Nevada casinos, particularly those in Las Vegas have always been the bellwether of the gambling industry. If Nevada is doing well, it’s likely that the rest of the business is doing well, too. If Nevada casinos are struggling, like they were in 2008, it’s likely that casinos all over the world are hurting, too.
That’s why a recent announcement from Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak boosting Nevada casino occupancy from 25 percent to 35 percent is something of a big deal. Even better, officials in Nevada are hoping to have all of their casinos back to 50 percent capacity by the March 15.
Sisolak is hoping the the increased casino capacity will help convince travelers, particularly business travelers that Nevada is open for business. His dream will get a pretty big test when the World of Concrete, a construction industry trade show, heads to Vegas in June. It’s the first big convention in the city since early 2020.
He expounded on the idea in a recent speech that was well-received by casino industry insiders. In a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nehme Abouzeid, president and founder of hospitality consulting group LaunchVegas LLC praised the speech saying, “This was a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ address.I think it would have been politically unpopular if he had just extended the pause for another month, especially as numbers are going down, vaccine rollout has begun, and a more COVID-focused administration is in Washington.”
But others in the hospitality industry weren’t quite as impressed. At least one observer pointed out that 50 percent capacity was still pretty debilitating and that baby steps just wouldn’t cut it on the road to recovery.
Tags: Nevada, US gambling news
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Rosie’s Gaming Emporium opened doors on January 8. It is a 19,000-square-foot gaming center with 95 video slots, located in the Triangle Shopping Center in Dumfries. Colonial Downs, the property’s owner, now proposes another building, which is a massive $389 million casino resort on the grounds of Potomac Landfill, a debris junkyard on the edge of town.
The future facility would be called “The Rose” and would be the first in Virginia with this size, providing such gaming options.
According to the plan for “The Rose”, the facility will consist of 50,000 square feet of gaming space, a 250-seat sports bar, as well as other bars and restaurants, 200 hotel rooms, a theater with 1,500 seats and 7,000 square feet of meeting space.
Colonial Downs, which owns Rosie’s and operates a racetrack in New Kent County near Richmond, as well as four other Rosie’s emporiums across the state, will pitch its idea today during a 7 a.m. Dumfries Town Council meeting.
The new facility is hoped to bring a lot of profit to the town. It is expected to create 640 jobs that pay $15 an hour wage. 96 managers will be hired to work at The Rose and they will make an average of $70,000 a year.
According to Colonial Downs, the new casino would generate $11.3 million a year in new tax revenue for Prince William County and nearly $80,000 a year for Dumfries.
If the pitch is accepted, construction of the new casino will start in August this year, which means that Potomac Landfill will be closed 11 years earlier than planned.
The casino will take 22 acres of the property with 79 acres remaining that will be converted into a park with sports fields, trails and open space.
The town documents stated that the park would open in December 2022 and the casino would open only a month later. This is if everything goes according to plan.
The Potomac Landfill
The town agreed with the landfill in 2016 to close the facility. The closing date was set for 2032. At that time, the town planned on turning the site into a public park.
The problem for the landfill started in 2011 when the neighbors and drivers on the Interstate 95 complained of sulfur smell. It was permeated the surrounding area so the facility needed to shut down.
Rosie’s Gaming Emporium is the first gaming facility to open its doors in Northern Virginia. Since its opening, more than 21,000 people have visited the gaming parlor in the shopping center.
The property has donated more than $75,000 to charity since it started operating and has created 100 jobs for the locals. Its establishment was made possible by the legalization of gambling in Dumfries in November 2019.
A citywide referendum passed with more than 60% of the vote, following an extensive advertising campaign by Colonial Downs.
Source: “Resort casino proposed to open in Dumfries in January 2023”, Potomac Local, January 15, 2021
We recap some stories you may have missed including a huge PKO event and how much of himself is Landon Tice playing for?
KidPoker vs the Poker Brat?
We hinted at it last week and now it seems confirmed that Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth will play heads-up.
Given both men are traditionally live players it seems inevitable that it will be face to face and streamed on PokerGO.
The early betting markets have suggested Hellmuth is the favourite, which seems ludicrous given how much Negreanu improved in his heads-up challenge against Doug Polk.
