Reach Total Rewards Platinum, Diamond And Seven Stars Quicker

Total Rewards Cards
Old School Total Rewards Cards – Pulse of Vegas Blog

Caesars Entertainment is a mess with this whole bankruptcy thing. They claim everything will “be business as usual”. We’ll see about that. Caesars’ players club, Total Rewards, will likely change at some point but in theory it should remain in tact through bankruptcy.

In an effort keep customers flowing into its casinos Caesars is offering a pretty sweet Tier Credit promotion. Most players club promotions offer Reward Credits only. Those are the credit which that you use on goods like meals. Extra tier credits are a little more difficult to come by.

Tier credits are the credits that allow you to ascend to higher players club tiers like Platinum, Diamond And Seven Stars. The higher your tier status, the better the benefits you’ll receive from Total Rewards. Here’s an overview of those benefits. Note, if you’re Diamond or Seven Stars your resort fees will be waived.

Here are details on the promotion:

Through March 31st, 2015, we are giving you a 50% bonus on the first 50,000 Tier Credits you earn! So, you could walk away with up to 25,000 EXTRA Tier Credits to count towards your Tier Status, and we even started counting on January 1st.*

*Member must earn at least 1,000 Tier Credits by March 31, 2015 to be eligible for the promotion. 50% Tier Credit Bonus will be awarded on up to the first 50,000 Tier Credits earned from January 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015, for a maximum total bonus of 25,000 Tier Credits. Daily Tier Credit Bonuses will count toward the 50,000 Tier Credits maximum. Loyalty bonuses are not earned Tier Credits and thus, are not eligible for this promotion. Tier Credit Bonuses, including this promotion, do not count toward Reward Credit balance, promotional Tier Credit earnings, or qualifying for another daily bonus. Total Tier Credit Bonus amount awarded through this promotion will be calculated after March 31st, 2015 and will be posted to the Total Rewards account on April 15, 2015.

I wouldn’t gamble or spend more than normal to get the bump in tier status. VIP check-in, Diamond Lounges and waived resort fees are nice benefits but I don’t think they’re worth spending extra for.

That said, this is a useful promotion if you’re closing in on one of the upper tiers.

Caesars Turmoil

Caesars Entertainment Chapter 11
Caesars Entertainment Chapter 11?

To say this was a chaotic weekend for Caesars Entertainment would be an understatement. On Friday they announced that they were leaving a casino project in Suffolk Downs, MA.

Partner Suffolk Downs asked Caesars to withdraw following an investigation by the state’s gaming commission, according to a statement yesterday from the horse-track operator, which didn’t didn’t specify the findings and said it was confident it would receive approval on its own.

Whoa. Before anyone could speculate what was happening Caesars Entertainment announced that they were cutting ties with Gansevoort. There would be no Gansevoort Las Vegas.

Caesars Entertainment Corp. is ending its partnership with Gansevoort Hotel Group to transform Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon into the luxury Gansevoort Las Vegas on the Strip.

Caesars executive vice president Jan Jones confirmed the move on Sunday, two days after the Suffolk Downs ownership group said it had dropped partner Caesars Entertainment from its bid to build a $1 billion resort casino at the Massachusetts racetrack.

In other words it seems as though Massachusetts wouldn’t allow Suffolk Downs to proceed with Caesars, in part, due to their ties with Gansevoort because they have ties to the Russian mob.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the move came after Massachusetts gambling investigators, during routine background checks of Caesars’ business partners, found an investor in New York-based Gansevoort was alleged to have ties to organized crime in Russia.

This sounds like a scene from on of the awful Netflix Instant movies I watch. The hotel project formerly known as Gansevoort will continue. The rarely reliable Robin Leach says that Giada’s restaurant and Drai’s nightclub business will continue as things move forward.

The Las Vegas project will continue for Caesars seeking a new partner. I don’t think Kimpton Hotels will be a demographic match for what Caesars was trying to put together for this property but I’d love to see them have a hotel in Las Vegas.

The Suffolk Downs casino project will also proceed with a new partner. More on that another time.

Throw all of this into the pot of reasons for people to speculate about Caesars filing for chapter 11. I don’t think it’s a matter of if Caesars will file for bankruptcy, only a matter of when. All of this doesn’t help.

PS: If you get bored you can check out a blog I made a few years ago (pimpin at kimpton) after a fantastic stay at Hotel Monaco in Chicago.

