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Frontier Hotel 1942-2007

Frontier Hotel 1942-2007

"This is the end result of all the bright lights... and the comp trips, of all the champagne... and free hotel suites,
and all the broads and all the booze. It's all been arranged just for us to get your money.
That's the truth about Las Vegas. We're the only winners. The players don't stand a chance. "

-- Sam "Ace" Rothstein, Casino, 1995

Monday, July 26, 2010

Street Vendors -- Las Vegas Strip

Below are some photos of a vagrant selling waters for a $1.00 right in front of the Mirage.  I love the expression of the couple in the first picture.  You go for a walk down the Strip and you have a homeless guy hitting you up to buy a water from him.  Nice.

Apparently, the city of LV or Clark County has no problem with these types of guys selling water, or whatever in public. I tried to ask this guy how business was and he replied "there are just too many god damn water sellers out here." He was not willing to give me a number on his usual take during a good day.

Since I moved to LV, I always notice these "vendors" whenever I go to the Strip. They are selling waters, sunglasses, gum, candy, whatever. There really seems to be no enforcement by police or anyone from the city/county. Apparently, anyone can just set up shop on the sidewalk on the Strip and sell whatever they please. I have yet to see one of these "vendors" rousted or hassled by the authorities. Maybe the city/county does not care about this issue?

Personally, I don't think this is acceptable.

And please, do not tell me he has the 1st Amendment right to stand out there on sidewalk and sell water. There needs to be some sort of enforcement on these "vendors." If the city/county does not take steps to deal with "vendors" the problem will just get out of control and the LV Strip will look like Venice Beach or some open air shopping market. Seriously, what if some guy set up one of those taco carts out there?


  1. Interesting take. I always buy my water from these guys, because it's a lot cheaper than anywhere else on the Strip. Different strokes, I guess.

  2. I think it's better than just panhandling -- at least these guys are trying to earn their money as opposed to begging.

    I just think it's a slippery slope -- where does it stop? Can I sell Red Bull out there? Jewelry? Tamales?

    Just my take. I don't think these guys are going anywhere for the near future. Enjoy your ice cold water -- It might be the best $1.00 spent when it's 105f on the Strip! JH.

  3. I've heard that these folks are using food stamps / public assistance money to buy cases of water for $3, sell it for $20-$30, and use the profits to buy drugs/alcohol/gambling.

  4. Hi Jimmy,
    Enjoy reading your blogs, especially the posts with gambling related topics.
    Concerning the water seller, it is capitalism as far as I am concern, being a oversea native of Vietnam, visiting there a couple of times in the last 5 years, you see it everywhere, especially food items. You would find it interesting if you travel to any of SE Asian countries.


  5. Huy -- Thanks for the compliment on the blog.

    Ok, let's turn the LV Strip into Ho Chi Minh City -- street vendors on all sidewalks, outdoor food carts, scooters and motorbikes choking the streets... Toss in some hookers walking around at all hours too. Just like that scene in Full Metal Jacket... Maybe you are on to something.

  6. First of all, economy is economy. As long as money is changing hands things are healthy. Let them sell. Keeps 'em off the streets, so to speak. They earn money so the don't have to steal for it. SECOND, who cares what they use to buy their water of what they use the profits for. The government is actually saving money this way. They earn their money for drugs. We subsidize farmers, don't we? It's all relevant.

  7. Hey Jimmy, thought I'd offer a different perspective. I just sold water on the strip yesterday for the first time.

    I'm not "homeless." I had a bad run at poker and got so low that I had enough money to pay about one more week of rent.

    I spent $30 on a cooler, $8 for 70 bottles of water, and $4 for ice. I spent 3 1/2 hours standing there bothering nobody. Many people seemed almost relieved to see me (it was 104 yesterday) and gladly paid me their dollar. Some walked up to me and asked if I had water for sale (I was not as annoying as some, who say "Water, $1.00, bottled water, $1.00, one dollar one dollar one dollar, ice cold water, one dollar one dollar one dollar" continuously. But hey, if it works for them.)

    They had a need. I filled that need. Everybody was a winner. And no, I didn't take my hard earned money and blow it on craps. I'll use it to pay my rent.

    Your argument is really a slippery slope: "Ok, it's not bad now, it's not a problem, but it might lead to a problem someday..." Well, fix the problem when it becomes a problem I say. Just my two cents.

    For me, it was a temporary life-saver. Ice cold water, one dollar!