Caesars Palace – Appian Way and Nobu

Why would Caesars corp throw a new Asian theme (Nobu) in the middle of their Roman themed palace on the strip in Las Vegas?  Good question, but this move makes sense in a very Caesars way.

Caesars Palace is massive.  It’s expansive and confusing.  Besides MGM Grand there may not be a more poorly laid out property in Vegas.  What’s a company looking to breathe new life into it’s hodgepodge of a property to do?  Bring in some help.

It must not easy to find a brand partner that can fit in with their Roman theme.  Nobu’s Asian theme may be a very far cry from what Caesars Palace was built on, but they are a partner that makes sense in the way Caesars operates.

The restaurant and lounge will be in 9,500 square feet at the base of the Nobu tower, near the existing Appian Way at Caesars Palace.

“Nobu’s distinctive brand will bring a new dimension to Caesars Palace and will be designed to attract first-time visitors. The re-branded hotel tower, restaurant and lounge will offer an experience unlike anything in Las Vegas, pairing exclusive accommodations with a resort famed for world-class entertainment, shopping and leisure experiences,” Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner said in a statement.

Pussy Cat Dolls, Sugar Factory and Kerry Simon are just a few outside brands that Caesars has used in their recent expansions. They aren’t keeping ideas in house to expand.  Using outside names and partners allows for further reach.  In simple form you now have the corporate marketing teams working with outside teams.  Maybe theirs strength in numbers.

So the center of Caesars Palace will be modernized with a hip, Asian theme.  Most of the rooms are tiny, so I don’t think this is about the rooms.  If Caesars really wanted to make a statement, they’d knock down walls and double the room size.

The real reason to bring Nobu on is to develop Appian Way, which is underdeveloped and lightly trafficked.  This might create overall theme confusion but this gives the square footage of Appian Way a chance for Caesars to see revenue they aren’t seeing now.  This is probably the least expensive way for Caesars to remodel this portion of the casino.

This likely allows Caesars to manage the hotel tower while Nobu will probably be bringing their name, celebrities and PR staff to the mix managing the Appian Way section.

This is similar to other major corporate partnerships for the most part.  Such as the other partnerships in things I enjoy (music, sports)  I don’t like it, I get it.

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.” Continue reading “Seven Stars Insider – January Edition”

KGB Will Find You Before You Find KGB

KGB Burger
KGB Burger

If you know me, you know I love a good burger.  I’ve read a slew of stories about Kerry Simon’s new burger joint opening at Harrah’s called KGB.

The burger joint will serve lunch, dinner and late-night bites. On the menu will be “inventive burger offerings, signature snacks and sides including ‘Iron Chef’ sliders and tater tots and sweet selections such as strawberry shortcake push pops.” You know Simon, he always needs a junk food platter to complete a meal.

The restaurant will also take on a very different look for Harrah’s. The walls will be covered in 1960s Russian propaganda posters and the full service bar will feature vodka hostesses, an ice bar and chilled vodka specialty drinks. There will also be flat-screen TVs (practically expected in all Vegas restaurants) that will rotate from sports events to “retro-style images.”

The concept is kind of cool – I love vodka and I love a good burger.  However, the name KGB refers to Russian secret police.  I won’t go anywhere that makes me think of shady police.   That’s just not my thing.

When Harrah’s realizes that the name is a bad idea in 3 months they can call Yakov Smirnoff to lend his name to the restaurant.  Now THAT’S a good idea.

Photo: About.com