Update: Now it seems as if there are possible money laundering problems.

Update 2: There was a shooting at Bally’s Las Vegas this morning.

How Caesars Bankruptcy Can Benefit Everyone

Caesars Entertainment Chapter 11
Caesars Entertainment Chapter 11?

Rumors about Caesars Entertainment filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection gets louder every day. It’s easy to poke fun at a business failing but the ramifications from filing for bankruptcy can be good for both Caesars and casino customers. Read chapter 11 details here, you can read about more debt restructuring here and you can read about their unrealistic projections for Suffolk Downs here.

I want to look at the day-to-day operations that affect me and people like me. When/If Caesars files for bankruptcy they’ll be forced to deal with their outstanding debt problems. The easiest way for them to pay down their debt will be to sell off some of their assets.

Some of the assets that may be sold include Bally’s and Showboat in Atlantic City. These properties have long been rumored to be on the market for years but they may have to finally pull the plug to get some quick cash.

Las Vegas may see Caesars shed a combination of Bally’sParis and Rio. I’d be surprised if Paris was a sold but it’s one of Caesars most valuable non-core Las Vegas hotels and they need cash. I think Flamingo and Harrah’s are too close to The Linq and The Quad to be shed. These properties give Caesars a great chance of capitalizing on the traffic in the area.

I’m not sure about Caesars properties in other markets but you’d have to imagine a few of those will go too. I’m more focused on AC and LV but you probably know that already.

By shedding some properties in AC and LV Caesars will be able to focus on creating a better value for their customers at the properties they still own. In theory a leaner staff would focus on housekeeping and maintenance while corporate focused on creating a better product for the customer.

Additionally by selling properties in each market Caesars will bring in more competition. Competition always benefits the customer. Increased competition will force all hotel operators in each city to be on their toes to stay ahead. Again, that’s theory.

Not only will increased competition in Atlantic City and Las Vegas provide better casinos and hotel experiences but they will also add new players clubs that would link other cities and casinos throughout the United States with Atlantic City and Las Vegas. The new customers will benefit all casino operators – not just the property owners bringing in the customers.

When all is said and done I envision Caesars having the potential to come out of bankruptcy a tighter company able to provide more value for their casino customers. I also envision increased competition in Atlantic City and Las Vegas which will benefit casino customers by cleaning up old properties and offering new players club reward opportunities.

Even though it’s embarrassing it looks like Caesars filing for bankruptcy may be a win-win.

Note: Caesars hasn’t filed for bankruptcy, this is just speculation for when/if they do.

Desperate For Cash Caesars Offering Naming Rights For Ferris Wheel

High Roller at Linq Las Vegas Sponsored By "Word"
High Roller Sponsored By “Word”

Caesars Entertainment is under mounds of debt and keeps losing money. They’re hotel rooms in Las Vegas are in disrepair and have bugs crawling all over and they’re possibly on the verge of filing of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In order to stave off the inevitable Caesars has decided to put naming rights up for sale to any the highest bidder for their precious Linq Ferris Observation Wheel.

“We have already received interest from big brands for the naming rights of this landmark, but given its significance on the Las Vegas landscape, we continue to search for the right brand to feature as the name of the wheel,” said Dan Burgner, executive vice president of Caruso Affiliated (The company in charge of The Linq).

I don’t believe anything the Caesars PR machine churns out so I’m assuming that they’ve received as much “interest from big brands for naming rights” as I have for my car.

Okay, I’ll settle down. In today’s commercialized market there’s no reason Caesars shouldn’t be shopping naming rights for The Linq Wheel. Nobody riding, or making pee pee, in this wheel will care what the name is. All that they’ll be concerned with is how long it takes for the ride to reach the top so they can enjoy views of beautiful Las Vegas.

If anyone wants to start a kickstarter to buy naming rights for the Linq Wheel let me know!

Photo: Caesars 

Riviera Files For Chapter 11; Starwood Takes Over

To no surprise the Riviera (hotel and owners) filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization yesterday.

…because this is a Chapter 11 filing backed by the key creditors, it’s likely the Riviera Las Vegas and the Riviera Black Hawk will operate normally through the bankrupty process.

