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AVN Porn Awards, CES: Still Hard Times for Vegas

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Jan/02/2009
Belladonna

Next weekend will be one of the largest convention periods for struggling Sin City.  Round trip East Coast flights to and from Las Vegas ranged between $800 and well over $1000.  But while the airlines hope to make out thanks to a captive audience and a limited number of flights, accommodations in Vegas are vast and competitive.

"I got a room at the Palazzo Hotel for just under $120 per night!" one man told Gambling911.com. The Palazzo is an upscale hotel owned by the troubled Las Vegas Sands Corporation.  This horny individual is looking forward to attending next weekend's AVN Awards Show, which honors the porn industry. 

AVN is one of several shows taking place next weekend, widely considered among Vegas' biggest convention periods.

The annual International Consumer Electronics Show, which starts Jan. 8 in Las Vegas, is traditionally as much a boisterous celebration of all things technology as it is a trade show, writes Bob Keefe of Cox News Media Service.

"But with many Americans now more concerned with paying their monthly bills than buying the latest gadget or big-screen TV, the recession is threatening to turn this year's CES into the most subdued since after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks," he points out.

"The party is over" for consumer electronics companies, said Paul Carton, vice president of research at ChangeWave Research, a Rockville, Md., firm that tracks consumer spending on electronics and other goods. "U.S. consumers have been splurging on consumer electronics for quite a long time.  But when you have to pay for food or doctor bills or consumer electronics, most people are opting to pull back on consumer electronics."

Organizers expect this year's show will draw about 130,000 attendees. But that's down from 141,150 last year, and off about 10 percent from a high two years ago.

Many Vegas-area hotels, which traditionally jack up prices for CES and still manage to sell out, are cutting rates and worrying about vacancies this year.

Jeremy Handel, spokesman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said that last year the electronics show added about $222 million to the Las Vegas economy.  This year, it's expected to be closer to $204 million and maybe even less depending on spending habits.

"It's the largest annual convention we host," Handel said. "It's a very big deal."

Our horny businessman says he doesn't mind paying the exorbitant fares the airlines are charging to get to Vegas since he'll be getting most of that money back based on how much the hotels are slashing prices.

"I'm saving at least $100 a night in hotels and will hunt for bargains at restaurants and bars," he said.  "Plus I'll be hanging out with porn stars."

Ironically, it is the AVN Awards that might do more to help erect Las Vegas' economy.  After all, the porn sector isn't exactly hurting.

"People will continue to watch porn even when the economy is in turmoil," explains Gambling911.com's Senior Correspondent, Jenny Woo (pictured left).  "People will watch more porn because they are stuck home without work and a week of pornographic viewing typically amounts to less than a week of filling up the gas tank even with fuel prices way down."

AVN is slated to have star power that extends beyond the porn sector.  This week, organizers announced that Grammy(TM)-nominated artist, Flo Rida, will open the show, which is now in its 26th year.

Over 8,000 cheering fans from all over the world are expected to pack the venue this year at the sexy ceremony that Entertainment Weekly called, "the Oscars of Adult."

Even these folks may be tightening their belts, however, looking for bargains wherever they can find them.

The winners will likely be big name clubs where everyone needs to be seen regardless of the steep cover charges and expensive liquor tabs.

Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

 

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