However, regardless of age or political affiliation, it’s pretty obvious that Americans are getting heavier and, thus, less healthy. Yet, at the same time we’re talking about combating obesity, “All-You-Can-Eat” travel deals are proliferating.
SI.com recently just did a story on baseball stadiums starting to sell tickets with unlimited food.
These package tickets, geared to the casual fan or tourist as opposed to regular season ticket holders, aren’t usually in the best viewing areas. But with all the nachos, hot dogs, peanuts and popcorn you want, not to mention sodas, the tickets are selling well.
(Now, “All-You-Can-Eat” doesn’t have to be unhealthy, but apparently at this time only Baltimore’s Camden Yards and Pittsburgh’s PNC Park include a salad option.)
The ballpark offerings, however, pale in comparison to what’s happening in Las Vegas.
“All-You-Can-Eat Buffets” have been a fixture at Vegas hotels for decades, but the new deals are expanding as fast as Americans’ waistlines.
Harrah’s properties, for example, which include Paris, Caesar’s Palace, Rio and Planet Hollywood, among others, are now offering a 24-hour buffet pass.
This means for exactly 24 hours you can just walk into any participating buffet at one of seven hotels.
Yes, that does mean you could eat lunch at 1 p.m. and return for lunch the following day at noon, after enjoying every meal in between, plus snacks.
Other hotels, Excalibur, Stratosphere, MGM Grand, and Luxor are offering all-day passes that are just good at their own buffets.
Luxor even adds an adult option for all the wine and beer you can drink. No word if this includes light beer.
Admittedly at the buffets, there are at least healthy choices, but the concept clearly isn’t designed to encourage moderation.
(Curiously enough, I haven’t seen any hotel groups promoting a pool, spa or fitness center pass.)
All-inclusive resorts have been around for a long time, and of course cruise lines have buffets. But there’s something about about paying extra for unlimited food, or drink, that seems particularly likely to encourage excess to “get your money’s worth.”
While I support the effort of teams, hotels, and other businesses to pull in sales in a rough economy, I have to wonder if there are other options that aren’t all about overeating. Regarding the “All-You-Can-Eat” sections at ballparks, perhaps some team could try a hefty bonus merchandise credit included in the ticket price, free parking or, if food, at least some additional healthy options.
Similarly with the hotels in Las Vegas, or anywhere else, it would be interesting to see how rooms with a simple “All-Day discount at any of our hotel restaurants,” or the aforementioned “All-Day” pool or perhaps spa pass, might sell?
At least that way, whatever happens in Vegas, might be less likely to stay on your hips.