I usually share the Seven Stars Insider when the newest edition arrives. I lost this one over the holidays and am just getting to it now. There is plenty of good information on Total Rewards. This is a great, easy read if you frequent Harrah’s properties.
Question Of The Month
I earned 100,000 tier points shortly before the end of 2009 (and continued to earn more points through December 31), is it true that I will be designated Seven Stars through March 31, 2011, and get all the benefits for two “years”? Yes, if by “year” you mean the one ending March 31, 2010, and the other ending March 31, 2011. As long as you complete your trip and celebration dinner, as well as order your annual gift by March 31, 2010, you can do it all again anytime between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2011. And that’s in addition to all the other benefits connected with the blue and gray card.
Did You Attend The Signature Event In Atlantic City?
According to our October/November informal survey, the event was a real success – only a few minor quibbles (which is to be expected – you can’t please everyone). Jerry Seinfeld got lots of raves, but Janice Dickinson didn’t fare as well. “She was horrible,” one person wrote, “offering nothing.” A sampling of other comments:
- “I know there were complaints, but for me the fun and pleasure of it way outweighed the flaws that others complained about. All in all I think they did a great job.”
- “The event was definitely worth attending, although locals did get lost amidst the hubbub somewhat.”
- “Some things were really well-handled, others got bungled. Traffic management was hard – so many ‘heavy hitters,’ all, no doubt, with special needs.”
- “There were a lot of nice touches (the taffy and peanuts welcome basket in the room, the notes every night about the next day’s schedule, etc.).”
- “The ‘Dancing With The Stars’ thing [at Caesars] was kind of lackluster entertainment-wise, but the meal was good.”
- “The welcome parties were waaay too crowded and the one at The Pier was particularly bad. . .and the food wasn’t that good or very substantial.”
- “The welcome gift – crystal glasses – was not very practical for people who had to fly home.”
- “The $50 food coupons should have been good any day of the weekend. As it happens, they were only for days when they were already feeding us big time at an event. How much can you eat in one day? I would have liked to use the coupons on Sunday or Monday, but they were not good on those days.”
- “I was disappointed that those arriving on Friday (me!) didn’t get their [free] slot play. . .didn’t seem fair.”
- “Spa appointments were impossible to get, but it was good that the spa coupon was redeemable for merchandise (so I actually did get to use that one).”
- “The fashion show (at least the spillover event at Bally’s I attended) was kind of a bust. The meal was good, but the host – last year’s ‘Project Runway’ winner – wasn’t very comfortable in front of an audience.”
Seven Stars Club At Harrah’s Atlantic City Temporarily Closes Prior To Christmas Many Seven Stars members were surprised – and irritated – to find the club closed for a couple weeks in December, just as it was last year. The same with the Diamond Lounges at Caesars, Harrah’s and Showboat. [Bally’s Lounge operated on a limited schedule to help pick up the slack.] As one reader wrote, “Just one more thing Harrah’s had to do to p***-off its best customers.” How nice if Harrah’s had taken a cue from the Borgata in Atlantic City. A couple years ago while it was expanding its Amphora Lounge – the equivalent of a Diamond Lounge, but with far better food and decor, it offered its Black Card players [a category similar to Diamond] complimentary cocktails and wine in its B Bar, as well as complimentary cocktails and wine to accompany meals at the buffet. All you had to do was show your player’s card and an ID. Though at the bufet there was a $10 per person comp charge levied, and it was limited to the player and one guest, it was a great benefit. Even today, the Borgata offers its buffet – breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch any day of the week – for 10 comp dollars per person, again limited to the player and one guest. And it’s still the best buffet – and with the classiest surroundings – in town. [Unlike the Diamond Lounges and Seven Stars Clubs, the Amphora lounge levies a $10 per person comp charge, and is limited to the player and one guest. Titanium cardholders – similar to Seven Stars – do not have similar restrictions.]
Special Seven Stars Self-Parking Benefits – An Update
In addition to the special Seven Stars dedicated parking on the seventh floor of Caesars in Atlantic City, each of the other Harrah’s properties has a special Seven Stars (and Diamond) express lane when you leave the self-parking lot (Caesars, Harrah’s and Bally’s) or at Showboat when you enter. Several readers noted that Harrah’s Chester [Pennsylvania] has a specially-designated Seven Stars parking area on the third floor, but you need to display a special hangtag from your rear-view mirror; however, because the area is not monitored and no one enforces the restrictions, it’s really not much of a benefit. Several informal “walk-throughs” of the area showed none of the cars or trucks parked there had the aforementioned hangtags, and neither did many of the other vehicles on the floor. [The entire floor is supposed to be reserved solely for Seven Stars and Diamond players.] Until Chester invests in a card-operated gate system like Caesars in Atlantic City or Windsor, Ontario, there are always going to be those who abuse the system. Harrah’s in Reno has the same problem.
Harrah’s & Planet Hollywood
According to several reliable sources, Harrah’s Entertainment is moving forward on their much rumored takeover of the financially troubled Planet Hollywood resort and casino in Las Vegas. The company filed papers with the Nevada Gaming Control Board that would give it permission to acquire the property. The filing will now work its way through various regulatory agencies. “Experts” anticipate a mid- to late-2010 completion of the process. One columnist wrote, “The hotel will most likely keep the Planet Hollywood name but would get folded into Harrah’s very popular Total Rewards players’ club program.”
Parx Opens Outside Philadelphia; Replaces Philadelphia Park Casino
At first sight, the new Parx casino looks impressive with its giant video screens beckoning gamblers from Street Road in Bensalem. Once inside, the initial reaction, too, is, “Wow”. . .lots of crystal spangles, tall ceilings and wide aisles, all the latest slots and video poker games. Then you realize that the designers just didn’t know when to stop, with architectural detail after detail piling up. A “crystal” lighting fixture? Great, let’s add more sparkly colored balls dangling from the center. A new restaurant? Wonderful, now let’s gaudy it up with tons of red – everywhere. . .and, oh, yeah, let’s add a tasteless display of knick-knacks out front that look like they were purchased at a Levitz going-out-of-business sale. Privacy for diners? No, put it right at the edge of the casino floor with floor to ceiling windows so those less fortunate can gawk while you try to eat your dinner in peace. And that long line in the food court? One would have thought that the similar lines at the former site’s Deli would have taught them a lesson. . .there just has to be a better way. Still to open is a Chickie’s & Pete’s restaurant. And, OK, let’s cut them some slack. They’ve only been open less than a month, but, seriously, who came up with that Parx name? And why all the wordplay on the letter “X”? [Its player’s club is called the X Club.] It gives the whole operation sort of sleazy connotation.
Did You Attend A New Year’s Eve Celebration?
Whether it was in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, St. Louis or Phoenix, did you attend a casino-sponsored New Year’s Eve party? If it was hosted by a Harrah’s-affiliated property, what did you think? How did it compare to parties you’ve attend other years (at a Harrah’s-affiliated property or not)? Were you invited to a party, but chose to stay home – or attended another casino’s party? Were you expecting an invitation, but didn’t’ get one. Send me an email (email@example.com) and I’ll share your thoughts – anonymously, of course – with everyone in a future newsletter.
P.S. Back issues of the Seven Stars Insider newsletter are available online at http://sevenstarsinsider.googlepages.com. You will need Adobe Acrobat to view them, but this is a free program available at www.adobe.com.