WiFi just happens to be another of the great changes that has failed to materialize. Back in March, a Hooters property rep posting on TripAdvisor suggested that WiFi would be here by June:
Team H, Manager at Hooters Casino Hotel, responded to this review
March 2, 2013
Thank you for sharing your comments and we are sorry that your experience at Hooters Casino Hotel was just "ok" and not Hooterific! We are currently in the process of making lots of new changes to our property, including the guest rooms and hotel hallways. We will also be adding WIFI to all our guestrooms and public space at no charge; we expect this change to take place in the 2nd quarter of 2013. We opened our new 24 hour bar March 2, 2013 called the Saloon. The Saloon is a 24-hour bar that features Great Gaming, live bands, $4.00 Beer (all brands), and we serve Hooters World Famous Wings!
We are well into Q3 and the state of the Internet at Hooters is as sad as ever (more on that later). If Hooters is unable to complete a project as small as installing WiFi on time, what hope is there for the renovation of its nearly 700 guest rooms?
If rumors of an impending sale turn out to be true, we donít need to worry about Hooters performing any renovations, after all. The stream of delays and apparent unwillingness on the part of management to invest in the property certainly hint that it is being shopped around. The official word is that they are looking for a hotel partner, but what hotel brand would want to align with Hooters? The Hyatt Hooters? Hooters Ritz-Carlton? Maybe, Hooters Super 8 would be a better fit. From the Las Vegas Advisor:
June 22, 2013 11:11 Hooters Refutes Sale Rumors: The owners of Hooters are refuting press reports that they are actively trying to sell the property. Rather, they say they are pursuing a "nationally recognized hotel flag for the property [that] would be synergistic with the highly successful Hooters restaurant." That still sounds like they want a buyer to us.
This writer grew tired of the press releases and official timelines and decided to see what changes, if any, were taking place at the former San Remo. With Priceline offering rooms for just $16 per night, it would be hard to go wrong.
My trip started off wrong when the check-in agent was unable to locate my reservation. She suggested waiting an hour, as sometimes there was a delay in the system. I wandered around, soaking in the aroma of chicken wings that permeated the somewhat Nascar-themed casino. A free play offer grabbed my attention and consumed the majority of the hour. The playerís club employee I spoke with at length regarding the offer did not understand the terms of the promotion and I left frustrated, with no intention of ever gambling at Hooters.
I returned to check-in where there was still no sign of my reservation. The agent suggested waiting another hour. I was tired at this point and asked if there was anything else she could do. She set me up with another reservation and explained that she could sort out the billing details once my original reservation came through. Iím glad I went this route as my Priceline reservation didn't show up until three days later. Iím still not sure if the responsibility for this error falls on the booking site or with Hooters, but I wonít ever use the combination of the two again.
After paying $14.50 in resort fees per night with tax (thatís over 90% of the room rate), I was on my way. The elevators to my room were just past the desolate poker area. After a short walk down the hall, I reached my fourth floor accommodation. Let me tell you, the renovations canít come too soon. This place was a dump. On second thought, renovations might not even be enough to save this place. Like the Clarion, this one is going on my needs to be imploded list.
I first noticed the safe. It looked secure, Iíll give them that. The burn marks all over it suggested that it had already survived at least one fire. Just across from the safe and closet was the bathroom. It was spacious, but otherwise unremarkable. Outside the bathroom was a small vanity area with a makeup mirror. I imagine this area would be more functional with working light bulbs. Several were out and were not replaced by housekeeping throughout my stay.
The bedroom featured two double beds, a desk area with a very basic chair, a big, boxy TV, and some very cheap looking wood panel decor that supposedly gives the room a ďFlorida casualĒ style. I was surprised to find a Keurig coffeemaker here. (Check out VegasChatter's guide to in-room coffee around the city here.) Two K-cups were included, along with two bottles of water. I sipped from one as I gazed up and took note of the alarming state of the roomís smoke detector. Like the burnt out light bulbs, it too went untouched throughout my stay.
I knew going in that WiFi wasn't yet scheduled to be up and running. I was, however, hoping to see some progress and maybe be lucky enough to hop on while they were testing it out. I had no such luck. My $14.50 did get me wired Internet service that the Hooters website describes at high speed. In order to connect, I had to plug my laptop into a clunky contraption with a far-too-short Ethernet cord that was positioned on the wrong side of my computer. I resorted to positioning my laptop at a 45-degree angle in order to make it work. Iím not sure if there is an established minimum that qualifies as ďhigh speed.Ē If there is, Iím sure this connection wouldn't qualify.
My Hooters room had been a disappointment thus far, but the worst was yet to come. It was time to rest in one of my two double beds and to uncover one last surprise. As I turned down the blankets, I found a configuration that I've never come across before. While most US hotels have adopted the more sanitary duvet bedding style, those that still use traditional sheeting have utilized the same arrangement for decades: bottom sheet, top sheet, blanket, and comforter. Not Hooters. Here, housekeeping had sandwiched the blanket between the two sheets. I stared at this for a moment trying to comprehend it. I was tired, but not that tired. Iíd lie on the bottom sheet, have a (washed?) blanket directly on top of me, a sheet above that, and then the comforter. What was the point of the top sheet in this situation? Maybe this was just a fluke. I checked the other bed. Nope, same configuration. Iím not sure if it was the itchiness from the contact with the cheap blanket directly on my skin or the unexplained booming mechanical noises that woke me up in the middle of the night, but I took the opportunity to reconfigure the bedding.
I arrived at Hooters hoping to find a hotel in the midst of a renovation. Great changes were promised, but I found a dying hotel in serious need of a partner, buyer, or implosion. Charging a $14.50 resort fee is shameful given the current state of the hotel. Housekeeping needs an overall, the rooms need to be re-done from scratch, and the TV and Internet offerings need to catch up with a decade of technology. Until these things happen, I wonít be returning.
(Room key Photo: Javier R. on FourSquare; All other photos: VegasChatter)