Twitter Board At The Mirage

When I was at The Mirage last week to check out their renovated sportsbook (see pictures and review on Vegas Chatter) I noticed that the video display opposite the check in desk had a scroll of tweets that mention the hotel. The display isn’t dedicated to twitter but the screen scrolls for about as long as the commercials for other things to do on property. I’m on twitter all day so seeing my tweets from checking in and my pictures on display was pretty cool.

This may not seem as cutting edge to me today as it would have 3 years ago but twitter is still new to many people. This is still something new and different in casino marketing as I’ve never seen this done elsewhere. The delay is such that if you check in on foursquare when you get out of your car or cab you should see your name while waiting in line to check in to the hotel. This isn’t something that will make or break anyone’s hotel stay but it’s always nice to see your name in lights. Kudo’s to @TheMirageLV for doing something different.

PS: My “Where Am I?” question on my checkin was because this was my first time self parking at The Mirage and I had no idea where I was. I didn’t realize that the garage was connected to the casino by a walkway.

It’s Madness!

March Madness Atlanta
March Madness!

Fact: I’ve been detached from college basketball more this year than ever before. I haven’t even watched a half of one game.

My excitement for the NCAA Basketball Tournament March Madness is slightly greater than my excitement for the World Baseball Classic. As I mentioned earlier today on Vegas Chatter the odds of a perfect bracket are 1,000,000,000 – 1 (I think that’s a billion) so I’m not too concerned with being perfect. I probably have as much knowledge as 90% of people that entered the ESPN pool for whatever that’s worth.

I’m not stoked on my bracket already but since it’s tradition I figured I might as well share my picks (click to enlarge).

2013 March Madness Bracket

Follow me on twitter if you want to see any actual bets I make on individual games. My attention to the tournament started to wane last year and I mostly bet second halves of games I was watching and I expect that this year will be the same.

Grab a printable March Madness bracket or just visit ESPN.com to use their system which is simple and doesn’t kill any trees.

Claire Sinclair: The New Face Of Las Vegas

Claire Sinclair isn’t new to many people that follow Las Vegas. She was introduced to many on an episode of “Holly’s World” by Holly Madison, who was previously the (unofficial) face of Las Vegas. With Holly Madison knocked up and out of commission for a while, Claire Sinclair is stepping into the role as the face of Las Vegas. Claire Sinclair, like Holly Madison, is a former Playboy playmate. Claire Sinclair is actually a super playmate since she was also 2011 Playmate of the Year.

If you follow the Las Vegas media you’ve been seeing her everywhere for the past few months and that will continue. Up next, Claire Sinclair will be headlining a new show, “Pin up”, at the Stratosphere on February 25. Here’s how the Strat describes the show.

PIN UP™  features Claire Sinclair  – PLAYBOY’s 2011 Playmate of the Year® and Bettie Page Clothing model – in a high-energy, original show that brings to life the classic pin up calendar girl with a sexy, modern twist.

“This show brings the classic pin up girl calendar to life month by month through incredible live music, dance and variety,” said 21-year old Sinclair. “PIN UP  is classy, sexy and most importantly, fun.”

Featuring an impressive cast of dancers, singers and a live six-piece band with a horn section, PIN UP  is a fast-paced, swingin’ production that will transport audiences to a modern version of a vintage era, where red lips, corsets and garter stockings grace the most beautiful of women. 

You can find more information on the show and buy tickets on the Stratosphere’s website. If you stay at the Stratosphere the tickets are 2 for 1. Follow Claire Sinclair on twitter to see what the new Ms. Las Vegas is up to.

Tweet me @eastcoastgamblr

 

It Was Nice While It Lasted

Something great happened in Las Vegas when the economy crashed in 2008. Hotel room rates in Las Vegas decreased. A lot. $200-$300 hotel rooms at Wynn could be had for as little as $99. It was awesome for those not hurt too badly by the slowed economy.

I was able to get suites at The Palazzo for $109 without ever having gambled there before. Even middle of the road hotels had to discount their rooms and places like The Mirage and MGM Grand offered rooms as low as $29.

Things are changing. The number of visitors to Las Vegas has increased almost every month this year and while that’s good for the businesses in Las Vegas, that is becoming bad for for the customer. Insert the law of supply and demand.

The law of supply and demand defines the effect that the availability of a particular product and the desire (or demand) for that product has on price.

When hotel rooms were unoccupied, the hotels had to lower rated to get people in the door. Now that there are more visitors the hotel companies have been able to raise prices. Those $99 Wynn hotel rooms are back in that $200-$300 per night range. The Cosmopolitan feels so confident about their room rates that they’ve added a resort fee to their rooms even though they said they would never have one.

This is just a warning that prices will continue to rise as tourism rates rise. There are still bargains to be had at casinos if you are a players club member and/or if you shop around. Twitter and Facebook offer sales and expedia runs weekly discounts just to name a few places you can find bargains.

Plan your trips to Las Vegas early and manage expectations of where you’re staying because the dollar won’t be stretching as far as it used to.

Phillies at 1,000-1!

