As a Millennial Visiting Vegas…


Andrew J. Benavidez shares Vegas from a Millennial perspective.

On my first trip to Vegas, I wondered what Hunter S. Thompson would have thought about the incessant pandering towards Millennials that has emerged as a business trend. Would he have seen it as a voyeuristic opportunity to see how far these casinos would twist themselves into knots to please a demographic with fickle and ever changing interests? Or would he have just seen it as trying to draw blood from a stone? I figure he’d get some sort of pleasure from seeing these rich and powerful casinos closing restaurants and rearranging casinos in a frustrated attempt to create Millennial Feng Shui. Before anyone gets the wrong idea, that’s not a real thing. I just made it up, so please don’t go running off with it (I am talking about you, SLS Las Vegas).

Millennial

I had high hopes for you.

Before I go further, I need to come clean with everyone. I am a millennial. I’ll wait a minute for the booing to finish…

Now, I don’t know where these casinos have gotten the idea that Millennials require such a delicate touch. Don’t confuse us with Hipsters who are guided by their apparent universal sense of non-conformity. We’re just low rollers a bit overwhelmed by a legendary city we’ve been listening to our friends and family build up in our imagination. We see this place of reckless abandon and hedonism in our minds and think “Sign me up!” But when we get there, we’re a bit confused. “All we can do is gamble? What about all the history we heard about? What about the great experiences?”

Millennial

Interesting stuff like this

While I don’t appreciate the Millennial Stereotypes (especially that Generation Me BS), I do agree with the idea that we are driven by a thirst for new experiences and Vegas is a great to satiate that thirst. The first time I saw Viva Vision at the Fremont Street Experience, I was completely blown away. To see a party in the street with free-range drinking and an excellent light show set to classic rock, it felt like a life changing experience. It also doesn’t hurt that the prices on Fremont Street are lower which is a plus for my low roller generation.

Millennials need to stay occupied, so variety is key. In that regard, I particularly liked the Stratosphere with its tower, second-floor shops, and horror themed arcade.

Millennial

The Stratosphere, as you see here, hard to fit in frame.

South Point, of course, with everything they have to offer (the Peruvian Horse Competition was fascinating by the way). Silverton’s Aquarium had given me at least a few hours of entertainment when I wasn’t gambling or checking out the adjacent Outdoor World (ok, that might just be a Texas thing). And, Fremont Street, always worth another mention because of the almost endless variety of things to do.

Millennial

Fremont Rocks

So when I hear about these Strip Casinos working double time to make interactive games or try to re-engineer their casinos in some backward way to draw in my generation, I think “Good luck with that. I’ll be at Binion’s trying to find a suitable replacement of my favorite Star Wars slot or at Main Street Station enjoying the architecture and the 777 Beer Sampler.”

[Photos: Andrew J. Benavidez | Cover: Michael Movestro]

About the Author

Andrew J. Benavidez

California Born. Texas Raised. Andrew J. Benavidez is a fan of everything Texas, Vegas, and America. When he’s not in Vegas he’s working frantically to fund another trip.

16 Comments on "As a Millennial Visiting Vegas…"

  1. Great post! I’m GenX, and enjoy reading what works for the generation behind me.

    Fremont is one of my favorite experiences, also, and I’ve found the resorts there seem to at least give me the pleasure of taking a little longer to separate me from my hard earned dollars than places on the strip.

    • Andrew J. Benavidez | February 22, 2017 at 7:55 pm |

      Thanks, I’ll be on Fremont Street this time next week. I am losing my mind right now waiting to fly out.

  2. Very nice and really enjoyed…I need to come clean with everyone. I am a millennial. I’ll wait a minute for the booing to finish…

  3. Casinos don’t think of it as generations really at all. The stereotyping is fine for conversation, but they just look at overall trends.

    And they aren’t exactly desperate for millenials now. The average visitor age for Vegas is still relatively high.

    The issue the casinos have is young people now (regardless of the label) not getting drawn in to the games that drew in previous generations when they were the same age. It is not an issue for today, but for 15 years down the road. And they already have good ideas at other things they can sell and other ways to make money.

    If you have a “favourite star wars slot”, you are part of the demographic they need not worry about. But they want to rope in the people who come to party but won’t play. Because Vegas as an electronic music party is a great appeal for the young, but probably won’t bring those same people back when they hit their 40s (and have money). Slots and table games are not going away any time soon, but if fewer new customers are willing to try them, casinos are going to study things they will try.

    • Why not play the long game and make some effort to draw in the younger crowds to table games? One is hard pressed to find a $10 table much less a $5 table anywhere on the strip (don’t even get me started on 6:5 blackjack). How do they expect to draw in Andrew and those like him to gamble when losing at a $15 table means skipping dinner that night? Granted, we should all experience at least one night of wandering the strip in a Gene Simmons mask taking selfies for airfare home, but if you want your gaming revenue to get back in the black, stop doing everything you can to exclude your first timers/potential repeat visitor crowd from the tables. These kids will be running the world someday, and maybe that great night at a $5 table back in ’17 will bring them back in your door as the highest high roller in ’27? With many repeat trips along the way.

    • Andrew J. Benavidez | February 22, 2017 at 7:57 pm |

      Fair enough, but as long as they say that they’re trying to ring in the millennial crowd, they’re not free from reproach.

  4. Chris in Nashville | February 22, 2017 at 11:46 am |

    So you are saying that Level Up at MGM Grand was a waste of time & money? :)

  5. I’m a millennial too. A very old millennial who has some memories of the 80s, but still a millennial just the same. I’m glad we can all come out of the woodwork and be known.

    I’m not a club goer and I do gamble. I just wish Vegas would focus more on the experience and the sights and the unique experience. Fremont does a good job of this. SLS did not. Neither did the new Linq.

    The casinos that get my money are the ones on Fremont with the exciting evening atmosphere, NYNY and Harrah’s. The city needs to stop trying to make everything so slick and void of personality.

    • Andrew J. Benavidez | February 22, 2017 at 7:39 pm |

      Exactly, I go because I want to have a good time, not party till I feel worse than when I arrived.

  6. Narsfweasels | February 22, 2017 at 3:52 pm |

    Fellow Milennial here, I love the gambling but I have to do the sights as well. Also, chilling alone by the pool with a great book is a must.

  7. Stop bragging up Fremont! Get too many people there & it will turn into strip prices! Keep it quiet so it don’t get too big… :-) Give me 5 more years then I won’t care, sure gonna miss the old Vegas club! That will be the start! Bigger & newer!

    • Andrew J. Benavidez | February 22, 2017 at 7:33 pm |

      You’re right, the atmosphere would be ruined if you couldn’t bounce casino to casino.

    • Andrew J. Benavidez | February 22, 2017 at 7:34 pm |

      You’re right, the atmosphere would be ruined if you couldn’t afford to bounce casino to casino.

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