Slapdash and Slipshod

During the three-day period of November 16th-18th, Las Vegas may experience terrific examples of faulty vision leading to lousy execution. If so, these will become prime lessons in reputable urban planning programs throughout America.

Lessons in what to avoid.

In November, the Big Mayberry will host a Grand Prix Formula One race. The first of what’s now scheduled as annual occurrences. The 2023 version portends to be Fiasco One.

Initial enthusiasm for having the race obliterated all the sober contemplation needed for such development. This spirit has carried on and may crest then subsume entities expecting to reap great results and wonderful esteem from the race.

And if it flops, we must ask “Will there be enough eggs for all those faces?”

It’s as if the event’s promoters channeled Mickey and Judy in those instances they yelled, “Hey, kids! Let’s put on a show!” The difference being the Hollywood hoofers knew what that entailed. Their characters also possessed skills vital to bring off the show.

Anticipating the cluster which may befall the Las Vegas Grand Prix, the event’s instigators call to mind the phrase “impulse control.” Okay. Lack thereof.

Being impulsive about everything is a common trait extravagantly exhibited by Las Vegas visitors. In fact, don’t think the highest hospitality chiefs on high haven’t assembled here the greatest batch of modern-day Barnums and Bernays available. These mind manipulators continuous task is to sway ordinarily levelheaded people. Using the latent arts of gaudy persuasion, condescending coercion, these conjurers transform all but the strongest individuals into members willing to be swept into a herd of guests funneled through “the Las Vegas Experience.”

Hokum. Bunk. Exorbitant prices for mediocre meals – and small portions at that! – made exquisite by proximity to celebrity chefs. Cocktails bearing the tab-inflating adjective “crafted.” Clubs akin to Romper Rooms for men and women old enough to be considered adults yet are stalled in immaturity as they puzzle through this maze of life.

Of all people the Las Vegas chiefs who signed off on the Grand Prix should’ve easily recognized the mesmerizing quality of the shiny bauble the race’s poohbahs dangled before their eyes. It was the same sort of bamboozle through which the hoteliers themselves beguile visitors to overspend inside Strip properties.

Add to the omens that the city’s acceptance to hosting the race only emerged early this year. No one in the least considered the efforts or time required to properly execute such an intricate undertaking. Nor did anyone bother factoring in the human elements or how jack-in-the-box construction might further burden drivers on continuously ripped open streets along with out of sync traffic signals.

After what’s transpired here in Las Vegas regarding the Grand Prix, foresight and possible remedies for contingencies addressing “what if?” are missing. But maybe in the end it’ll all somehow fall together. Though really, how reliable is wishing? How reliable has it ever been?

From the moment of the spectacle’s announcement hourly workers in the affected zone must’ve felt trepidation. As plans became known and development continued apace the feeling likely built into dread.

Unlike insulated executives, working people toiling on ground level see what’s impending clearly.

The almost four-mile race will be a mid-Strip circuit of Las Vegas Boulevard, Harmon Avenue, Koval Lane, and Sands Avenue. Movement will be frustrated through this perimeter. Except for hurried construction of two temporary Erector Set bridges, access to which will be limited, and pedestrian overpasses, people in the exclusion zone might believe themselves sequestered.

Bolstering the clarity of those drawing hourly wages are guests already monstrously inconvenienced by blockages created by the racecourse’s preparatory road work. No doubt hotel foot soldiers have relayed these complaints to their immediate supervisors who in turn push this information upward. The thing about disturbing news is the higher it rises the less urgent it’s received. That sort of news must flow down before rousing hair on fire frenzy.

Only recently have race organizers really started addressing the glaring dilemma: how to make the establishments within the zone permeable for employees and guests. Bad as periodic blockages have been due to toughening the roads for F1 car demands, these will worsen on the days scheduled for the event itself.

And while every employee is aware of the arduous trials ahead of them, not every visitor arriving in Las Vegas at that time will know about the extensive road closures or detours of the three rights to make a left variety. It’s unlikely Strip properties to be most impacted have alerted prospective guests to probable immobilization. That’s the sort of courtesy which might’ve kept rooms empty.

So once they’re here, well, they’re stuck. Or captives.

Outraged guests alone should rate frenzied responses all up and down the line. Because if guests check out from the property raw-assed, they will relate their displeasure to the folks back home. Nor will they spare any details.

Word of mouth is powerful. It can either be the best or most disastrous of recommendations. Family, friends place the deepest trust in the opinions of intimates and close associates. Favorable impressions out of their mouths will spur interest. The opposite will be a pox.

A certainly avoidable degree of added difficulty is unions representing housekeepers, maintenance workers, kitchen staffs, and bartenders. Those memberships’ contracts expired in the spring. They’re threatening to strike. Negotiations on management’s side have been grudging.

One might’ve thought the chiefs would wanted to have solved this early. To have done so already may prevent a possible massive headache later. Procrastinating has squeezed the bosses’ maneuvering room. Instead, as usual, business executives find the unions’ demands “unreasonable.” Never matters what industry it is. Boardroom occupants always find sharing the wealth with those who created it “unreasonable.”

And that will be a difficult argument in this instance. This year, month after month the industry has reaped record boodles. Therefore, no poormouthing to “team members.”

But the unions have kept their powder dry. Expired contracts aside, there have been no job actions. No slowdowns. No strict rulebook adherence. Just pickets outside several of the Strip’s swanker establishments. If the unions are crafty, they’ll maintain a lowkey approach – until November 15th.

If there hasn’t been significant progress towards new contracts, who doubts they won’t announce a strike on that date? Why? Again, Grand Prix festivities begin on the 16th.