.Vegas off to solid start with lots of locals registering domain name.
The .Vegas domain name launched on Monday and generated about 3,000 domain name registrations in the first hours of availability, plus another 1,400 registrations on Tuesday.
.Vegas is somewhat unique because it represents both a U.S. city and a global brand synonymous with entertainment and gambling.
EVP and co-founder of Dot Vegas Bart Mackay describes the domain as “dual purpose”, and his company therefore has to reach two different groups with its marketing.
“Over the next three months, we have significant marketing campaigns that are local, but we can’t ignore the fact that Vegas is an international brand,” said Mackay. “We’ve made a significant investment in international promotion, mostly through our registrar partners.”
On the local front, .Vegas is advertising on NPR, electronic billboards, and in the Las Vegas airport. It’s also getting a lot of PR from the city, which keeps 10% of .Vegas’ revenue.
The local message is certainly resonating. A Domain Name Wire analysis of .Vegas’ launch day zone file shows a broad spectrum of domain registrants, including many local people and companies:
- An entertainment company, Light Group, LLC registered 35 domains that appear to match the names of its local restaurants and bars.
- Local construction company Crisci Builders registered LasVegasBuilders.vegas, LVContractor.vegas and a handful of other construction-related domains.
(Better domains like Builders.vegas and contractors.vegas are registry-reserved premium domains.)
- A local printing company bought its matching names, but might also have registered domains matching its competitors.
- Many of the local gambling companies bought the names of their casinos and restaurants.
There was, of course, the usual person who didn’t get the memo about cybersquatting. A Las Vegas resident registered 37 domains, mainly famous brands such as Avis.vegas, SouthwestAirlines.vegas and MGMinternational.vegas
Brock Ohlson, a local attorney whose LinkedIn profile lists him as founder of Lawyers.Vegas, was the top registrant with 198 legally-focused domain names. Lawyers.vegas currently lists the registry as owner, so I imagine Ohlson did a deal with the registry.
Another top registrant was Vegasdomainer LLC with 166 generics including dogtraining.vegas and paincenter.vegas.
Other domainers getting in on the action included Jothan Frakes and Michael Berkens.
You can read my interview with .Vegas from a year ago here.
Above: Domain investor and NamesCon founder Richard Lau at the .Vegas launch.