The Average Ticket Price To See Britney Spears at Planet Hollywood Will Be Around $113

Britney Spears "Work Bitch" Single Art
Britney Spears “Work Bitch”

Britney Spears and I go way back. I first saw Britney at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. It was fun be Britney Spears and I didn’t have a special connection until I saw her at Rain at Palms in Las Vegas. Brit and I had a special connection from that night moving forward.

It was an amazing night that I barely remember. The two memories I have of that night were my friend kissing or being kissed on the cheek by Paris Hilton and Britney Spears’ 3 song performance that I was just a few feet away from. It may have been the vodka (it probably was) but something happened.

Now, Britney Spears is coming to Las Vegas for a 48 show per year residency at Planet Hollywood for the next two years.

Britney Spears will be raking in HUGE STACKS in Vegas this winter — a ridiculous $310,000 per show … nearly $15 million per year — but she still doesn’t hold a candle to Celine Dion.

TMZ is privy to the financial details of Britney’s deal.  The 2-year contract calls for 48 shows a year at Planet Hollywood.   According to the contract, Britney will earn $310,000 per show. 

TMZ also looks deeper into the contract.

Britney’s cut of the gate is huge — projected sales per show are $508,514, meaning Brit will be snagging more than 60%.

If the projected gate for the show is correct and the 4,500 seats that the PH Theater now has (according to Johnny Kats) is correct then simple math says that the average ticket price to see Britney Spears at Planet Hollywood will be $113.

The price to see Britney Spears at Planet Hollywood is a little high but it’s not outlandish given today’s ticket prices for shows on the Vegas Strip. For comparison tickets to see Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at The Venetian begin at $187.50 on Vegas.com while tickets to see Celine Dion at Caesars Palace begin at $102.

I’m pretty sure the only way I’ll see this Britney show is if someone gives me a free ticket but you never know. This is Las Vegas and things happen. I’m sure I’ll love the show because I love me some Britney but her new song is a steaming pile of dog crap. Maybe I’m just old. Get off my lawn. Bitch.

Photo: MTV 

Rumor: Cosmopolitan Sold To Scientologist

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas At Night
Cosmopolitan At Night

Just before kickoff of the Ravens at Broncos game last night I read a handful of tweets asking if the rumor that the Cosmopolitan was sold were true. I couldn’t find out any information about this rumored sale from my regular sources for until I read this tweet from Howard Stutz from the Las Vegas Review Journal where the Cosmopolitan was denying that they were sold.

Okay, so Cosmo is speaking up about this rumor but I still had no idea where it started. The rumor wasn’t started by Robin Leach so maybe it came from somewhere credible. I’m not sure that the rumor is credible but I did find out where the rumor about Cosmopolitan being sold was started.

KingOfNightclubs.com is first to report that the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas has been sold according to our sources. Rumor has it that deal is signed and their official announcement will come soon.

Allegedly James Packer, son of the Late Kerry Packer, An Australian media mogul, also owns Crown LTD, with casinos in Australia and Macau, just purchased The Cosmopolitan. The purchase of The Cosmopolitan comes with an approximate $3 billion dollar price tag.

Although NOT yet announced, sources confirmed that as soon as this deal became official, the first thing to go was the old casino reservation and computer system. A new system has already been installed and they have already moved the casino host desk to the front of the high roller gaming lounge to keep the casino hosts on the floor and out of the back of the gaming lounge.

Also, the VP of casino marketing in charge of all the hosts did NOT renew his contract which expired in August. More info to come.

This is not a news site but Joe Vargas is well-connected in Las Vegas so there’s potential that the rumor about Cosmopolitan being sold is true. The rumored buyer, James Packer, is an Australian businessman who was born into wealth. According to his wikipedia entry he’s a scientologist who knows Tom Cruise and has dabbled in the casino business before (Read the complete wiki for more info).

I don’t frequent the Cosmo as much as I used but I really like it and like what they bring to the Vegas Strip. The way the Vegas Strip works today it doesn’t seem like an independent owner is the right move for the existence of the hotel in the future.

If this rumor about James Packer buying Cosmopolitan is true expect I fully expect him to sell it off to a more viable casino operator in the future.

This is all just rumor and speculation but it’s fun.

PS: I don’t care that James Packer is a scientologist, it just makes for a fun headline.