This is backed by the bulk of the companies creditors, so don’t expect Riviera to go away too quickly.  Hopefully this reorganization includes renovations and cleaning up of one of the last remaining casinos from the old strip.  Sometimes I’m nostalgic.

Photo: Las Vegas Sun

Update: It seems as if Starwood will be taking over the Riviera.  Vegas Tripping has the quick and dirty.

Riviera!

I’ve never been inside the Riviera on the Las Vegas strip and thus don’t write about it.  The Riviera is one of the oldies on the strip and even though everything I’ve read or heard is pretty bad I figured I’d share some news.

The Riviera seems to be prepping for bankruptcy.

Riviera Holdings Corp. of Las Vegas reiterated Friday that it’s in talks with creditors about restructuring its debt – but continued to avoid comment on whether Starwood Capital Group LLC is preparing to take over Riviera through a prepackaged bankruptcy.

This comes as no surprise to me as an old property on the north end of the strip doesn’t seem to have much shine.  I’m curious to see what happens to the property in the future.  The facade is still very recognizable, but that probably won’t save it.

Station Casinos files for Chapter 11

Station Casinos Logo

Station Casinos filed for Chapter 11 yesterday.  This day has seemingly been around the corner for a while now and it was only a matter of time for this to happen.  Chapter 11 doesn’t mean that a company will shut down.  Rather, it gives a business time to recover from their economic struggles with government protection.

Bill Lerner, an analyst for Union Gaming in Las Vegas, said the bankruptcy filing will give Station more time to negotiate with lenders. Under bankruptcy law, Station likely will have several months to exclusively propose a plan of reorganization.

The real question is what Station Casinos will look like if it makes it through chapter 11.  Odds are that it will become a little more streamlined as they sell off some assets to pay off debt.

Lerner said he is sure Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corp. will seek some of the assets during the bankruptcy process, and said he wouldn’t be surprised if Penn National Gaming — which is interested in expanding to Las Vegas — also takes a look at the assets.

I’m obviously not a Las Vegas local but I have a soft spot for the locals casinos.  I like the option they provide for the local consumer and for me when I travel in.  The Gold Coast is almost always a stop for me when I visit Las Vegas.  Competition is always good for the customer.  Whether Station keeps all of their casinos or they sell some to Boyd I hope the competition lives with good management and good service for all.

Fontainebleau Files for Chapter 11

Fontainbleau filed for voluntary chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday.   Construction has been marred by financial problems for the past couple of months and this continues the Las Vegas projects regression to completion.

“The decision to file for Chapter 11 was the direct result of certain lenders having refused to honor their contractual commitments to provide nearly $800 million in construction funding for the $2.9 billion resort-casino project, which is 70 percent complete,” the company said.

“It is unfortunate that our lenders forced us to take this step. By reneging on the revolving credit facility, they effectively shut down the project and put thousands of people out of work,” said Howard Karawan, chief restructuring officer of Fontainebleau Las Vegas. “Our goal now is to secure funding to complete this world-class project and restructure our existing debt.”

I still think that this doesn’t mean that the casino hotel won’t be completed…some day.  Obviously things will continue to be delayed, but I can’t imagine that a business this close to completion won’t open.  We’ll just have to wait a little while.

Construction photo below from the awesome website Vegas Today and Tomorrow.

Station Casinos to File For Bankruptcy

It has been a rumor for a while that Station Casinos would either sell some or all of the company or file for bankruptcy protection.  Much like most rumors in the casino business this one is now true.  Station Casinos will file for bankruptcy protection by April 15.

Station had its attorneys file court papers Monday opposing a motion for a court injunction sought by a bondholder who is seeking to block the debt-exchange, a key part of Station’s plan to file a pre-packaged bankruptcy petition that would keep its business operating and includes a cash infusion of $244 million by Station owners the Fertitta family and Colony Capital.

Boyd Gaming is still moving aggressively to buy Station Casinos, but they’ve not been able to get that done.

“Station employs over 13,000 people and plays an important social and economic role in the local community. There is no reason to needlessly jeopardize the economic health of this company and its various constituencies so that a single bondholder can pursue spurious claims outside of the established restructuring process.”

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  I really like Station Casinos because of their local flavor.  They’re always a nice change of pace from the strip casinos.  Nothing will effect my next trip to Las Vegas and I hope Station is able to fight through this.  This kind of feel like a fight for the little guy.  Go little guy!