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The Culinary Academy of Las Vegas: A Not-for-Profit Organization

I just came back from the Caesars Hospitality Research Summit in Las Vegas last week. I understand exactly how much this recession hit on the gaming and hospitality industry in Las Vegas. I saw many empty tables in casinos; there were not that much traffic in casinos, restaurants, or retail stores. According to this MSNBC news video, the recession actually cost the resorts on the Strip $6 billion in the last two years, casinos 24% of the gambling revenue as compared to the 2007’s figure, and the community an unemployment rate of 10%.

I discussed how Las Vegas is making big effort in re-branding the city. It takes time to make any transformational change. The good news is that professionals in the gaming and hospitality industry are already helping the community with their strengths. They founded The Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, a not-for-profit organization, which provides a variety of training programs to assist people in gaining the skills for a job or career in the gaming and hospitality industry. This is such a great example of how people/organizations commit to social responsibilities with their strengths and expertise.

When the recession hit the U.S., some people advocated the Corporate America to immediately stop any retreat and training programs in hotels and resorts. They might not notice the consequences of their words --- if nobody travels, one of the biggest employers of the U.S., namely the hospitality industry, would have to cease hiring or even cut the labor force. In turn, many hospitality-related workers will lose jobs, which will further hurt the economy. Occasionally, I also hear people criticizing the gaming industry for causing issues like gambling addiction. If people play it right, gaming could be a fun means of entertainment. There are so many types of addictions in the U.S., such as shopping addiction, eating addition, and sex addition (just to name a few). The problem is probably not what people are doing for fun, but how people control their behavior. What do you think?


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