 when I drove into Las Vegas for the first time in my life. I was driving a 1976 Chevy Impala with no air conditioning. I had driven through the desert from Reno to Vegas with all of my belongings in the back seat of my car, after leaving Seattle the day before, sleeping in my car along the way. I stopped at a gas station on Sahara Avenue and bought a map.

The Strip Hotel was located at 201 East Utah, about two blocks away from the White Cross Drug Store located on Las Vegas Boulevard, and about four blocks from Bob Stupak's Vegas World. The Strip Hotel was $88 a week and featured a black and white television, but the showers in the hall were shared. I found an ad for The Strip Hotel in a copy of the Las Vegas Review Journal in the Seattle Library. I ended up staying there the whole time I worked for Bob Stupak, except for a couple of weeks when I slept in my car to save money.

My boss at the 13 Coins Restaurant in Seattle told me I should move to Las Vegas, because I was young and I had nothing going on in life. Maybe he was just trying to get rid of me, but I was the one who brought up the fact that I was not looking forward to surviving another winter in a rainy town like Seattle. I grew up in Portland and the constant drizzle and dripping is quite annoying (in fact it has been used as torture). He said that if he was me he would take off and go move to Las Vegas where it is warm and there is always lots of work. So I did.

(I told the owner of the 13 Coins in Seattle that if they opened up a restaurant in Las Vegas I would go to work for them. They told me that Las Vegas would not be good for them because Las Vegas is only about cheap food and tacky restaurants. If they would have followed my cue they would have made a fortune in Las Vegas http://ihid.us?i=ovi )

So my first night I walked downtown and spent all night walking around Downtown Las Vegas. Fremont Street really was a street with cars honking at each other as they crawled up and down the street gawking at all the lights. I walked all through every casino downtown: Lady Luck, Fitzgerald's, Golden Nugget, Union Plaza, Las Vegas Club, California, Binion's Horseshoe, Golden Gate, Four Queens, Fremont, Sassy Sally's, and my favorite one - The Pioneer Club. I was broke (thanks to Steamers Restaurant in Portland where I got fired because they falsely accused me of stealing their safe). At Fitzgerald's I saw a guy who had just got off of work filling out a ticket, and I asked him what he was doing. He showed me how to play Keno. I played a few dollars and lost. I bought a roll of nickels and played a nickel Keno machine in the Pioneer Club. I wasn't there to play. I wanted to work.

The next morning was Friday and I bought a newspaper. I read all the help wanted ads. I had been reading the help wanted ads in the Las Vegas newspapers every day for two weeks while I was still in Seattle. So when I saw an ad for a waiter at Vegas World (in those days it said "waiter" and they wanted men) I knew it was a new ad, and anyone who starts running an ad on Friday instead of Sunday is usually serious about doing some hiring. So I was the first one in the personnel (that was before it was called human resources) office that day. When I completed the application, one of the old bitties explained to me that they would give me a call if bla bla bla. So I was standing by the elevator waiting for it to arrive, and Larry Lewin's personal secretary came running down the hall and yelled at me and said, "Did you just apply for the waiter job?" 

She brought me back to her office and explained to me that they needed to hire three waiters on that very day. But there was no time to waste. I needed go to the health department and the Clark County Sheriff's office to get some cards. I also had to pick up a black bow tie and a black vest. I was there at 3 pm ready to start working that afternoon. That is not the way hiring is done in Las Vegas any more, but I was glad for it then.

That afternoon I helped Estevon Vilanova and Peter Moroz and Michael Cifaldi open boxes and set up tables and chairs. We then had to make a work station in a fire escape hallway, and plastic trays were set on the floor under containers of dressing and plates and a big bin of lettuce for salads. At five o'clock the table cloths and napkins were in place, and the doors were opened. 

That was the night I had the good fortune to meet the famous Bob Stupak, the owner of Vegas World, and also my first employer in Las Vegas. There are lots of things I could say about Bob Stupak, but that will be saved for another time, as much of it would be appropriate on this day. But for all of his quirks and mannerisms, I can honestly say that I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to meet him and work for him, because Bob Stupak is a big part of the history of Las Vegas. He was colorful and flamboyant and extravagant and cheap and strange all at the same time. 

It is tempting for me to reminisce about old times and supply my readers with interesting stories and anecdotes, but instead I would just like to say that I am sorry for the loss to his friends and family.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
September 25, 2009


Gaming Entrepreneur Bob Stupak Dies at 67
KLAS 8 CBS Las Vegas
Sep 25, 2009
Stupak, known for outlandish promotions, opened the $550 million Stratosphere hotel-casino in 1996 in hopes that the tower would attract millions of visitors to Sin City. The casino filed for bankruptcy in 1997 and was eventually taken over by billionaire investor Carl Icahn....
read_article

Las Vegas' Stratosphere developer dies at 67
KTNV 13 ABC Las Vegas
By OSKAR GARCIA Associated Press Writer 
Sep 25, 2009
Stupak, known for outlandish promotions, opened the $550 million Stratosphere hotel-casino in 1996 in hopes that the tower would attract millions of visitors to Sin City. The casino filed for bankruptcy in 1997 and was eventually taken over by billionaire investor Carl Icahn....
read_article

Bob Stupak, builder of Stratosphere and Vegas World, dies at 67
Las Vegas Sun
By Ed Koch, Mary Manning
Sep 25, 2009
Bob Stupak, a Las Vegas legend who developed the Stratosphere and called himself the Polish Maverick, died today at Desert Springs Hospital after a long battle with leukemia. He was 67....
read_article

Bob Stupak dies at 67
KVBC 3 NBC Las Vegas
Sep 25, 2009
Stupak came to Las Vegas in 1971 and opened a small casino. In 1979 Stupak opened Vegas World, a casino which grossed hundreds of millions in the 1980s. In the 1990s, Stupak opened the Stratosphere....
read_article
 
 
 

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Paris Hilton Says Las Vegas Not Classy As Dubai

Paris Hilton Says Las Vegas 

Is Not As "Classy" As Dubai

By Las Vegas Taxi Driver
June 5, 2009
VegasTaxiDriver.com

Paris Hilton says Las Vegas is not as "classy" as Dubai.

If Dubai is "classier than Las Vegas", as Paris Hilton stated, then it won't be for long if Paris Hilton spends a lot of time there. Her perception of Las Vegas as not being "classy" explains the reason that she accepts obscene amounts of money from nightclubs in Las Vegas just for dressing up like a skanky ho and hanging out there. But then, what else is she capable of doing? I hope that the next time somebody in Las Vegas decides to pay Paris Hilton ookuu bucks to hang out that they remember her disrespect toward Las Vegas.

Thank goodness that everything that blows into Las Vegas does not stay in Las Vegas, especially Paris Hilton. Paris Hilton has not mastered the English language and she is trying to speak Arabic? I am sure that they have nicer laws pertaining to drinking and driving and driving with a suspended license in Dubai. 

This BFF reality show about Paris Hilton sounds like she is trying to find somebody who is as pretentious and shallow as she is who has low enough standards to be associated with her. I hope it works out well for everyone involved, and it keeps her away from Las Vegas. 

Now I need to go check her Twitter account to see what insightful meaningful intelligent things Paris Hilton has to share with us today - or not.

By Las Vegas Taxi Driver
June 5, 2009
VegasTaxiDriver.com

Paris Hilton Drops BlackBerry for Ericsson in Dubai
Bloomberg
June 18, 2009
By Ayesha Daya
...“That was Las Vegas and that will stay in Las Vegas. I will not make the girls do anything like that because I respect the culture here,” Hilton, 28, said at a news conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dubai...
read_article

Is Dubai Ready for Paris Hilton?
Examiner
June 18, 2009
by Dawnn Behrens
...Hilton now 28, says she has studied the culture of Dubai, and has promised there will be none of the alcohol consumption and foul language that was seen on her earlier series which was shot in Los Angeles, and London...
read_article

Paris tweets and reveals Midas touch in Dubai
The National
June 18,2009
by Rupert Wright 
...But those of us in the writing game should reflect that while we turn out perfectly crafted sentences for a pittance, she is flown halfway across the world in first class by Emirates Airline because they know she will give them valuable publicity. What does she say that is so priceless? Judge for yourself from her Twitter posts: “About to take off, so excited!” “My bed … Huge … So Comfy.” “This airline is Amazing.”...
read_article

What the heck is Paris wearing?
Stuff.co.nz
June 18, 2009
...“I respect the culture in Dubai - it’s much classier than Las Vegas," she said...
read_article

Paris and her New Best Friend
Khaleej Times
June 19, 2009
We all know that Paris Hilton’s carefully-cultivated dumb blonde persona is a bit of a laugh. She’s not really an airhead, is she? Well, we get living proof of that as the Hilton hotel chain heiress breezes her way through Dubai, filming reality show, My New Best Friend Forever, at Festival City...Dubai is “much classier than Las Vegas”...
read_article

 
 

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What Happens In Las Vegas Is That I Told You So

What Happens In Las Vegas Is That I Told You So

by Vegas Taxi Driver
May 13, 2009

The Las Vegas Taxi Driver Blog

My reason for writing in this article is for no reason other than to say, "I told you so" and "its about time".

Watching CNBC at 3:30 AM today, I heard that the
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced that they are going to revive the ad slogan "What happens in Las Vegas...", which was catchy, effective, and successful. Two years ago, on May 14, 2007, I wrote an article entitled "$890 Million Waste at Las Vegas Convention Center Planned By Las Vegas Convention And Visitors Authority". Today, two years later, the Las Vegas Review Journal has an article by Benjamin Stillman about the current plans of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority saying that "The authority will save $23 million in the upcoming year as a result of a decision to suspend work on a proposed $890 million renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Center". In that same blog article I wrote "The 'What stays...' slogan and ad campaign was one of the most successful advertising campaigns of all time. Why isn't the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spending the proposed $890 million on something like that?"

Two years ago I also wrote a blog article on February 26, 2007 entitled "
Las Vegas Monorail to Airport - Big Waste Wont Work" where I asked:

"How long will it take to load all those people with their luggage? How long will it take for all those people to unload with their luggage? And where does the monorail take these people with their luggage? Will they have to haul their luggage hundreds of yards through a busy casino to get to the hotel registration? Will other passengers be annoyed and stop using the monorail because they have to wait for all these luggage-hauling passengers?"

and in that article I stated:

"The monorail goes to and from the Las Vegas Convention Center, and the cab lines full of passengers going to and from the Las Vegas Convention Center are still as long as ever. So, what makes anyone believe that it will work any better at the airport, where everybody has lots of luggage?"

In a May 8, 2009 Las Vegas Sun article by
Richard Velotta, where he interviews Clark County Aviation Director Randall Walker about additions to McCarran, Walker said that plans to extend the Monorail "But if all (the monorail company does) is expand what it has to the airport, I honestly don’t think that’s going to create a successful system because the stops that it has today really only provide convenience for a very small percentage of our customers".

Since I started blogging in 2005, I have only written 36 blog articles regarding Las Vegas, most of them about the politics regarding the taxi industry in Las Vegas, and I only wrote them as a way to vent my frustrations and rant about the fact that Las Vegas taxi drivers were experiencing less income during a time when everybody else in Las Vegas was experiencing record revenues and profits because of the poor policies of government regulators. Most of my blogging has been on other websites and unrelated to the taxi business and Las Vegas, and I constantly tell myself that I am not going to say another word about Las Vegas or taxi driving, because I would like to move on to other things. But then I see news like today and I cannot help being interested, because no matter how much I want to focus on other things that I am interested in, I have been in the unfortunate situation of having to use taxi driving in Las Vegas as a way to bridge the gap from where I am and where I want to be.

People are obsessed with Las Vegas and taxi drivers. I would never have guessed how popular these topics and keywords are on Google, and how much traffic I have gotten from writing a few lousy blog articles which are more rants than anything. But there is a big audience for these topics. Six weeks ago I decided to check out the Twitter website, because every time I turn on TV news or sports or anything, everybody is talking about Twitter. I set up a few Twitter accounts to see what it is all about, and while I was at it I set up twitter.com/vegastaxidriver, just so that nobody else would grab that user name. I followed some twitterers, just to see if I could get some of them to follow me, and then I forgot about it. Meanwhile, I used basic Internet marketing tactics to get followers to a handful of marketing related Twitter accounts, including a couple of my Twitter accounts that now have over 10,000 followers each, and are now in the top 2000 Twitter accounts in the world, in terms of the number of followers they have, according to twittercounter.com. Then, just for kicks, I decided to go back to my twitter.com/vegastaxidriver account and post comments about what other people are twittering, by looking at Twitter posts about "las vegas" and "taxi drivers" on search.twitter.com, and just retweeting posts from other tweeters and making comments about their tweets. Twitter.com/vegastaxidriver went from 4000 followers to 6300 followers during the past seven days just by doing that. It is totally amazing to me that anything I put online about Las Vegas and/or taxi driving gets so much attention. As much as I want to do things online that have nothing to do with Las Vegas or taxi driving, I guess it is time for me to do some work on my VegasTaxiDriver.com blog and website, since that is what people are interested in.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
May 13, 2009

The Las Vegas Taxi Driver Blog

"Vegas Tries Luck With Old Slogan"
May 13, 2009
WALL STREET JOURNAL
By TAMARA AUDI
...After a year of flirting with tourism pitches that directly addressed the recession, the entertainment mecca is resurrecting its successful "What Happens Here Stays Here" campaign, which started in 2003...
read_article

"Vegas Feeling ‘Blue’ During Tourism Week"
May 12, 2009
FOX 5 NEWS
...To mark the start of National Travel and Tourism Week, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is taking the city’s famous showgirls on a whirlwind trip to five major cities and relaunching the classic “What Happens In Vegas…” ad campaign...
read_article

"TOUGH TIMES FOR TOURISM: LVCVA forced to cut budget"
May 13, 2009
Las VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL
By BENJAMIN SPILLMAN 
...The authority will save $23 million in the upcoming year as a result of a decision to suspend work on a proposed $890 million renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Center....
read_article

"Tourism workers rally to encourage travelers"
May 12, 2009
LAS VEGAS SUN / The Associated Press
...Travel to Las Vegas was down 8.7 percent for the first three months of 2009 compared with 2008, even as hotels slashed room rates more than 25 percent, according to the latest figures from the visitors authority. The decline is even more pronounced during weekdays, when conventions and corporate meetings are typically held...
read_article

"Q&A: Randall Walker, Clark County aviation director"
May 8, 2009
LAS VEGAS SUN
By Richard N. Velotta
..."But if all (the monorail company does) is expand what it has to the airport, I honestly don’t think that’s going to create a successful system because the stops that it has today really only provide convenience for a very small percentage of our customers"...
read_article

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Las Vegas Tourism Is Down  And Obama Helped

 

Las Vegas Tourism Is Down

 And Obama Helped

by Vegas Taxi Driver
March 13, 2009

Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs said that "I don't think the President said don't go to Las Vegas," on March 12, 2009. But On February 8, 2009, while trying to gain support for his grandiose economic recovery stimulus spending and tax-cut package, Barack Obama said in Elkhart, Indiana, that companies “can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer’s dime.” (His trip to Indiana was also on the taxpayers' dime.) Immediately following Obama's comment companies started canceling meetings and conventions in Las Vegas worth millions of dollars of business. Since then, nobody knows how many meetings and conventions were not scheduled in Las Vegas that would have been, and were diverted to other cities instead.

