Panic in Detroit

Detroit has a plan. Open three temporary casinos by fourth quarter '99 and develop plans for three (or more) permanent casinos by 2002. Hotels, restaurants, show rooms, blah, blah, blah. Here is my question:

Why, on God’s green earth, would anyone come to Detroit to gamble? (Hello? Ever heard of Vegas? Reno? Atlantic City?) Would you?

Sly, I must agree with you totally. Obviously, the planners of this Great Idea, haven’t taken a look out their window at the city in a while. They must all be living over in Windsor or something. I have a friend who lives and works in Detroit and she came up here (to Lansing) for the first time and said after she got past Novi, she couldn’t believe she was even in the same state cause it was so beautiful. Kind of a telling statement. I think the opinion of most planners is that gambling/casinos/riverboats are some kind of big cash cow to be exploited. Trouble is, you have to have a city that people want to come to first.

Carpe Diem!

You’re going to build a casino where? In the middle of the desert? Who’s going to come all the way out into the desert just to gamble?

“I think it would be a great idea” Mohandas Ghandi’s answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization

I don’t understand your question.

How easy, and how expensive, is it to get from various places in Michigan to Las Vegas?
How easy, and how expensive, is it to get from various places in Michigan to Reno?
How easy, and how expensive, is it to get from various places in Michigan to Atlantic City?
… but how easy, and how expensive, is it to get from various places in Michigan to Detroit!!!

It is now 15 years since I’ve been able to afford using an airplane to go somewhere on vacation. I don’t gamble, but the day trips and vacations that I do take are all within driving distance.

I hope this explains who would want to go to Detroit.

Even so, most of the people in Michigan would probably rather drive to Chicago, or Cleveland, or Kalamazoo, or Ann Arbor, than to (ugh) Dee-troit.

As someone who grew up in the UP, it was a closer drive to Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Chicago than it was to Detroit. Not to mention, I’d rather drive to any of those places instead of Detroit just on principal. So I agree with CKDextHavn, the “it’s easier to get there” argument just doesn’t work.

Lower Michigan <shudder> Please don’t make me go there!

The idea behind legalized gambling is to fleece the locals first, and rape any passersby as a bonus. People routinely drive 3-4 hours to visit our Native American brethren for a reverse ethnic cleansing.

I agree that noone from out of state would come to Detroit, but what it will draw from is those Indian casinos up north. That’s a loooong drive to many of us. I bet those guys (the Chippewa?) must be sweating bullets over this. I don’t gamble, but I hope the casino in Windsor, Ontario does well. Windsor is a really nice city. None of the decay and corruption that you get in Detroit. And the border crossing isn’t difficult at all.

Athena: Where in the UP? (If you say “near Lake Superior,” I’ll have to hurt you :))

Near Lake Superior.

Hmmm… not hurting yet.

I grew up in Marquette.

Okay, okay. Perhaps I didn’t explain it very well. The three major players are planning a sum total of 2600 hotel rooms. Fleecing the locals I understand, but 2600 rooms? Would these rooms be, perhaps, planned for the additional law enforcement required?

As far as Detroit itself, yeah, it’s not the best looking city. Sort of like Cleveland - without the glitter. I just wonder how the developers expect to reclaim the dough it takes construct these behemoths. Smoke and mirrors?

Whoo Sly, that’s a good one! My guess is free buffets and high win slots (for the first 6 months anyway). My sister’s mother-in-law regularly goes to that one in Mt. Pleasant; I don’t think she’d risk the trip to Detroit.

Athena, Diceman: say ya, eh? Have family in the UP; dad’s got property there also. Many fond memories of it. (It’s near Iron Mountain).

Living about 1-1.5 hours from Detroit, I can attest to the stupidity of putting a casino in the cesspool we charmingly refer to as the arm pit of our state.

When all the hoopla was going on about yeah/nay on the casinos, and the pro argument was: It will save the city. My Con argument was: You can’t save a city with a Vice. Why not legalize prostitution while you are at it?

There isn’t anything to lure folks downtown for moseying around. The Detroit Institute of Arts isn’t anywhere near the casinos (that I know of) and the Zoo is not even located in the city. There is Greek Town, an overrated flaming cheese den that has the infrastructure of a habitrail. And as for culinary treats, Detroit has lost more top restaurants in the last five years than have started up. The only thing Motown, IMHO, has going for it is the Fox Theater ( along with the DIA and Zoo) the rest should be nuked and rebuild the whole thing over again.

BTW, the Detroit Area is/use to be ranked number one in flying to Vegas to gamble. Who wants to gamble and then go home the same day without a cent in their pocket? Not me

WE are all pilgrims on the same journey - but some pilgrims have better road maps.

No, no, no. You’re all confused. No locals will be fleaced with this. It’s all to increase the convention traffic!

God, I can’t believe I typed that straight faced.

