Most implosions in Las Vegas come with great fanfare. Last night the Tropicana imploded a wing of it’s hotel as part of their ongoing renovations with little to no publicity. Boom, there goes the dynamite!
On my last trip to Las Vegas I was yelled at while I skipped a line of about 20 people at Starbucks at Planet Hollywood because I have a Diamond Card. Judging from the girls at the counter this happens a lot in Vegas. People don’t like being slighted for people that gamble more.
I used to be shy about this privilege, but after watching others do it with no problem and hating lines I’ve grown out of that shyness and just take what the casinos give me. It’s a nice perk that I only get a Harrah’s properties so I enjoy it.
June 2004 relaunch introduced a fourth tier (Seven Stars) to the (Total) rewards program that caters to the 0.15 percent of customers who contribute 12 percent of Harrah’s revenue.
As many know the old saying that 20% of tax payers contribute 80% of the revenue. This isn’t much of a surprise as that’s the case with many markets. This is the first time I’ve seen numbers put to gamblers.
I don’t need any further reason to use the “privileges” of my Diamond card, but the next time some jerk cuts the line you’ll understand why.
By the way, if you’re interested in Harrah’s direct marketing efforts there’s some good information in the source article.
As I’ve mentioned I’ve been prepping for a move and haven’t had much time for ECG the past couple weeks. I wanted to share a few articles that I’ve enjoyed recently just in case anyone missed them.
This roundup is all Las Vegas. I love Vegas!
- Tropicana not the tired, old lady on the Strip anymore
- Las Vegas is the least smart city in America
- Lion King Closure Doesn’t Make It A Failure
- Vdara To Increase Resort Fees
- Cosmopolitan chief reveals more details about new resort
- Las Vegas Sands sees record revenue in 3Q on strength in Asia
- Big Robin Leach Scoop: Cirque’s MJ Plans
- What’s Blowin’ Up at the Trop
There was a good interview with Alex Yemenidjian, CEO of Tropicana in Las Vegas. In the interview he discusses target markets and renovations among other things. The most interesting thing to me is their desire to focus marketing on baby boomers, who seem to make a large portion of the Las Vegas market.
If a property wants to cater to Gen X and Gen Y, that is the new entertainment. Clearly we want to cater to that market, but not ignore the Baby Boomer, which is 70 percent of the Las Vegas market. Whatever a show is to a Baby Boomer, a nightclub and beach club are to Gen X and Gen Y.
Their take on consumers and marketing is interesting and Yemenidjian seems very honest about how people view Tropicana in this interview. It seems so much marketing in the past few years has been focused on top tier customers. I imagine the expectation is that by marketing to the top tier you’ll get those that want to be in that income bracket.
On the surface, this tactic seems to be working, but we’ll see as financial result are released after the end of the year.
Here’s the latest edition of Seven Stars Insider. This is an easy read and an excellent resource for Harrah’s players. Head over to Seven Stars Insider to sign up for the newsletter. There is lots of new and useful information in this edition (some of which I’m going to reference in future posts), so read on for all the goods.
Seven Stars Insider – November 2010
Question Of the Month
My companion cardholder has misplaced her card. It was issued in Las Vegas. I’m based in California, but she is a Diamond cardholder who lives near, and plays in, Atlantic City. How does she go about getting a replacement card? Do I have to be present? This shouldn’t be a problem and, no, you don’t have to be there. Her record should indicate that she is your companion cardholder (and vice versa). Don’t go to Total Rewards, though, for the reissue. She will need to go to VIP check-in at one of the Harrah’s properties in Atlantic City. If they give her a hard time, she should ask for a host on duty – assuming she doesn’t have her own. He or she should be able to straighten this out.
Read the Fine Print I
You’ve really got to read the fine print when trying to redeem offers from Harrah’s. Planning to use your 30 percent Seven Stars discount on an NCL cruise to Hawaii? Forget it. Check the bottom of the Web site (www.harrahs.com/NCL) and note in tiny letters: “Total Rewards Tier Discount is not valid for Hawaii cruises.”