Happy to play anyone on @PokerGo App’s “High Stakes Duel.” Looks like they are bringing me the GREAT Daniel Negreanu @RealKidPoker, the guy that studied heads up for months w coaches I respect, so be it. It will be a great challenge for me! Hoping I don’t look like THIS photo!! pic.twitter.com/EpE1BqRMWP
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) February 13, 2021
Tice has skin in the game
The other big heads-up match in the works is Landon Tice vs Bill Perkins, and it has been the subject of a lot of debate this last week.
Namely, how much does the poker wunderkind Landon Tice have invested in himself? Rumours circulated that he is playing for just 10% of himself in this challenge where he is already paying Bill Perkins $720,000 to play.
Tice confirmed that he has sold a lot of action for this event but while his percentage is low, it still means he has a lot of his net worth on the line:
Let me make something clear that I’m sure everyone cares about regarding my challenge with @bp22 I’m selling a lot of action for it. A lot.I’m not rolled to battle at nosebleeds. However, I am putting a very large amount of my relative net worth on myself winning it.
— Landon (@LandonTice) February 11, 2021
MicroMillions the biggest PKO ever?
The MicroMillions Main Event was a PKO for the first time in its history and it (probably) automatically became the biggest field ever for a progressive knockout tournament.
49,487 entries for the $22 Main Event, which was not quite enough to hit the $1 million guarantee.
It did lead to one player bagging almost $60,000 for their troubles including $18,651.13 in bounties alone:
The final table
Table stakes only
OK, so this week’s meme classic from Reddit beats all those ‘toilet roll poker home game’ jokes from last year:
When Polaks Play Poker from r/poker
Will we see Hellmuth vs Negreanu heads-up? Let us know in the comments:
Barry Carter is the editor of PokerStrategy.com and the co-author of The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2, Poker Satellite Strategy and PKO Poker Strategy
Pearl Legend: Hold and Win is a new release which is coming from iSoftBet, a slot machine with a Chinese concentration and utilizing a lot of the designs that are normal for their games. Some of the features included will be familiar to you, as the Hold and Win a part of the title suggests there are a few things which are unique also.You are playing on 5×3 reels with 20 paylines being used each round. Pearl Legend: Hold and Win can deliver top wins of 1,250x the stake but its standard mixes offer maximum of 500x. It has a 96% RTP, while for its huge features there will be Wilds, Pearl scatters, the Pearl Legend Respins, Reel Boosters and regular game modifiers.Betting and Prizes 20 coins are being used and you simply pick their value, in a range of $0.01 to $1. The wagering range coming from this will go from $0.20 to $20.Wins of up to 1,250x the stake can be paid during Respins, which implies that you could leave with $25,000 cash, by utilizing the most extreme wager of $20. Standard wins of up to 500x the stake per spin are delivered during gameplay, utilizing mixes made out of Gold Dragons.A 96% RTP reveals to us that the amount getting back into the pockets of its players is about the same in other slot games.Pearl Legend: Hold and Win Slot Features Anytime you see the Yin Yang image on the reels, it will be joined by the Wild logo, so it will be the substitute which you can use to place along with standard images and get new wins. You can’t have it do likewise for the scatter but that is a standard limitation.There are a few game modifiers which you may use during paid spins. Red Gems will give you 3 to 5 wilds on the reels. Blue Gems will change images into Pearl scatters. There is likewise a Dragon sculpture, which will change Royals to high value images.The Pearls are your scatters and landing at least 5 out of a single spin will take you to the Pearl Legend Respins reward. Both the setting off Pearls and any new ones that go along, will get sticky on the reels. You start with 3 respins but you reset the number on the off chance that you get extra Pearls before the rounds are totally consumed.Pearls may appear during Respins and they can bring certain Boosters, given that you get three that match.Blue Gems: will open up to three extra rows (Reels Boosted).Green Gems: give the Pearl prizes a boost (Values Boosted).Red Gems: gives you 1 extra respin (Spins+ Boosted).Purple Gems: the multiplier goes up as high as 10x (Multiplier Boosted).Theme and Design As far as Chinese themes go, the one from Pearl Legend looks standard. The six images we see are basic in such games, as we’re taking a look at Yin Yang signs for the wilds, a Pearl as scatter alongside premium images with the Dragon, Phoenix Bird, 3 Gold Coins, Frog. The other four base paying images are the ones showing Royals. With everything taken into account, it’s a standard look for such slots. The activity seems, by all accounts, to be put placed in a temple, where we see on the left side a living Dragon holding a pearl in its claws.ConclusionPearl Legend: Hold and Win is definitely not a terrible slot machine, especially as they changed a few things about its major feature, they didn’t just clone the same reward game that every other person is using lately.
