Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pre-Opening Silence

Drove into the office this morning. Past two checkpoints. Right up to the front door. The barest skeleton of a staff. Aside from Security (guarding the place) and Engineering (repairing the place) we had about 20 people to occupy three million square feet.

The gaming floor continued to sleep. Completely unpowered, protected by waist-high rope barriers, and guarded by extra security, in case somebody (somehow) slip onto the floor, power up a machine, and play a game of chance without MS Gaming's express consent. Such activity is expressly forbidden and carry fines which could bankrupt small nations.

The main atrium was equally devoid of life. A couple dozen front-desk spaces neatly covered with plastic. Their PCs powered down. Nobody but us within ear shot. Normally the place is a fulcrum of activity. Abuzz with guests and high rollers.

In the pre-opening silence, I caught some interesting details that I had never noticed before. We have REAL GAS LIGHTS. Not flickering electric bulbs, but dancing gas-powered flames under glass. All the trim work on the front desks is made from wrought iron. Not painted plastic. Real, hand-work metal. And I really enjoyed the signs next to each station. They can spin to different positions allowing the staff to adapt their location based on the need of the guests.

During the morning, they mostly read, "Check Out." In the afternoon, they are spun to read, "Check In." But today, all of them, every last one, read, "Next Window Please."

For the next couple of hours, we hear you knocking, but nobody is home.
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