Las Vegas hoping to cash in on royal baby craze

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Las Vegas hoping to cash in on royal baby craze

Las Vegas has a somewhat colorful reputation. From the drug-addled paranoia of Hunter S. Thompson's semi-autobiographical novel, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," to iconic movies such as "The Hangover" and "Leaving Las Vegas," few cities enjoy the kind of image that Sin City does. As the saying goes, "the house always wins," and Las Vegas' tourism officials are hoping to win big in the wake of the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first child, reports The Associated Press.

Painting the town red
Much to the chagrin of the royal family, Prince George Alexander Louis' uncle, Prince Harry, is more than a little fond of Las Vegas. The party-loving prince has had several high-profile encounters in Sin City, with all-night parties and a particularly scandalous wardrobe malfunction making headlines around the world. To capitalize on the buzz around the royal baby, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has released a tongue-in-cheek advertisement on its Facebook page.

The ad, which shows the iconic Las Vegas Strip, congratulated the Duke and Duchess on the birth of their son, before adding, "See you in 21 years." The news source reports that this isn't the first time Sin City has attempted to cash in on the British royal family, as tourism bosses launched a similar campaign last year when Prince Harry was caught on camera in a compromising position at the prestigious Encore Wynn hotel.

All the way to the bank
The Telegraph reports that Harry's stunt was worth approximately $23 million in free advertising for the city of Las Vegas, and Tom Collins, chairman of the LCVCA's board, was reportedly heard to exclaim, "God bless Prince Harry, he made us a bunch of money" shortly after the incident was leaked to the press.

However, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority isn't the only organization that has tried to leverage the buzz about Prince George Alexander Louis' birth to land some free publicity. According to the news source, a range of companies used social media website Twitter as a thinly-veiled way to promote their products under the guise of well-wishing, including Coca-Cola, Oreo, Play-Doh and Starbucks.

It's a little too soon to see whether the newest addition to the royal family will prove to be a hell?-raiser like his uncle. One thing's for sure, though - tourists visiting Sin City can save big by choosing to stay in serviced apartments and furnished extended stay rentals instead of costly suites at the hotels that line Las Vegas' most notorious boulevard.