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Wynners and Losers
by Ken Mahal, NSC President
Originally published on  October 10, 2007 - reprinted with permission

WYNNíS A LOSER, China red Ink: $405 million.
   I didnít expect to write anything about Steve Wynn ever being a loser like when he operated the Mirage. The Thursday October 4th headline in the New York Post tells the story on how Mr. Steve Wynn lost $ 405 million in one day. How nice to be able to lose so much wealth in one day and still remains in business. What the Wall Street prognosticators are speculating is that the Mr. Wynn may be trading customers he already has to move over to his more elegant newer Wynn Macau. So instead of his projected 75% increase in new business it seems to be more like 55% which is a tremendous error in business judgment if these numbers hold and in actuality they are moving customers they already have from the existing place to the newest one opened. One could say that this is really gambling big time. Not to feel bad for Mr. Wynn because according to the NYP he has good company in Mr. Adelson of the Sands who it seems has run into the same buzz saw with his latest venture in Macau. And I feel bad if I lose $ 50 bucks gambling and friend Knight feels bad if he loses 50 cents. Thatís the difference in their wealth and ours.

BIG GAMING WILL HATE THE TAX INITIATIVE.
HOME OWNERS WILL LOVE NO MORE REAL-ESTATE TAXES.
DEPENDS ON WHOSE OX IS GORED DOESNíT IT.
   By now you must have heard about Kermit Waters proposed initiative to raise the gaming tax for casino corporations doing business outside of Nevada to the average of what they pay in all the entities outside of Nevada which could be somewhere in the 18 to 25% tax on gaming revenue. Those benefiting from this new source of revenue would mean some kind of raise for teachers, funding for roads and home owners would no longer be faced with paying real-estate taxes on their homes. How can home owners complain about such a thing? Waters will need some 58,000 signatures. He intends to go to court to have the law passed in the last legislature thrown out. That law requires a percentage of signatures from each of the 17 counties would need to be collected from all of the counties on a pro rata basis in proportion to the number of votes cast in the last election from each of the 17 counties as apposed to how it has been all along which should require the signatures from wherever one can gather the signatures. This close to Waters thinking at this time and I suspect more will be worked into the formula as he learns more about what it is going to take to pass the initiative. My experience tells me he knows how to get things done so if I were a betting person I wouldnít bet against him.

BE SURE TO PUT THE NOVEMBER 8TH MEETING ON YOUR CALENDAR!  KERMIT WATERS IS AN INVITED SPEAKER ALONG WITH OUR ASSESSOR MARK SCHOFIELD.
   We were going to have Sharron Angle a former legislator from Reno but when she decide not to go forward with her prop 13 type initiative there was no reason to have her until she gets her issues worked out. She told me that with the lawsuit by the union she couldnít go ahead until that issue was settled. She feels they want to stop her from going ahead by making her spend her money on lawsuits. Nice way to use your lawyer isnít it.

OUR SENATOR REID IS OUT TO GIVE USE RENEWABLES OR SOMETHING.
   If I understand what Senator Harry Reid our great leader is up to he wants us to use the hot water, sunshine and air from up north instead of Sierra Pacific Resources building coal fired generating plants to serve Las Vegas. If our senator wants to do the right thing and we get it all why not have Uncle Sam pay for the transmission line from up north all the way to Las Vegas and then let the power company do the 1500 megawatts of coal plant plus the air, solar and geothermal energy as the Senator wants. I remember when the federal government brought electricity to rural areas in Wisconsin where I was born. It was a great boon to our economy when they did that. So if as the senator thinks we should go to renewable resources why not have Uncle Sam build the transmission lines with a lease to buy the transmission lines say over 100 years. That way we can get under way with the major coal plant and began the renewable ones after that and no doubt we would learn a lot about geothermal, solar and wind in the process. Be reminded that coal burning power plants have scrubbers and many other technical aspects that make them very clean so shouldnít be a factor other than political. Instead of being adversarial lets just get along oh great leader. I have been a supporter of solar etc. for years but it is too costly and this is the real reason these things have not happened. Senator just think what this does for our economy and at the same time we become a test bed of the world for the various energy systems all in one area from northern Nevada to Southern Nevada. How about it oh great leader?

WHY SHOULD TAXPAYERS PAY STRIP CASINOS TO DO WHAT ANY BUILDING OWNER SHOULD DO ANYWAY?
   What gives with the taxpayers giving strip casinos a half a billion bucks in tax breaks to build buildings both economically and energy efficient at the same time? Having been in the business of designing and overseeing construction on projects in most of the states in my 45 years in business I do not ever remember one time that doing the right thing in the way of making new buildings more cost effective and energy efficient was done without anyone ever giving it a second thought. I recall that we did an office building with both sprinklers for fire safety (the savings in insurance paid for the sprinklers) and used gold glass like some of the new buildings which were so energy efficient that the glass paid for itself by being able to reduce the cost of the heating and cooling system several hundreds of thousands of dollars. This was done at least 25 years before any of it was done here. I have never ceased to be amazed how cheap the strip casinos built their buildings like concrete blocks exposed and painted. I never heard of such a thing in decent buildings and now we make taxpayers pay for this by giving them huge tax breaks. Maybe it is time we enlighten some of the state legislators and the governor that this whole green building thing is nothing but wasted taxpayer money and they should eliminate this or look for a new job after the next legislature in 2009.

WHAT GIVES WITH THE WEATHER?
   From east to west and north to south it seems the weather is doing things we have never remembered happening before. If you wanted to decide where to live in this great country this would be a good time to think out what part of the country was most livable these past twelve months. I donít know about you but in the end it wasnít too bad here was it?

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