Obama singled out Las Vegas, no other cities or destinations, in rebuking businesses for having meetings. Now large companies don't dare schedule meetings in Las Vegas right now because image is very important for large companies, and they do not want to be perceived as spending money foolishly, and the President of the United States said that it was bad for companies to do business in Las Vegas if they are receiving money from the government, and that means that he must think that having meetings in Las Vegas is excessive and bad for All companies and is a waste of money for companies, and corporations do not want their shareholders thinking that they are spending money excessively or foolishly. He is not man enough to correct his statement, which was wrong and harmful and needs a correction, and it is time for Americans and Las Vegans to quit giving Obama breaks. If Bush had said the same thing, every newspaper and writer and politician in Las Vegas would be demanding a retraction by the President. Obama has never had a real job and is not acting like he cares about employees in Las Vegas who he is hurting with his careless statement. I am not against Obama and I do not want him to fail, but it would be nice if it was reciprocal. I think that what he is doing for the American economy is better than Bushonomics, but that does not do any good for Las Vegas if Obama says things that destroy the Las Vegas economy. He could make a statement today himself that would retract his mistaken perceptions about business in Las Vegas.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
March 13, 2009

 
 
 

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Obama Disrespects Las Vegas Part One

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LAS VEGAS TAXI DRIVER BLOG ARTICLES:
LAS VEGAS CABBIES ATTACKED BY BARACK OBAMA FEBRUARY 16, 2009
LAS VEGAS TRIPS FOR BAILED OUT CORPORATIONS FEBRUARY 13, 2009
MAJOR LANE CLOSURES IN LAS VEGAS GOING FORWARD FEBRUARY 13, 2009
SOME LAS VEGAS TAXICAB COMPANIES PRESSURE CABBIES TO RIP OFF TOURISTS FEBRUARY 6, 2009
LAS VEGAS TAXICAB OWNERS GET HIT HARD BY RECESSION FEBRUARY 2, 2009
NEVADA TAXICAB BOARD DOES ITS JOB FEBRUARY 2, 2009
AVOID BEING LONG-HAULED BY A TAXI DRIVER JULY 15, 2007
Las vegas airport tunnel Taxi Rides - Which route to take?  JANUARY 19, 2009
Las vegas economy hits cabbies hard  JANUARY 18, 2009
QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK LAS VEGAS CABBIES JULY 17, 2007
Chris Moneymaker Can Ride In My Taxi Anytime JULY 12, 2007
i hate cab driving  october 2, 2006
LAS VEGAS CABBIES ATTACKED BY BARACK OBAMA FEBRUARY 16, 2009

Obama Says No

To Las Vegas Business Meetings

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 17, 2009

I did not agree with people who were bashing Obama by saying that he was a communist before he was elected, and I do not think that socialized medicine is communism. I have not voted for any Republicans in decades, especially not G.W. Bush. There are lots of socialist components in our society that do not prohibit free market enterprise, such as fire departments and police protection and roads and Social Security. But when the government tells companies not to have meetings in Las Vegas, that is blatant anti-capitalism, and Americans need to be afraid that this country is on a fast track to communism.

In his article, "
Stimulus bill amendment could hurt Las Vegas" in the Las Vegas Review Journal, February 14, 2009, Benjamin Spillman states that:

...The amendment by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., calls for the secretary of the Treasury to write rules that would define "excessive expenditures" on behalf of companies that will or have already accepted taxpayer money, referred to as TARP funds...
When asked whether the definition of luxury the amendment calls for would include resorts such as Wynn Las Vegas, Palazzo, Bellagio or others on the Strip, Summers responded: "That's up to the secretary, who has oversight of the TARP funds."


This is not about executives making tens of millions of dollars a year and then pocketing millions of dollars in bonuses for themselves, instead the government is going to step in and decide how businesses should operate and spend money on all levels, which can be very bad for these companies, and may cause these companies to either go out of business or have to get more money from the government.

Welcome to the United States of Communist Cuba. Factory workers and service workers better hope that the companies they work for are allowed by Obama and and the government to let their sales reps and public relations reps have meetings with their prospective customers at the Bellagio instead of the Motel 6, because if the sales-persons and executives of the company you work for are taking clients out to McDonalds for lunch instead of taking them out to nice restaurants, you are screwed, and you won't have a job very long. 

Obama and Geithner deciding what companies should spend money on and how much, is like me telling pilots how to fly jets, and I do no know how to fly, but I do know how to drive, and I did stay at a Holiday Express. Should the government be putting a lid on outrageous bonuses of millions of dollars per executive while they are receiving bailout money from the government? Of course. Executives getting hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses is not the same thing as companies having business meetings and conventions and training seminars that promote business and cause companies to be more profitable. But they are using that as a way to turn America into a Communist, or at least an anti-capitalist, country. It is outrageous and for Obama to say that if companies hold those meetings in Las Vegas, the convention capitol of the world and the most cost effective city in the world to conduct business meetings, that they are being frivolous or excessive. 

Democrats keep saying that is not what Obama meant, but Obama has not said a word to make it clear what he means, specifically why he singled out one city, which is the city has the most business meetings. I am sure that Obama and Geithner think it is okay for businesses to have meetings and conventions in Chicago or San Francisco, because that is where Obama and Pelosi are from, but Harry Reid is too busy kissing Obama's hand in order to stand up for Las Vegas. Every day that goes by that Obama does not stick up for workers in Las Vegas is another day that meeting planners are diverting business away from Las Vegas.

Democrat bloggers, Las Vegas taxi drivers, and even the lady working at my grocery store in Las Vegas, are siding with President Obama, even though he is hurting the incomes of hard working service employees in Las Vegas. Are Democrats suddenly against Sin City? I thought it was the moral right that was against Las Vegas? But now Democrats in Las Vegas are going to get in line and stand up for their hero while he leads them to their slaughter.

If President Obama said it is excessive for companies to advertise on CNN and NBC, and companies should do radio advertising instead because it is cheaper, then you would see the reporters on CNN and NBC covering the story differently, and more accurately.

Talking about excess, tell Obama to trade in that limo for a Prius, and trade in Air Force One for a bus, because that is taxpayer money, too.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 17, 2009

http://www.lvrj.com/business/39608182.html
Feb. 14, 2009
By BENJAMIN SPILLMAN
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
An amendment to the $787 billion economic stimulus bill could have some unpleasant fallout for Las Vegas.
Specifically, it calls for the government to decide what is or isn't legitimate business travel.
The amendment by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., calls for the secretary of the Treasury to write rules that would define "excessive expenditures" on behalf of companies that will or have already accepted taxpayer money, referred to as TARP funds.
That could make life more difficult for resorts in Las Vegas, which host more than 22,000 business meetings annually that directly sustain about 43,000 jobs...

<< MORE >>

Las Vegas Trips For Bailed Out Corporations

 

Las Vegas Trips Should Be Required

By Obama For Bailed Out Corporations

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 13, 2009

The companies getting bailout money from taxpayers should be required by President Obama to hold all of their business meetings in Las Vegas, the city which is the most economical and the most conducive to holding efficient business meetings and conventions, with 130,000 hotel rooms and thousands of restaurants within a few miles of dozens of huge convention facilities and hundreds of meeting rooms. With reduced room rates because of the economy, and because Las Vegas hotels can afford to offer lower room rates because of casino revenues, Las Vegas is a bargain, and Las Vegas is the only city where all corporations should be allowed to plan their meetings and conventions. President Obama should prohibit any company getting bailout money from taxpayers from having business meetings or conventions anywhere else besides Las Vegas.

Should executives being paid tens of millions a year while their corporations are losing money be able to give themselves hundreds of millions in bonuses while taking taxpayer money? I think not. But that has nothing to do with rewarding sales reps and putting on the Ritz for profitable customers in Las Vegas. Should the big companies in the United States that sell their products to big companies around the world have meetings at McDonalds? That would be received well and end up profitably, wouldn't it?

So much for helping out the union members in Las Vegas that rallied behind Obama. Instead of creating jobs in Nevada, Obama is undermining decades of Las Vegas establishing itself as the convention and business meeting capitol of the world.

When I was delivering newspapers 35 years ago, the newspaper company had a party every year for delivery carriers and gave them free pizza and soda pop. The carriers who sold the most newspaper subscriptions were awarded prizes. The top prize was a trip to Disneyland. As a result the newspaper increased their circulation and were able to charge more for advertising. When I was an outside sales rep selling plumbing supplies to wholesalers 25 years ago, the owner of the small manufacturer rep firm that employed me, required me to take customers out to lunch every day, and we also payed for lunch meetings for engineers that did plumbing specs. That was how we made our products known to buyers at wholesalers, and that was the lifeblood of the company, and we sold a lot of products.

When I haul conventioneers around Las Vegas, they work 8+ hours at their convention, then followed by hours of dinners and cocktails and meetings with venders and clients. This is the way that sales deals are done, and contacts are made in capitalist America. It is important for people to be at these meetings and conventions to wine and dine their customers and employees, because if they don't, their competition will. The corporations that have been helped with taxpayer money should be encouraged to do more wining and dining and promoting than their competitors in order to make money so they can pay back the money. 
Many of the employees in this country have jobs because their executives and sales people and public relations people go to meetings and conventions and events and keep getting additional business for the companies that employ workers. The reason government employees have their jobs because these companies and their employees pay taxes. Being against this capitalist system of companies competing with each other by advertising and promoting and meeting and wining and dining is being against the United States.

When Lee Iacocca and the Chrysler Corporation borrowed money from U.S. Government they launched more advertisements in order to sell the public on buying their cars. Chrysler paid the loan back ahead of time and Iacocca was a real American hero. Now General Motors didn't even advertise during the Superbowl because it would have been perceived in this anti-capitalist environment as wasteful spending. Back then the money loaned to Chrysler was used for American jobs held by legal workers. Now the President of the United States does not support buying American because we have to help out other nations, hands out taxpayer money to fund projects that favor hiring illegal workers over white males, and it is now un-American to have meetings and conventions and dinners to promote business, and we are loaning taxpayer money to American corporations so they can lay off American workers and open more factories in other countries.

The fact that is popular in the United States to criticize corporations for spending money to do the things it takes to get business disturbs me. I remember in the 80's when some grocery stores had rows of generic products with white and black labels because it was perceived that it would save consumers money if companies could cut out the costs of advertising and attractive labeling. It did not work then, and it won't work now. If taxpayer money is being used to get these bailed out companies on their feet, we better hope that these companies are doing the kinds of things that increase sales and attract customers and reward productive employees, or all of these companies will fail and the taxpayer money will be gone.

President Obama and Democrats having lavish meetings at expensive resorts and flying jets around the country in order to criticize corporations for spending money on trips to Las Vegas for business is insane, even if it is just rewarding good producers and encouraging them to make more money for the company, so the company can pay us back instead of failing. Is the United States still a capitalist country, or are we now part of Communist Cuba?

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 13, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/us/15vegas.html?_r=1&ref=business
"Las Vegas Sags as Conventions Cancel"
By STEVE FRIESS
Published: February 14, 2009
...Anxiety over the matter escalated last week after President Obama told an audience in Elkhart, Ind., that companies “can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer’s dime.” The remark was taken by many here as an attack.
“The mayor heard the words ‘Las Vegas’ — he didn’t hear any other city — and people are telling me that they’re not coming to Las Vegas because the president doesn’t want them to,” said Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, who at first demanded a White House apology but later in the week said he just wanted a clarification.
“There’s an impression out there,” Mr. Goodman said, “that somehow if you come to Las Vegas, it’s going to reflect on your business culture, and that’s a bunch of hooey.”
The White House has not commented directly on the matter... 
http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/feb/15/business-travel-boosters-go-offensive/
"Business travel boosters go on the offensive"
By Michael Mishak
Sun, Feb 15, 2009 (2 a.m.)
...Although Obama’s comments were clearly directed at companies receiving federal bailout money, tourism officials say the president’s words nevertheless created the perception in some people’s minds that corporate travel planners should eschew Las Vegas. Not taking any chances, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will launch a six-figure ad campaign this month aimed at correcting any misperceptions.
The ads, which will run in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and various business publications, will feature testimonials from companies that have held meetings in Las Vegas...
http://industry.bnet.com/travel/1000810/obamas-las-vegas-remark-inflames-industry/
"Obama’s Las Vegas Remark Inflames Industry"
By Barbara E. Hernandez
February 15th, 2009 10:04 am
It was only a five-second soundbyte, meant for Wall Street fat cats asking for government bailouts.
“You can’t get corporate jets. You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer’s dime, ” President Barack Obama said to a town hall meeting in Elkhart, Ind. last week.
But the remark caused a hailstorm of anger from Las Vegas officials, members of the travel industry and even residents...

__________________________________________

Las Vegas Cabbies Attacked By Barack Obama

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 16, 2009

The conventions that happen in Las Vegas don't stay in Las Vegas if the President of the United States says that is a bad idea. Thanks a lot PREZ!

Taxi drivers in Las Vegas got together and honked their horns and tied up traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard and did not pick people up at the airport a few years ago, because the Governor of Nevada was going to sign a bill that would hurt taxi drivers' incomes, but that bill did not have near as much potential to kill business and incomes of Las Vegas taxi drivers as much as the negative comments made by President Obama recently. But if anyone says a negative word about Barack Obama to the cab drivers in Las Vegas who voted for him, they put their hands on their ears and walk away because they can't handle the truth. They want to believe that their hero is perfect. But when the President of the United States is saying things that take food off of your table, you better say something. 

Las Vegas taxi drivers should unite and protest and do what they can until Barack Obama rights the wrong and apologizes for his damaging remarks. I hope that the Obama supporters are not so loyal and blind that they can't criticize him even if it means starving to death. Barack Obama is harming taxi drivers in Las Vegas. Every day that goes by that Barack Obama does not make a bold statement saying that he is in favor of businesses spending money in Las Vegas, is another day that companies and convention planners are deciding to not plan events and meetings in Las Vegas, because it is perceived as not being the politically correct thing to do right now, and they are scheduling their meetings during the next two years anywhere besides Las Vegas, thanks to Barack Obama.