The people who will make out the most are the casino operators (duh). They float the idea to the state / city / etc., using the farcical idea of increase in tourism / conventions, jobs created in the casinos, along with increased tax revinues to help the struggling school systems. Councelmen / Representatives think this is a great idea, expecially because the proposal comes along with an envelope filled with unmarked $100 bills. And the Governor has to go along, or else he is accused of not wanting to help the schools!

In reality, it is the locals who get the shaft. The rich may stop by the cassino and drop a few hundred or even a few thousand, but that’s money they otherwise would have put into other entertainment or unnecessary hard goods. Other businesses loose revenue or close entirely, loosing lower paying jobs. The middle class / poor also might stop at the casino. They’re loosing monies necessary to keep themselvs alive. Similar economic results, with the addition of dragging themselves down besides the others. And the increase in tourism doesn’t make up for this.

In Illinois, we have found that the vast majority of revenues of the riverboat casinos comes from locals, not tourists.

We are having similar debates here in the Chicago area. Chicago claims it is loosing conventions because of no gambling within the city limits. What, they can’t rent a bus and drive 1/2 hour? Maybe they’re loosing the business because of poor facilities and bad regulations (you have to have a union carpenter and electrition on hand for set-up of any booths, even if the only electrical work is plugging in a light). By the way, Atlantic City is a cess-pool just blocks away from the casinos. Believe it or not, Detroit is just going to get worse.

“It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.”
Dan Quayle

  • A few years after Illinois started selling lottery tickets, a study found that the poorest 10% of the population bought 47% of the lottery tickets. - MC

You mean Joliet and Aurora aren’t the gleaming vacation meccas I thought they were? Darn. I was going to cross over the town line and spend a few weeks soaking up the athmosphere.

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

      • Careful now, or you’ll set of that old Joliet/Aurora rivalry again. - MC

Living about 1-1.5 hours from Detroit, I can attest to the stupidity of putting a casino in the cesspool we charmingly refer to as the arm pit of our state.


How rude.
Living IN Detroit and being proud of it, I can attest that many of you are not looking at the big picture. The casinos are part of a larger plan. This plan includes 3 casinos (more of the Las Vegas family approach as opposed to the Atlantic City “just gambling” style), a massive sports/entertainment complex, plenty of restaurants (it’s about time the city that created Motown got a Hard Rock Cafe), a very large software company moving downtown, and riverfront development courtesy of General Motors, who is also moving its HQ into the underused and underappreciated Ren Cen. There are also a couple upscale housing developments going up, which, btw, cannot be constructed until people have said they’ll live in them.
I love this city, and I think it’s a shame my parents are moving within the year (oh well, I’m moving out on my own soon enough anyway) because the neighborhood is, as some would say, “too dark.” For the first time in years there are kids playing around and riding bikes. Good American fun.
And FTR, Detroit is not getting worse. In fact, except for a recent snow removal debaccle, it’s getting better. For a big city, crime is about average, and it used to be the worst in the country. And, like most successful big cities, we’re actually working WITH our suburbs for once.
Back to casinos… yes, quite a few people will get hooked. But I don’t think a character flaw in 10 percent of the population means we should halt anything that would help out the city. Given that logic, we might as well ban alcohol too.

“Can’t forget the Motor City… we’re dancin’ in the streets…”

Tetzel: You think you could throw in a few stores while you’re at it? Damn near the entire population of Detroit heads to the suburban malls to shop because there is so little to offer in the city. And I know from whence I speak: I attended the University of Detroit, and anything except food stores was virtually non-existant.

“I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms.” -The Secret of Monkey Island

I grew up in Waterford, about an hour north of Detroit. I have lots of memories of Detroit, almost all of them good: Going to the Grand Prix. Spinning around in the restaurant at the Top of the Pontch. Seeing Broadway plays at the Fisher Theatre. Going to terrific concerts at the Fox Theatre. Rockin’ out with INXS at St. Andrew’s Hall. Partying in Hart Plaza at the Heritage Festivals. Getting hit on by Greek waiters in Greektown. Going to the Diego Rivera exhibit at the DIA. Walking through “Old Detroit” in the basement of the Historical Museum.

Mind you, I never had to live there. And I have since learned and lived in many cities that had much more charm and refinement. But I got a lot out of my visits to Detroit. It beat the hell out of Waterford.

MC and Jophiel: I’m putting all my money on Rosemont. Joliet-Aurora-Elgin got nothin’ on this puppy, what with being 15 mins from the world’s second busiest airport, not having to float any boats and that water tower with the subliminal female genitalia all over it, Rosemont is a shoo-in. Heck, they even have a river if you need to play make-believe.

Lookit all the other suburbs who got left out in the cold by not supporting that bill scrambling to get their greedy-assed little fingers in that steaming hot gambling pie!