There is a new Sheriff in Las Vegas. He is the guy with the moustache holding a sign announcing the Terrible Herbst casino being built on the site of the old Continental casino on East Flamingo and Paradise roads. The 400 room hotel has become a Tuscany-themed resort which opened at the end of November.
The sons of Terrible Herbst Oil Company owner Jerry Herbst bought the property and oversaw the renovations. The hotel will cater mostly to locals and the slots will use the "easy pay" ticket method like the system currently being used in the slots at Herbst service stations and car washes.
A Department of Energy sponsored project is quietly being conducted behind closed doors, so to speak, in the back room of Kells Automotive Shop in North Las Vegas. Students from UNLV have been working for several months to develop a computerized Chevrolet 454 engine powered from gaseous hydrogen rather than the old-fashioned liquid gasoline. The purpose of the project is to develop a hydrogen engine that could be used to run a generator on an electric bus already brought from Georgia to Las Vegas. The problem with electric-operated vehicles is the batteries run down and then have to be recharged.
What the students have accomplished is an engine that is different because it has a highly advanced computer control system which makes it as good as a normal gasoline engine. The next step is to put the engine into the electric bus and hook it up the generator which will then produce enough electricity to run the bus. It is estimated the four students have done five years of technical work in six months.
Superior Tire and Auto Service Centers, the largest Goodyear dealer in Las Vegas, will be expanding under new ownership. Coming on the heels of this announcement it was revealed that Marlo Reimer sold the Superior Tire chain a couple of years ago to California-based Mountain View Tire Company.
The sale was finally revealed when a lawsuit was recently filed in the Clark County District Court. The Reimer family charges that a "substantial portion of claims made by STI were improper and not authorized pursuant to the merger agreement." The current owners say the lawsuit is a small matter and will not affect their business expansion plan — to expand their business presence in a market dominated by Big O Tire stores, Ted Wiens Tire & Auto, and Discount Tire of Nevada Inc.
North Las Vegas is preparing to make way for five French-made buses that will begin operating in 2002. The "Civis" bus is straight out of a futuristic movie. Its short, squat, has a hugely bulbous windshield, and a low floor enabling passengers to step right in without having to negotiate a series of steep steps.
While the Civis will have a driver on board, it is actually guided by an optical guidance system. A camera behind the windshield will read marks on the road that trace the route. If the bus strays from the marks, the sensor will automatically steer it back on course. Like ambulances and other emergency vehicles that have a device on board that extends a green light, the Civis will have the same capability.
The best news of all is the versatile Civis does not require any special installation. All that is needed is an extra lane to accommodate the bus. The Nevada Department of Transportation has donated the right-of-way and construction has begun in the area where the Civis will first be used.
As usual, the price of gasoline is the subject of many a gripe session. The good news is that higher fuel costs have not prompted the regional Transportation Commission to delay planned new programs or drop any new bus routes.
A multi-million dollar state underground fuel tank cleanup fund created in Nevada by the Legislature in 1989 to provide reimbursement to eligible UST owners and operators for cleanup if their tanks leaked has recently undergone an audit. The audit was initiated after concerns about overpayments were made by a program employee. The investigation found room for improvement but no major problems.
Dont forget to mark your calendar for the Western Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Expo to be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Feb. 20-22, 2001. The keynote speaker will be General Norman Schwarzkopf. The Awards Banquet speaker on Feb. 22 will be Dick Vitale, ABC and ESPN college basketball analyst. The Ladies Luncheon speaker will be Debbie Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies. Mike Schlappi, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in wheelchair basketball, will speak at the inspirational breakfast.
The 2001 Post Convention Tour has been announced and it will be a spectacular Scandinavian cruise aboard Celebrity Cruises luxurious Galaxy, on May 12-19, 2001. The cruise will begin in Stockholm, Sweden with visits to Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Rostock, Germany; and Visby, Sweden. An optional one-week extension is available to Oslo and Bergen, Norway. For further information contact Gerry Tedrow at WPMA at (801) 263-9762. Traveling with the congenial WPMA group always combines good companionship with expert leadership.
Originally published in the December 2000 issue of the O&A Marketing News.
Copyright 2000 by KAL Publications Inc.
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