If you follow me on this blog or anywhere else you’ll know that I’m a Yankees fan and like to bet on sports. I’m also a Jets fan, but that’s not important right now.

Even though I live in Las Vegas I’m not a professional gambler. Nor do I want to be a professional gambler. I’m asked whether I am or not on twitter much more than I should be on twitter.

I had friends in town from the east coast this weekend and after showing them around downtown Vegas on Saturday we watched football on the strip at Planet Hollywood where they were staying. We love Blondies and had to try Flavor Flav’s fried chicken. (See thoughts on Flav’s chicken at Vegas Chatter.)

While I’m not a professional gambler I’m a little more educated on gambling gaming than your average Joe. I’ve been writing about and researching gaming for a few years. I’d like to think I’ve learned something over that time. Still, I gamble for fun…not for a pay check. Of course I want to win, but that’s not going to happen all the time.

Baseball is my favorite sport so I think I know “value” when I see it. While cashing a football ticket at Planet Hollywood my friend saw the Phillies at 1,000-1 odds to win the World Series. He and another friend dropped a $20 on that bet. Hey, it pays $20,000 if they win. Why not?

I took a few minutes before doing anything on my own. The Phillies were 6 games out of a playoff spot but had a game in hand on the Brewers who were only 500-1. Both teams were .5 games aparts by record and Phillies have a better pitching staff while the Brewers have better hitting. If they’re equal on so many levels why are the Brewers offered at half the price? I see the value on the Phillies relative to the Brewers and other long shots.

The playoffs are about pitching, so if the Phillies remain the hot team and somehow make it to the playoffs they have a better chance to advance than the Brewers, if they even make it. Momentum is great in the playoffs. Dropping $20 on the Phillies sounds like a more interesting spend of $20 than playing 6/5 Bonus Poker at the bar.

After contemplating their current record and future schedule I ran to the sportsbook at Planet Hollywood. My friends big bets didn’t move the odds yet (I’m half joking) so I decided to join them with a $20 bet on the Phillies to win the World Series.

I know this isn’t a large bet, but for me it’s an S&G (shits n giggles) bet that has a pretty sweet payout of $20,000. There’s definitely some value in that 1,000-1 number compared to the other long shots and this will make the last couple weeks of the baseball season worth watching a little more.

MLB App

In fact, tonight I went a little crazy with baseball. I was flipping between the MLB app, MLB TV and the Fox Sports to check on the following games.

  • Marlins at Phillies
  • Cardinals at Padres
  • Pirates at Reds
  • Braves at Brewers

It was a pretty intense situation tonight and everything fell right on the first night having this bet in place.

Gambling isn’t always about the money at stake for me, it’s about the win. I like to win. While the risk of here is small, the payoff is huge. I don’t need betting on baseball to keep me interested in the game while footballseason kicks off, but it certainly doesn’t hurt!

This will be fun regardless if I win $20k or lose $20. For the next few weeks,

#GoYanks!
#GoPhils!

…also #GoJets while we’re at it.

A Little East Coast Love Comes West

If you’re an east coaster like I am you are very familiar with Dunkin Donuts. Dunkin Donuts may have the word donut in the name, but they’re known for their coffee more, if not the same as the donuts.

The donuts may not be the best you’ll find in any city, but they’re usually passable. However, their coffee is smooth and not harsh like Starbucks. I like strong coffee, but I don’t necessarily like bitter coffee.

I love my coffee and when I want a simple, not complex cup I’ll head to one of three Dunkin Donuts in Las Vegas. I have about 15 closer coffee shops closer than The D (one of many nicknames), but none offer similar cups of coffee.

If you follow me on twitter you know may know that I live near the best coffee in Vegas, Sambalatte. Sambalatte is fantastic for a high quality brew, but it doesn’t offer the same experience that DD does.

Every cup of coffee tells its own story in its own way. Dunkin Donuts is like a big hug from my friends back east with a New York or New Jersey accent.

Dunkin Donuts has been growing a lot over the past few years. This week @DunkinDonutsLV launched and I immediately followed to keep up with my local Dunkin. While I was working Monday they hada twitter contest and I was lucky enough to be chosen as a winner!

Sprinkles, Dunkin Donuts Las Vegas’ mascot (above) paid me a visit and brought along with a box of donuts (below)….

Box of Dunkin Donuts
Box of Dunkin Donuts

and thermos of their new Black Cocoa Creme Iced Coffee (below).

Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee
Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee

I drank the entire thermos of coffee and almost ran through a wall. The Black Cocoa Creme Iced Coffee isn’t something I’d ever think to order, but it was awesome. It was like an iced mocha without the gnarly aftertaste you often get.

Dunkin Donuts has no idea that I have a blog or that I write as they found me on my personal twitter account where I rarely talk about my writing. I don’t care if they find out, but I’m not going to showboat that I spent 20 minutes writing about this experience.

Whatever the case may be, this gave me an excuse to talk a) about coffee and b) Dunkin Donuts. Two things I like…a bit too much.

PS: You can always feel free to donate $3 to my coffee fund so I can get all caffeinated.