President Obama continues to not say a word about the fact that he viciously attacked the union members and hard working citizens and taxi drivers in Las Vegas who gave him the election in Nevada, by implying that businesses who spend money in Las Vegas are acting irresponsible and are being frivolous, which is just the opposite of the truth. On February 8, 2009, while trying to gain support for his grandiose economic recovery stimulus spending and tax-cut package, Barack Obama said in Elkhart, Indiana, that companies “can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer’s dime.” His trip to Indiana was also on the taxpayers' dime. 

I guess there is no place in our new President's socialist agenda for businesses to spend money on productive meetings and conventions in the most cost effective place in the world to hold those meetings. Las Vegas has built itself up for decades as the best place in the world to do business for companies that hold meetings and conventions to network with other companies, but Barack Obama said it is bad for businesses to spend money in Las Vegas, and now it has been heard all over the world: Barack Obama does not think that it is good business for businesses to do business in Las Vegas.

Now, less than one month since he took office, we get to find out what Barack Obama is made of. Is Obama just like George W. Bush and unable to admit that he made a huge mistake? Is President Obama above apologizing to the two million residents of Las Vegas? Or is Barack Obama an enemy of the workers and people who work in the convention industry that Las Vegas depends on? Will the real Barack Obama please stand up, or did Obama already make his stand, and the people in Las Vegas who voted for Barack Obama are getting shafted? If Barack Obama was against businesses holding meetings in Las Vegas, why didn't he say so while he was campaigning? After all those trips to Las Vegas that Barack Obama spent money on during his campaign, Barack Obama should be a huge advocate of businesses spending money on meetings and conventions and dinners and cab rides and limo rides in Las Vegas. But no, what does he do? Barack Obama attacks Las Vegas taxi drivers and the hard workers who take care of the business that comes to Las Vegas.

I realize that Barack Obama is not an Islamic extremist, and everyone knows that Islamic extremists hate Las Vegas, so do not think that I agree with people who insinuate that the reason that Barack Obama is attacking Las Vegas has anything to do with what people say about his ties to Islamic extremists, and I do not think that is why Obama is hurting the Las Vegas taxi drivers and Las Vegas residences and making the Las Vegas economy worse than it is. But maybe the reason that Barack Obama won't go back on his statement telling businesses not to spend money in Las Vegas is because he is so tolerant and does not want to offend the Islamic community. But that would not make sense because there are lots of Muslim business people who come to Las Vegas for trade shows and conventions, there are lots of taxi drivers in Las Vegas who are Muslim, and the biggest construction project under way in Las Vegas is the City Center project, which is a joint venture with MGM-Mirage and Dubai World.

Conservative talk show hosts and die-hard Republicans have suggested that Barack Obama has Communist viewpoints because of his socialist tendencies, but I certainly do not think that the fact that the first thing that Fidel Castro did went he came to power in Cuba was to get rid of casinos and outlaw gambling has anything to do with Barack Obama launching his assault on Las Vegas.

According to a New York Times article published yesterday:

"In the last month, 30,000 hotel room nights booked for conferences have been canceled at an estimated loss of $20 million to the city, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Some of those rooms were reserved for a Goldman Sachs technology conference, which was moved to San Francisco this month. And the figures do not include 17,000 people who were expected to attend a State Farm agents’ convention this October. That conference was canceled Wednesday."

Las Vegas taxi drivers and all service workers in Las Vegas cannot afford to just let this statement by Obama just be forgotten. Instead of chanting "Yes We Can" they should be chanting "Yes He Can" and keep on chanting until Obama makes a full apology and makes it perfectly clear that he does not think that businesses spending money in Las Vegas is a bad thing - PERIOD!!!

Maybe Barack Obama has watched too many movies about Las Vegas and his perception of Las Vegas is nothing more than a party place, and that Las Vegas is a waste of money and not a good place to do business. Las Vegas voters should have been told about that when he was campaigning. Maybe he is getting paid off by his buddies in Chicago that want to do damage to the convention business in Las Vegas in order to sway conventions their way, and that way they can pay higher prices than having conventions in Las Vegas. Maybe President Obama wants to spread the wealth around and Las Vegas is getting too much convention business and Las Vegas cabbies are getting too many rides. Maybe Barack Obama has been sheltered from understanding what good business is, and what is good for businesses, because he has no business experience at all.

And where is Harry Reid on this? He is making excuses for Barack Obama and he is hem-hawing around saying "he didn't mean it". Why isn't Harry Reid demanding a retraction from Obama? These are his constituents who are being harpooned and left out to die. Why is Mayor Goodman backing down on demanding a full apology from President Obama? The workers in Las Vegas should be all over Oscar Goodman until he gets Obama to change his tune and make a 180 degree turn around. The people who were voted into office to help the State of Nevada and the City of Las Vegas should be defending the voters and not the President.

When George W. Bush won the election twice in the State of Nevada, I thought it was strange that Nevada would vote for a man who stated as Governor of Texas that he is morally opposed to gambling, and wanted to see gambling outlawed. But at least he did not try to ruin and destroy the non-gambling business in Las Vegas, which is what Barack Obama is doing. Las Vegas is going through the worst economic crisis in its history, and Las Vegas does not need to have the President of the United States drop a bomb on the good productive convention industry in Las Vegas, by telling corporations and small businesses that if they hold business meetings or employee training meetings or trade shows or banquets or conventions in Las Vegas that they are being irresponsible, and that they should do those things in another place where it costs much more. Las Vegas is a steal of a deal, and it makes good business sense to use Las Vegas for business. Howard Clark was on CNN showing off a car he rented for $8 a day in Las Vegas, and he would agree that businesses can get really good deals in Las Vegas. Maybe Obama can use his Blackberry to look at room rates in Las Vegas, and then he can see for himself that having meetings and conventions in Las Vegas is not a waste of money.

Is it fair to compare a business get away for employees in Las Vegas to going to the Superbowl? Should they reward their employees by taking them to McDonald's to have meetings and seminars? What country am I in?

McCarran International Airport is the fourth busiest airport in the country and the seventh busiest in the world. McCarran is the number one destination airport in the world. That was not the case before Las Vegas built up and promoted business conventions. McCarran has more taxicab pickups than any other taxicab stand in the world because of the 22,000 meetings and trade shows per year that are scheduled in Las Vegas. In 2006 there were an average of 8600 taxicab pickups per day at McCarran International Airport. Las Vegas is able to handle conventions of over 150,000 people at a time, and there are over 20 conventions a year that have over 50,000 attendees. That is one reason why Las Vegas is the best place for businesses to have meetings and trade shows and conventions.

Las Vegas has attracted many conventions and trade shows during the past two decades because their attendance is better in Las Vegas than in other cities, because people like being in Las Vegas because there is plenty of good dining and shows and entertainment. It makes good sense for people to show off their products and services in Las Vegas, because buyers and prospective buyers will actually go to the convention, because it is in Las Vegas. Businesses who exhibit at conventions in Las Vegas get more bang for their buck because people who would not attend a convention or trade show or seminar in other places will go to Las Vegas because they like Las Vegas. That is a good reason for businesses to spend money in Las Vegas.

Last week the World Market Center hosted its biannual international furniture convention that attracts 50,000 business people who come to Las Vegas to network and get informed and buy products and make deals and make money. They come to Las Vegas to work and to do business. Less than two miles away in downtown Las Vegas there are thousands of hotel rooms that offered rooms as low as $29 a night during the convention last week, and a few miles away on the Las Vegas strip there were rooms in some of the newest and most beautiful resorts in the world available for $49 to $170 a night. Does Barack Obama think that all those businesses were being irresponsible? If it is good for those businesses, why wouldn't be good for businesses that have received taxpayer money? Doesn't Obama want those businesses to be as successful and profitable as possible so that they can pay back the money they received?

The Las Vegas Convention Center is the busiest convention center in the world, and has the capacity to handle the biggest conventions in the world. Las Vegas has 15 of the 20 largest hotels in the world. Las Vegas has thousands of restaurants of all kinds, and has an abundance of 24 hour dining. The huge hotel resorts on the Las Vegas strip and downtown Las Vegas and in the outskirts of Las Vegas can offer super deals on hotel rooms and dining because they have casinos, and all of the large resorts and hotels in Las Vegas have meeting rooms. That makes business in Las Vegas economical and smart and very responsible.

Will Obama allow business people to ride on the new $8 billion dollar train between L.A. and Las Vegas that is included in the new stimulus package that Obama okayed? Or will Obama stipulate that anybody who works for a corporation that has ever received anything from the government will be not allowed on board?

I have been blogging and ranting for years about cab companies and local politicians and law enforcement and government agencies and things that make it difficult for Las Vegas taxi drivers to make a living and survive, and never at any time did I imagine that I would be sitting down to write a blog article about taxi drivers being attacked and assaulted and hurt by the President of the United States. Taxicab drivers in Las Vegas have enough enemies like the Nevada Taxicab Authority and run-outs and break-downs and grid locked traffic and motorcycle cops and non-tipping customers and thieves working as door-persons for hotels. Las Vegas cabbies in Las Vegas do not need the President of the United States to make verbal assaults against us and tell businesses to not have business meetings in Las Vegas. Taxi drivers in Las Vegas are struggling to survive during these difficult global economic times, and having Barack Obama tell businesses not to do business in Las Vegas is not helping the plight of Las Vegas cab drivers and Las Vegas cab companies. Between McCain and Obama, I honestly thought that Obama would be the better of the two for Las Vegas business and for the Las Vegas economy, at least in the short run, but so far it has been just the opposite.

I am not an activist. I am just a writer with opinions. You won't see me standing on the side of the street with a picket sign or passing out flyers, but I certainly hope that Las Vegas citizens who are activists and have the capability to do those kinds of things will go whole hog and do everything that can be done until Barack Obama and his buddies in Washington send a message to the world that Las Vegas is a good place to do business, and tells American companies that it is not irresponsible or bad for businesses to spend money doing business in Las Vegas. But I am afraid that activists may not stand up for themselves because they worry about talking bad about Obama, their hero, even though Obama doesn't care if he cripples them or devastates their incomes. I hope that the sheep that followed him on Election Day are not going to follow him to the slaughter. Las Vegas taxi drivers and service workers deserve much better than that.

People who did not support Obama should tell John Ensign, the Republican Senator for Nevada, to keep on demanding that Obama get the story straight. Obama supporters need to get on the bandwagon and insist that Barack Obama fixes this mistake so we can move on.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 16, 2009

__________________________________________

Prohibiting Las Vegas Business Meetings???

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 17, 2009

I did not agree with people who were bashing Obama by saying that he was a communist before he was elected, and I do not think that socialized medicine is communism. I have not voted for any Republicans in decades, especially not G.W. Bush. There are lots of socialist components in our society that do not prohibit free market enterprise, such as fire departments and police protection and roads and Social Security. But when the government tells companies not to have meetings in Las Vegas, that is blatant anti-capitalism, and Americans need to be afraid that this country is on a fast track to communism.

In his article, "
Stimulus bill amendment could hurt Las Vegas" in the Las Vegas Review Journal, February 14, 2009, Benjamin Spillman states that:

...The amendment by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., calls for the secretary of the Treasury to write rules that would define "excessive expenditures" on behalf of companies that will or have already accepted taxpayer money, referred to as TARP funds...
When asked whether the definition of luxury the amendment calls for would include resorts such as Wynn Las Vegas, Palazzo, Bellagio or others on the Strip, Summers responded: "That's up to the secretary, who has oversight of the TARP funds."


This is not about executives making tens of millions of dollars a year and then pocketing millions of dollars in bonuses for themselves, instead the government is going to step in and decide how businesses should operate and spend money on all levels, which can be very bad for these companies, and may cause these companies to either go out of business or have to get more money from the government.

Welcome to the United States of Communist Cuba. Factory workers and service workers better hope that the companies they work for are allowed by Obama and and the government to let their sales reps and public relations reps have meetings with their prospective customers at the Bellagio instead of the Motel 6, because if the sales-persons and executives of the company you work for are taking clients out to McDonalds for lunch instead of taking them out to nice restaurants, you are screwed, and you won't have a job very long. 

Obama and Geithner deciding what companies should spend money on and how much, is like me telling pilots how to fly jets, and I do no know how to fly, but I do know how to drive, and I did stay at a Holiday Express. Should the government be putting a lid on outrageous bonuses of millions of dollars per executive while they are receiving bailout money from the government? Of course. Executives getting hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses is not the same thing as companies having business meetings and conventions and training seminars that promote business and cause companies to be more profitable. But they are using that as a way to turn America into a Communist, or at least an anti-capitalist, country. It is outrageous and for Obama to say that if companies hold those meetings in Las Vegas, the convention capitol of the world and the most cost effective city in the world to conduct business meetings, that they are being frivolous or excessive. 

Democrats keep saying that is not what Obama meant, but Obama has not said a word to make it clear what he means, specifically why he singled out one city, which is the city has the most business meetings. I am sure that Obama and Geithner think it is okay for businesses to have meetings and conventions in Chicago or San Francisco, because that is where Obama and Pelosi are from, but Harry Reid is too busy kissing Obama's hand in order to stand up for Las Vegas. Every day that goes by that Obama does not stick up for workers in Las Vegas is another day that meeting planners are diverting business away from Las Vegas.

Democrat bloggers, Las Vegas taxi drivers, and even the lady working at my grocery store in Las Vegas, are siding with President Obama, even though he is hurting the incomes of hard working service employees in Las Vegas. Are Democrats suddenly against Sin City? I thought it was the moral right that was against Las Vegas? But now Democrats in Las Vegas are going to get in line and stand up for their hero while he leads them to their slaughter.

If President Obama said it is excessive for companies to advertise on CNN and NBC, and companies should do radio advertising instead because it is cheaper, then you would see the reporters on CNN and NBC covering the story differently, and more accurately.

Talking about excess, tell Obama to trade in that limo for a Prius, and trade in Air Force One for a bus, because that is taxpayer money, too.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 17, 2009

http://www.lvrj.com/news/39483752.html
By BENJAMIN SPILLMAN
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL 
Feb. 12, 2009 
"Obama swipe at corporate trips to LV draws response" Officials, politicians say incentive trips are important to city..."You can't take a trip to Las Vegas or down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers' dime," Obama said...They say figures show that in 2008, in Las Vegas alone there were more than 22,000 meetings that directly sustained about 43,000 jobs and generated an estimated $8.5 billion for the local economy...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,491504,00.html
"Las Vegas Mayor Wants Presidential Apology"
Thursday, February 12, 2009
GOODMAN: ... paying — paying large sums of money to get out of those contracts, and then going to other cities, paying more for rooms and for food, because, right now, Vegas is bargain-basement...

http://www.ktnv.com/Global/story.asp?S=9823695
"Another financial avoids a Vegas conference"
Feb 10, 2009
More reservations are being cancelled in Las Vegas...A spokesman for the company said he's not certain if Goldman Sachs is saving any money in the move, but the company has to operate according to the new landscape of their industry...Sources inside Mandalay Bay report that the company did have to pay a $600,000 cancellation fee...