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 

Ranking MGM Las Vegas Hotels By Revenue

Bellagio Las Vegas Hotel And Fountain Show at Night
Bellagio At Night

Ranking casinos owned by the same company comes in handy more often than you think. If you’re looking for cheaper rooms, just look to the bottom of the list. If you’re looking for the most players club comps, just look to the bottom of the list. If you’re looking for better gaming odds, you’ll typically look at the bottom (but not always) of the list . If you want to hang with the masses, look to the top of the list because that’s where the money is being spent.

Last week MGM Resorts International reported their quarterly earnings. As part of that information it was easy to pull out how the casino hotels in Las Vegas were doing. In fact, it was real easy since the awesome Stiffs & Georges blog already did it.

  1. Bellagio, $303M
  2. MGM Grand, $255M
  3. Mandalay Bay, $205M
  4. The Mirage, $142M
  5. Luxor, $83M
  6. Excalibur, $70
  7. New York-New York $69M
  8. Monte Carlo, $69M
  9. Circus Circus, $51M

The revenue is fairly in line with how Mlife has the properties ranked when you’re looking for players club comps. If you’re looking at Monte Carlo or New York-New York I recommend you making your plans sooner than later because they should climb the priority chart when the construction is completed next year.

The Mirage is also undergoing a few renovations to freshen it up but it shouldn’t climb much, if any, on the MGM Resorts hotel rankings.

My final thought is more about the revenue for the MGM Resorts hotels than the rankings. It looks like the kiddie corner of the Vegas Strip (Mandalay Bay through Excalibur) is going pretty well. The better the hotels on the south end of the Vegas Strip do the more families and kids it will attract and the less chances that they will have me return as a curious visitor.

If this kiddie corner is creating a niche for MGM Resorts to make more money then it’s a win-win for the company and for me.  It keeps kids away from the casinos I like in Las Vegas and makes MGM Resorts more money.

Photo: Wandermom 

If 85% Of Your Friends Jumped Off The Empire State Building…

Fremont Street Concert Outside of The D Las Vegas
Fremont Street Concert Outside of The D

“If 85% of your friends jumped off the Empire State Building would you?”

This is what my mother would say to me in her thick Bronx accent if I gave an excuse of that my friends were doing something that we shouldn’t be doing. That’s the kind of excuse Derek Stevens gave in justifying adding a $20 resort fee to hotel reservations at The D.

The D Resort Fee

The D has been positioning itself with the big boys of Las Vegas hotels and adding a resort fee puts them in step. That’s fine. It’s their hotel and they can charge what they want. As a consumer you have the right to choose whether or not you wish to pay it.

I will probably pay this resort fee because I like The D and adding $20 to a $40 hotel still keeps The D in line with similar hotels in Downtown Vegas. If there are better prices elsewhere, I’ll just crash somewhere else. Chances are that I’ll still do the much of my gambling at The D because I like gambling there.

The attitude of “since everyone is doing it so will we” is not the way the story was built at The D. They were independent and doing things their own way. That was part of the attraction to The D. I understand why The D added a resort fee but I just find this attitude (the little you can take from a few sentences) disappointing and unexpected. I hope this isn’t a sign of bigger changes in the future.

Photo: Haute Living

Not All Casinos Have The Same Customer

Misfit Right In Says Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Ad
Misfit Right In Says The Cosmopolitan

People that visit casinos know that they all cater to different audiences but never has this been more apparent than the current TV commercials for  Cosmopolitan and Boyd Gaming (Gold Coast, Suncoast, The Orleans & Sams Town).

Cosmopolitan “Misfit Right In”

Boyd Gaming “Cheers”

Both ads have a very specific target and, for the most part, those two customers won’t be the same person as evidenced by the look and sound of both ads. Both ads are appropriate for their desired customer.

The Cosmo has always positioned itself as bright, new and cutting edge hotel for a young customer. This ad successfully conveys that message while giving the customer the idea that they, the customer, are a little different. If you walk through the Cosmo you’ll see that their customers are much more alike then they think. Ironically, you’ll find a more diverse customers at a Boyd Casino.

The Boyd ad targets on an older local casino customer. “Cheers” was a popular TV show because it was the local bar where “everyone knows your name“. Not only is the song nostalgic but it represents a comfortable place to grab dinner, drinks and gamble. That comforting feeling of the casino being your local watering hole hits home as I’ve claimed the sportsbook bar at Red Rock Resort to be my local bar.

Even though both ads are drastically different, so are their customers. Both ads represent their brand well. One thing that should be noted is that Cosmo ad is a national ad while the Boyd Gaming ad is used mostly in Las Vegas.

