Best Christmas Present Ever!

4 12 2008

I know.  Christmas is still 21 days away, but J and I traded presents early this year.  Mainly because we picked our own presents out.  It wasn’t planned that way, but a Black Friday ad was just too good to pass up.

I have never, repeat never, gotten up for Black Friday shopping if I wasn’t working.  When I was a news photographer, there were a couple years I had to be at Target at 6 AM for the madness and I just couldn’t figure out why people would do that.  This year, Kohls had a deal that was too good to pass up. 

The best Christmas present ever...this year!  My new Kitchen Aid stand mixer.

The best Christmas present ever...this year! My new Kitchen Aid stand mixer.

The object in question, a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for $170….but that’s not all.  There was a $20 mail in rebate and you got $30 in “Kohls Cash” if you used your Kohls credit card, so after all that, the price came to $120 which is almost $200 off the MSRP.  How could I not get up? 

We were at my parents house for Thanksgiving and my mom was planning on getting up to the stores around 6:00, but that’s two hours after Kohls opened.  There’s no way this deal would still be there two hours later.  J and I debated it for a few minutes then just decided we would get there when Kohls opened at 4:00 AM.  The nearest shopping center to my parents house is a half hour away, so we got our butts out of bed at 3:15.  We pulled into the lot at 3:55 and by the time we walked to the store, the doors were opened.  It still took us five minutes to get in, but most people ran to the toy department.  They had 8 of the stand mixers I was going for and there was one other person grabbing one when we got there.  I grabbed my mixer and put it on my mom’s Kohls charge since neither J or I had one and I got my first Kitchen Aid stand mixer for $120. Read the rest of this entry »


Illinois Casino Revenue Down…

4 12 2008

….and they’re blaming it on the smoking ban.  When you look at the numbers, it’s pretty hard to argue with that assumption.  Overall, casino revenue is down 7 percent while Illinois’ numbers are down 20.3 percent.  It’s not that attendance is down.  There’s another reason.

“Although the number of people coming to the casinos is about the same, the time they spend inside is down. They’re outside smoking. And in this business, if you’re not putting money in the machine or on the table—time is money.” (Tom Swoik, executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association)

Illinois is different from Michigan in that all casino’s are effected.  There are no tribal lands in Illinois.  The problem is there are also no land based casino’s right now.  All the casino’s are old riverboats that are permanently docked, so they’re all on rivers.  The rivers are all close to the border states of Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri so in most cases, you can literally go a mile and a half across a bridge and be in a casino that allows smoking.   What the article doesn’t say is how Peoria is doing.  The Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria is at least an hour and a half to two hours from a smoking casino.  I’d be surprised if they saw a 20 percent drop, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Moline riverboat dropped much higher due to another boat in Davenport, IA less than a mile away.

My opinion is still that Illinois is not the problem.  The problem is the surrounding states being pansy’s and giving into the casino lobby.   They need to create a level playing field.  It’s always tough to be the first to do something.  Illinois is going to take some hits, but in the long run, they are making the right decision.  Delaware did the same thing and while their revenues dropped at first, they have recovered and are now above the pre-ban level.  It can be done.  It just takes lawmakers with some guts to make the right move.