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2009/02/62704125/1
"Las Vegas mayor wants Obama to apologize"
Feb 11, 2009
It was "outrageous" for President Obama to say that corporate executives from companies getting federal bailout funds shouldn't be going on corporate trips to Las Vegas...Cities such as Las Vegas depend on the travel and tourism industry, and the president could be driving business away...KLAS writes that: Some high profile companies like Wells Fargo, Citibank and Goldman Sachs recently pulled out of meetings in Las Vegas. The businesses as well as the people who attend the meetings all spend money here. Canceling impacts the casinos and contractors who set up the sound systems and do other production work for the meetings...

http://www.kvbc.com/Global/story.asp?S=9833464
"Oscar vs. Obama: The war of the words"
Feb 12, 2009
Yet another big company has cancelled its convention in Las Vegas. This time, insurance giant State Farm is the one shying away from Sin City. Mayor Oscar Goodman says a comment from President Obama is only making matters worse..."All they heard was don't go to Las Vegas," says Mayor Goodman, referring to a comment from President Obama criticizing companies for using taxpayers' money for junkets to Las Vegas...

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/02/las-vegas-mayor.html
Political Punch
"Las Vegas Mayor to Obama: 'Your Comments are Harmful' to the City"
Power, pop, and probings from ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper.
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman backed off statements made Tuesday that he would like an apology for comments made by the president earlier in the week about Las Vegas...Obama complained that companies that received bailout money should not take trips to Las Vegas...Goodman writes. “I also understand the need for accountability, but your comments are harmful to the meetings and convention industry as a whole and Las Vegas specifically."...

http://blogs.courant.com/stan_simpson/2009/02/vegas-mayor-demands-obama-apol.html
By Stan Simpson on February 11, 2009 1:30 PM
"Vegas Mayor to Obama: Apologize"
Tourism business is already down in Vegas and officials there are concerned that the president's message will do nothing to improve it...Tough. President Obama didn't suggest that all businesses forego travel to Vegas, just those who will be benefiting from some of the $800 billion in bailout money.

http://www.lasvegasnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=9827585&nav=168Y
"Mayor Goodman Sends Letter to President Obama"
Feb 11, 2009 05:54 PM
LAS VEGAS, Nv. — Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman says his office has been flooded with phone calls after he demanded an apology from President Obama...Goodman is sending a letter to the president. In it he writes, "Your comments are harmful to the meetings and convention industry as a whole and Las Vegas specifically."...

 
 
 

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Major Lane Closures In Las Vegas Going Forward

 

Major Lane Closures In Las Vegas

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 13, 2009

Any day now, the Nevada Department of Transportation is going to start a new project that will cause temporary delays, but will ultimately result in better traffic flow by the next century. For about nine months, all northbound lanes on all roads in the Las Vegas area will be closed, and all eastbound lanes on all roads in the Las Vegas area will be restricted to one lane. The Nevada Department of Transportation recommends using alternate routes. As always, the Nevada Department of Transportation will have crews ready with trucks full of orange cones, and if the Nevada Department of Transportation notices that traffic is somehow able to get somewhere, they will be dispatching crews to put out cones to create complete gridlock. All of this is part of a plan by the Nevada Department of Transportation to make the traffic in Las Vegas run smoothly, and at the end of this project everyone will notice a big difference. 

However, in about eight months after the beginning of the project, they will be starting the second phase of the project, which will take another nine months, during which time all southbound lanes and westbound lanes of all roads in Las Vegas will be closed. Once again, the Nevada Department of Transportation recommends using alternate routes. By the time the Nevada Department of Transportation finishes both phases, it will be time to repeat the process. In order to keep traffic from clogging up Interstate 15, which is already under construction in both directions in multiple locations, the Nevada Department of Transportation will be turning the on- ramp traffic signals to red at all times. Extra Metro Police Officers will be on hand to write as many tickets as possible to any drivers trying to actually get anywhere, especially cabbies, in order to finance the shortfall in the budget in the State of Nevada. 

Some of the facts and dates in this article may be false and exaggerated, but it is not far from the reality that Las Vegas taxi drivers are accustomed to.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 13, 2009

 
 
 

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Some Las Vegas Taxicab Companies Pressure Cabbies to Rip Off Tourists

 

Some Las Vegas Taxicab Companies

Pressure Cabbies to Rip Off Tourists

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 6, 2009

Several years ago I went to work as a Las Vegas cabbie for a very high pressure cab company. It had been quite a few years since I had been a cabbie in Las Vegas. I had worked for other cab companies in Las Vegas and I was confident about my ability to do a good job at any company. But no matter how hard I worked or tried to keep up with the drivers of this particular company I was working for, the average amount of money booked by other drivers on my shift was much higher than my book. At the end of my shifts, when I was counting my money, I would listen to the drivers tell horrible stories about how they ripped off customers and long hauled people. Then when I came to work the next day I would be called to the office to get chewed out by a supervisor for not booking enough. When good conventions were in town, I was not allowed to work because I had not been booking enough. I was required to come to work seven days a week and at least one half hour before the cabs started come in from the previous shift and sit there until they called my name, if I was lucky enough to have my name called at all. Then I would be assigned to one of the oldest junkers they had in their fleet, because I was not a high booker, and most of the time I was given a restricted medallion so I could not pick up passengers on the Las Vegas strip and McCarran Airport and Downtown Las Vegas, which is where 95% of the business is in Las Vegas. 

It did not take long for me to realize that the only way to succeed at this company was to start booking as much as the other drivers, and the only way to do that was to be a crook and a thief and a liar. But I think more highly of myself than that. I hadn't been a crook for other kinds of businesses where I could have made a lot more money than driving taxi, so I wasn't going to be a crook for them. Fortunately, they did have a lot of radio calls and a few good dispatchers. Since I had owned a taxi in a different city 20 years ago where drivers only take radio calls, I knew how to take radio calls. So I just drove restricted cabs and went out and took as many radio calls as I could and went to local casinos on the outskirts of Las Vegas and picked up passengers at their cab stands.

Every day the company printed out a sheet with all the drivers names and the amount of money they booked so that drivers could compare how well they did.  When I was driving restricted cabs, I always was one of the highest booking restricted drivers. However, when I was driving an unrestricted cab for them, I was always one of the lowest bookers. But the amount of trips I did was more than the average. The only reason I was a low booker when I was driving unrestricted cabs was because my trips cost less because I just took people the direct way instead of jerking them around and going in circles.

One Saturday night I remember I booked about $120 less than the average amount booked by the other drivers on that night. It had been a busy night at the airport and there were some late flights that came in, so there were lots of opportunities for drivers to long haul passengers through the airport tunnel. I also had more trips than the average amount of trips of other drivers. The only thing I did not do is jerk people around. The next day I was chewed out by one of the supervisors for not booking enough. That was the last time I worked for that company.

Because of my experiences working for some Las Vegas cab companies, I wrote several blog articles years ago about the bad policies and unscrupulous practices of taxicab companies in Las Vegas. But what I failed to say is that not all Las Vegas cab companies are the same. After working for the worst, now I work for a company that is owned and operated by decent people who have never punished me for not being a crook and have never tried to force me or coerce me to be a crook or break laws or be unethical, and have allowed me to drive good vehicles and work good shifts and not be restricted even though I am not a high booker. I don't want to give the impression that all Las Vegas taxi companies are run the same way. 

I just started writing on this blog again after taking a two year break. My point of view has changed and my situation is different now. Two years ago I would have guaranteed you that there was no way I would still be driving a taxi in 2009. But things happen. During those two years the company I currently work for has treated me way better than I ever expected, and if I knew then what I know now about the owners of my current employer, I would have been more careful in the past to make certain that readers understand that not all owners run their companies the same way. Just because some Las Vegas cab companies have practices and policies that are unethical and abusive does not mean that it is true of all taxi companies in Las Vegas.

Why should I care if some Las Vegas taxi companies have bad policies and unethical practices? Two years ago the Nevada Taxicab Authority was going crazy flooding Las Vegas with more taxis and two of the reasons they gave were: (1) Not having enough taxis at the Las Vegas Convention Center during times when it is impossible for taxis to get to the dysfunctional poorly designed Las Vegas Convention Center, and (2) The amount of money booked by drivers was high. > Some Las Vegas taxi companies force and/or encourage drivers to long-haul customers and drive crazy and steal from other cabbies and even run their meter with no passengers in order to satisfy their bosses and be able to continue to drive a decent vehicle or work a decent shift or not have a restricted medallion. 

The Nevada Taxicab Board should take into account that the amount of money booked by drivers who are pressured to book high amounts and that  should not be the basis for punishing the honest drivers by adding more medallions and creating long lines of empty cabs at the airport and in front of hotels. As far as the Nevada Taxicab Board relying on a report from a Nevada Taxicab Authority administrator who stands at the Las Vegas Convention Center and says, "See, we need more cabs," without doing studies on traffic congestion and feasibility and capacity, anybody can do that. The Nevada Taxicab Board should have better information than that before just putting more and more cabs in Las Vegas without finding out the real reasons and working to fix the real problems.

The Nevada Taxicab Authority, which is responsible for enforcing laws regarding taxicabs in Las Vegas, routinely says that they are cracking down on long hauling by drivers, and sometimes they do take action in that regard. But even if a Las Vegas cabbie gets caught long hauling, it does not do anything to hinder cab companies from having policies that force, encourage, and pressure drivers to long haul. The driver pays the fine, the driver also has to reimburse the money collected from passengers, and still has to pay the company for the meter, and the company still makes money from the long haul. If the driver gets caught enough times, the company fires the driver and hires new drivers who learn from other drivers how to long haul and not get caught. There needs to be a law in Nevada that specifically prohibits taxi companies from coercing and pressuring drivers to long haul. The company I work for now does not reward drivers for being crooks and thieves, but some Las Vegas cab companies do.

There have always been crooks driving cabs. That does not bother me personally as a cabbie. I don't care what the other drivers are doing, as long as it does not hurt me. I feel sorry for people who have such low esteem that they feel that have to stoop to ripping people off in order to make money, but I don't have anything against them. That is up to the individual drivers and the authorities in charge of the taxicab business. I am fine with the fact that I make less money than crooks, whether it is in the taxi business or any other business. Many people who are not crooks go to work at certain Las Vegas cab companies, and then they have to become thieves in order to drive a decent vehicle or work a decent shift or not be restricted from picking up tourists on the Las Vegas strip or McCarran Airport or Downtown Las Vegas, and that is a problem for Las Vegas.

All of the cab companies tell their cabbies to follow the laws and all Las Vegas taxi companies punish drivers that get caught long hauling or breaking any other laws, but if drivers of certain companies know that they have to be high bookers in order to have the opportunity to drive nice cars and not be restricted, and if the amount of money they book on their meter is compared to drivers who are long hauling and stealing rides from cabbies who follow the rules and the laws, then drivers  are actually being coerced into being crooks. This is bad for Las Vegas.

Fortunately, I do not work for a company that forces me to be a crook. There are many decent and honest cabbies working for the company I am employed for now, and they do not have to be crooks and thieves in order to drive nice cabs and work good shifts and not be restricted. I am not saying that all the drivers at my company are honest and do not long haul, but they are not rewarded by the company for being crooks, and they are not pressured to be crooks. 

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 6, 2009

 
 
 

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Las Vegas Taxicab Company Owners Get Hit Hard By Recession

 

Las Vegas Taxicab Company

Owners Get Hit Hard By Recession

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 2, 2009

January 2009 will be remembered by the owners of Las Vegas cab companies as a bleak month with dismal profits. The month of December for taxi business in Las Vegas was terrible, but December is always the worst month for business in Las Vegas anyway. January is supposed to be one of the best months for Las Vegas cab companies, but it wasn't. Business has not been what it used to be. The cabbies have been taking it on the chin, but so have the owners of the taxi companies in Las Vegas. 

The expense of paying for employee benefits and business insurance and liability insurance does not go down just because business is down. The power company doesn't give the cab companies a break just because there is less taxi business and McCarran Airport is not bringing in as many passengers. The costs of administration and payroll and running a company that maintains hundreds of vehicles and employees keep on racking up.

In Las Vegas, all taxis are owned by a handful of companies and all the taxi drivers are employees. Taxi drivers in Las Vegas do not have to pay for maintenance of the vehicles they drive. Las Vegas taxi drivers do not have to pay for liability insurance and business insurance and medical insurance. Las Vegas cabbies do not have to buy new vehicles every few years. Taxi drivers in Las Vegas do not have to pay for towing. Twenty years ago I was an owner/operator driving taxi in a different city, and I learned that if you own your own taxi, the only time it will break down is at the beginning of a busy weekend, not only resulting in being out the money that you would have made, but having to pay for towing and repair.

Las Vegas cab companies have to pay for lawsuits and legal fees, and they are common targets for lawyers and swindlers. Las Vegas taxi companies have to withhold money for workmen's compensation, employment insurance, welfare, and social security taxes for every employee, and they have to match the amount of what is taken out of employee pay.

The investments and portfolios of the owners of taxicab company owners have also taken a big hit because of the market and real estate values.

The month of January started off with the CES show, the biggest convention of the year, started on Thursday instead of Monday, which means that there is less taxi business because having a big convention on weekdays is a boost for the taxi business. Las Vegas is already busy on weekends and covention goers usually are here for business and do not spend as much as regular weekend visitors. Since the Superbowl was on the first of February this year, the big days preceding it were the last two days of January, and people spend less money at the end of the month. I can look at all the ones and fives that I have in my cash at the end of my shift and I can tell it is the end of the month. (I learned that when I was managing restaurants 30 years ago.)

In combing through online blogs and news articles, I have read many articles about the plight of cabbies in Las Vegas, and I have written a few articles myself. But I have never read an article in support of Las Vegas cab companies. I will admit I feel a little guilty that nobody is running a public relation campaign for the benefit of the cab companies, and that is why I felt compelled to take a moment to plead their case for the sake of fair argument. I tend to go overboard with my grievances and insults, so I decided to even the score a bit.

Not all the owners of taxi companies are bad, and even the bad ones are not all that bad. I have worked for most of the cab companies in Las Vegas. The cab company I currently work for is owned and managed by people who are decent and fair and genuinely care about their employees, and they have treated me well. I have worked for dozens of various kinds of companies, and the people I work for right now are the best people I have worked for in my life. If all the taxi companies were as good and decent as the one that I work for, there would be a lot less problems in the taxi business in Las Vegas. I always hope that any company that I work for makes lots of money and their profits increase while I am working for them.

When people get in my cab and ask about being a cabbie in Las Vegas, I do not complain about the policies of the Nevada Taxicab Authority or the crooked way that some cab company owners treat their drivers; people do not want to hear about that and that wouldn't be good for my tips. I reserve all of my sarcasms and criticism for my blog articles. What I do tell my passengers is that I am an employee and that I have medical benefits, and that I don't have to pay for the maintenance of the vehicle. I tell them that the money is not as good as it is in most places, but because cabbies in Las Vegas are employees, I can quit when I want, and then I can come back to work when I want. If I owned my own cab I would be tied down.

