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Cotai Tripping 2009 - We Need Your Help

I've mentioned in numerous posts, here and on TheBoard@VT that we're planning to take another trip to Macau sometime in 2009 after some of the new properties on Cotai are opened. Tentatively, Galaxy Cotai Megaresort, Grand Lisboa, MGM Grand Macau, Macao Studio City, Sands Macao, Wynn Diamond Suites and City of Dreams are in our sights, if they're open in time.

As you can probably surmise, a trip of this magnitude requires a massive outlay of time and financial resources. I'm willing and eager to head back to Macau to fill in some of the gaps in our content as well as report back on the new properties. With a large chunk of the trudge work done researching the stinky old SJM joints, this trip will be exclusively tailored to doing reviews of the properties mentioned above.

So what does this have to do with you?

As readers of MacauTripping, we're asking that those of you who have gleaned value from our tireless reporting, reviews, exclusive high-resolution photos and no-nonsense analysis of tourism and gaming biz subjects to consider becoming benefactors of Cotai Trip 2009 Donation Drive. The 2007 trip cost about US$4,000 bucks out of pocket, which for some of you isn't that much money, but for this humble scribe is a mountain of cash.

If you would like to support our efforts, past, present and future, please consider donating whatever you can - every little bit helps. Any donation you can make would be humbly accepted -twelve quarters, an honest Abe Lincoln, twenty clams, a C-note or a big "G" for you high rollers... sheckles, loonies, HK$, British pounds, Euros, Yen... you name it and we'll use it to keep doing what we're doing - providing the best original Macau/Cotai information for casino tourists and gaming biz dorks everywhere.

A little Q&A:

Q: Doesn't the advertising on your site provide enough income to pay for this stuff?

A: Unfortunately, it doesn't. Most people have become blind to advertisements, and even if they do patronize our advertisers, the income we make from referrals is barely enough to pay for the coffee beans required to power all the research, programming, writing and design stuff around here. Add high priced rooms at Crown and Wynn from 2007 Trip and we're in the red - which, some say... is a lucky color.

Q: Aren't you part of a large company that has a big budget and investors and all that?

A: No. MacauTripping and all of our other sites are built and maintained by an all-volunteer crew, with 90% of the heavy lifting performed by one person - me.

Q: Wouldn't the casinos themselves give you comp rooms in exchange for doing reviews?

A: There is a term for this in the travel industry (which I can't remember - kinda like a "go see") but in the interest of providing to our readers truly unbiased reporting, we prefer to do our reviews as mystery shoppers. You may remember how Al Pacino attempted to cater to the impostor Five Pavillions reviewer played by Carn Reiner in Oceans 13? StarWorld kinda did the same to me when I visited.

Q: Don't you think adding a donation button is tacky?

A: Absolutely. However, we really have no choice if we want to go to Macau in 2009. If you like what we do and want us to continue to provide the best no-nonsense Macau and Cotai news, photos and reviews as Cotai blows up over the next few years, your donation will enable that to happen.

Q: Ok, you made your point, what do I do?

A: We have added a 'donation' button to the right column of the trip blog homepage. Click the button, put in a donation amount and the funds will be securely transferred via PayPal or credit card.

Q: How much should I donate?

Any and all donation denominations are humbly accepted, and - as the drive progresses - we will update our totals. Our fundraising goal is US$4,000... any additional funds will be used to pay off lingering charges from the 2007 trip.

Q: What happens after I donate?

We will be keeping a tote board tally on the site as it progresses so you can track the status of the drive. All of our donors will also be given mad props and shoutouts on the blog. If you make us a donation, please send us your mailing address and we'll send you a postcard or some other goody from Macau in 2009

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for considering becoming a benefactor of the 2009 Cotai Trip Fund. Without your readership - regardless of whether you choose to make a donation - MacauTripping is nothing but pixels scattered in the wind.


Comments & Discussion:

when are you looking at going Chuck?

do you have a paypal account?

sometime in 2009, probably spring/early summer after city of dreams and least galaxy megaresort are open. i'd like to wait until Macao Studio City is open, but i'm having doubts they'll be open by mid 2009 as they had said.

it all depends on what opens when... we're talking quite far, very far in advance here, almost ridiculously so. the donate button over there >> goes to the paypal account.


I enjoy your sites, and I sincerely appreciate the effort you and your team of volunteers put into them, but I think you should re-examine your decision to request "donations" for your trip...

I want to get this straight - we are in the middle of one of the most significant economic recessions of the last century, and you want other people to pay for your vacation? That's pretty outrageous - tacky, yes, classless, yes. Dress it up any way you want, it's still ugly.

Label me a jerk if you would like, but asking strangers for money is still called *begging* where I come from - regardless of whether you are holding out your hand on the street or blogging about it. Especially when, by your own admission, it is "very far in advance here, almost ridiculously so."

You're right about the ridiculous part. Sorry for harshing on your vibe so badly, but I find this whole debacle pretty offensive.

A Reader

Many blogs and websites have donation buttons... FiveHundy, The Strip (both podcast and blog sites,) VegasRex and MacauDaily to name just a handful. Adding a donation button to a site isn't virgin territory here, so any allegations made at us are pointed equally at them and bloggers all over the internet as well.

If people want to donate, I honestly couldn't be any more thankful. Beyond defraying huge costs associated to a trip of this magnitude, I am armed with support and determination from a generous community of supporters.

If people don't want to donate, thats fine too. I really don't expect anyone to donate, nor do I want them to donate. I want people to _want_ to donate because MacauTripping gives them something they can't get anywhere else - honestly, thoroughly and objectively.

If I don't deliver the real deal goods that supporters have ponied up their hard earned money for, I should be damned to a lifetime underneath a baccarat table inside of Casino Jai Alai. Trust me, this is no vacation.

Wow man, I really can't believe you posted that anti-donation comment.

At least it was thoughtful and not just a rant but I really really really find it hard to believe that you would question/be down on a site operator for asking for donations.

As someone that operates a Web site, I understand the amount of time, money and resources go into this stuff - at the level we're playing at, it's a lot of work and not a lot of financial reward.

Of course its done out of love and perhaps the hope that someday it could be something more.

Chuck's going out to the community to say 'Hey, I'd love to go back to Macau but it's expensive. You guys dig the content? Want to pitch in? Cool.'

The site is still free. You can ignore it. What blows my mind is that you'd be so bummed on it that you'd write a comment about it. Personally, I'm *glad* I had the opportunity to contribute. I loved his stuff from Macau and I'm more than happy to pitch in a little to make it happen again. If he never asked and couldn't afford to do it again, we wouldn't even have the chance. I want to vote with my dollars and I did.

It's not a vacation - believe me, I've been to Vegas dozens and dozens of times and when I go 'for my site', I'm out there at 6am taking photos, walking the Strip up and down, writing and taking notes. Does that sound like a fun vacation?

Mentioning the current economic conditions is equally strange. I assume that folks that aren't in the position to contribute will sleep just fine.

Lastly though, why even post the comment? Simply don't contribute but don't ruin it for the rest of us with your bad vibes. Debacle? It wasn't until now.

I'm not calling you a jerk, I just cannot comprehend the way your mind works. Let people do their own thing - no need to inject your own bummer scene into something I'm looking forward to.


Oh, one last thing - if you're gonna post something like that, at least have the balls to say who you are and stand by your comment. Weak.

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