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.

Gold Coast Renovations

I have a soft spot in my heart for the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast was one of the first casinos I stayed at when visiting Las Vegas and it’s still one of the places I recommend people stay when looking for a cheap hotel rooms near the strip. Gold Coast is about to become a better bargain with new hotel and casino renovations.

Contractors are putting the finishing touches on 400 refurbished hotel rooms at the Gold Coast.

The rooms, which are expected to reopen in the next two weeks, feature new wall coverings, carpets, blackout drapes and furniture, including armoires, dressers and desks.

The next phase of the renovation, scheduled to begin this summer, will include installing new carpeting in Gold Coast’s 87,000-square-foot casino and replacing all of its slot stands and chairs.

Gold Coast has cheap gambling with quick drink service and the renovations to make the hotel rooms more modern and clean this is definitely a great place to crash. There is nothing fancy about the Gold Coast casino but it’s a fun place to play with decent food options.

Gold Coast is owned by Boyd Gaming and its B Connected players club is connected with 6 other Las Vegas hotels and 7 others across the country so playing at Gold Coast will earn comps to use at a lot of different casinos. The B Connected app is an excellent combination of players club and hotel information.

I can smell a low limit Pai-Gow night coming up soon!

Photo: Wikimedia

Lots Of New Things At Palms

Palms has undergone a major facelift in the past year and it’s still happening while they renovate Rain Nightclub. This is similar to the changes at Mandalay Bay. The casino never closed but a lot has been closed and reopened as something completely new.

But from the Palms’ perspective, Heraea is the latest upgrade — and, so far, the most prominent gearing up — in the hotel’s new direction. Many of the amenities the Palms was known for (including Gardunos, the original sports book, Little Buddha and Island Bar in the middle of the casino) have been taken apart in favor of freshly designed venues. The next highly anticipated opening is Xi Shi, replacing Little Buddha, which is expected to open by spring.

I used to visit Palms every trip when I first started visiting Las Vegas. It was on MTV and it’s where the good looking girls went….it was where Britney performed and hung out. I’m not sure exactly when but Palms lost its spark but at some point my friends and I stopped making it a point to visit Palms and nobody ever gave us a reason to go any longer.

Since I’ve been living in Las Vegas I’ve visited Palms twice. Once for steak and N9NE and once to see a band. I figure if I’m in that area to gamble I’ll get some B-Connected points at Gold Coast or Total Rewards points at Rio. If I want fun I’ll just head to the strip for the chaos.

I’m not sure that the new additions to Palms are going to change the general blah feeling many have but I’m curious to check out Heraea. I’m just not sure that one bar/restaurant is enough to have me, or anyone I know like me, visit Palms regularly but they get a  shot. As the poker players say “all you need is a chip and a chair.” That’s about all Palms has right now, a chip and a chair.

Photo: Chia 187

Cheap Places To Stay In Vegas

People are often asking what hotels in Las Vegas they can stay for cheap. My immediate response is downtown or check expedia to see what you can afford. When the question stays on the strip, it’s a little more complicated but not really. It’s just too much for a tweet.

I’m writing this as a reference of hotel/casinos to look at if you’re looking for cheap options broken down by area in Las Vegas.

Main Street Station: Top 10 Crapper In Country!

I still haven’t been to Main Street Station in downtown Las Vegas (that will change soon), but evidently it has one of the top 10 public restrooms in America. How bout that?!

Main Street Station was one of 10 finalists in America’s Best Public Restroom contest, run since 2002 by Cincinnati-based Cintas Corp. Had it won, the bathroom would have been the first in Las Vegas to pick up the award, although others — including restrooms at Mix and Zeffirino at the Venetian — have been past nominees.

Las Vegas does have some of my favorite public restrooms. The Gold Coast has a huge room with many stalls which will give you privacy. It also has a single, non-handicapped, restroom for those times where you need to be alone. I don’t really care much about decor, but having a TV is a bonus and the mens room at the Red Rock Casino sportsbook has that.

This very special proclamation only makes me want to visit Main Street Station more.

 

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.

Vegas Report – Prime Time!

…Friday night I got dressed and headed over to Bellagio for dinner at Prime.  It was at this time I realized that 8pm is a perfect time for dinner in Las Vegas.  I order a glass of wine at the bar while waiting for the table.  We’re taken outside to the patio for dinner.  The weather was perfect.  The patio was at the edge of the lake in front of Bellagio and the view was great.

prime-view

I’m not much of a tourist so I didn’t realize that the water show happens every 15 minutes on the nose.  It was pretty cool to be sitting outside about to have steak watching the show.  Dinner probably lasted 2 hours because I think I saw the whole cycle of shows.

dinner-show

Having a winning afternoon and a little too much to drink I decided to splurge on dinner and I ordered a Kobe beef strip.  It was only 6 ounces and cost $150.  The smallish portion was actually perfect to soak up the alcohol and provided a nice base for the evening.  It was also the best piece of steak I’ve ever had.  Mac and cheese and onion rings were the sides and a nice compliment to the steak.  Another GREAT dinner.

After dinner I headed out to the casino for a little gambling.  One of the best things of gambling at Bellagio is that the drinks served are fantastic.  Tonight was no different.  After sitting down at a 3 card poker table I had a few more kettel one and soda’s.  About an hour and a half later I was up another $400 and decided it was time to hang out with some younger people at the Palms.

The Palms was rocking as usual.  Plenty of hot girls.  This is probably where it hit me that half the girls in Vegas have not learned how to walk in heels.  It’s pretty funny to watch girls on the edge of falling over while they try to look hot.

Anyway, I sat down for yet another session of 3 card poker.  I don’t think I’ve ever played this much 3 card poker in one day.  The drinks at the Palms were not awesome and the service was not as fast as the other casinos so I ordered double since the rest of the table was doing so.  I was dealt 3 of a kind after about 20 minutes and that set the tone for the time at Palms.  After couple more hours I walked away up another $300.

It was time to see how the other half lives at the Gold Coast.  The Gold Coast has done some remodeling since I was there last.  I’m not sure if TGIFridays would be considered an upgrade, but it was prefect for a 2am (or 3am) snack.  It was about to close, but that didn’t stop the last order from going in.  It was perfect.

I’m not sure if it was waking up at 7am or the many many drinks I had, but I was pooped.  After losing $100 in Pai Gow I headed back to Caesars Palace.  I had a great cab driver, who offered lots of laughs.  I don’t remember if I gambled at all when I go back to Caesars.  I do know that PURE was emptying and the corral they have for people was being broken down.

Off to bed.  The next day was Manny vs. Ricky…

Station Casinos Holding On. For Now.

Last night Las Vegas’ mostly locals casino chain, Station Casinos, announced that they were given an extension on their deadline to file for bankruptcy by their lenders.  The extension is for 30 days and doesn’t mean that Station Casinos is in the clear just yet.

The May 15 deadline gives holders of $2.3 billion in bonds more time to consider Station Casinos’ offer to buy back investors’ bonds and exchange them with new, discounted notes with extended maturity dates, potentially reducing the company’s debt by $1.7 billion.

The extension postpones a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Station, which anticipates filing for bankruptcy protection regardless of whether bondholders approve the exchange.

Filing for Chapter 11 isn’t always the death of a business.  In this case it could allow Station Casinos the ability to restructure, pay off debt and stay in business.  

As I’ve mentioned before, I like Station Casinos and think there is a place in the market for them.  I, almost always, make it a point to stop off at the Gold Coast.  I have plans on doing that again on my next trip.  The Gold Coast was on of the places where I honed my gambling chops and I hope things stay in tact.