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Until its recent transformation into The LINQ Hotel, the hotel-casino formerly known as Imperial Palace served an important role in Vegas. Sure, it was the smoky dump of a casino that people scoped out just for laughs. And yes, the rooms were so cheap and hilariously awful that they afforded broke college kids on spring break the opportunity to stay center Strip. But, we’re talking about its most important role: making the rest of The Strip look good.
For years, you could stay anywhere else on Las Vegas Boulevard, pay any price, even get the worst of rooms right next to the noisy ice machine with a view of an AC unit and still say “well, at least it’s not Imperial Palace.” And, you would be absolutely correct in doing so.
The company is seeking help with some $20 billion in debt, but executives want you to know you don't have to seek out a new gaming home. Friday, Total Rewards members received an email from Caesars pledging that its players club will continue as is. And, that if you dropped in soon(ish) and threw some money around, they'd make it worth your while:
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After months of negotiations and even longer of speculation, Caesars Entertainment has finally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Paperwork placing its operating unit, Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., into bankruptcy was filed in Chicago.
The casino giant is billions upon billions in debt, but while some creditors are on board with the bankruptcy, others are fighting against it. Bloomberg reports that "lower-ranking creditors.. say the restructuring accord Caesars worked out with a select noteholder group unfairly protects the company's interest at their expense." Caesars listed about $20 billion in liabilities and is looking to halve that.
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The VegasChatter inbox has been on fire of late with lots of rumors, both on Strip and off. We decided to round them up and dispel or confirm what we could. Here's what's being buzzed about around town:
Subject: The Cosmo
Rumor: With the sale of The Cosmopolitan to Blackstone, its official alignment with Hilton is just a matter of time. (Blackstone already counted Hilton within its portfolio.) The question has been how it will be affiliated with Hilton. Now, a VegasChatter tipster thinks it might be placed in the CONRAD category after noticing a Las Vegas location listed for the brand, which touts "smart luxury," on an internal (read: employee only) site.
Truth: The validity of this rumor is yet to be seen. The public website for CONRAD does not make mention of a Las Vegas location. You can review Hilton's brand hierarchy here and make your own guess as to where Cosmo might fall.
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Believe it or not 2014 was a big year for casinos in Las Vegas. The big year wasn’t caused by the pomp and circumstance of a big casino opening. There was one casino opening but the makeover of Sahara to SLS Las Vegas was much more subdued than when a building is built and people can walk into it for the first time ever.
It feels like just yesterday SLS Las Vegas opened its doors. Our first impressions were positive and they remain that way despite the chaos that's followed. Shortly after opening in August, SLS cut back the hours of its buffet and Foxtail nightclub. Then, staff cutbacks took place, the buffet closed completely, and President and Cheif Operating Officer, Rob Oseland, abruptly left and was replaced with Scott Kreeger.
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We read the players club websites and brochures and usually have a good idea of how to earn points with a players club card. The information is spelled out in black and white. Unfortunately, things are always changing in the casino world and don’t make it online or into the brochures.
Take the video roulette game pictured above, for example. In some casinos, you may be able to earn players club points for the money you load into this game. In most casinos, including Boyd Gaming properties, you won’t. When this video roulette game was introduced, some players decided to try and game the comp system. Casinos pay attention and change the rules on the fly to counteract any weaknesses. Since these protective moves can be seen negatively by customers, they may not promote something like this prominently on their website or brochures. They’ll just leave stickers on the machine.
The room decor at The Cromwell is eclectically detailed, mixing a lot of modern with a bit of faux-vintage items. HotelChatter was impressed with luxury touches like the welcome beverages that are given to all guests (including sangria), the high-tech Toto Neorest toilet (the seat lid rises to "greet" you), the Eataly snacks in the pantry, and the flat iron in the vanity.
With talk of a January bankruptcy filing, being almost out of cash, and raising the resort fees of six of its properties, Caesars Entertainment wins the award for being in the news this week for all the wrong reasons.
As we cash out for the weekend, here are more headlines on Caesars as well as a look at what else is making news in Las Vegas:
○Caesars layoffs to be ‘spread out evenly’ among properties, won’t exceed 680 workers (Vegas Inc.)
○One Reason Caesars Entertainment (CZR) Stock Continues to Spike Today (The Street)
○Caesars Entertainment's Bankruptcy Deal: Is This a Scam? (The Motley Fool)
○Nevada’s 1st online poker company, Ultimate Gaming, shutting down (Vegas Inc.)
○Las Vegas tourism officials see more visitors, money (Las Vegas Sun)
○Uber’s legal case against Las Vegas’ uber-powerful taxicab industry (Las Vegas Sun)
(PHOTO: Juliana S.)
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Aria isn't done shaking things up on the verge of its fifth anniversary.
The resort has announced that Sirio Ristorante (pictured above) will close December 6. The promenade-level restaurant will be replaced with another, as-yet-unannounced dining destination. The Italian restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. if you'd like to experience it all over again, or for the first time, before its final service. To check out the other changes happening around the resort, click here and scroll through our Aria archives.
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What a difference a year makes. After a shocking reversal on resort fees in 2013, Caesars Entertainment is now hiking the charges at six of its Vegas properties, instituting the same flat rate at all its Strip resorts.
Poker professionals call it the cost of doing business. For amateurs, it can be the difference between a slight win and a slight loss. Of what do we speak? Rake, of course.
If you’ve spent any time in Las Vegas poker rooms, you’ve seen dealers collect money out of each pot, usually 10 percent, capped at $4 or $5. To put this in quick context of how it affects your bottom line, consider playing two pots heads-up against one other player in a room that takes $5 out of each pot. In both pots, $100 goes into the middle and each of you win one pot. Although, in theory, you’ve broken even, in effect each of you has lost $5 due to the rake.
Fortunately, with enough of a skill edge you can overcome poker room rake to be a long-term winning player.