Coincidentally I’m a potential customer for both casinos as there are some days that I want to hang with the cool kids and pretty people while there are other days I just want to hang at a bar playing video poker talking with the bartender who really does remember my name. Both ads work for me and that’s pretty amazing considering how different they are.

Bally’s Flea Market Coming Soon

Bally's Las Vegas Grand Bazaar Shops
Bally’s Grand Bazaar Shops

Vegas Chatter has been sharing news about Bally’s Grand Bazaar Shops for a while but the info wasn’t anywhere else. They had renderings and everything, so surely this was legit. Right? Right.

Well, last week www.grandbazaarshops.com went live with less information than Vegas Chatter had been reporting. At least they have nicer renderings then this.

Ballys Grand Bazaar Shops Night

Bally’s Grand Bazaar Shops is going to be 175 glorified flea market booths set up in front of Bally’s. I envision this to be like a less forced Harrah’s Carnival Court since you can walk past it if you don’t want to deal with the people shopping.

Caesars Entertainment has decided that low brow temporary shopping is the right way to monetize the space between the Bally’s casino/hotel and the street. Some companies may have looked into a long-term infrastructure expansion of the building but that’s probably not possible when you’re saddled with huge amounts of debt.

The Grand Bazaar Shops may not be the best way to expand Bally’s to the street but it should work for the typical Vegas tourist and typical Caesars customer who is your average American consumer. They’re not looking for anything too fancy. In Vegas they buy  the cheapest booze they can find (usually in the ugliest containers they can find) and playing the cheapest games in the casino.

The average Caesars customers are not the same people staying at Wynn or The Venetian or Cosmopolitan. Instead of elevating Bally’s by making a beautiful property, Caesars has decided to meet their customers at their spending level. A flea market may not be the worst idea – for Caesars and Bally’s. It’s a different story for me.

Bally’s has been my go-to for cheap gaming in that area of the Vegas strip. When friends walk into the Cosmo on a Saturday night they see $25 blackjack minimums and say they want to go somewhere with lower minimums. Planet Hollywood and Paris are usually too crowded for a few people to get in on a game but Bally’s usually has room. They don’t care that they’re playing 6:5 blackjack, they just want to drink and gamble.

Two weeks ago I loved the idea that Bally’s would be renovating the South Tower into the Jubilee Tower. I’m less excited about Bally’s today. The renovations should be cool but non-gaming entities invite families. I’m not sure I see myself wading through the families buying cheap Vegas swag just to get to my hotel room or to play $10 6:5 blackjack. I’d rather deal walking through their broken people mover than mass of humans.

This week I wrote about the average Vegas tourist and the gambler for Against The Number. I’m the latter. Even as a tourist I was never a tourist. That’s just not my thing. I’m also not a shopper. I have amazon if I want to shop. Non-gaming attractions bring families and tourists alike. I don’t need to deal with their derpy derping on my way into the casino.

My Vegas Strip Mall is full of casinos, not shopping. Downtown Vegas may be crowded but it’s seems like there’s not a day that goes by where it doesn’t seem more and more like my kind of strip mall.

Rumor: Las Vegas May Soon Be Hootersless

Hooters Hotel And Casino Las Vegas
Hooters

Hooters Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas has been available for sale in off and on for the past couple years but it looks like they’re serious about selling this time, whether anyone is interested or not.

That sounds like a patchwork solution…shepherding Hooters along until maybe, someday, someone will actually want to buy the place.

Hooters is bringing in Navegante Gaming Inc. as consultants who somehow never help turn around a casino but always manage a casino til it’s inevitable end. They’ve most recently managed Gold Spike and LVH to their death and inevitable death, respectively.

Navegante Gaming Inc., the father-and-son company of industry veterans Larry Jean Woolf and Larry David Woolf, has won approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission to manage Hooters Hotel & Casino.

Regardless of a sale it looks as if they’re going to de-brand Hooters.

The property is is in the process of undergoing a remodel that has already seen $3 million spent to replace carpeting and affect some hotel renovations. A name-change for the off-Strip hotel-casino is also expected shortly, although attempts to find a buyer have, to date, been unsuccessful.

I have an idea for an awesome name – HLV. This in no way would be confused with LVH another awesome name for a casino that can’t be sold.

Seriously, the Hooters brand name has taken a hit in the past couple years with the introduction of new “breastaurant” franchises. The name simply doesn’t hold the same recognition it did 5+ years ago when San Remo was sold and renamed.