As long as I can make a reasonable amount of money without being a crook, and as long as there are not so many cabs out that it is impossible to find a taxi stand to get on, and as long as I don't have to spend my whole night getting chased away from cab stands because there are too many cabs in line, this is not a bad gig. I am glad that the Nevada Taxicab Authority Board decided to not put out extra medallions during conventions in February 2009 so I have a chance to make some money, but it is unfortunate that business is not good enough for extra medallions.

I sincerely hope that business picks up soon and that cabbies can go back to griping about strip club kickbacks and hotel doorpersons and the price of gas and traffic instead of being angry about too many medallions, and that the owners of cab companies in Las Vegas can go back to counting big stacks of money. Maybe the politicians will give the Las Vegas taxicab companies 20 or 30 billion dollars as part of the economic recovery stimulus package.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 2, 2009

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/jan/30/taxi-board-adds-no-extra-cabs-magic/ By Richard N. Velotta Fri, Jan 30, 2009 "Taxi board adds no extra cabs for MAGIC"
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28772664/ KVBC-TV updated 9:43 a.m. PT, Fri., Jan. 23, 2009 "Cab confession: More taxis have drivers seeing red"

 
 
 

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Nevada Taxicab Authority Board Does Its Job

Here is the letter I sent to President Obama.

The article that was

 here no longer exists

 

 Please visit the home page of

blog.vegastaxidriver.com

Inside Scoop From A Former

Las Vegas Cabbie


LAS VEGAS TAXI DRIVER BLOG ARTICLES: 

NEW ASIAN FUSION RESTAURANT IN SOUTH LAS VEGAS March 29, 2010
LAS VEGAS CABBIE MAKES MONEY ONLINE February 16, 2010
SUPER BOWL COMMERCIALS SUCK February 8, 2010
LAS VEGAS MARATHON VIDEO AND PICS December 7, 2009
WESTERN CAB WAS VERY GOOD TO ME November 19, 2009
MY FIRST LAS VEGAS EMPLOYER BOB STUPAK DIES AT 67 September 25, 2009
PARIS HILTON SAYS LAS VEGAS IS NOT AS CLASSY AS DUBAI June 19, 2009
SOME LAS VEGAS CAB COMPANIES PRESSURE CABBIES TO RIP OFF TOURISTS Feb 6, 2009
MAJOR LANE CLOSURES IN LAS VEGAS GOING FORWARD February 13, 2009
AVOID BEING LONG-HAULED BY A TAXI DRIVER July 15, 2007
QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK LAS VEGAS CABBIES July 17, 2007
CHRIS MONEYMAKER CAN RIDE IN MY CAB ANY TIME July 12, 2007
I HATE CAB DRIVING  October 2, 2006

Las Vegas taxi driver has info about how to get a cab from a Las Vegas cab company.

Las Vegas taxi driver at VegasTaxiDriver.com has lots of info about Las Vegas taxis.

Las Vegas Economy Hits Cabbies Hard

 

Las Vegas Economy Hits Cabbies Hard

by Vegas Taxi Driver
January 18, 2009

The most popular topic that riders want to know about is how the Las Vegas economy is doing now. The tourists who have been coming to Las Vegas over the past five years can see it right away. They look at the traffic. They get good deals on their hotel rooms. They don't need reservations to get into restaurants. Show tickets are available for any show they want to see. When I drive them up to the hotel entrance, they ask me why there is a huge long line of empty cabs lined up from the front door to the street, and out on the street. When I take them to the Airport, I point out that the traffic jam going into McCarran Airport is caused by the long line of empty cabs trying to get into the staging area for cabs, and I show them the 200 cabs sitting there. When traffic into the airport backs up far enough, the airport officials chase away empty cabs trying to get in line, and make them leave the airport, forcing them to drive around from hotel to hotel hoping to find a place where there is room to get in line and wait and wait.

The Las Vegas economy is hurting. Unemployment is higher than ever in Nevada, if you consider that there are many undocumented workers who moved to Las Vegas in the last decade when the Las Vegas economy was thriving, and the undocumented workers are not included in official employment statistics. Nevada has the highest rate of home foreclosures in the nation. For the first time in 17 years the population of Las Vegas is declining. Multi-billion dollar construction projects on the Las Vegas strip have stopped construction and are sitting idle waiting for better days. Stores do not have the traffic they are used to, and lots of small businesses are closing.

The locals are not taking as many cab rides to and from the airport. When traffic was bad around the strip on Friday and Saturday nights, I used to go to the outskirts of town, and there would always be locals needing cabs at casinos. But the cab companies are not getting as many radio calls, and there are not as many locals going to casinos, so the restricted cabs have to sit in line at the local casinos waiting for rides.

After September 11, 2001, a lot of cab drivers quit and went to work elsewhere because business was bad at that time, but now the Las Vegas economy is worse than that. In 2001 and 2002, Las Vegas was still the fastest growing city in America with the most new home construction. Real estate was going up, and people had money, and banks were loaning like crazy, and the 33 million people living in California could afford to drive to Las Vegas to party. The tourist business rebounded within six months and was followed by five years of incredible growth, record tourists, record room occupancy, record convention crowds, record taxi pick-ups at the airport, and money was flowing into Las Vegas. 

Last week my take home pay, including tips and my check, came out to $365 for 55 hours of work. One of my pay checks in December was under $400 for 96 hours. Of course, I could have made more money by long-hauling customers, and my employer would have been happy that I booked more (even though my company does not pressure me like some other companies do), but I am not a crook. My employer requires me to work 55 hours, even if there is no business. Recently there are many times when I haven't been able to get more than 10 rides in an 11-hour shift. I never thought in my life that I would make this little money for 40 hours a week, much less for 55 hours a week, but I need to keep my job so I can keep my health insurance. Two years ago this was a $60,000 a year job for hard working drivers who worked 60 hours a week, even if they were honest. Crooks were able to make much more than that.

Lately, I have been using more gas and doing a lot of driving around looking for places to get rides.  Many times I cannot get in line at the hotel after dropping people off at hotels because there is no more room for cabs in the line, so I have to find somewhere else to go. I used to go downtown or to the airport on slow nights because there is a better chance to get a long ride. But now it is usually impossible to get in line downtown without sitting somewhere illegal to get on a legal cab stand, and I do not make enough money to pay for tickets, because I do not long-haul my customers through the "spaghetti bowl" from downtown on the way to the strip, so my rides from downtown are less than most cabbies. Many times the airport officials are chasing away taxis because there is no more room for them there. Even if I can get in line at the airport, it does not pay for me to wait that long, because I am not going to take the tunnel to long-haul customers, so my rides from the airport are cheaper than most cabbies.

Over 90% of the time over the past six months I just take customers right down the Las Vegas strip from one place to another instead of using back roads or alleys. Most cabbies are still taking customers on back roads or on the freeway in order to increase their fares, and telling customers it is faster, even when there is no traffic on the strip. The first time I moved to Las Vegas was 17 years ago, and I have never seen Las Vegas Boulevard as maneuverable as it has been in the past six months. I can remember when there were no walkways going over Las Vegas Boulevard at the Flamingo Road intersection, and it took forever to get through that intersection from any direction because of the people crossing the streets. There have not been pedestrians blocking that intersection for over a decade, but the sheer volume of traffic on the Las Vegas strip usually turns Las Vegas Boulevard into a parking lot, especially on weekends; but not lately. Knowing how to use the back roads and alleys has been the trademark of a good Las Vegas cabbie in the past. I wonder if I will remember where the back roads are when the economy improves?

Times are tough for crooks, too. These days the trademark of most Las Vegas cabbies is knowing how to get on the freeway and take tourists the long way. When business is slow and the crooks and thieves are not busy long-hauling people from downtown and the airport, they are busy stealing rides from cabbies who are on cab stands the way they are supposed to be. 

The cab companies have been allowed to encourage and pressure Las Vegas taxi drivers to be crooks and thieves. Some of the companies are much worse than others in that regard. Most of the honest decent cabbies in Las Vegas are gone because they got fired for not booking enough or they couldn't afford to pay their bills. A lot of drivers who used to be honest and decent have turned into crooks in order to survive. I am lucky that I work at a company that has let me work unrestricted without being a crook, and without being harassed. I know they would like me to book more, and I would like to make more money, but I am not going to be a crook for them or anyone else, and they have not asked me to.

If the Nevada Taxicab Authority cracked down on long hauling, which is very simple to do, it would be very bad for me, unless the Nevada Taxicab Board also reduced the number of taxis. I profit from the thieves and crooks driving cabs in Las Vegas. Every time people get in my cab and I take them the short way, they are frequently aware that I got them back to their destination for way less, so most people are decent and tip me more. If the Nevada Taxicab Authority put a stop to long-hauling by drivers, it would mean that the owners of the cab companies would have much less revenue, and the companies would have to figure out ways to take it out of the drivers' pockets to make up for their losses. What would be nice for me, was if the Nevada Taxicab Board realized that temporary reductions in the number of medallions is appropriate at this time, and that would make it possible for the few honest decent drivers left to survive the recession. The best thing for everyone would be for the economy to magically improve.

The cab companies need to put all the cabs on the street all the time, and they need to make the drivers work their entire shifts even when there is no business, because the cab companies have to pay their bills with less revenue coming in, so they need to try to get every ride possible. I do not blame the owners of the cab companies for keeping up with their competitors. But having more empty cabs sitting in lines doesn't increase the total revenue for anyone, and that is why there needs to be regulation and over-sight.

The Nevada Taxicab Board should give Las Vegas cabbies a break by temporarily reducing the number of medallions in service, which would not hurt the total revenue for cab companies. The Nevada Taxicab Authority and the Nevada Taxicab Board increased the number of cabs when economic times were at their best, but it seems as though they do not care about doing the right thing when it comes to "regulating" and temporarily reducing medallions, which is supposed to be their job.

Or, maybe, all the drivers and cab company owners, and state regulators and taxi enforcement, could all be honest and decent, and just do the things that they should. But we know that won't happen.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
January 18, 2009

 
 
 

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Nevada Taxicab Board and Regulators of Las Vegas Taxis Are Asleep At The Wheel

 

Personal note from author of this blog: I wrote the following two articles before the Nevada Taxicab Board finally decided not to increase the amount of medallions and not continue to dump extra medallions on Las Vegas streets for awhile. (NEVADA TAXICAB BOARD DOES ITS JOB) In my opinion, many blog articles such as this one by Las Vegas cabbies and calls to politicians and the media was the reason that the Nevada Taxicab Board finally got it. But for how long?

Nevada Taxicab Board and Regulators

of Las Vegas Taxis Are

Asleep At The Wheel

by Vegas Taxi Driver
January 15, 2009

People get in my cab at McCarran Airport and they say, "Wow, the economy in Las Vegas really is bad, isn't it? There is nobody in the airport and there was no line of people waiting for taxis." Everybody else in the world has heard the news about the Las Vegas economy, except for the Nevada Taxicab Board.

Right now there are more taxi medallions in Las Vegas than there ever have been, as if business was just as good as it was at its peak. And the Nevada Taxicab Authority keeps adding the same amount of extra "special" medallions for every convention as if there are just as many tourists and conventioneers as in past years. Next week there will be over 100 extra taxis on the streets in Las Vegas with special medallions because of the Annual International Builders Show. Have you seen the news? Do you listen to the radio? Have you heard anything about the housing industry and construction lately? Extra cabs for the Builders Show??? Are you out of your mind?

I don't know if the people in charge of the Nevada taxi industry are stupid, apathetic, uninformed, self-serving, crooked, clueless, or maybe a combination of the above, but they are obviously horrible and asleep at the wheel. I have not met any of them. They should be fired immediately and any money they have received in the past year should be returned with interest. Then they should be put in stockades for a day and every cabbie in Las Vegas should be allowed to throw rotten eggs and tomatoes at them. They are a disgrace. They are lower than low. Governor Gibbons has picked these dummies, so he is to blame. Who is the Administrator dujour at the Nevada Taxicab Authority right now anyway? 

The taxi business in Las Vegas is regulated. What that is supposed to mean is that the people in charge of regulating the industry are supposed to know what is going on and react to it and take appropriate action. The Federal Reserve Board regulates interest rates and other things. That means that sometimes they raise rates, and sometimes they lower rates. That is what real regulators do. They are expected to be on top of the situation and make appropriate actions. The Nevada Taxicab Board and the Nevada Taxicab Authority have gone above and beyond the call of duty in the past when it comes to increasing the number of taxicabs on the streets of Las Vegas during the best of times and during record increases in visitors, making sure that nobody driving a taxi in Las Vegas was able to make too much. But now, even though every intelligent human being on the planet that has access to CNN or NPR or Google, knows that the economy in Las Vegas absolutely sucks.

A city that depends on tourists and convention goers, and does not give a damn about the peon taxi drivers who are forced to work 60 hours a week for less than minimum wage, and does not care that cabbies are punished and fined and/or fired by their bosses if they fail to be rotten crooks who long-haul and rob tourists all day long, is a tourism location that is going to end up having negative repercussions that will linger for a long time. If that city depends on tourism, and these taxi drivers are representatives and faces that serve the public transportation needs in this tourism town, and all the honest and decent workers are forced to quit or get fired or become dirty rotten crooks, then Las Vegas is going to be in sad shape in the future when it comes time to take care of conventioneers and tourists when the economy improves. The people who should be concerned and responsible and on the ball, and paid by taxpayers, are messing it all up.

Las Vegas used to be a place where cabbies who were willing to work long hours and put up with all kinds of people, and fight all kinds of traffic, could make enough to pay the bills and save up some money. But now Las Vegas taxi drivers have to be crooks or pimps or drug dealers in order to make more than $1200 a month working 60 hours a week, and Las Vegas taxi drivers have to be crooks and long-haulers and criminals in order to not be labeled by their employers as lazy employees or bad employees. The plight of cabbies in Las Vegas is not just about the economy; It is not just a bad run of luck; It is a situation where the hard-working individuals driving taxicabs in Las Vegas are allowed to be exploited by some of the taxicab company owners and managers, who have their own government agency to keep anyone from competing with them, and at the same time the so-called "regulators" have their heads up their umbrellas and don't give a damn about Las Vegas or tourists or being decent human beings. This is not about "weathering the storm", it is about being bombed by the enemy and undermined by crooks and thieves. It is about the "professionals" who are appointed and hired to watch the store who are too busy trying to get appointed to a more powerful and prestigious post. Cabbies in Las Vegas are victims of bad politics and rotten politicians and useless bureaucrats. Las Vegas taxi drivers are victims of the system, and nobody cares if they make minimum wage or not, or whether or not drivers get fired or fined or punished for being honest and not being crooks.

