Ventetian & Palazzo Sign Deal with InterContinental Hotels

Yesterday Venetian and Palazzo announced that they signed a 10 year partnership with InterContinental Hotel Group (Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, etc.) to partner their Priority Club members.  This gives IHC a foot into Las Vegas where they previously didn’t have a property and gives Sands corp (Venetian and Palazzo) access to a new database of potential visitors.

Guests at the Venetian and the Palazzo will be able to earn points and redeem them for stays at any of IHG’s 4,500 hotels worldwide, while IHG’s Priority Club Rewards and Ambassador members will be able to use their own points for stays at both resorts.

I would never have found Planet Hollywood years ago if they weren’t a Starwood Hotel.  My friends and I use Starwood often.  Now that I’ve found Kimpton, I’d love for them to have a property in Las Vegas but I doubt that will happen as they’re more boutique focused.

As it relates to Venetian and Palazzo, this probably means that more families will visit the hotels.  This locks that I won’t be returning to Venetian as it’s already packed with too many families.  I’m curious to see how Palazzo handles any overflow that may occur.

This continues the copycat marketing in Las Vegas as Cosmopolitan previously signed a partnership with Marriot to access their customers.  As the ducks line up we’ll probably see Harrah’s expand their relationship with Starwood.  Who will MGM Resorts International partner with next?  They’re next in line.

Vegas Memories Featuring Dido “White Flag”

I was tweeting back and forth with a few people the other night and I was brought back one of my favorite Vegas memories that I’m finally deciding to share.

As I’ve said before a lot of my Vegas memories are tied to music that I hear on a particular trip.  The soundtrack to this day was Dido’s “White Flag“, a song I would normally not listen to, notice or think about.

This trip to Las Vegas was for a friends bachelor party a few years ago.  I wasn’t as experienced as I am now, but I was one of the few people that had been to Las Vegas, so I knew where we needed to be and when and how often.

We decided to get an early start to our first morning in town.  After a 99 cent mimosas over breakfast at Harrah’s we headed over to Bellagio for a little blackjack at 10:something AM.  After a few amazing vodka drinks most of us were buzzed by 11am.  This is when I noticed Dido playing for the first of many times this day.

It wasn’t even noon when we left the Bellagio and headed downtown.  It was my first time downtown.  We did a lot of exploring, but since it was a bachelor party we, initially, decided to skip gambling and went to the world famous Glitter Gulch for some more drinks and entertainment.

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Harrah’s Goes Public To Finish What They Started

Harrah’s announce that they are making up to $575 million in shares available to the public.  This is about 10% of the company.  The money is being raised in an effort to finish a few projects.

Harrah’s will use the proceeds to finish its 660-room Octavius Tower at Caesars Las Vegas, develop the LINQ retail and entertainment area next to the Flamingo on the Las Vegas Strip, and invest in the potential joint-venture development of two Ohio casinos with Rock Gaming LLC, the company said today in a U.S. regulatory filing.

I don’t think LINQ will actually be finished with this batch of funding.  I don’t think there’s enough money to get everything done.

Another 660 rooms in a market with too much room availability isn’t really needed but it will nice to see the Octavious Tower at Caesars Palace finally completed.

Cosmopolitan TV Commercial: “Just The Right Amount of Wrong”

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas continued their wonderful lead in marketing as they prepare to open in December.  Last night they premiered a 60 second commercial spot during the MAD MEN Season finale last night.  The tag line for the commercial is “Just The Right Amount of Wrong.”

I love a lot of the pre-opening marketing the Cosmopolitan has been doing and I think this fits right in line with everything.  They aren’t just selling a hotel and casino here.  They are selling a lifestyle.

This ad plays very well to that with some stark imagery and quirkiness set to a cool music bed.

The placement of the ad during the season finale of MAD MEN is great as that’s a show all the cool kids watch (as evidence by me not watching).

As the tone and lifestyle are set I’m sure there will be more straight forward marketing about the wrap around balconies, pools, restaurants, etc.  For now the Cosmopolitan continues to brand themselves very uniquely with an independent stamp on everything.

Travel Tip: 10 Minute Pack

I’m slightly neurotic and that has it’s upside and downside. It comes in handy when I travel as I plan things pretty well. With a trip to Las Vegas coming up I thought I’d share how I pack in less than 10 minutes.

  1. Send out dry cleaning 2 weeks in advance. This gives ample time for it to be ready and for me to pick up. I usually wear button down shirts, shorts and slacks, so this covers most of my clothes.
  2. Do a load of laundry of only clothes I plan on bringing with me the weekend before I leave. I wash and fold underwear and socks while putting shirts on hangers.
  3. Keep as much clothes on hangers as possible. This minimizes folding time.
  4. Map out what I want to wear by day. I don’t actually follow the map, but this guide allows me to know exactly what to pack. See example below.
  5. Use same toiletries. I just switch this from bag to bag depending on trip.