It seems as if Hooters is being cleaned up and prepared for sale but who would want to buy an off strip casino? I’ve never been to Hooters and have no plans to ever go. 1 of the 4 people I know that have been there left with pinkeye. I don’t want pinkeye.

Photo: Wikimedia

Golden Nugget Raises Room Rates $5

Golden Nugget Las Vegas On Fremont Street
Golden Nugget

Earlier this week the Golden Nugget added a $5 “Fremont Street Experience” charge to their room rates and people aren’t happy.

The Golden Nugget will not be charging a Resort Fee. Our Strip competitors are charging up to $25 in daily Resort Fees for use of certain hotel amenities regardless if they are used or not. Beginning July 1st, we will be adding a $5 Fremont Street Fee per day to room bookings. The Fremont Street Experience is an amazing 5-block attraction with free nightly light shows, bars, retail, unique vendors, and security. There are significant costs associated with maintaining the Fremont Street Experience and rather than raise hotel rates or charge high resort fees we have chosen to keep our rates low and implement a nominal $5 fee (80% less than Strip Resort Fees).

Base room rates at Golden Nugget for the next couple months range between $47 and $209. The $5 Fremont Street Experience price increase represents a room rate increase between 2% and 10%. The Cosmopolitan resort fee added about 10% to the cost of their rooms. It doesn’t seem like occupancy at Cosmopolitan was effected by the rate increase and it probably won’t hurt the Nugget because the surcharge isn’t as drastic to the customer.

Golden Nugget Las Vegas Hotel Room Rates

Hotels add resort fees on top of room rates so that third-party travel sites can’t commission on sales. Last year ago I hypothesized, jokingly, that we’ll soon see free rooms with $100 resort fees so that hotels can avoid paying companies like Expedia. Unless the government steps in to stop hotels from adding fees they will continue to use them as a way to increase room prices and avoid paying third-party booking companies.

Personally, I’ve lost so many times gambling at the Golden Nugget without ever winning that I won’t step foot in there. The price increase is annoying but it’s not out of line. If I didn’t have such strong feelings against the casino this small increase in prices wouldn’t keep me from returning.

That said, my next visit to Downtown Vegas will be a return trip to The D. I like that joint.

Photo: Golden Nugget

Las Vegas Housing Market Back On Upswing

Summerlin Las Vegas Road
Road To Nowhere

I generally keep this blog to casinos, gaming and travel between Atlantic City and Las Vegas but every now and again I’ll sprinkle in a taste of life I find exploring Vegas. I typically end up in casinos or other toursity spots so this works well. A few weeks ago I was driving around the suburbs drinking coffee on a beautiful Sunday morning when I noticed that formerly barren corners of Las Vegas were beginning to get some action. I thought this was a sign that something was happening but wasn’t sure what to make of it. Yesterday we got this news:

U.S. home prices spiked 10.9 percent in March compared to the same period a year ago, with all 20 cities measured in the most recent Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller housing report posting positive year-over-year growth for the third month in a row.

Phoenix has the largest annual increase in annual prices at 22.5 percent, followed by San Francisco with 22.2 percent and Las Vegas with 20.6 percent. Boston annual prices rose 6.7 percent, according to the report.

The increase in housing sales explains the activity I’ve witnessed in my corner of Vegas. The drive on this Sunday morning took me to the edge of civilization and the Red Rock mountains. I imagine that this land, like much of the other land around it, was probably desert just a few years ago before the last Vegas building boom. The road to nowhere on this day shows where the building ended (left side of the street) and where building has ramped up again (right side).

Long Road To Nowhere Las Vegas

Las Vegas is still new to me since most of my travels end up in casinos and I often end up taking roads to nowhere when I want to clear my head. These are roads where the Las Vegas boom just stops. Roads are unfinished and there partially started construction sites. It’s kind of sad but also kind of cool to look at because it’s something I’ve never seen before.

End Of The Road Las Vegas

The road to nowhere above used to just end. There were no machines moving and nothing happening. This Sunday morning they were resting like normal people…err machines but have been working during normal work hours. Looping back you can see that houses are being worked on right now.

Nowhere House Las Vegas

The construction out in the Vegas burbs has resumed and that’s a good sign of the Las Vegas economy. The Vegas strip has also begun preparing for an improved economy with construction resuming last year with The Linq and this year with MGM and SLS Vegas construction.

The next boom in Vegas won’t be as extravagant as when CityCenter, Cosmopolitan, Wynn and Encore where built but new activity on the strip and in the burbs can only mean good things in the near future for both Vegas and Las Vegas.