Go to Las Vegas Boulevard at 10 pm tonight. There will be no traffic on the strip and you can roll a bowling ball from one end of the boulevard to the other and it won't hit anything. It is like a ghost town. In front of every hotel there is a line of empty cabs that goes as far as it can before spilling off of the hotel property, and then there are lines of empty cabs sitting in the street trying to get into lines at hotels, hoping that there are no Nevada Taxicab Authority Officers or Metro Police Officers near by trying to get their quotas by ticketing cabbies for parking illegally while trying to get into a cab line. Taxis will flock to McCarran Airport empty even though the wait is 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours, only to be turned away by airport officials and then have to leave empty and find some place in Las Vegas to get in line because the "pit" at the airport is full of empty taxis and there is no room to get in line, even though the "pit" at McCarran was revamped a year ago to accommodate hundreds of additional cabs the last time that the Nevada Taxicab Board decided to flood the streets with more cabs.  Las Vegas cab companies have increased the amount of hours the cabbies have to work in order to try get one last $5 ride out of each driver before they go home worn out and broke and wish they still had their homes and wives and kids that they lost because of the unfair horrible rotten ridiculous policies of the Nevada Taxicab Board. 

But the people who regulate taxis in Las Vegas only look at the dysfunctional Las Vegas Convention Center, which is located in the wrong place and has inadequate access to roads and freeways, and they stand there during rush hour traffic and observe that not enough taxis are coming to pick people up at the Las Vegas Convention Center because all the taxis are stuck in traffic, just like everybody else. And then they decide that Las Vegas needs more taxis on the road, even though the problem is that the Las Vegas Convention Center is located in the wrong place and has poorly planned arterials and intersections surrounding it. It is like trying to put ten people with luggage into one of the Prius taxicabs. Having taxicabs at the Las Vegas Convention Center has nothing to do with the number of taxis in Las Vegas. You can't put a big square in a small hole, and the Las Vegas Convention Center cannot handle traffic for conventions of more than 75,000 people. Maybe they should hire some UNLV students who know math and statistics and capacity engineering. All I have ever seen or heard that the Nevada Taxicab Board pays attention to is trying to get taxicabs to the dysfunctional convention center during rush-hour and to the airport  that only has the capacity to load 30 cabs at a time no matter how many people are waiting for cabs or how many cabs are waiting to pick up. For that reason, I get to be broke and tired and unhealthy because of those incompetent screwballs.

The people in charge of regulating the taxi business in Las Vegas must not read the news, so I included a few articles for them to look at, if they know how to read. If they knew how to use this Internet thing, they could always do a search on google.com like I did for "Las Vegas Economy".

by Vegas Taxi Driver
January 15, 2009

Las Vegas Cabbies Attacked

By Nevada Taxicab Authority Board

by Vegas Taxi Driver
January 21, 2009

I don't care about the fact that nobody cares about me. That is one of the characteristics of being a cabbie. If I cared about what people thought about me or if I needed somebody to hold my hand and pat me on the back, I would never be a cabbie. This is not a career or a way to get rich or a way to impress people, and being a cabbie is not for people who are concerned about public image or esteem. It is just a job to make some money.

Right now I have to decide whether to gamble on:

>>>hanging in there for awhile longer and hope things improve and the world economy gets better, or 

>>>becoming a crook like other Las Vegas cabbies and rob the customers in my cab by long-hauling them (which I refuse to do), or 

>>>quitting my job and hope that my severe medical problems do not reoccur while I don't have medical insurance. 

It is ridiculous to make less than $90 gross income including tips and commission for 12 hours of work like last night. I never thought in my life that I would be stuck doing something I hate to do, because there is a world-wide depression going on and nobody has any money to spend in Las Vegas, and there are no jobs available, and Las Vegas taxi drivers are under siege by the nonsense at the Nevada Taxicab Authority Board. 

Two years ago I used to be able to keep up with the average books of the crooks, but I had to do about five more trips than the average to do that, and I did that by knowing what times shows got out, and what time smaller meetings and conventions got out that other cabbies didn't know about. But for the past six months I am lucky to book within 25% of what the crooks do, because there are no rides to find, and I am just lucky to find a place where I can get in line, and the crooks just work at the airport and downtown so that they can jerk around unsuspecting tourists by taking them on long loops before heading them in the direction of their destination.

Two years ago, about the time Jim Gibbons became the Governor of Nevada, the Nevada Taxicab Authority and Nevada Taxicab Board started adding more and more cabs, because they figured that would get more taxis to facilitate the needs of the dysfunctional Las Vegas Convention Center, which has horrific traffic problems inside and out, and traffic turns to gridlock for miles around the Las Vegas Convention Center whenever a convention gets out. The truth is, if you put one million cabs on the streets in Las Vegas when there are 130,000 people getting out of the Las Vegas Convention Center during regular economic times with normal traffic, there would still be gridlock and the cabs would not be able to get to the Las Vegas Convention Center.

So, my income, and the incomes of all Las Vegas cabbies, took a big hit. A lot of good decent and honest cabbies got out because of the low income, and they were replaced by crooks and thieves, because they are the only ones who would take this job, because at that time there were still many other good paying jobs available in Las Vegas. I decided to stay where I was at, and I figured it was not going to get better, but I thought it couldn't get worse.

It did get worse; much much worse. Now I spend my time all night driving up and down the Las Vegas strip trying to find someplace I can get in line without getting a ticket. Sometimes the line of taxis is so long and takes so long that I forget which hotel I am in line for. Cabbies have to drive all over Las Vegas trying to find a place where they can squeeze into the back of a taxi line, and in many places the only way to get into line where it is legal to be is by waiting in line on the street or somewhere illegal where the Nevada Taxicab Authority Officers or Metro Police come by and ticket cabbies.

This is not just about the bad economy or slow business, this is about being exploited and made fools of by the mean and cruel and irresponsible and disrespectful and inhumane Nevada Taxicab Board. It would be nice if the taxicab regulators appointed by Governor Jim Gibbons were decent people and did their job properly, instead of flooding the streets with extra cabs as if this was a boom time in Las Vegas.  

I used to think it was the fault of the owners of the Las Vegas cab companies, but it is really the responsibility of the Nevada Taxicab Board to have OVERSIGHT and REGULATE and make sure that there are not so many taxis on the street that it is impossible to legally get in line.

Last night was a nightmare and a big waste of time, but I will do it again tomorrow and until there is a way out of this mess. I remember about 14 years ago one of the cabbies I worked with had a heart attack and died in his cab while waiting in line to pick up a fare. I told myself that I would never work long enough at cab driving to have that happen to me. Now I wonder.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
January 21, 2009

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/jan/15/Economist: Las Vegas economy has further to fall...By Brian Wargo Thu, Jan 15, 2009 (9 a.m.) It’s bad and getting worse. That’s the description of the Las Vegas economy from UNLV economist Keith Schwer, the director of the Center for Business and Economy. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98240424 NPR December 14, 2008 by Ted Robbins
Listen Now [5 min 8 sec] The lights are still on, and the slot machines are still clanging, but Las Vegas is taking a hit in this recession. A room that went for $180 a night in October is $99 now. And the hotels that used to go for $99? They, like most of the little guys, are really getting squeezed. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98591957 NPR December 22, 2008 By Ted Robbins
Business / Now's The Time To Score In Vegas...The bad economy may have hit Las Vegas hard, but if you have the money, now's the time to visit. Hotel prices are low and shows are offering discounts. We explore strategies for saving big bucks and forgetting one's troubles.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/orl-builders1409jan14
Builders show no jackpot for Las Vegas...Sara K. Clarke - Sentinel Staff Writer January 14, 2009 Everyone hopes for a little good luck when they go to Las Vegas, but that's apparently not in the cards for this year's mega gathering of the National Association of Home Builders...The trade group's annual International Builders Show, which is setting up shop in Las Vegas next week after four straight years in Orlando, is likely to attract a much smaller crowd than usual...Preliminary figures indicate attendance could be down this year by at least 25 percent from 2008, said Mark Pursell, senior staff vice president with the NAHB, which organizes the giant trade show and convention.
http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/nov/07/
economist-las-vegas-economy-stagnant-2010/
Economist: Las Vegas economy stagnant into 2010...Survey shows local business leaders concerned about housing market...Las Vegas Sun By Brian Wargo Fri, Nov 7, 2008 (11:51 a.m.) "The Las Vegas economy, which has been in recession since the end of 2007...the weakness should continue into 2010, according to a UNLV economist...majority of local business leaders are pessimistic about any quick recovery of the economy......The Southern Nevada business community is pessimistic about the economy recovering anytime soon, according to the UNLV survey....It revealed that nearly 58 percent of business leaders surveyed said the local economy will be worse in the fourth quarter."
http://newsweek.com/id/135638
Down on Its Luck...Las Vegas used to be a recession-proof oasis. Not anymore.
Economy: Recession Hits Las Vegas, Newsweek Business, Newsweek.com
By Steve Friess, Newsweek Web Exclusive May 5, 2008 | Updated: 1:27 a.m. ET May 7, 2008 "...Las Vegas, the economy of which was once thought to be impervious to the economic swings suffered by the rest of the country. Not anymore. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), Las Vegas has seen gambling revenues fall only once since 1970: in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks they dropped 1 percent in 2002 from 2001. So far this year they've fallen 4 percent, the number of conventions held has dropped 10.4 percent, and average daily room rates were off 3.8 percent in the first two months of 2008..."
http://usatoday.com/money/markets/2008-05-06-vegas-stocks_N.htm
Weak economy trumps casino stocks - USATODAY.com Last year, for instance, while the rest of the economy was starting to crack, shares of the largest Las Vegas casino operator, MGM Mirage (MGM), gained 47%, ...
http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?s=8772733
Poor Economy Delays Las Vegas Echelon Project...The slumping economy has taken a toll on a massive construction project that was supposed to help boost the Las Vegas economy. Work on the Echelon Hotel- Casino stopped Friday and won't start back up for at least a year...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28469946/
Slump means identity crisis for Las Vegas...Long the embodiment of American confidence, Sin City is now in limbo...The slumping U.S. economy is hitting Las Vegas hard. Many once considered the gambling mecca to be a recession-proof oasis.
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Economy/Story?id=6209484&page=1
Sands Storm: Las Vegas Giant in Trouble...Las Vegas Sands Corp. Must Raise More Cash to Keep Doing Business; CEO Adelson Has Already Lost Billions...The latest sign that Las Vegas bets are buckling under the tough economy? One of the strip's marquee casino operators is on the ropes...
http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/news/2008/nov/13/
our-economy-point-where-its-worth-considering-unco/
Is our economy at the point where it’s worth considering the UNCONSIDERABLE? If you’ve seen the headlines, you know the story: Nevada, and Las Vegas specifically, is in a dire economic condition. From a nation-leading foreclosure rate to a tourism industry reeling from declining visitorship; from layoffs on the Strip to a billion-dollar state revenue shortfall that raises the prospect of devastating across-the-board cuts, it’s becoming clear...
http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/business/06vegas.html?fta=y
Economic Troubles Affect the Vegas Strip...Gambling revenue and hotel occupancy are down. Resorts are slashing room rates and offering coupons or free nights. Casino operators are firing hundreds of workers, and their stock prices have plummeted since October. Credit is drying up for hotel and condominium projects planned before the slowdown arrived...Even the people still coming to Las Vegas are spending less...
http://www.kxnt.com/pages/3320210.php?
Economy Affecting Las Vegas...The struggling economy is hitting Las Vegas in its main industry — tourism. The number of visitors coming to Vegas has fallen 10% compared to a year ago. It's the largest decline since the weeks immediately after the September 11 attacks...Economists say the downturn this time around is different and will run much deeper. Casino revenues have been down all year as well, with nine straight months of declines...
http://www.cnbc.com/id/26422015
Las Vegas Shaken By Economic 'Earthquake'...Thunder rolled across Las Vegas in a sudden downpour Monday, a literal representation of the perfect storm that has rocked Sin City...It turns out Las Vegas isn’t recession proof...

 
 
 

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Questions People Ask Las Vegas Cabbies

 

QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK

LAS VEGAS CABBIES

by Vegas Taxi Driver
July 17, 2007

There was a series on HBO called "Taxicab Confessions" supposedly about what it is like to be a Las Vegas cabbie. In my opinion, most of the filming was staged and bogus. People think that being a Las Vegas taxi driver is exciting or something, but for the most part it is routine, structured, and almost sterile. Some of the other jobs I have had were much more exciting. For the most part, being a Las Vegas cabbie is like operating the train at Disneyland.

Here are some commonly asked questions:

DO YOU LIVE IN LAS VEGAS?

No. But I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night. Of course I live in Las Vegas!

WHERE DO PEOPLE WHO WORK IN LAS VEGAS LIVE?

Well, there is a bunker underneath Caesars Palace where we all sleep. They wake us up and feed us breakfast and send us to work. Where do people live in your town?

DO YOU GAMBLE?

No I do not. I have moved back and forth between here and my hometown several times, and when I was not living here I would visit Las Vegas with friends and gamble and drink and take taxis like any other tourist. I have no interest in casinos while living here and working as a cabbie. The Strip is the Disneyland of Las Vegas, and a small part of Las Vegas. If you drove the train at Disneyland you would not spend your days off at Disneyland.

DO YOU OWN YOUR OWN CAB?

No. All taxi drivers in Las Vegas are employees. There are nine taxi companies in Las Vegas that own all the taxis. All the drivers are employees of one of those companies. The rates and rules for taxicabs are regulated by the Nevada Taxicab Authority which is a Nevada State law enforcement agency. The Nevada Taxicab Authority has marked and unmarked squad cars that are constantly monitoring taxis to make certain they are not breaking the rules.

WHERE DO YOU PICK UP?

Most taxis in Las Vegas can pick up anywhere. The name of the game is to get a ride as soon as possible after dropping off passengers. That may be the hotel next door or the airport or downtown. Cabbies have to try and guess which place is the best place to go to get a ride quickly. Las Vegas taxi drivers keep track of what conventions are in town, and what concerts or boxing matches are scheduled, and what times shows get over at various hotels.

Taxis are unable to get to the Las Vegas Convention Center when big conventions are getting out during rush hour traffic, so most cabbies will not try to get to the Las Vegas Convention Center even though there are hundreds of people waiting in line for taxis. Las Vegas cabbies are straight commission employees and nobody pays them to sit empty for half an hour trying to get to the Las Vegas Convention Center. In fact, many cabbies in Las Vegas have to pay for gas, and sitting empty in a traffic jam costs them money.

Some of the hotels, such as Venetian and Hard Rock, are not worth driving to empty to get a ride, even if they have huge crowds of people waiting to get a cab. Those places are dysfunctional when it comes to loading cabs, and it is better for cabbies to go elsewhere.