Here’s an example of my pack list (w/shorthand):

Wed
green golf
black under
blue drawz
cargo
sm sox
red kix

green/blue button
blue shorts
green pants
big sox
shoes

Thur
red golf
ash under
blue drawz
gray shorts
sm sox
red kix

squares button
ash pants
big sox
shoes

All in all, a little preparation goes a long way in packing quickly. Having everything folded and on hangers in advance speeds up the process immensely. I place all hanger items to be folded over once. This limits fold marks too which is nice. I also have multiple phone chargers toiletries so packing goes even quicker for me.

I’m up for ideas on how to speed up the process.

Update: I forgot to mention that socks go inside shoes and that everything not on hangers gets packed the night before. This splits the time to about 80/20 as it takes a few minutes to fold the clothes on hangers.

Criss Angel Magic Kit

I was flipping channels one night and saw a commercial for the Criss Angel Magic Kit.  I had a chuckle as the commercial was very campy and almost looked like a parody of a real commercial.

There are plenty of people that like Criss Angel, judging by the longevity of his show at Luxor in Las Vegas.

I like sports, not magic so I’m not going to judge beyond this hokey commercial. Evidently he dated Holly Madison, so that’s cool.

If you want to wow your friends at an upcoming Halloween party – getcha Mindfreak on by clicking the image below.

Plazableau

The Plaza in downtown Las Vegas is using Fontainebleau’s misfortune to help with their upcoming remodel.

When the Plaza’s 1,037 hotel rooms reopen in September 2011, they will feature top-flight wallpaper, carpet, tile, sofas, chairs, desks, dressers, side tables and bed frames courtesy of the Fontainebleau, the stalled luxury property with an estimated $3.5 billion price tag that was designed to compete against Las Vegas’ swankiest resorts.

I’m sure this was a cheap way to get materials that would probably be out of the price range of the Plaza.  I’m sure it will be a nice touch, but as the saying goes you can take the girl out of downtown, but you can’t take the downtown out of the girl.

Harrah’s Tries To Best Buffet of Buffets

First Harrah’s introduced the “Buffet of Buffets” where you could gorge yourself on any Harrah’s Las Vegas buffet.  Clearly, this is popular as demand has forced multiple price increases to where this isn’t much of a deal.  I’m not sure the All Stage Pass, where upi can see unlimited shows in 48 hours, will have the same success.

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For $100 you can see all the shows you want in two days.  Show tickets are about $50-60 each, so this could be a really good deal if you are a dedicated show goer.  You could see a matinee and night show for two straight days and save a few bucks.  I’m usually not a show person, so this isn’t for me.

I don’t see this being as successful as the buffet deal because this country likes to eat as much as they like a bargain.  I’m pretty sure they like to eat more than they like to see shows.

Bottom line you can catch Penn & Teller, Peepshow and The Price is Right with this plan and save a few bucks.  Find me at the craps table.

Travel Fashion Trend

There was a day where men and women dressed up for their flights.  There was also a time where they dressed up for a baseball game.  I get it, things have changed and I’m fine with that.  I’m not sure when this became the norm, but on my recent trips I’ve noticed almost every guy under 30 wearing a basketball shorts and flip flops.  This is a little more personal than the last travel trend I noticed.

I’m all for comfort, but I never noticed guys dressing down this much to fly before. Girls were probably dressed similarly, but I’ve noticed Juicy sweats for a while so this hasn’t stood out. I guess guys are catching up (down?) to the ladies.

There is no hate here.  This is just something I noticed.  For what it’s worth my dress for flight is a small step above this.  My “airplane outfit” of my favorite green golf shirt and cargo shorts with plastic zipper so there are no issues at security.  My friends call the shorts my carry-on, since I can fit everything I need for a flight in my pockets.

As I said before, I’m not speaking down about this, I’m just noticing a trend.  How do you dress for a flight?

No Las Vegas For “The Hangover 2”

This isn’t really new news as it’s been making the rounds online for a while, but producer Todd Phillips producer for “The Hangover 2” publicly stated that the sequel will not take place in Las Vegas again.

The sequel, scheduled to start shooting later this month, will take the bruised and battered pals to climes near and far – and in both cases, no doubt, seriously hazardous. “It takes place in Bangkok and LA,” Phillips told Empire. “There’s gonna be some fucked-up surprises.”

I love “The Hangover.”  Partially because it was set in Las Vegas, but mostly because it’s a funny movie.  Zach Galifianakis was the highlight for me. “The Hangover 2” won’t be bad because it’s not in Vegas.  It will be bad because most sequels are.

With Las Vegas being shunned for Bangkok I’m curious if any local writers decide to take offense to this movie not being film in Las Vegas.