Complimentary Doesn’t Mean Free at The Palazzo

I always went by the assumption that a comp room meant that the room was free.  After all, one of the definitions for “complimentary” is free.  Maybe there would be taxes, but that isn’t always the case.  On my last trip to Las Vegas I found that comps aren’t treated the same at all casinos.


I had 3 complimentary nights at Palazzo and one that I would pay for.  While checking in the prices were $0/$0/$0/$149.  I forgot about those damn mandatory resort fees.  Palazzo has a $15 resort fee per day which is taxed for a total of $16.80.  I didn’t expect that comp rooms would have this tacked on to the bill so I was a surprised when I checked out.

Here’s what I go for my $16.80:

  • In-room internet access
  • unlimited local calls
  • domestic long distance and 800 calls
  • fitness center access for two
  • daily local newspaper (I didn’t even see a newspaper)

Here’s what I used:

  • In-room internet access

I didn’t like the fact that the resort fee was never mentioned at check in.  Thinking back, it was never mentioned when I stayed at Palazzo in December.  There’s enough free wi-fi in the hotel that I would not have chosen to pay for the service. Over the stay these fees were almost $80.

A cynic might also think that the reason there was such poor cell phone service in the rooms is so that it would force guests to use the house phones for calls and wi-fi for mobile data service so they think that they’re getting something from the resort fees.


I also had a comp night at Planet Hollywood.  Harrah’s properties are proud not to have resort fees.  I was happy not to pay a resort fee nor tax for my complimentary night at Planet Hollywood.  Total bill from Planet Hollywood = $0.


I had 3 comp nights at Palazzo, a hotel I really like, so I’m not sweating it.  At the same time, I feel my opinion is changing from moderately not liking resort fees to strongly not liking resort fees.  Additionally, there should be full disclosure of these fees at check in.

Check Vegas Chatter for a constantly updated list of Las Vegas hotel resort fees.

Wynn Moving To Macau?

Steve Wynn says in an interview with MSNBC that he’s considering moving Wynn headquarters to Macau.

Obviously, he’s trying to butter up the market but that likely won’t ever happen.  Especially as gaming revenue growth in Macau has probably already peaked in popularity.  Gotta love corporate speak.

On another note, his attitude towards creating beautiful and quality hotels is fantastic.  I love the line “I don’t think bigger is better.  I think better is better.”  I’d rather focus on that attitude than the corporate gibberish.

Quick Hits From Las Vegas

I know I’ll miss some things from my trip to Las Vegas last week so I’m compiling a list of quick hits so I don’t forget some of the minor details that may interest.

BNBLV – Awesome.  Beer and Blogs Las Vegas is a gathering over beer with bloggers, tech heads and nerds.  I met a bunch of people I follow on twitter and met some new faces.  I expected to be at the happy hour for 30-60 minutes and I was there for 4 hours.  Good times.  Nice to meet y’all!

Orleans – File under a place I no longer need to visit.  Very similar to Gold Coast, but slightly more depressing.  Low ceilings and smoke don’t help.  Unless I’m in the area (which I doubt) I don’t see myself visiting again.

Free Shuttles – Orleans has a shuttle to Bills on the strip.  This was a bus of drunks, but it saved another $20 (or so) cab ride.

Tourists – I don’t like them.  They move slowly and/or stop abruptly constantly being in the way.  The Las Vegas strip is full of these people and they ruin the experience.  I recommend walking on the CityCenter (west?) side of the strip if you need to get from one place to the other.  You can throw old people in here too.  Ludacris mirrors my thoughts here.

Strip walking – I haven’t walked the strip in a while, but I did twice last weekend.  The walks were great, but made worse by tourists and old people.  I did find one way to make the strip walk enjoyable.  Stop at each casino and either tweet or drink.  It breaks up the monotony.  Sure it took me about 30 minutes to get from Palazzo to Planet Hollywood, but at least I had fun.  That was better than my drunk strip walk the previous night from Bills to Palazzo.

Go-Go dancing in casinos – No longer cool or interesting.  This doesn’t work for all casinos.  Check Mandalay Bay and Excalibur for reference.

Lucky @ O’Sheas – Little man has great pipes.  He was outside of O’Sheas shouting out facebook and twitter offers with a deep booming voice.  He fit O’Sheas marketing image perfectly.

Flamingo – Low ceilings still give it an old feel, but it seemed as if there were a bunch of updates in the casino that gave the look a bit of a modern feel.  In my quick walk through it seemed as if the casino was caught between their history and being current.

Aria Tram – I don’t like heights.  The tram platform is bordered with glass which gives it an edgeless look.  It probably looks cool to many, but I don’t like this at all.  I don’t like heights and between the station shaking and the feeling like can fall off at any moment I won’t go up there again.  I’ll just walk.