After midnight there are no cabs dropping off at McCarran Airport, so the only way to get cabs at the airport after midnight is for them to drive there empty. But if the strip is busy, the cabs are getting reloaded each time they drop off. Many of the cabbies that drive empty to pick up at the airport do so with the hopes of being able to long-haul customers. I like picking up at the airport late at night in order to avoid extremely drunk customers.

Being a Las Vegas cabbie is mild and relatively non-eventful. In other American cities cabbies have to know how to find addresses spread over hundreds of square miles. They deal with all kinds of locals and grocery runs and hospitals and people getting to work. There are 2 million people living in the Las Vegas area. About 10% of the taxis are restricted from picking up on the Strip or the airport for the sake of locals. For the rest of the taxis, about 97% of the business is on the Las Vegas Strip, Downtown Las Vegas, and McCarran International Airport. All a Las Vegas cabbie has to know how to get to the Mirage and the airport. Once you learn those you can find the rest of the places easily because they are so big. In order to become a financial successful Las Vegas cabbie one needs to learn how to take people the long way, steal rides from other cabbies, and turn down rides that are too short or not profitable. That is why I am not a financially successful cabbie. I just do what I am supposed to and take people the short way.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
July 17, 2007

 
 
 

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Avoid Being Long-Hauled By A Taxi Driver In Las Vegas

 

Avoid Being Long-Hauled By

A Las Vegas Cabbie

by Vegas Taxi Driver
July 15, 2007

I have read numerous articles online about how bad the cabbies are in Las Vegas. Most of them are written by promoters of limo companies who recommend you pay three times as much to take a limousine or town car, or rental car companies.

Don't allow yourself to be taken in circles and jerked around. Always ask the driver for an approximate price of how much it will cost to get to your destination. This rule is true in Las Vegas, and anywhere in the world you take a taxi; Ask "approximately how much will it cost?" before you get into the taxi. Cab drivers who are crooks hate this. If the cabbie won't give you a satisfactory answer, don't get in the cab and demand another taxi. If you tell the driver to go any way they want, and do not check how much it will cost, you just gave the cabbie permission to long-haul you, and you may end up paying $20 more than if you ask the driver in advance. If you want the cheapest way, do not say, "just go the fastest way." To most drivers that means "Take the freeway, even if it costs $10 more." If you want a cheap fare, then you say, "please take me the cheapest way."

Nevada State Law mandates that taxi drivers take you the most direct way unless you agree to another way. Given the fact that 90% of taxi rides in Las Vegas are in the middle of the worst traffic in Las Vegas, it is often best to take a route that is not the most direct route, and may cost $2 to $3 more than the most direct route. However, some drivers will try to get $5 to $10 more out of each ride. Once again, just get an approximate amount before the ride begins, and realize that it might be a little more if there is an accident or something that bottlenecks the best way to go.

The cost of taking a taxi from one place to another in Las Vegas can vary by as much as $10.00, depending on traffic. Just because a road is clear and good one hour, does not mean it is the next hour. Rush hour, accidents, construction, thousands of employees getting off work at the same time, and other variables, can turn a good way to go most of the time, into a nightmare. Just because a cabbie takes you one way and it is good, does not mean that is still good two hours later or tomorrow. If five or ten bucks one way or another matters to you, then Don't take a taxi! Take a city bus or a shuttle or walk.

Always let the driver know that you are writing down the number of the taxi you are riding in. This is something you should always do in any town. This helps keep the driver honest. Good drivers that do what they are supposed to the way they are supposed to will not mind you keeping track of their taxi number. Who knows, you might even send a letter of commendation to the taxi company. Many cell phones and wallets get lost in cabs, and people have to find the taxi company that has their item. Writing down the number of the taxi makes the search much easier. 

Legally, a Las Vegas taxi cab driver is supposed to take you the most direct way, unless asked to do otherwise. However, some times the most direct way can actually cost more, if traffic is heavy, or there is an accident, or the street is narrowed to one lane because of the mass amounts of construction. If you have a way you think is the best, ask the driver if he is going to take you that way. If not, ask why. If there is a ten-car pile-up on the freeway, or the rodeo just got over, or there are 150,000 people at the Las Vegas Convention Center, or it is rush hour, or the road is down to one lane for construction, those facts might be important in determining if you get to your destination in 30 minutes or 10 minutes. 

Unlike Chicago or Los Angeles or New York, the freeway is not always the best way. Sometimes, the roads that go directly behind the casinos are the best way to go. Sometimes, going down the strip is the best. At other times, those ways are awful. Getting to a freeway can cost as much as just getting to your destination. Many times I have been accused of trying to rack up a high fare by not taking the freeway, and then the customers were amazed that I got them back to their hotel just as fast for $10 less than what they paid going on the freeway. 

Some of the cab companies in Las Vegas put a lot of pressure on their drivers to long-haul customers and steal rides from other cabbies and drive fast. Of course, every cab company will say that their drivers are instructed to follow the law at all times, but some of them punish drivers for not booking as much as other drivers, even though they know good and well the other drivers are booking more by long-hauling customers and stealing rides from other cabbies and driving fast. Understand that when a Las Vegas cabbie gets mad about not being able to long-haul a customer, they are probably worried that they are not booking as much as their co-workers, and the company they are employed by will not let them drive a good cab tomorrow, or they might not be allowed to work when business is good.

Getting long-hauled by a taxi driver in Las Vegas usually means you end up paying less than $10 more than the best possible fare under the best circumstances, and you get to your destination safely either faster or as fast as going a shorter way. To keep that in perspective, lets compare how bad that is compared to other ways you might get ripped off while visiting Las Vegas. Getting long-hauled by a cabbie in Las Vegas is not as bad as:

    - getting ripped off by an Internet booking website that charges you $50 more for a hotel room than if you would have called the hotel direct.

    - getting ripped off by a server in a restaurant that adds five more cocktails to your bill than your party actually received.

    - getting ripped off by an airline that bumps your reservation because they over-booked the flight, or leaves you sitting in the plane on the tarmac for hours.

    - getting ripped off by standing in line for the monorail at the Las Vegas Convention Center only to find out that each time it pulls up it is already full of people who walked to the Hilton or the Sahara to board.

    - getting ripped off at a hotel such as the Venetian or the Hard Rock by standing in an outrageously long taxi line at the same time that the hotel employees are forcing taxis to leave empty and are loading taxis as slow as possible in order to try and get you to take a limo so they can get kick-backs from the limo drivers who over charge you.

    - getting ripped off by a doorperson at a small hotel who tells you they called for a taxi, but instead they called one of their limo buddies who just happens to show up and talks you into paying three times as much as a taxi and gives a kickback to the doorperson who lied to you.

    - getting ripped off by shows that tell you to pick up your tickets two hours before the show or they will sell your seats and still charge you.

    - getting ripped off by nightclub doorpersons who won't let you get into the nightclub unless you tip them $100 or are a hot-looking female wearing next to nothing.

    - getting ripped off by an airline that leaves you waiting for an hour for your luggage, or loses your luggage.

    - getting ripped off by the city bus that packs people in like sardines and then makes you stand between sweaty stinky people while the bus is stuck in gridlock traffic forever.

    - getting ripped off by hotels that put you in a room with no air conditioning or plumbing that doesn't work or noisy neighbors.

    - getting ripped off by a slot machine that loves to take money from you and doesn't pay squat.

Certainly I could come up with a hundred more ways that you could get ripped off that are worse than getting long-hauled by a taxi driver in Las Vegas.

One way to avoid getting ripped off by a cab driver in Las Vegas is to pay three times as much to take a limo or town-car. Another way to avoid getting ripped off by a cab driver in Las Vegas is to take a city bus out of the airport for $1.75 without a transfer. Another way to avoid getting ripped off by a cab driver in Las Vegas is to walk.

Funny how newspaper articles and online blogs don't warn you to not get ripped off by limo drivers. Unlike cabbies, they are not regulated and can charge as much as they like. Getting long-hauled by a taxi driver in Las Vegas usually means you end up paying less than $10 more than the best possible fare under the best circumstances, and you get to your destination safely either faster or as fast as going a shorter way. If that is the worst thing that happens to you on your trip to Las Vegas, thank your lucky stars.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
July 15, 2007

 
 
 

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Chris Moneymaker Can Ride In My Taxi Anytime

 

Chris Moneymaker Can Ride

In My Taxi Anytime

by Vegas Taxi Driver
July 12, 2007

One of the most common questions I am asked by passengers in my cab is, "Have you ever had anyone famous in your cab?" My answer is always that truly famous people have limousines lined up and go in and out of security entrances.
So last night, which was a miserably slow night for taxicabs in Las Vegas, I took a guy from the airport to the Rio around midnight. I thought that was a good thing because the World Series of Poker is at the Rio and there would be lots of people coming out. I got in line behind some cabs at the back door of the Rio where the WSOP is going on and proceeded to sit there and wait and wait and wait. About 40 minutes later I finally got a ride. 
This guy was trying to get in my cab while I was pulling up to where the line is supposed to be. I pulled up to where it was safe for him to get in before letting him in. I apologized to him and explained to him that I needed to pull up before I could let him in. He said he understood and told me he just wanted to "get out of here". I laughed and started driving him to Treasure Island. I asked him how the tournament was going, and he said he got knocked out of the main event. As I do with all my rides, I asked him about how many tournaments he plays a year. He told me about 15 or so. I said that he must be pretty good to play that much. He said it was all he did. I asked him what was the biggest tournament he had ever won, and he said he won the main event of the WSOP in 2003. At that point I didn't know what to ask this guy, so I said, "What's your name?" He answered, "Chris Moneymaker." I was still in the parking lot of the Rio, so I slowed down and turned around to look at him, and there was Chris Moneymaker sitting in the back seat of my cab. 
Most of the time I couldn't tell you what the people look like in my cab. I would never be a good expert witness or detective when it comes to identifying or describing people. I can work with somebody for a year and not remember what color their eyes are. If I didn't asked him about his poker career I probably would not have known that Chris Moneymaker was in my cab until he paid me. 
I really wanted to know what happened in his recent participation in the CNBC Trading With The Stars contest. He was one of the top contenders until near the end of the contest, and then he finished last. I watch CNBC every day and I was pulling for him. He explained to me that he went fishing for a few days and his trades unraveled. He still raised $5000 for his favorite charity.
Wounded Warriors.

Now I have had some wanna-be poker players in my cab that I have seen on TV and on the Internet, but they have all been jerks, and they weren't Chris Moneymaker. I was impressed with the fact that he has good manners (even toward a lowly cabbie who doesn't know who he is) and wasn't tweaked out or pretentious. At the end of the ride I told him I was big fan and told him I would rather have his autograph than the fare. I got his autograph and he handed me the fare which he already had in his hand. That autograph will be worth a lot more after he wins several more big ones, which I know he will. 
Thanks Chris. You made my night.
I read online today that Chris Moneymaker had an amazing day of play throughout most of yesterday, but like he told me, the cards just didn't go his way, and he ended up getting knocked out. 
Chris Ferguson and Gus Hansen are still in it. Maybe one of them will get in my cab tonight.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
July 12, 2007

For more info about Chris Moneymaker, go to ChrisMoneymaker.com.

DAY 2B REFINES MAIN EVENT LIST FURTHER-
459 survivors from a starter field of 1303 7/12/07

http://www.online-casinos.com/news/news4954.asp

2007 World Series: ESPN Feature Table with Chris Moneymaker 7/12/07
http://www.cardplayer.com/poker-news/blogs/article/1543

 
 
 

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Las Vegas Convention Center $890 Million Waste Planned by Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

 

$890 Million Waste

at Las Vegas Convention Center

 Planned by  Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

by Vegas Taxi Driver
May 14, 2007

On May 17th the public will supposedly be heard by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board regarding the proposed $890 million to be spent refurbishing and remodeling the old dysfunctional Las Vegas Convention Center which is located in a bad place for traffic and access. That is a lot of money! Why not build a new convention center in a good place with freeway access and airport access, or let the resorts that raise the money host conventions while the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority uses the money to advertise and get more gamblers and tourists and small business meetings and average sized conventions.

The proposed expenditure to renovate the Las Vegas Convention Center is a ridiculous waste of the money that was raised by Las Vegas resorts. This will be another expensive fiasco and big time loser like the monorail and the Freemont Experience. The Las Vegas City Council has already okayed another $500 million to extend the monorail to the airport, which will not work either. I suspect that the people who are going to profit from the money being spent are probably friends of politicians, which would be okay if the money wasn't being tossed down the drain.

There are some businesses in Las Vegas owned by people who are morally opposed to casinos and gambling, and they want to make as much money as they can by extracting money raised by the resorts with casinos in order to fund their projects. There are also lots of hotels surrounding the Las Vegas Convention Center that do not have casinos, and much of their business is dependent on the Las Vegas Convention Center. My guess is that these non-gaming businesses, along with resorts closest to the Las Vegas Convention Center are more concerned about their own well-being than what is good for Las Vegas.

The "What stays..." slogan and ad campaign was one of the most successful advertising campaigns of all time. Why isn't the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spending the proposed $890 million on something like that?

According to figures being used to promote this boondoggle, if Las Vegas lost a few of the biggest conventions in the world then the hotel rooms would be empty and the casinos would be bare during the days that those conventions are elsewhere. Figures don't lie, but liars can figure.

Would Las Vegas lose all that much convention business just because the Las Vegas Convention Center lost out on some really big conventions? How many days out of the year does Las Vegas host shows at the Las Vegas Convention Center that have 100,000 or more people? Spending $890 million dollars just to facilitate 40 or 50 days a year when the biggest of the big conventions are in town doesn't even make sense.

There are thousands of conventions per year in Las Vegas. The super big conventions take place during prime convention season, and there are thousands of smaller conventions that need to have their conventions during the same time as the super big conventions. Smaller conventions would certainly replace any big convention that was lost by not having a huge convention facility. There is plenty of convention space at resort properties around Las Vegas, but smaller conventions do not want to have their conventions in Las Vegas at the same time as a super big convention because super big conventions (80,000+) cause traffic and transportation problems, high room rates, and difficulty getting into restaurants and shows.

The analysts and experts say this money has to be spent on the Las Vegas Convention Center or the sky will fall and Las Vegas will become a ghost town. The wonderful thing about the biggest hotels in the world, which just happen to be in Las Vegas, and just happen to have casinos, is they don't have to make $1 off of their rooms and restaurants in order to make a fortune. So, if the average convention visitor spends $1600 on non-gaming, and Joe and Jane Tourist who come here to gamble and have fun only spend $750, who's to say the casinos don't come out ahead with the gamblers instead of business people who are too busy working to play in the casino? Wouldn't it be terrible if hotels had to lower their rates to fill up there rooms so they could make their fortunes off of casinos like they used to in the good old days. (Remember back when Las Vegas was still the number one gambling place in the world?)

The gaming business is the still the most profitable business in Nevada. Let the resorts with casinos take care of getting their own convention business and filling up their rooms, instead of adding to the existing non-functional facility that is poorly located on a lot that has no decent access to freeways.

