Seven Stars Insider – January Edition

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, so read on for all the goods.

Seven Stars Insider – January 2011

NOTE: While this newsletter was originally designed exclusively for Seven Stars members, there is useful information for anyone who has a Total Rewards® player’s card and/or plays/stays at a Caesars property.  Please feel free to pass this on to your friends.

Review-Journal Back In Gift Shops
Not sure when it happened, but the Las Vegas Review-Journal is once again for sale in the gift shops at Caesars’ properties.  The paper had been banned when then-Harrah’s officials were unhappy with some of the newspaper’s reporting, according to anonymous sources in Gaming Today.

Review-Journal Slams KGB
After its not-so-favorable review of Kerry Simon’s KGB, the Review-Journal may be back off the shelves at Harrah’s in Las Vegas.  In her December 3 review, critic Heidi Knapp Rinella wrote, “the restaurant has some problems that could threaten its future.”  Whoever wrote the headline didn’t help much either – “Culinary Confusion: Sloppy Service, Average Dishes Dash High Hopes For KGB At Harrah’s.”  Read the full review online (For her review of Harrah’s Buffet of Buffets)

Keurigs Now In Forum Tower
Add the Forum Tower to Augustus and Palace if you’re staying at Caesars Palace and need that early morning coffee fix.  I’d be curious how sales of the expensive coffee pod packs are going.  Most people I’ve heard from either don’t use the machines, bring their own pods from home or, if they’re staying in the Augustus Tower, just wait until 8 a.m. and pour themselves a free cup either at Seven Stars or Diamond Registration.

Staffing Cutbacks Continue
The four Caesars-owned casinos in Atlantic City eliminated several hosts.  (Reports ranged from up to five at each property, at least one of whom had worked at Harrah’s Resort for more than 20 years.)  In addition, several managers were let go, leaving those remaining to take on additional responsibilities at another casino, as well.  [Trump’s casinos in Atlantic City made similar cuts.]  Meanwhile, out in Las Vegas, one reader reported that breakfast service two days at Harrah’s Café was “horrendous”.  “When I asked our nice waitress about it, she said Harrah’s had expanded the number of tables she covers from four to eight last month.  This is terrible.  It took us an hour for breakfast!  Further, on a trip in October it took a slot attendant almost 30 minutes to come to my friend’s aid.  The EZ-Pay ticket stock was depleted and he couldn’t cash out.  The attendant told us that he had half the casino.  This was around 9 p.m. on a Sunday night.”

Caesars, Trump Logo Similarities
Did anyone else notice that the Caesars logo for its skating show last month at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City bore a striking resemblance to the Trump casinos’ logo – even down to the swooping “R”?  Ironically, Trump Plaza is right next door to Boardwalk Hall.

Laughlin Bus/Free River Taxi
If you’re looking for a cheap 12-hour get-away from Las Vegas to Laughlin, check out bus service that leaves various casinos, stops briefly at Hoover Dam and then continues on to the Edgewater Casino in Laughlin.  They even throw in a free buffet!  While apparently subsidized by the Edgewater, there’s nothing to stop you from heading on over to Harrah’s Laughlin to cash in on any coupons you may have received for free play, free meals, etc.  [Seven Stars members receive two coupons per day for rides on the Laughlin river taxi.]  Just be back at the appointed departure time.  If drivers say they are leaving at 4:35 p.m., believe them, or you might just be stuck in Laughlin overnight.  For complete information, go here.

Question Of The Month
As a Seven Star cardholder I was offered 30 percent off for an NCL cruise.  I took this cruise in October on the Epic.  My understanding was that the casino either was owned by Caesars or that Caesars had some type of investment in the casino on the cruise ship.  I had expected Rewards Credits and tier points to be applied toward my Seven Stars status.  However, I now find out that none of it was.  Why?  Sorry, but, while the same company owns both Harrah’s (now Caesars) and NCL, neither Harrah’s/Caesars nor NCL ever made any claims that you would receive credits (comps or tier points) for your play on board.  I’m not a lawyer, but it may even be illegal.

‘Did you participate in the Great Gift Wrap Up?’

Kudos to Caesars Palace for a well-organized and smooth-running Great Gift Wrap Up last month.  While I never seem to need any of the appliances and other products the event offers, I do have enough $10 Shell gift cards to keep my car fueled for months.  Plus, I was flattered when I heard myself quoted by a fellow participant who told his friend he read in the Seven Stars Insider that the $10 gift cards were a better deal than the $50 cards (15,000 points for five $10 cards vs. 18,500 points for a $50 card).  Even the overwhelmed Seven Stars and Diamond Registration areas handled customers with aplomb – and there were some pretty demanding folks who were upset about waits to get into their rooms and the fact that their favorite suites were not available.  Caesars’ management offered sandwiches, hot and cold beverages, and other snacks to make the check-in experience more pleasant.  Here’s a sample of comments from others:

§  I liked it and appreciate Harrah’s [now Caesars] offering it to their patrons.  First of all, I view it as a gift; a “value add” that Harrah’s provides.  Second, it was well organized and they had plenty of help to assist you locating the items you wanted to look at.  Third, the vendor that they had this year, to my knowledge, had plenty of goods on hand and did not run out as others have in past years.  Lastly, they gave me an additional 100,000 points, which made a difference for me this year in getting a couple of extra gifts.
§  The only thing I didn’t like about it was to be associated with the small minority of Total Rewards members who acted like pouting, depraved children.  You have a point balance, and, yes, if you are a couple of points short, maybe your host can fix you up, but to demand gifts when you are not even close to the number of points needed and making a “scene,” is ridiculous and spoils the fun for the rest of us.
§  I feel sorry for those people who grabbed up a handful of the cheap calculators and stuffed them in their purses.  Are they that desperate for free souvenir?
§  I always earn points every year, but the timing has just been bad, and I’ve never been able to collect.

Happy New Year?
I found myself in the Lost City of Atlantis – actually Caesars in Atlantic City – for New Year’s Eve.  Despite all the excellent planning by the Special Events staff – innovative invitation, outstanding décor, and a cocktail party with delicious and creative hors d’ouevres – they were let down by the kitchen when it finally came to dinner.  I have no problem with a late leisurely-paced dinner – especially on New Year’s Eve – but the delay in service for the salad course and the time it took for the entrée to be brought to the table bordered on the ridiculous.  Then, after the main course arrived, the filet was totally over-cooked and dry, and the lobster tail a mushy mess.  I – along with several others – didn’t even stay for dessert.  What about you?  Did you attend a Caesars-sponsored New Year’s event?  What did you think?  Send me an e-mail (sevenstarsinsider@gmail.com <mailto:sevenstarsinsider@gmail.com> ) and I’ll share your thoughts – anonymously, of course.

Darryl D. McEwen, Publisher
Seven Stars Insider

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Las Vegas Writer, Marketer, Consultant. I love Vegas and everything about it. When in Vegas do 3 things: eat, drink & gamble.

Author: Marc

Las Vegas Writer, Marketer, Consultant. I love Vegas and everything about it. When in Vegas do 3 things: eat, drink & gamble.