Las Sands

The Washington Post had an article stating that Las Vegas Sands is considering removing “Vegas” from their name.

Las Vegas Sands considers dropping Vegas from name

The article goes on to say that they are thinking of moving “Las Vegas” from the name, not just “Vegas” as the headline says.  It would be funny fun if they became Las Sands.  It would go well with some of my favorite Hispanic marketing, but I’m not sure that’s what they’re going for.

This would go along with MGM changing their name and Wynn talking about moving to Macau, both ideas are to make the respective companies seem more global than local.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens as part of their global branding.

Caesars Palace – Routinely Possible

@CaesarsPalace tweeted out a new promo video that they made yesterday so I decided to give it a look.  Surprisingly it was a cute and fun look at the (embellished) “average” day in Las Vegas.

This promo plays off of the “What happens in Vegas..” campaign a little without being an exact copycat of the campaign.

I’m easily bothered and can find the negative in commercials and marketing campaigns, but this was non-offensive and easy enough to enjoy and more pleasant than Camp Vegas, which seems to have worked as visitors to Las Vegas were up for July and Neon Trees had a #1 song.

Looking at CityCenter

CityCenter has been open for almost a year and the Rate Vegas blog and Vegas Tripping got me to thinking about where I thought things are with the newest property in Las Vegas.

First and foremost, and most telling, after my initial visit to check out CityCenter I haven’t returned in my last two trips to Vegas.  I liked the buildings a lot, but there was nothing special about the casino at Aria to make it a must visit for me.  I enjoy the crowds at Palms and Hard Rock and the gambling and food at Wynn, Encore and Venetian so I visit them almost every trip.

CityCenter reviews haven’t been off the charts so there’s been no reason to go out of my way or even across the street when I’m staying at Planet Hollywood.  Actually when I go to that area of the strip, I enjoy drinking and gambling and looking at working girls at Bellagio.  Why bother with the new and poorly laid out CityCenter mega-complex.

So, after a year CityCenter has done nothing to win my attention or business.  Maybe that will change over the next year, but it’s not very high on my list of destinations in Vegas.

Check these informative articles if you’d like a deeper analysis of why CityCenter is where it is today.

Rate Vegas: “Have Conditions at CityCenter Poisoned The Well?” Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Vegas Tripping: “If Only CityCenter Could Play a Mulligan” and “Aria’s Latest Recipe for Cost Cutting”

Vegas Gang Podcast: Download a great discussion on CityCenter and Aria here.

Props to Hunter and Chuck Monster for putting much thought and work into CityCenter since day one.  The Cosmopolitan is the next new property opening on the Vegas Strip and should be the last for a while.  As I’ve said before I’m looking forward to their independent approach to opening a new the strip.

Hey Dummy Planet Hollywood is Over Here!

Planet Hollywood is undergoing a few minor renovations to add balconies, modify ramps and to add signs to make it easier to find entrances to the casino.  They’re concerned that people will get it confused with the Cosmopolitan opening across the street.

With MGM Resorts International’s CityCenter complex across the street and the Cosmopolitan soon to open, Harrah’s Entertainment wants its guests to be sure which casino they’re entering.

Cosmopolitan and Planet Hollywood are on opposite sides of the street.  While I can see people confusing Cosmopolitan with CityCenter I can’t imagine people getting Planet Hollywood confused with CityCenter or Cosmopolitan unless they’re inebriated and/or dumb.  I think they’re just adding the signage and updating the ramps so they could get approval for the outdoor seating for their restaurants.

photo: Las Vegas Sun

Viva Las Business

The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce is launching a campaign in Las Vegas for Las Vegan’s to help keep money in the city.  This is something that many cities try to do.  For an economy that was hurt a lot by the bad economy, this can only help.  I’m curious to see how this has an effect on local businesses.  Here’s a report from KNTV, channel 13 in Las Vegas

Plaza Closing For A While

This shouldn’t be too surprising, but the Plaza is closing for a while before undergoing renovations later this year into next year.

More than 400 employees of the Plaza Hotel & Casino face layoffs in the next 60 days as the downtown Las Vegas property closes its 1,037-room hotel and portions of its casino in early November…

…”In fact, we anticipate that many employees from the Plaza will be offered jobs at the Las Vegas Club, which during this renovation period will be handling future room reservations, bingo and some other amenities formerly housed at the Plaza,” (Kenneth) Landfield (COO, Tamares) said in the statement.

The poor economy hit all of Las Vegas hard, but the older downtown properties were hit very hard.  This is a way for the owner of multiple downtown properties to save money in the short term.  Consolidating rooms downtown should be a good thing as there are just so many rooms in Vegas, overall.

I expect this closing to last a little longer than the company is telling the public.  Renovations might be “delayed” and “take longer” just to keep the rooms off the market a little longer in hopes of a better economy.

