Clever New Ads Discourage Bringing Kids to Las Vegas

A new ad campaign promoting travel to Las Vegas also hopes to convince travelers to leave their kids at home.

The bottom line: They’re glorious.

He’s not mad, he’s thrilled to be rid of his kid for a weekend in Vegas.

The Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority (LVCVA), the agency tasked with driving visitation to Sin City, has nailed it this time.

The ads are funny, but make a serious point: Vegas is better sans kids.

Here’s one of the ads.

This messaging is bold, as families spend money, too. But the fact is adult activities drive more revenue than family-friendly diversions. At least in general. We recently shared that an arcade game generates about as much as the average slot machine, but let’s not get bogged down in details.

Gambling remains a big driver of revenue, and the same goes for high-end restaurants and nightclubs. All adult-oriented.

A couple of casinos have even gone adults-only. Both Circa and El Cortez are 21-plus restricted (Circa has a tiny loophole for its steakhouse, Barry’s, but nobody’s perfect), mainly because they lack things for kids to do, but also because kids are annoying and sticky and distract from the fun to be had at casinos.

It’s not so much that children aren’t welcome in Las Vegas, it’s just that Las Vegas is better without them.

We’ve been beating this drum for ages, especially following a sharp increase in people visiting Las Vegas with children in tow.

The aforementioned LVCVA did a survey that showed 21% of Las Vegas visitors brought kids to Vegas in 2021, compared to 5% in 2019 and 6% in 2018.

That’s a big jump, and nobody’s really sure why it happened. We’d just love to see it unhappen.

The spike in family visitation has gotten national media attention, including a great segment on CNBC. The beautiful and talented Contessa Brewer (no, we aren’t making moves, she’s married) took a look at this irksome trend and featured an incredibly knowledgeable guest. If you can’t guess who it was, you don’t know this blog at all.

 

If you thought we were kidding about leading the charge for keeping kids out of Vegas, here’s what Contessa Brewer said about it.

It’s worth noting that Tweet has nothing to do with the fact Contessa Brewer is our favorite newsperson, ever. Probably.

Anyway, back to whatever we were talking about.

Oh, right, keep kids out of Las Vegas!

The LVCVA wisely agrees, apparently. Here’s another ad. These are so good, we hope they make a dozen of them.

Yes, Las Vegas tried the family-friendly thing in the 1990s. But the ’90s also produced grunge and Jerry Springer and chips with Olestra and “It’s Pat: The Movie” and the L.A. riots and pool noodles and “Achy Breaky Heart” and Jennifer Aniston.

Like America, Las Vegas has learned its lesson.

This new ad campaign, the LVCVA says, is speaking to a moment in time. Post-pandemic, there’s pent-up demand for travel and kids are back in school. The ads are intended to give people “permission to have fun.”

The LVCVA puts it this way, “Las Vegas is not a want; it’s a need. Las Vegas is and always has been about adult freedom, empowerment and inclusiveness.”

Which is sort of horseshit if you know anything about Las Vegas history. Inclusiveness has never really been a thing until recently. (A transgender “Crazy Girls” showgirl was outed by “A Current Affair” in 1992 and fired, for example.) And the “adult freedom” part? There’s always been a ton of that unless you were a person of color. (Sammy Davis Jr. couldn’t stay in the hotels where he performed. A fully-integrated casino, the Moulin Rouge, didn’t open until 1955.) But, again, let’s stay focused. Las Vegas has always been about spin, short memories and wishful thinking. (Please refer to All Net Resort.)

Ultimately, we aren’t sure the LVCVA’s “permission” is needed for people to have fun. Las Vegas casinos have had a lucky streak of 18 months of billion-dollar-plus revenue.

What’s needed is a reminder adulting (maturity, responsibility, self-restraint, sobriety) is best done back home.

Las Vegas is the opposite of parenting.

Las Vegas is a place for play and abandon, without worrying about impressionable young minds being soiled by vices.

Big props to the LVCVA (and its ad agency, R&R Partners) for serving up these entertaining commercials to urge parents to hire a babysitter while they visit Las Vegas and try a threesome for the first time.

At least that’s what we got from the ads. Art is subjective.