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At 23, Rublev is two years younger than Medvedev and grew up playing junior tournaments against him in Russia. For a long time Rublev, seeded No. 8, and Karen Khachanov, 24, the third member of Russia’s latest golden generation, were better than Medvedev. The rise for Medvedev came in 2018 and 2019, when he nearly beat Rafael Nadal in the 2019 United States Open final.“He reads the game really well,” Rublev said of Medvedev. “It’s amazing, the patience he has to stay so long in the rallies, to not rush, to take the time, because in the end these little details, they make him who he is.”Russia is the only country with two players in the top 10. Khachanov gives it three in the top 20. Aslan Karatsev, 27, another Russian ranked No. 114, came out of nowhere to make the quarterfinals here in his first Grand Slam tournament.Medvedev comes into the quarterfinal on perhaps the best roll of his career. He has won 18 consecutive singles matches. He won the ATP Tour finals in London in November, pulling off the nifty trick of beating the world’s top three players — Novak Djokovic, Nadal and Dominic Thiem — in a single tournament. For Russia at the ATP Cup, he beat Alexander Zverev of Germany, a 2020 U.S. Open finalist, in a tight, three-set match in the semifinal round.Medvedev spent his early childhood in Moscow and played few sports other than tennis growing up. He worshiped Russia’s last golden generation, which included Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who were in their prime when he was a young child. He moved to France to train as a teenager and became fluent in English and French.Medvedev could be heard screaming at his coach, Gilles Cervara of France, in French during his third-round match against Filip Krajinovic of Serbia, as he frittered away a two-set lead before recovering to win the final set, 6-0.
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With millions of Americans out of work, the first sign of a recovery has to be in new jobs coming on the market. The tribal gaming industry is doing its part, with several operators posting new jobs in the past few weeks.Seneca Gaming Corporation has lots of jobs available at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls and Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in downtown Buffalo. The operator will be hosting a job fair for open positions on February 25 between 10:00am and 6:00pm.“Even with the changes and challenges everyone has gone through over the past year, Seneca Gaming Corporation has remained one of the largest employers in Western New York, and we are excited to be growing our team across a variety of departments,” said Meghan Smith, Seneca Gaming Corporation’s vice president of human resources. “We truly believe that the time we spend at work should be rewarding, fulfilling and fun. That’s how we approach our jobs every day. If people are looking an opportunity in that type of environment, we are ready to talk to them.”Attendees can check out what’s on offer in person or virtually, but should be ready for an interview at a moment’s notice.On the other side of the country, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians are also on the look out for fresh talent. That operator has more than 500 jobs to fill, with as many as 2000 coming for the rest of the year. They’ll be having their virtual career fair on February 18 from 9:00am to 4:00pm.“The expansion of San Manuel will offer an economic boost to the local job market at a time when it is really needed,” said Brigitte Saria, Chief People and Infrastructure Officer. “Our efforts to boost the local economy are guided by our commitment to ensuring our employment process and work environment follow leading health and safety standards.”The Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino in Coarsegold, California are also hiring. The tribe is looking for 50 full-time and part-time positions, and will have a job fair on February 23 from 10:00am to 1:00pm.Add those jobs to the 150 that Oneida Nation Enterprises were offering as of last week, and there’s a lot to be hopeful for about the future of the economy, and particularly that of tribal gaming.Connecticut tribes close to new dealGovernor Ned Lamont wants sports betting in his state, and he needs a new deal with the tribes to get it done. He used his budget address to emphasize the push:“My administration has been in active negotiations with our tribal partners to bring the state’s gaming economy into the digital age. And I am submitting legislation which reflects what I believe to be the best bet in ending this stalemate of inaction in a way which is in the best interest [of] the entire state.”Construction resumes at Four WindsThe Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians’ contractor recently resumed building a hotel at Four Winds South Bend Casino. Construction slowed down significantly due to Covid-19.The new 23-story hotel was originally due to be completed this year. But with construction crews only working on the foundation now after a 10-month delay, maybe 2022 seems more accurate.
