I know a lot of you click in here from Hurricane Mikey’s site, so no doubt you’ve read about his plans to leave Las Vegas. Wow, huh? Mikey’s the perfect Vegas character—athough he’d be an interesting character in any locale—and I’m looking forward to his upcoming "tales from the trenches" of casino life once he can really let it rip.
From a strictly selfish standpoint, I hate to see my friend leave, but I certainly understand his decision. Las Vegas is a fantastic place to live, but Mikey wasn’t exaggerating in his post Thursday about the suckiness of the Sin City job market.
I share Mikey's sentiment about working in casinos, and unfortunately, there’s very little corporate presence in Vegas outside of gaming and hospitality. I like to think I have an advantage in that I have a ton of experience in both corporate training and technical writing, so I have two areas of expertise to leverage. Plus I’m free to travel as needed and writing is something that can be done virtually. But the reality is, it took me almost three years to find a halfway decent job in Las Vegas and I was on the lookout practically the whole time I was working in my last position. I can tell you the job market there is as dry as the landscape. Believe me, I’m keeping my fingers, toes, and even my legs crossed in hopes of finding a decent source of income when I return next month.
I’ve often wondered if there’s something about Las Vegas on an energy-vortex kind of level that sucks the prosperity out of people. I don’t have to tell you the Strip wasn’t built by winners; fortunately I don’t gamble more than a few $2 bets on the horse races. Still, my personal financial picture is nowhere as pretty as it was before I moved there; those first three years even exhausted my facelift fund.
It could have been worse. I once met a guy whose wife ran off with a dealer at Green Valley Ranch—after she blew through $60,000. He told me he’d hear the garage door open in the middle of the night as she snuck out. Another guy I met discovered $90,000 missing; his wife even tapped into their teenage daughter’s and her elderly mother’s accounts.
And how about all those people who’ve lost the real estate gamble? For sure, some of those borrowers who got their asses kicked should have known better--what the hell did they think would happen? But there were also some good folks who simply took a mighty painful loss.
Yeah, I wonder about the energy thing. Mikey, I wish you the best of luck.