Read the Fine Print II
Do you ever just pick up the phone to book an offer you received in the mail? If it’s from Caesars Palace and involves a room reservation, you might want to think twice. According to one offer I received, “[a] $10 surcharge may apply to reservations booked through our call center”. Unlike the NCL Web page, however, there was no asterisk (*) directing me to this disclaimer. It was in much smaller type than the offer and totally disassociated from the offer itself. Other offers may carry this same fee, so read everything very carefully. Oh, by the way, when’s the last time Hilton (or Marriott or Hyatt, etc.) charged you a fee to book a room at their hotels? In this economy, most are grateful for your business.
Donny and Marie Heading To Broadway
Don’t plan to see Donny and Marie at the Flamingo in Las Vegas next month if you’ve scheduled a trip between December 9 and 19. They’ll be playing Broadway at the Marriott Marquis Theater. Currently, at least on the Flamingo Web site, no tickets are being sold past November 27.
Caesars Palace Updates
· Texting Options – Check-out by sending a text message. At the end of your stay, send a text message with your name and room number. In return you’ll get an e-mail confirming all the details. Another feature, “Text To Request,” allows you to request extra towels, housekeeping service, etc.
· munchbar Happy Hours – My new favorite casual dining spot has dropped the entrée I enjoyed most (and wrote about in the September newsletter), the grilled tuna. However, they now have a Happy Hour (4 to 7 p.m.) and Reverse Happy Hour (9 p.m. to midnight). Draft beer and all appetizers are half-price. The pizzadilla [$6.50] is a good choice if you’re by yourself, but don’t even think about ordering the nachos [also $6.50] unless there are two (or more!) of you – it’s gigantic (but delicious). A Miller Lite cost $3, so, for less than $10, you can have an inexpensive – if not particularly nutritious – early evening or late night snack.
· In-Room Coffeemakers – The Augustus and Palace Towers are testing in-room Keurig coffeemakers. These single-serve systems are great, but they’re not cheap – $12 for a four-pack of individual “K-cups” (available through the minibar). Consider bringing your own cups from home (they retail for approximately 50¢ each) – or, if you’re staying in the Augustus Tower, just take the elevator down to Seven Stars Registration after 8 a.m. and serve yourself from their complimentary coffee service. You also can pick up a free copy of USA Today.
· Total Connect – After you check-in be sure to see the concierge to get a Total Connect sticker for your room key card. Throughout your stay you can check for special offers by swiping the TC sticker on specially designated signs throughout the casino. After about 24 hours, all I had was $5 off a Café Lago buffet and a free dessert with the purchase of two entrées at the Augustus Café.
· Seven Stars/Diamond Registration – If you arrive on Sunday through Thursday after 10 p.m., the Seven Stars and Diamond Registration desks will probably be closed. If there is a huge line at the “regular” registration desk, look for the small “Diamond Registration” sign at the far left of the front desk, next to the concierge.
I’m pretty stoked for this NBA season. I’m going to try a betting strategy I’ve avoided in the past just for fun. I’m going to play the Lakers against the spread (ATS) in every game for 1 unit. They should easily be the best team in the west. If nothing else I’m expecting them to win 55% of the time so I get my money back. In a perfect world they’ll cover another 10% of the games and and I’ll make a few bucks. This is just an experiment and not something I plan on practicing. We’ll see how it goes.
I won’t update here much, but you can rest assured that I’ll tweet about it. If you’re curious, follow me and let me know you read so I follow you back. I get a slew of SPAM followers that it’s becoming hard to tell who is a real person.
Check the lines at BET REVOLUTION.
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.
I love a players club I can sign up for and view online and I’m happy to see all clubs moving this way. I’ve signed up and I’ll be ready to roll in December! I’ll have a giggle every time I see this name because it makes me think of the Carrot Top and FANTASY commercials I used to hear in every cab ride in Vegas a few years ago. Whisper with me…IDENTITY! Additionally, it sounds like a men’s fragrance. OK, I’m done giggling. Thank you.
There’s nothing special here, but it’s been fun watching the Tropicana catching up to the competition. There isn’t much incentive to visit Tropicana as opposed to any other casino. If you plan on going here, this is a nice perk.
The changes at Tropicana are great to watch, but I’m looking forward and wondering what happens after they catch up to the competition.
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.