Celebrity Sightings – One morning I saw Joan Rivers leaving the Palazzo.  That was awesome.  Later that night I was playing blackjack at Palazzo and saw Brad Garrett across the way.  He’s the brother in “Everybody Loves Raymond”

Palms, Hard Rock, Bellagio – All places I normally make it a priority to visit.  Since I was alone I decided to visit places that I don’t normally visit – for better and worse.

The rest of my trip will be delivered in separate posts with pictures.  These are items that are small and I didn’t want to leave out.

Travel Trend: Upright Rolling Luggage

Last week I noticed that a travel trend was upon us with upright rolling luggage.  I noticed that a few people were using them last year when I visited Las Vegas and a little more were using on a recent trip to Austin, TX.

Last week in Las Vegas it felt as though every fourth person had an upright rolling bag.  I guess it’s less strain than tilting and pulling.

I have a travel golf club bag from years ago and with this feature and I never thought it would catch on.  It looks as though it has.  My big suitcase is a couple trips from going away and I’ll probably pick up one of these bad boys.  Check the link below if you’re thinking of buying.

Check out ‘Calvin Klein Thompson 21″ Wheeled Upright’ by Calvin Klein

MGM Mirage Tries To Change Name

MGM Mirage is looking to change their name to MGM Resorts International.

“The company’s board of directors believes it is advisable and in the best interests of the company to change the name of the company from ‘MGM MIRAGE’ to ‘MGM Resorts International’ in connection with the company’s ongoing branding and marketing strategy,” the company said in the filing.

Reading between the lines this would allow for MGM to sell Mirage and not have to worry about their corporate name.  This move may not be something that is going to happen right away, but the door was just opened a little.

Vegas Tripping notes that the new name’s acronym is MRI.  I don’t like MRI’s.  Just saying.

Vegas In Pictures

I shared my trip to Las Vegas in pictures on my tumblr and on twitter.  Here are the links to the pictures in case you missed anything.  I have more pictures that I’ll share as I get to recapping the trip, but I want to share these since I won’t get to everything right away when I return.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Today

I came across a handful of pictures of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as it currently stands.  It looks very shiny.  Here’s a shot of it behind the Bellagio fountains.

There was a video with a great look at interior renderings that was recently removed.  Vegas Tripping took some screen caps and talked a bit about what they saw.  Commenters also chime in.

The video was only renderings, but I liked what I saw.  I kind of felt a Planet Hollywood vibe.  It was only a tease, but I’m looking forward to the revealing a bit more today then I was last week.

I’m curious to see how the Cosmo is going to be described:  Casino, Hotel, Condos, Shopping or all of the above.  The name of the joint is pretty long as it is.  I don’t see The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas – Casino, Hotel, Condos, Shopping and more being used to market the place.

Picture from West Vegas Photos (Vegas – Then and Now)

Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas Sets Opening Date

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (Cosmo) set an official opening date for December of 2010.  Kinda.

The CEO of the new $3.9 billion Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas casino says it will open in mid-December with about one-third of its rooms delayed until July 2011.

The Cosmo will open in December, but will keep some of its rooms closed.  CityCenter properties opened similarly.  All of this room capacity that goes unfilled should keep prices in check for a while.  So, Cosmo, thank you for opening.

You may be familiar with the Cosmo, but not aware that it exists.  It’s nestled between CityCenter and Bellagio and surrounding the Jockey Club. You can see the location on the awesome Vegas Today and Tomorrow map.

Because of location and look it can easily be confused for part of CityCenter.  The Cosmo website has very little information, but everything I’ve read makes it seem as if it will have an urban south beach feel to it with multiple restaurants, clubs, etc. with a fancy beach club in the air between both towers of the hotel.

I walked by the Cosmo on the way to CityCenter in December and it looked like it was almost ready to open.  I’ll check it out.  With it’s proximity to the strip, hopefully it will be inviting to me.

Look Out Vegas…Dita’s In Town

Dita Von Teese is in the midst of a short run as a guest at MGM Grand’s “Crazy Horse Paris.”  In fact, I missed the beginning of the run and she’s done April 7.

As a burlesque artist Dita Von Teese is known for her raunchy performances…The Crazy Horse is an iconic Paris burlesque show, which Dita says inspired her current career.

I find Dita Von Teese interesting as she always seems to have a different, retro look.  Get tickets on the MGM Grand website if you’re in town.  If not, you’ll have to enjoy a nice PG picture.

The People Have Spoken…The Palazzo Wins!

The people have spoken. I asked where I should stay on my next trip to Las Vegas – Palazzo or Planet Hollywood.  My twitter poll came back 2-1 in favor of Palazzo and my question on Trip Advisor came back even more in favor of Palazzo.

So, I’ll keep my Palazzo reservation.  I may also keep one night at Planet Hollywood.  I’m sure I’ll be there not sober at some point so the extra room may be worth it.  I didn’t get a chance to gamble at Planet Hollywood on my trip to Las Vegas in December.  That will change.

Thanks to everyone that voted and helped me solidify my choice of the Palazzo.