A title like Silver Trails offers a Wild West theme. Notwithstanding this well known theme, this present Novomatic’s slot has 5 reels, 3 rows and 243 different ways to win. In spite of these features, the game has various and interesting things on offer.The Wilds and Scatters are essential for the combination and they carry multipliers with them just as a Jackpot Feature which allows you to win one of 4 different bonanzas. A bet feature is likewise available.Betting and Prizes Much the same as in most slot games, you’ll need to match identical images to get prizes. You can get 3 images in a combo and win a prize. Be that as it may, you can likewise get 4 or 5 of them and improve prize. As said earlier, this game allows you to win one out of 4 bonanzas. They are the Mini, Minor, Major, and Grand bonanzas. Silver Trails has a lot to offer.Silver Trails’ Slot Features Since the royal card images are very famous you’ll see them in this title too. They are joined by the 10 image just as images that fit the theme. These are the revolver and bullet, the cowboy and others.Normally, there are some exceptional images in the combination. The Wild is the first and it seems stacked on reels 2 and 4. Other than this one, you additionally have the Silver Star image which is the Scatter one. At the point when it lands on reels 1, 3, or 5 you’ll get a multiplier that equals the sum on the stars that landed.Also, the Scatter is liable for another feature too. However, for that, you’ll need at least 6 Scatters to trigger this feature. When this occurs, the images that set off the feature remain and place, and you get 3 Bonus spins. The counter moves to 3 when you land another Scatter.On the off chance that you are able to cover the whole reels with the Silver Star image, you’ll get the Grand Jackpot. Then again, you can get any of the other 3. Strong multipliers are additionally important for this feature and they can get as high as 20x your stake.The last feature that allows you to increase your rewards is the Gamble feature. In any case, it’s a dangerous feature as you can lose them on the off chance that you don’t play it right.Theme and Design With Silver Trails slot fans are given another title that is motivated by the Wild West. The images and the background of the game look stunning and the game mechanics are impeccable. At long last, the game’s engineers didn’t mix out the opportunity to make this a mobile-friendly game too.ConclusionSilver Trails takes you to the Wild West and allows you to earn huge prizes. Because of the Jackpot feature you can leave with 1 out of 4 magnificent bonanzas. On the other hand, you can try our the bet feature and appreciate the multipliers that come with the Silver Stars. Wilds are in the combination too.
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Intelitics, the leading performance marketing and analytics platform provider, has been granted a licence by the Colorado Division of Gaming allowing it to work with licensed sportsbook operators in the state for the first time.Intelitics already holds licences in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with Colorado the third with more to follow in the coming months.Intelitics provides online sportsbook and casino operators with a single platform that allows them to track, analyze and grow all acquisition partnerships and campaigns across web and mobile through access to real-time data which in turn allows them to unlock hidden revenue and boost ROI.Intelitics’ real-time data hub keeps media buyers, analysts and executives on the same page about spend and results. Operators can use one set of metrics to “slice and dice” media performance to discover what activity is delivering the best results.Powerful, streamlined reports provide full visibility into cross-channel interaction and the customer journey. A holistic view of costs v player value means operators can easily determine the most valuable media sources which improves revenue allocation modelling and inform media investment.CasinoAffiliatePrograms, the premier standalone iGaming specific Ad Network, which is powered and run by the Intelitics team, has delivered more than $70m in net game revenue through 150,000+ new depositing customers.Armed with its Colorado licence, Intelitics is now looking to work with licensed online sportsbook operators in the state in order to help them unlock the greatest value from their marketing activity.Allan Stone, CEO at Intelitics, said: “We are delighted to have secured a licence from the Colorado Division of Gaming allowing us to work with licensed sportsbook operators in the state for the very first time.”“As legal online sports betting continues to roll out across the US, there is a tremendous first mover advantage to be had but operators must ensure they are acquiring players at the right cost and through channels that deliver true value.”“Our cutting-edge platform provides the real-time data, insight and reporting that operators need to do just that across all of the channels they use to market to players. We look forward to working with sportsbooks licensed in the state of Colorado.”