Atlantic City Wants To Be “Silicon Valley of Internet Gaming”

Hold your laughter now, but New Jersey senator Raymond Lesniak wants Atlantic City to become “Silicon Valley of Internet Gaming.” This was said as New Jersey is trying to make it legal to gamble online…now.

New Jersey gamblers could start placing online bets through Atlantic City-based gaming websites within six months if state legislators succeed in pushing through a new law next week.

The rush to change New Jersey regulations follows a Dec. 23 ruling by the U.S. Department of Justice that removes obstructions to states pursuing online gaming. Also, the state is trying to catch up to Nevada, which established its own rules for online gaming Dec. 22.

While Mr. Lesniak seems to be the only person in New Jersey trying to push gaming, the state is generally a few beers short of a six pack when it comes to getting anything done to put itself ahead of other gambling markets, let alone tech markets. New Jersey, as a whole, always seems like the little brother in gaming and it’s cute to watch them want to play with the big boys. Good luck.

PS: Mr. Senator, you haven’t used twitter in a while, you may want to get on that before you become “Silicon Valley of Internet Gaming.”

PPS: #Seriously

 

 

Watch The Las Vegas Fireworks Live Online

Earlier this week I saw a question from @goon29 on twitter asking if he could watch the New Years Eve fireworks from Vegas live online somewhere since he’s back east. I figure he’s not the only one that might like this info. After all, we all have Vegas cravings (even if you live here and hide in the burbs) and this is a good excuse to get a fix.

Twitter Goon 29
Twitter Goon 29

After trying to go through proper channels (Thanks Becca) and not getting an answer I got an answer for Goon last night from Channel 8 News’ Dayna Roselli last night about 2 minutes after I asked.

Twitter Dayna Roselli
Twitter Dayna Roselli

While nothing is like being in New York City for New Years Eve, Las Vegas is probably the second best place in America to be. The strip is shut down to traffic and becomes a giant open container street party. While I’m at it, being 40-something degrees at midnight is much nicer than standing in zero degree temps outside being back east.

This year the big fireworks display will be held at 8 different casinos on the strip and last nine minutes. Dayna says that Channel 8 will have helicopters and cameras all over Las Vegas to cover things.

Go here for Channel 8

I know the photo is old but it’s nice – from elektrodaily

Please Buy Tickets To Stevie Wonder; These Cosmopolitan Twitter Ads Bother Me

Today the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas announced an awesome New Years Eve concert with Stevie Wonder. Stevie Wonder is awesome and doesn’t tour. This will truly be a special event. It’s the kind of even people will travel for. Seriously, I can’t contain my excitement for how awesome this concert will be. I have no doubt it will sell out quickly.

On the other side of the fence at Cosmo is a concert featuring Morrissey. Tickets do not seem to be selling well as every time I switch twitter accounts in hootsuite, I get a promoted tweet announcing the concert and giving away a pair of tickets to see Morrissey.

Cosmopolitan Morrissey
Cosmopolitan Morrissey

These ads are annoying and they suck. They make me hate the advertiser. For all of the positive things people say about @Cosmopolitan_lv this wreaks of a desperate attempt to sell tickets and something that was ordered by someone that doesn’t work for the social media team. Last week Reebok ran a similar ad campaign for a John Wall shoe. It was equally as annoying. I unfollowed Reebok after the inundation of tweets. I tried to block them and wasn’t able to.

These twitter ad campaign issues are a twitter problem, more than the business, but if businesses are not told that the construction of the campaign is bothersome, they will never know. So, I’m speaking up and hopefully this is read and passed on.

Bottom line is that this Morrissey concert is still a month away. I don’t like his music and I don’t like these ads and hopefully they won’t run that long. That said, Stevie Wonder is awesome. Go to the concert and buy some music below. Here’s to hoping these ads stop!

Stevie Wonder - The Definitive Collection
Stevie Wonder - The Definitive Collection

If A Casino Does A Weekly 72 Hour Sale Is It Really A Sale?

I don’t follow many casinos on twitter anymore.  Most of them violate my personal twitter etiquette and I don’t want their useless crap mixed in with crap that is useful to me.  Anyway, over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a lot of casinos offering 3-day sales each week.  For example, Tropicana seems to be one of those casinos to have a sale every week.  Here’s proof of the end…kinda…

Topicana Las Vegas 72 Hour Sale
Topicana Las Vegas 72 Hour Sale

Let’s use Tropicana as the example; They’re not the only casino offering a “sale” 60% of every week and they’re not the only casino to offer discounted rates when they’re not offering these “sales”.  So what makes these sales useful to the consumer if prices are always discounted?

It’s general knowledge that most businesses offer their cheapest rates midweek anyway so besides sexing up their discounted rates these sales don’t seem to really offering anything special – especially if they’re offering the same special deals every week and then discounted rooms on the days where there isn’t a sale.

If these sales aren’t really special and most of the casinos are just retweeting positive mentions of their property then why would you or I follow them?  The answer, for me, is I won’t.  I’ll just find something else to waste my 30 seconds on if you’re not providing me anything special or interesting or useful.