Photo: Las Vegas Sun

Vegas Chatter

If you follow me on twitter you’ve probably noticed that I’ve contributed a bunch of stories from my last trip to Las Vegas to Vegas Chatter.  In case you missed any of the action, here are all of the stories together.

I had a great time putting these together for someone else and it was nice to have editing by people that know how to write. 🙂  I hope to do more guest blogging in the future.

9/6 Jacks or Better In Las Vegas

9/6 Jacks or Better Video Poker is my video poker game of choice.  It’s almost impossible to find 9/6 JoB on the Vegas strip in a denomination I’m comfortable playing – less than $5.  I prefer to play $1 JoB, if possible.  That’s still a $5 bet so its not like I’m playing peanuts.

On my last trip to Vegas, at Planet Hollywood, I thought that if I played 1 credit on a $5 9/6 JoB machine it would be similar to playing five credits on a $1 machine.  Similar…not the same.

Of course, the main difference here is that a Royal Flush pays 4x the bet when playing full credits.  According to Wizard of Odds the probability of getting a Royal Flush is only .000028.  I’m not sure how much this brings down the payback percentage, but I’ve only gotten two royal flushes in my life so I never expect one.

I’m pretty sure that the difference is 1% over playing 8/5 vs. 9/6 this way.  It may not be the best strategy, but I felt more comfortable playing this game instead of playing Double Double Bonus Poker.

Discounts at Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile Shops

One of my favorite, if not favorite, place to watch football in Las Vegas is Blondie’s sports bar at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.  Harrah’s has extended some excellent discounts to the Miracle Mile Shops for Total Rewards members that are worth noting; including 20% off at Blondie’s!

Click the screen shot below for all of the discounts.

Click here to view full size

There are quite a few excellent offers with this promotion.  I’ll be staying at Planet Hollywood, again, on my next trip to Vegas and will likely take up this offer while I watch football.  The great thing about Blondie’s is that their prices are low to begin with, so this is an flat-out great deal!

Planning a Trip to Las Vegas

I was tweeting with DenverGambler before his latest trip to Las Vegas and he talked about a “To-Do List” that he was making for the trip.  I’m a curious guy so I asked to see it.

My trip plans focus around dinners or drinks and I only make mental notes or firm dinner plans which I keep on my iPhone calendar.  My plans are never as major as this list.

Food
Batistas
Stripburger
BLT Burger
Hard Rock – $7.77 Steak and Shrimp off-menu special at Mr Luckys.
Ellis Island – Cheap Steak dinner

Drinking
Riviera – New English Pub
Wynncore – Sinatra Smash, Asian Equation?
Peppermill (Bar side)
Double Down Saloon (near Hard Rock) – Bacon Martini
Dino’s Lounge

Gambling / Casino Scoping
Fremont Street (ride the deuce?) – El Cortez, Western, $1 Craps!, Griffin Bar, Binions, Vegas Club / Golden Gate / Plaza, Gold Spike, Main St Station
Stratosphere gambling
Las Vegas Hilton
Tropicana
Wild Wild West?
MGM Grand – Lions Share & Sigma Derby
Sahara – Play dollar blackjack and drink Newcastles till I lose $40 or until I am too damn incoherent to play at Sahara, Slot tournament – Saturday 11:00am, DOUBLE rewards points on Mondays and Fridays

Other
7 pound burrito challenge
Pinball hall of fame

Curious to see what he was able to accomplish?  I was.  See below for crossed off version of the list.

Food
Batistas
Stripburger
BLT Burger
Hard Rock – $7.77 Steak and Shrimp off-menu special at Mr Luckys.
Ellis Island – Cheap Steak dinner

Drinking
Riviera – New English Pub
Wynncore – Sinatra Smash, Asian Equation?
Peppermill (Bar side)
Double Down Saloon (near Hard Rock) – Bacon Martini (ED: No Ass Juice either!)
Dino’s Lounge

Gambling / Casino Scoping
Fremont Street (ride the deuce?) – El Cortez, Western, $1 Craps!, Griffin Bar, Binions, Vegas Club / Golden Gate / Plaza, Gold Spike, Main St Station
Stratosphere gambling
Las Vegas Hilton
Tropicana
Wild Wild West?
MGM Grand – Lions Share & Sigma Derby
Sahara – Play dollar blackjack and drink Newcastles till I lose $40 or until I am too damn incoherent to play at Sahara, Slot tournament – Saturday 11:00am, DOUBLE rewards points on Mondays and Fridays

Other
7 pound burrito challenge
Pinball hall of fame

It’s pretty damn impressive to knock off over 2/3rds of your to-do list on a vacation with so many items on the list.  I don’t normally have more than 2 or 3 items for day.  DenverGambler had about 10 per day.  How do you plan your trips?