As Americans continue to weather the pandemic, the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and spending bill passed by the federal government in December brought an unexpected and lasting gift: a new national park.The 5,593-page spending package included a raft of provisions authorizing little-known projects — the construction of the Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota, for one — and giving lawmakers a chance to advance a variety of long-delayed initiatives. Among them was the elevation of the New River Gorge, in southern West Virginia, to the status of Yellowstone, Yosemite and the country’s other most renowned outdoor spaces. The designation of the area — roughly 72,000 acres of land flanking 53 miles of the gorge — as a national park and preserve creates the 63rd national park in the United States and completes a multigenerational effort, started in the mid-twentieth century, to transform a tired industrial area into a national landmark.“Towards the end of this year, with these big bills coming down, I decided to strike,” said Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican and the state’s junior senator, who, along with Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, introduced the New River Gorge legislation in 2019.“This was the right opportunity,” she said.A draw for rafters, kayakers and other outdoor enthusiastsThe gorge and its surroundings have been prized for decades as one of southern West Virginia’s more spectacular natural places.In 1963, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed a resolution seeking to designate the New River Gorge as a “national playground,” preparing to send the proposal to President John F. Kennedy, whose primary campaign was lifted substantially through support from West Virginia voters. But momentum to create a national recreation area stalled after Mr. Kennedy’s assassination later that year.Though the gorge remained a curiosity among rafters and outdoor enthusiasts, the area only received federal protection from the Interior Department in 1978, when it was designated a national river.Now, the outdoor offerings in the gorge have come to define the area as a premier destination for adventure sports in the East.The New River plunges 750 feet over 66 miles, resulting in long stretches of violent rapids that can reach a class five level, generally considered the most difficult that can be navigated by white-water boaters. (Licensed outfitters operate in several towns near the river, providing rentals and tours for rafting and kayaking.)The canyon walls, which soar as high as 1,600 feet, offer miles of cliffs that rank among the best in the East Coast for rock climbing. Sheer faces in the gorge made of robust Nuttall sandstone provide both traditional and sport-climbing routes across the difficulty spectrum.Bike routes are scattered throughout the park on both sides of the river, with options for both technical mountain biking and more casual pedaling along former railroad beds.A glimpse back in timeAccording to the National Park Service, geologists believe the New River — its name a misnomer used by early American explorers who often assigned the same name to any river they came upon for the first time — was a segment of the preglacial Teays River. This larger river, which traversed much of the current Ohio River watershed, was later diverted and broken up by glaciers. The age of the Teays is uncertain, but fossil evidence suggests it could be as much as 320 million years old, leaving its remnant, the New River, as quite possibly the second oldest river in the world.Beyond the millions of years of geological history on display, the gorge is also filled with signs of the region’s heritage as a major coal production hub.Miners once capitalized on the easy access to rich deposits of high-quality bituminous coal in the canyon, where the river had already shorn through hundreds of feet of rock. Especially after the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway linked the New River coal fields to markets in 1873, dozens of boom towns popped up along the river’s edge, thriving well into the 1920s.In 1963, a coal mine was still operating in the gorge, said Dave Arnold, a state tourism commissioner who operated a rafting company for more than 40 years.“In ’76 or ’77, if you were in my boat, we’d have been floating down the river and I would have been showing you, ‘here’s an old coal tipple, here’s the old hotel at Caperton, here’s this and that,’” he said.The demand for coal around the turn of the twentieth century was so high that towns existed every half mile along up the river, according to the Park Service. As the industry went into decline, however, by the 1950s many were already abandoned, leaving ghost towns scattered throughout the gorge. Additionally, logging during the late nineteenth century stripped vast portions of the gorge bare, clearing enormous swaths of virgin forest.The park contains the remnants of communities such as Nuttallburg and Kaymoor, which still stand near the riverbank and are accessible from points higher up. Seams of exposed coal are visible along some trails leading into the gorge and its towns, where abandoned mine portals and the foundations of coke ovens remain.Restoring an ecosystem with diverse wildlifeDespite the environmental degradation and pollution that industry unleashed, some unique ecological features make the gorge well-suited to a diverse combination of wildlife, which has slowly reappeared as time has passed.The river lies at the center of a migration corridor where plants and animals that typically range further north or south come together, including several federally endangered and threatened species, such as the Virginia big-eared bat and the Allegheny woodrat.According to Lizzie Watts, the park’s superintendent, the river itself is also notably warmer than surrounding areas, making it a popular warm-water fishing destination with more than a dozen public access points. The river is one of the premier spots for smallmouth bass fishing on the east coast, and muskellunge and walleye are common in the park today.