The Almighty Dollar

There were thirty-thousand British fight fans in Las Vegas last weekend. They were spending like there was no tomorrow. They were in town for a boxing match. Their guy did not win but they had a heck of a time. The town was crawling with Brits. I was there on a short vacation and had a chance to chat with some of them. “It is the dollar man,” most told me. Sure enough even middle class fight fans were able to come across the pond, stay in great Las Vegas hotels and have money to spend. That because the American Dollar is so weak. In the case of the British their pound generates lots of dollars and they were taking advantage of it.

It was a concentrated economic lesson right in front of our faces. The bars and restaurants were full and many of our “cross Atlantic cousins” we laying down to heavy coin in jewelry shops and clothing stores. Stores like Brookstone and Sharper Image were packed. “Things here are about half price,” was the usual response from happy spenders.

I am told the same thing is happening here in the Miami area. Several mall public relations folk have told me their stores are full of European shoppers, in fact some visitors have come here specifically to shop, short stays but purchase what you want and get out of town. Staffers at the Miami Convention and Visitor’s Authority tell me that they have placed newspaper advertisements in major European newspapers touting the price advantage of flying into South Florida. Reports from Art Basel are that the Europe were spending big on fine art, they were here in droves.

This is a story we will continue to follow as tourism officials say that the weak dollar is likely to push an already busy tourist season into one of the best ever.

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