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Vegas Fires & Dollar Rent-a-Car’s Nickel and Diming

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Las Vegas SkylineJanuary 26, 2008

From Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio

FIRE AT LAS VEGAS’ MONTE CARLO

Only 17 people were injured, mostly due to smoke inhalation, in the fire at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas on Friday, and thankfully, no one died.

Las Vegas had some of the worst fire codes in the world in 1981, and now they have some of the best, as a direct result of a devastating fire at the MGM Grand.

Those of us who are old enough remember the MGM Grand fire in 1981, and I was there. (My dedicated readers and listeners will know I’m a volunteer fireman.) In the MGM Grand fire, 87 people died.

In the situation with the Monte Carlo, no one died, and there was some spectacular footage of the fire and smoke, which consumed the top three floors.

The good news is that all of the Las Vegas hotels have state-of-the-art fire control boards in their lobbies, where they actually can monitor every heat sensor and smoke detector, and when hotel officials noticed that several sensors and detectors went off, they knew that it wasn’t just one person smoking in a room, but that they had a fire.

Building FireThe bad news with a fire in a high-rise is that there isn’t a fire department in the world that can fight a fire above the eighth floor of a high-rise.

Although the firefighters fighting the Monte Carlo fire had hoses, and the hotel had stand pipes on all of the floors, they had to get up there to do it, which took them quite a while. The real reason they were able to control the fire is because the minute they determined the nature of the fire and where it was located, they could hit a switch and lock off the entire air conditioning system in the hotel.

The most dangerous thing on a cruise ship and a high-rise is if you don’t get to the air conditioning system right away, you can lose the entire ship or building.

So they were able to save everything, and the good news is that only 17 people were injured, which is a sharp contrast to the MGM Grand fire.

NICKEL AND DIMING

The travel industry is trying to generate revenue in so many ways, which is insulting and annoying to us, and this one’s truly pathetic.

Dollar Rent-a-Car in New England is charging customers a new, $2 “top-off-the-tank fee,” even if customers fill up the tank before they return the car. How nickel-and-diming is that?

When you rent a car, make sure you know how many gallons the tank holds, because I had to bust Dollar a couple of years ago because they were charging customers to refill the tank for more gallons than the tank actually holds. So, next time you’re charged a fill-up fee, make sure you’re not being charged more than your tank actually holds. If you’re being charged a $2 fee, I want to hear about it.

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