“The next generation will have the opportunity to see what, in the last 150 years, it looks like when an area goes from being logged and mined to left alone,” Ms. Watts said. “The ecosystem has come back to full trees and mature forests.”As federal protections took effect after the Park Service began overseeing the area as a national river in 1978, wildlife has largely recovered, and many see an opportunity to showcase the region’s natural elegance.“To show off our rock climbing, our extreme sports availabilities in that area, is just really exciting,” said Ms. Capito of what she described as a “kind of wild and wonderful part of our state.” ‘The cream of the crop’The National Park Service, created in 1916, oversees more than 400 areas across the country, including national monuments, seashores and battlefields as well as parks, which together total more than 85 million acres.While the new title for New River Gorge does not fundamentally alter the area’s day-to-day operations, both lawmakers and the Park Service tend to view “national parks” as the crown jewels of the park system — a protection granted to some of the largest and most prized tracts of the country.“National Park status is usually considered like the cream of the crop,” Ms. Watts said. “But it really is just another one of those names.”The New River Gorge does not match the scale of many national parks in the western United States, where Death Valley, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone sprawl over more than 1 million acres each.Nevertheless, officials expect the new designation to bring a substantial influx of travelers, boosted in part by a dedicated set of enthusiasts who strive to visit every national park.In typical years, around 1.3 million travelers visit the gorge, according to the Park Service’s tourism data. Based on studies of other areas that received national park status, Ms. Capito said she expects to see visitors increase by as much as 20 percent.“It does feel like the very beginning stages of transformation for the whole area,” said Becky Sullivan, the executive director of the New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau. “I’ll be very, very interested to see where we are in about 10 years.”Maintaining the community and its favored pastimesAs unique outdoor attractions throughout the Appalachian region have gained more national visibility, some concern has grown over the idea of a wealthy and mobile set from out of state trampling the communities adjacent to these places.West Virginia remains the second-poorest state in the country in terms of median household income, according to data collected by the United States Census Bureau. And while tourism has brought a needed injection of wealth to areas all around the gorge, it has also changed the makeup of neighboring communities, as more people have come to visit the park or settle down near it.Interest in the natural offerings around the park has brought slow but measurable change for small towns nearby like Fayetteville. Officials say that the advent of remote work during the pandemic has only hastened a trend of properties in the area being repurposed for vacation rentals and outsiders snapping up second homes.“You cannot find a house for sale in Fayetteville, because they’re just in such high demand,” said Sharon Cruikshank, the town’s mayor. “So that definitely changed the budgeting of the town as well as the county.”When legislation was first introduced to designate the area as a national park, pushback came from some locals. Hunters have long enjoyed access to secluded sections of woods around the gorge, and with hunting prohibited in federal parks, some protested the potential loss of thousands of acres of hunting grounds.In a compromise, more than 65,000 acres of the total area were designated as a nature preserve where hunting can continue as before, and only roughly 7,000 acres directly within the canyon are officially off limits as national parkland. A provision was included to empower the park to acquire more than 3,000 acres of private land around its current boundaries as well, to expand the size of the preserve and add public hunting grounds.In a nod to tradition, the legislation also enshrines the right for visitors to continue to make use of one of the park’s most famous features — the New River Gorge Bridge — at least once a year.BASE jumping, an extreme sport in which jumpers parachute from elevated structures or cliffs, is banned in every other national park.But, since 1980, BASE jumpers have been permitted to plunge from the top of the 876-foot-high bridge and parachute down toward the river once a year, on Bridge Day, held one Saturday in October. The legislation designating the area as a national park allows that tradition to continue.As many as 100,000 people typically come to watch the jumpers plunge, according to Ms. Sullivan, providing a major boost for businesses in the region. The event has only been canceled twice, including last year because of the coronavirus.Bridge Day’s organizers advise jumpers that the only dependable way to touch down safely is to plan to land directly in the river. In normal years, hundreds do so, often multiple times that day, gliding down and softly hitting the New River’s waters.
