Seven Stars Insider – March Edition

Here’s the latest edition of Seven Stars Insider.  This is an easy read and an excellent resource for Harrah’s Caesars players – especially in Atlantic City this month.  Head over to Seven Stars Insider to sign up for the newsletter.  There is lots of new and useful information in this edition (some of which I’m going to reference in future posts), so read on for all the goods.

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.  Back issues of the Seven Stars Insider newsletter are available online.

Seven Stars 2011-12
The new booklets are out detailing benefits for Seven Stars cardholders, effective April 1.  Already several folks are complaining that the money that went into printing the book could have been better spent.  (One person wrote she would have been happier with $100 in free play and a sheet or two of “regular paper”.)  One thing you’ll notice is that your choice of gifts has been substantially reduced to just four – all of which many people probably have, received as a casino giveaway, or already would have purchased had they wanted them.  [Caesars, be prepared for a lot of flak on this one!]  “Signature Experiences” also have been reduced and – the biggest complaint I hear – most don’t include airfare.  Also, they tend to be heavy on sports-themed events – something else that isn’t making some people very happy.  Finally, there will be three “Seven Stars Signature Events”: Atlantic City in June, Lake Tahoe in August and New Orleans in October.  It would be nice if they’d give some advance notice on exact dates, but when you go to http://www.SignatureEvents2011.com <http://www.signatureevents2011.com/> , all you get is a form to complete and you will receive information when it’s available.  Also, many folks have expressed an interest in discounted charter flights to these events.

Le Ombré
If you missed Le Ombré at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City last month, you missed a real treat.  It was probably one of the classiest, most sophisticated entertainment events in recent memory.  The combination of acrobatics, contemporary dance and other theatrics made for an entertaining and memorable evening.  I hope the powers-that-be bring them back for an encore performance – and one that lasts longer than seven performances.

From Pollistino’s To Palladino’s
Former Borgata chef Luke Palladino, who left to open his own stand-alone restaurant in Northfield, N.J., will be returning to Atlantic City where he will take the helm at his namesake restaurant in Harrah’s Resort.  The old Pollistino’s will be gutted and feature a whole new look with a larger bar.

Tazza To Open At Caesars
Speaking of new places to eat in Atlantic City, Caesars seems ready to open Tazza in the main lobby across from Mia and the front desk.  We should know more about the entire concept later this month, but think upscale Starbucks with an Italian twist and an expanded menu.

More Las Vegas Benefits
Absent from last month’s list of special Seven Stars benefits was a quarterly round of golf.  Details are on the Caesars Web site.

Asian Marketplace
While rain forced cancellation of a Boardwalk parade celebrating the Lunar New Year, it was warm and comfy inside Caesars Palladium Ballroom last month where an Asian marketplace was created.  This was another winner for lucky players in Atlantic City who got vouchers for shopping and enjoyed traditional entertainment.  While the wares were a little overpriced, there were some unique foods and other trinkets for sale.  Hey, Caesars, how about a similar Italian marketplace for Columbus Day?

ACES Train/Hampton Luxury Liner
ACES – the speedy New York-to-Atlantic City train – is on hiatus, but will resume May 13.  The best deal right now for a cheap trip to Atlantic City from New York is the Hampton Luxury Liner.  Currently, the service is offering $5 round-trips between Long Island-Manhattan to Resorts in Atlantic City.  In addition, every passenger gets $5 in free slot play.  If you decide to stay over, it will set you back another $5.  Details here.

Bill’s Withdrawal
As noted in a special follow-up e-mail to last month’s newsletter, the free food deal for Seven Stars cardholders at Bill’s Gambling Hall no longer exists.

Showboat Goes To The Dogs
Showboat’s New Orleans Tower last month became the first casino hotel in Atlantic City to allow guests’ dogs to stay overnight in their rooms.  The program, available only in nine rooms, began February 24, and the nightly $40 extra per room per night fee was waived through March 2.  (A similar “Pet Stay” program in Las Vegas is offered at the Imperial Palace, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and Caesars Palace.  Rates are a little lower there: Imperial Palace and Rio, $20 per night additional, and Caesars Augustus Tower, $25.)  Guests are limited to two dogs per room, the dogs must be present at check-in, and they cannot weigh more than 50 pounds each.  The extra fee gets your pooch treats, food and water bowls, a doggie mat for sleeping, disposable waste bags, and a keepsake dufflebag.  Warning, though:  If you leave Fido in the room he/she must be crated or caged.  For less money, gamblers with dogs (and cats) can leave their pets at the Atlantic City Pet Hotel (http://www.atlanticcitypethotelandgrooming.com/ <http://www.atlanticcitypethotelandgrooming.com/> ). Showboat does not allow cats.

$1,000 Hand-Pays
Many Caesars properties are now hand-paying jackpots starting at $1,000, rather than the taxable $1,200.  (Some non-Caesars casinos set their machines to go off at $500.)  The reason:  To get other players excited about winning, they want to “milk” that annoying sound a machine makes when it pays off, plus to let other folks witness the “drama” of all those $100 bills’ being peeled off.

Rio Robbed
Fedora?  Check.  Fake mustache?  Check.  Sunglasses?  Check.  Steal $32,000 in chips from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas?  Yep, and pulled out a gun when a dealer tried to stop him.  The robber fled the scene in a cab.

Caesars Buffet Hours Change – Again
There were lots of people scratching their heads as they read a sign in front of the buffet at Caesars in Atlantic City.  According to the sign, the buffet should have been open Thursday morning, but, apparently, they changed the hours, and not the sign.  One couple was particularly irritated because they had driven over from Harrah’s.  “I hate Reflections, but I hate Café Roma even more,” the wife said, “but we weren’t about to drive back.”

Question Of The Month
I signed up for one of those “Signature Experiences” that includes a $500 spa credit.  Do I have to use it for just one service, or can I split it up?  Have a massage, a facial, whatever. . .the credit is good for total services up to and including a maximum of $500, not just one service.

Seven Stars For Less
Turns out several people are sneaking in to Seven Stars with less than 100,000 tier points.  Those who wrote – or wrote about their friends – seemed on the verge of paranoia, afraid that their identity would be divulged.  Trust me, your secret’s safe with me.  And, 2010-2011 Seven Stars cardholders who last year made it only to “High Diamond” status, if your total points were in the mid- to high-80Ks, I’d petition the general manager at your “home” casino – especially if all (or at least the bulk) of your points were earned at that casino.  Another tip, just ask for the card and forget about the annual dinner, trip, gift, etc.  For many folks, access to the Seven Stars Club in Hammond, Ind., or at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City is worth the card, as is the ability to “jump the line” at Diamond Clubs, certain restaurants, box offices, giveaways, etc.

Want To Share a Comment?
Rather than ask a specific question this month, here’s your chance to “vent” on any topic from Caesars Entertainment (in general), to Seven Stars (in general) and other related topics.  Send me an email (sevenstarsinsider@gmail.com and I’ll share your thoughts – anonymously, of course.

Darryl D. McEwen, Publisher
Seven Stars Insider