It is a nightmare to get to the Las Vegas Convention Center to pick up passengers. Taxis and limos who want to pick up at the Las Vegas Convention Center can't even get close to it during rush hour, which just happens to be when the conventions want to end their day. The large casino resorts, however, have taxis and limos bringing in passengers all the time, and that means the people waiting in their cab line have a better chance of getting a cab or limo. But no loaded taxis or limos are going to the Las Vegas Convention Center when a convention is over. Trying to drive to the airport from the Las Vegas Convention Center at the end of a big convention is ridiculous. All the construction workers and service employees and people working in the Hughes Business Center are heading south on Paradise to get to Interstate 215 at the same time conventioneers need to get to the airport. Part of the project includes "78% more taxi space". I assume that means more area for people to stand in line waiting for rush hour traffic to subside so a taxi or two can make it to the Las Vegas Convention Center, as traffic will be way worse than it is now by the time this project is finished.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority should spend the money on something that makes both sense and dollars.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
May 14, 2007

 
 
 

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Blacks Get Bad Rap Las Vegas NBA All-Star Week

 

Blacks Get A Bad Rap

In Las Vegas On NBA All-Star Week

by Vegas Taxi Driver
March 1, 2007

In my opinion, there was a lot of negative publicity about activities in Las Vegas during NBA All-Star week because the 2000 media people had to come up with stories, and because Las Vegas is still a cow-town that doesn't want to see a lot of black people here. Las Vegas needs to grow up and respect all races and cultures that visit and spend money.

Here is what I wrote a few days ago:

The black customers in my cab during NBA All-Star weekend were nice, friendly, fun, and, best of all, good tippers. I am white and over 40 years old. Almost all of my customers on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during All-Star weekend were African-American. My tip percentage on those days was way above what I normally get. Maybe that is because I was nice and respectful and did not try to rip them off. My customers told me horror stories about the other cab drivers they had. Many of them asked me for my cell number to call me to come back and get them next time they needed a cab.

I hate working on any 3-day weekend because of bad traffic. Every 3-day weekend is an opportunity for everyone who lives in Los Angeles and southern California to drive their car to Las Vegas. The traffic turns into gridlock until they jam the freeway on Monday heading home. I don't blame them for coming to Las Vegas. If I lived in California I would leave every chance I got, too. However, I was glad that Presidents' Day weekend was also NBA All-Star, because that meant that the hotel rates would be through the roof. That keeps all the cheap families with kids that don't spend money from coming to Las Vegas. I knew that anyone flying in for the weekend and staying on the strip had to have money. I don't care about the color of my customers' skin; I do care about how much money they have and whether or not they are spenders and tippers.

It is unfortunate that the visitors who flew into Vegas for NBA All-Star had to put up with horrible traffic conditions. Those traffic conditions had nothing to do with NBA All-Star. The traffic was just as bad during the All-Star game as it was during the rest of the weekend, which proves that the bad traffic was not caused by the game. The traffic is awful anytime Californians have enough time to drive here. Most of the 2 million residents living in the Las Vegas area are from California, and their friends all come to visit them, and where do you think they drive their cars when the sun goes down?

On Thursday, Feb 15th, I went online and found as much info as I could about the various Hip Hop and Rap parties going on at the different clubs in town. I printed them up and gave copies of it to my black customers coming into McCarran Airport for the weekend. I was amazed on Thursday and Friday that the taxi line at the airport was more than half African-Americans. Unlike other drivers who don't like black customers, I was glad to see diversity in Las Vegas, and knew these people had spent a lot of money to come here. I joked with them and treated them like VIPs in my cab. I got $10 and $20 tips all night long.

It would be interesting to see the revenues that were taken in by hotels and nightclubs and limo companies this year compared to Presidents' Day weekend last year.

I am not naive. I knew that with so many celebrities and all-night parties that there were going to be fights and problems and probably shootings; not because of all the black people, but because that is what happens when you get large crowds of people together drinking all night long. What do you think Las Vegas is? Did you watch the movie "Casino"? According to the Las Vegas Review Journal there were 117 gang-related shootings during the first five months of last year.

There were three shootings during NBA All-Star weekend. The shooting at Minxx Gentlemen's Club was tragic, but it could hardly be blamed on NBA All-Star. The club did not have a lot of promotion for their party, and did not have police protection lined up like other events. The other two shootings could have occurred on any given weekend in Las Vegas. One of those shootings was in an old strip mall across the street from the closed and boarded-up Stardust - hardly where most Las Vegas visitors want to hang out on Friday night. With a town full of NBA stars, NFL stars, movie stars, music stars, and 2000 people from the media, I would say it was a better than expected weekend.

Then there were the 362 arrests. How many arrests do you think there usually are? I have heard there are 200 arrests on a normal weekend in Las Vegas. Do you think that people who usually are in Las Vegas go to bed at 10pm and don't drink? In the last 10 years all the big casinos in Las Vegas have put in expensive nightclubs for people to stay up drinking and partying all night long. All of these nightclubs were fighting to line up the biggest names and best music venues for NBA All-Star weekend, because they knew they were going to make big money off of this crowd. Do you blame the crowd or the clubs? The people partying inside Wynn and Palms and Mirage and Aladdin and MGM were there because the clubs wanted them to be there.

A while back I heard a radio interview of a former Sheriff in Las Vegas about mob beatings and violent robberies and shootings in Las Vegas, and he said that these people are obviously "not listening to country music". The first bar I was in where I saw security guards wearing head-sets and walkie-talkies to let each other know where the fights were breaking out, was a big country bar in Kansas City. You could stand at the back of the bar and watch two or three brawls going on at once. There were no black customers there and nobody had heard of hip hop.

The weekend after NBA All-Star weekend I only had one ride with black passengers. It was a black couple that was very nice and tipped me well. Most of my customers were snobbish stuck-up lousy tippers. I wished the NBA All-Star crowd was here.

Before the NBA All-Star weekend began, I heard cab drivers talking to each other about how bad it was going to be because of the African-Americans coming to town. I am sure that many restaurant managers and casino workers and newscasters thought the same thing. It is a shame that in 2007 in Las Vegas people are still prejudged by the color of their skin.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
March 1, 2007

 
 
 

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Las Vegas Monorail to Airport - Big Waste, Won't Work

VegasTaxiDriver.com is The authority on Nevada taxicab companies, Las Vegas taxi drivers, cab driving, cabbies, and Nevada Taxicab Authority.

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Las Vegas Taxi Cab Companies     Las Vegas Taxicab Fares and Prices

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LAS VEGAS TAXI DRIVER BLOG ARTICLES:
LAS VEGAS CABBIES ATTACKED BY BARACK OBAMA FEBRUARY 16, 2009
LAS VEGAS TRIPS FOR BAILED OUT CORPORATIONS FEBRUARY 13, 2009
MAJOR LANE CLOSURES IN LAS VEGAS GOING FORWARD FEBRUARY 13, 2009
SOME LAS VEGAS TAXICAB COMPANIES PRESSURE CABBIES TO RIP OFF TOURISTS FEBRUARY 6, 2009
LAS VEGAS TAXICAB OWNERS GET HIT HARD BY RECESSION FEBRUARY 2, 2009
NEVADA TAXICAB BOARD DOES ITS JOB FEBRUARY 2, 2009
AVOID BEING LONG-HAULED BY A TAXI DRIVER JULY 15, 2007
Las vegas airport tunnel Taxi Rides - Which route to take?  JANUARY 19, 2009
Las vegas economy hits cabbies hard  JANUARY 18, 2009
QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK LAS VEGAS CABBIES JULY 17, 2007
Chris Moneymaker Can Ride In My Taxi Anytime JULY 12, 2007
i hate cab driving  october 2, 2006
LAS VEGAS CABBIES ATTACKED BY BARACK OBAMA FEBRUARY 16, 2009

Las Vegas Monorail to Airport

Big Waste, Won't Work

by Vegas Taxi Driver
February 26, 2007

Of course, that is what a cab driver would say! Well, I guarantee you I will not be driving a cab by the time the monorail extends to McCarran. No matter how stupid it is and no matter how much of a failure it turns out to be, I am sure it will transpire because of politics in Las Vegas. This is the monorail that is currently losing over $10 million annually now, after costing $650 million to build. The enthusiastic articles about how wonderful this proposal are void of real facts.

The current monorail has not delivered as promised, and now they want to extend it in the wrong direction...

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Mommas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cabbies

 

MOMMAS DON'T LET YOUR BABIES

GROW UP TO BE CABBIES

by Vegas Taxi Driver
January 27, 2007

Why should a Las Vegas cabbie be able to make a decent living, or an honest day's pay for an honest day's work? Because the lives of tourists are at stake, and because driving a taxi is a very dangerous and risky job.  The Nevada Taxicab Authority and the Las Convention Visitors Authority should care about the income and well being of honest decent cab drivers, and should see the importance of good honest decent drivers in Las Vegas being able to make a decent living. But their recent policies have indicated that they don't really care about Las Vegas and what is good for Las Vegas. Most cab drivers who go to work for a cab company in Las Vegas are forced to work 60 hours a week or more, even if they have years of experience working as a cab driver in Las Vegas. Any cab company they go to work for is going to require them to work at least five shifts at 11 to 12 hours a shift. And new drivers are only allowed to have days off that are the best business days. So, if a driver wants to work the best shifts for making money, they must work on their days off. If an employee goes to work at a regular job at $10.00 and hour, and works 60 hours in a week, they get a gross pay of $700. If a cab driver goes to work for one of the cab companies, and honestly does not long-haul or rip off customers, they may not make that much. Ten years ago, a new cab driver who was honest and did not long-haul customers, could easily make more than that. Las Vegas cabbies should make at least the equivalent of an employee working for $10.00 per hour.

Ten years ago Las Vegas cabbies made more money per hour worked then they do now. Ten years ago it cost a lot less to live in Las Vegas. Ten years ago tips were a lot better than they are now, because most of the tourists who visited Las Vegas came here to gamble and have fun and lived in The United States and understood what a tip is, and appreciated good service and a friendly proficient cab driver. Many of the foreigners who visit Las Vegas today live in countries where tipping is unheard of and even considered an insult. Many of the conventioneers who visit Las Vegas do not want to be here, but their company forced them to attend a Las Vegas convention, and they are not in a tipping mood (and probably never tip anybody anyway). Many employees who travel and get reimbursed for expenses do not tip, and yet they report to their company that they did tip, so they can come out ahead when being reimbursed. These people do not tip food servers or door-persons or valet or drivers. The IRS robs all the service employees in Las Vegas by making them pay taxes on tips they do not make.

Las Vegas cab drivers are straight commission employees with none of the benefits associated with straight commission jobs and all of the bad associated with employment. The administrators and employees of the Nevada Taxicab Authority have safe jobs with guaranteed pay and benefits. The message that they do not care about the incomes of Las Vegas cabbies has been heard. The Nevada Taxicab Authority has made it clear that they do not care whether or not Las Vegas cab drivers get paid for what they do. Cab drivers are making a lot less money this year than they did last year, thanks to the Nevada Taxicab Authority.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
January 27, 2007

 
 
 

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I HATE CAB DRIVING

VegasTaxiDriver.com is The authority on Nevada taxicab companies, Las Vegas taxi drivers, cab driving, cabbies, and Nevada Taxicab Authority.

T H E  A U T H O R I T Y  O N   N E V A D A

T A X I   C A B   D R I V E R S   I N   L A S   V E G A S

Buffets In Las Vegas      Golf Courses In Las Vegas       Las Vegas Taxi Driver Blog

Las Vegas Taxi Cab Companies     Las Vegas Taxicab Fares and Prices

Nevada Taxicab Authority Info    Las Vegas Taxicabs Lost and Found

LAS VEGAS TAXI DRIVER BLOG ARTICLES:
LAS VEGAS CABBIES ATTACKED BY BARACK OBAMA FEBRUARY 16, 2009
LAS VEGAS TRIPS FOR BAILED OUT CORPORATIONS FEBRUARY 13, 2009
MAJOR LANE CLOSURES IN LAS VEGAS GOING FORWARD FEBRUARY 13, 2009
SOME LAS VEGAS TAXICAB COMPANIES PRESSURE CABBIES TO RIP OFF TOURISTS FEBRUARY 6, 2009
LAS VEGAS TAXICAB OWNERS GET HIT HARD BY RECESSION FEBRUARY 2, 2009
NEVADA TAXICAB BOARD DOES ITS JOB FEBRUARY 2, 2009
AVOID BEING LONG-HAULED BY A TAXI DRIVER JULY 15, 2007
Las vegas airport tunnel Taxi Rides - Which route to take?  JANUARY 19, 2009
Las vegas economy hits cabbies hard  JANUARY 18, 2009
QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK LAS VEGAS CABBIES JULY 17, 2007
Chris Moneymaker Can Ride In My Taxi Anytime JULY 12, 2007
i hate cab driving  october 2, 2006
LAS VEGAS CABBIES ATTACKED BY BARACK OBAMA FEBRUARY 16, 2009

I HATE CAB DRIVING

by Vegas Taxi Driver
October 2, 2006

The truth is, I despise the job. However, it works for me at this point and time. I am not critical of those who enjoy the cab driving, and I have utmost respect for the drivers who have been driving taxis in Las Vegas for 20 years and more. It is just not my preference. My goal is to continue learning as much as I can about web design and e-commerce and digital photography, so that I can earn enough doing things I enjoy, and not have to drive a cab any more.

Most people who take taxis in Las Vegas are curious about what it would be like to be a Las Vegas cab driver. They often have their own ideas about it being an exciting and dangerous job, based on what they have seen on television. In honesty, cab drivers in most other cities have a lot more excitement and danger than Las Vegas cab drivers, with the exception of bad traffic. Taxi drivers in Las Vegas spend most of their time hauling tourists and conventioneers from one major resort to another, or to and from the airport. Those places have lots of security, and people who can afford to fly and stay in nice resorts are not usually not that dangerous and exciting.

I hate the beginning of each one of my shifts, and I am always glad when it is over. I try to be cordial to my customers. People who get in my cab assume that I must enjoy it, or I wouldn't be doing it. The truth is, I hate being employed. This is the closest thing to being independent and employed that is available to me at this time. So, no matter how much I hate it, at least I do not have someone looking over my shoulder every minute of my working hours.

by Vegas Taxi Driver
October 2, 2006

Buffets In Las Vegas      Golf Courses In Las Vegas       Las Vegas Taxi Driver Blog

Las Vegas Taxi Cab Companies     Las Vegas Taxicab Fares and Prices

Nevada Taxicab Authority Info    Las Vegas Taxicabs Lost and Found

VegasTaxiDriver.com is The authority on Nevada taxicab companies, Las Vegas taxi drivers, cab driving, cabbies, and Nevada Taxicab Authority.

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