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The entire concept of a “bull market in stocks” makes little sense. Sound crazy? These days, certainly, because we’re always hearing about a perpetual bull market in stocks. Valuations increasingly disconnected from economic reality, asset bubbles in one class or another, armies of speculators moving like zombie hoards descending on the next fad and blowing it up to infinity and beyond, Buzz Lightyear-like.Why is the whole concept of a bull market generally, nonsense? Because if the value of everything is going up simultaneously, then nothing is going up. If everyone is a superhero, nobody is. If, in an imaginary economy, absolutely everything costs, say, $5, (labor, land, capital whatever) and then the next day everything costs $10, then what’s changed? The answer is absolutely nothing.The only thing that matters is relative valuations between asset classes. Let’s divide them into three of the most basic ones. Equities (stocks), bonds (debt), and commodities (consumer goods). If all three are going up in tandem, then there is no “bull market” in anything. If commodities are going up faster than stocks and bonds, you have inflation, or even hyperinflation. Ask anyone in Venezuela whether they care that their stock market is doing great, nominally. They don’t. They’re looking for their next glop of gruel or morsel of moldy bread to survive the day.But if stocks and bonds are rising and consumer goods are static to falling, you have a bull market in financial assets. This is where we are now. And boy are we really hard and deep into it now. Below is the ratio of the S&P 500 to the CRB Commodities Index.And I’ve got news for everyone. This bull market in stocks relative to consumer goods in dollar terms is already over. It ended almost a year ago. On April 20, 2020 to be exact. Red circle blowoff top above. That was when oil crashed to negative $35 a barrel and we all lived in an alternative financial freakhouse universe. But I have more news than that. This entire “bull market” in stocks has been one gigantic illusion from the very beginning. Stocks aren’t going up. They haven’t gone up for 21 years. Money is going down. Here is the graph of stocks relative to the prime monetary commodity, gold, over the same timeframe above.We can see here that from 1990 to 2000, we had a real bull market in stocks. Equities rocketed in gold terms and in terms of consumer goods generally. Everyone felt richer. Portfolios up, expenses down. But since that time, money has been dying at an accelerated pace and the standard of living has fallen.The bull market in stocks over the last 21 years has been an illusion, a tiny echo of the bull that ended at the turn of the century. We have spent the last 21 years trying to reinflate it, but gold has exposed the lie. We are now at the point where the illusion is about to collapse completely. In my view, we have only a few months left until it all hits the fan. Until then, the bubbles will keep coming in staccato frenetic fashion, moving from one asset class to another faster and faster, until we all get so dizzy we can’t follow it anymore. Last week I speculated that maybe the next target for the zombie hoard will be in penny gaming stocks. I was close. It’s in Macau stocks. It may already have started two weeks ago. The frenzy has started over news about China opening up again. I mean, just look at this crazy chart of the Macau proxy ETF:That last surge higher is just since February 1. We could be at the beginning of a crazy but brief ride higher in Macau stocks right now. New all time highs again, and Macau isn’t even fully open yet. The latest full month statistics for December show a 78.6% drop in visitors year over year. And yet we’re at new all time highs in these stocks already. It’s just completely crazy. I can understand the Macau opening up again trade, but to argue that this factor is being priced in at these levels, at new all time highs? As if none of this full year shutdown hurt any of the casinos fundamentally at all? That’s just totally bonkers crazy. It’s a reflection of the value of the currency these stocks are priced in, not the stocks themselves.What’s happening is that the zombie hoard of bubble chasers is reading the headlines regarding China starting to open up again, and they’re slamming buy orders and call options like they’ve been doing with tech stocks and Gamestop and BTC and all the other fads. We just got news out of Bloomberg that China’s Imax had a face-ripping rally due to exploding ticket sales. China is, indeed opening up, and the zombie hoard of speculators is now going to spray their money hoses at anything Chinese. Macau might be at the center of it.How high can this Macau bubble go, if that’s what we just saw start two weeks ago? The truth is, it doesn’t matter. If you get into it, you’ll get hooked and keep levering yourself up, counting your paper gains, unable to separate from them until you get caught in a vortex. At some point, my view this year, it’s all going to come crashing down when all the damage from 2020 is finally revealed all over the world. You can’t paper it over forever. The damage to Macau casinos doesn’t just go away. It festers in the form of more and more debt, and a damaged consumer base that can no longer patronize casinos in the way it once could. Festering wounds need the paper bandage removed and they need to be operated on. That is painful. And it’s coming.When we think of the word “bubble”, what are we really talking about? A bubble is something that looks, from the outside, to be really big and stable. The shape of it, a sphere, is the most stable shape in the universe. It’s why planets, stars, moons, and possibly even the spacetime continuum itself, spontaneously shape themselves into spheres. The force of gravity equalizes at every point on the sphere, forming equilibrium. Nature always seeks equilibrium. And so bubbles take on the illusion of stability, but unlike a real sphere, there’s nothing inside them. When they pop, they are gone almost instantly. This one is about to pop. Macau appears to be the next victim sucked up by the bubble. Macau will survive and rebuild. The question is, in what form? I wouldn’t take a bet the depended on me getting the answer to that question right.