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Nightclubs / Drai's Nightclub / The Cromwell / Victor Drai / Ryan Craig / Total Rewards / Drai's Beach Club / Drai's After Hours / → All Tags
Drai's After Hours club at Bill's Gambling Hall was both infamous and legendary. Let's put it this way. If you ended up at Drai's during your trip to Vegas, you had a very good time. (Wink, wink.) That, and you didn't get any sleep.
While Drai's After Hours club is set to eventually reopen in the basement of The Cromwell (it's currently housed at Bally's), Drai and his team are focusing first on their rooftop venues, Drai's Nightclub and Beach Club. Both of which will open over Memorial Day weekend.
We spoke with Managing Partner, Ryan Craig, who's been working the Vegas nightlife scene for over ten years, starting as a busboy at the now closed Tabu inside MGM Grand before working his way up to host and then eventually to director of VIP services at Wynn's nightclubs.
Craig is a good-looking, thirty-something dude with dark hair that ends just above his shoulders and which he tucks behind his ears. He speaks with a calm, steady and assured voice. And, perhaps, most advantageous to his career, he has an easygoing smile. A smile that says, “sure, order another bottle. No problem.” His unassuming manner flips the stereotype of a fast-talking, gelled-up, pinky ring-wearing club promoter on its head and now he's looking to flip the DJ-dominated Vegas club scene on its head with Drai's Nightclub.
Vegas For Beginners / Players Clubs 101 / Tips / Survival Strategies / Total Rewards / M Life / Club Grazie / Identity / Ace Play / Red Card / Riviera Rewards / Trop Plus / Backstage Pass / → All Tags
Players clubs are simple on the surface: gamble a little in the casino and get rewarded with comps and discounts on your next visit. Of course, nothing is ever so simple. Every players club is different so let’s look at how players clubs work and how to get the best and most rewards. One hundred dollars spent is no longer the same at every casino and hotel.
Just about every business in America has a “loyalty club.” Car rental agencies, coffee shops, supermarkets and hotels all have their own way of rewarding
addiction customers. Buy 12 cups of Starbucks coffee and get a 13th free. Woohoo! That’s a sweet $2.50 savings after spending $30 on coffee.
Fees / Amenities / Vegas For Beginners / Artisan / The Palms / Caesars Entertainment / MGM Resorts / Total Rewards / → All Tags
An early checkout after a late night on The Strip isn’t the ideal way to conclude a trip to Las Vegas. That’s why we’re really looking forward to trying out Palms' new 24-hour checkout option. But, what if you’re staying elsewhere in Vegas? Fortunately, Palms isn’t the only place in town offering reservation options. Artisan is our favorite, as its check-in and checkout options are some of the most flexible and easy to understand. When reserving your room online, you can choose an early arrival or late checkout, or even opt for both. There’s no begging at the front desk to get in early. And, they’ve eliminated the need for those hung-over morning calls in which you plead for a couple more hours of sleep. It can all be taken care of online, even before you arrive.
Openings / Yard House / The Linq / Flamingo / The Quad / Total Rewards / Starwood / Players Clubs / Eating / Dining / Restaurants / → All Tags
When Yard House was created, the idea was to offer a restaurant that would boast one of the largest selections of draft beers, a diverse menu of American food, and play classic rock on a state-of-the-art sound system. Eight years later, you can add plenty of HD TVs to watch the games to that list. All things combined, it's a winning recipe for a very popular chain restaurant. The newest and largest outpost of Yard House officially opens this Friday, February 28 at The Linq.
Our hard hat tour of The Linq ended at Yard House where we were able to check out both stories of this mega-complex of beer and sample a few of the hundreds of drafts on tap. Don’t worry, nobody was hurt during this tasting. See how small this California Porter is?
There are already two Yard House locations in Las Vegas so this isn’t a new experience, but Yard House is only a regional chain with locations in just 16 states so the concept may be new to many. What makes The Linq location of Yard House so different is its enormity.
The Big Game hasn't even been played yet, but we're already looking forward to the next big sports weekend. The first weekend of March Madness is March 20-23 and may surpass Super Bowl weekend as the craziest sports weekend of the year. This isn't anything new for most Vegas watchers. March Madness has been growing in popularity for the past few years since it lasts four days, falls during Spring Break and is around St. Patrick's Day. Sportsbooks are usually overflowing with people.
There is a buzz around the books that may become bigger than the Big Game this year so we decided to check hotel rates now to see if they reflect that. If demand is high, hotel rooms will cost more. But, even we were astonished by the rates we found almost two months ahead of the madness. This writer's discounted Total Rewards rates are off the charts.
Resort Fees / Venetian / Palazzo / Treasure Island / Total Rewards / Caesars Entertainment / → All Tags
In April of 2013, Venetian and Palazzo upped their resort fee, but gave us an out -- the ability to decline it at check-in or check-out. The only caveat was that we'd be charged for services at regular prices if we did end up using them.
The days of being able to say no to that, however, have sadly ended. A front desk agent told us over the weekend that it's no longer an option.
“NOW, WAIT ONE MINUTE!”
We downloaded the new Play by Total Rewards app for iPhone with a little too much excitement. Caesars Entertainment’s old Total Rewards and Total Vegas apps were scrapped last year for a reason. Common sense would lead one to believe that a new app that did everything a user could possibly want would be made. Not so fast.
The two things that we’d want in a casino or players club app are not allowed. We can’t book hotel rooms directly through the app and we can’t use offers through the app, either. When trying to book a room, the app takes you to the mobile version of totalrewards.com where you have to re-enter your Total Rewards information and begin the booking and offer claim process from the beginning. That kind of makes this app useless.
Last year at this time, Caesars Entertainment confirmed some major changes to its Total Rewards players club. Nobody was particularly happy with the largest players club in America. At the same time, people rolled with the punches as benefits continue to decrease at all players clubs. While the changes required more points to reach higher tier levels, they also brought bonus credits:
*Earn 500 Tier Credits in one day and receive an additional 125 Tier Credit bonus
*Earn 1,000 Tier Credits in one day and receive an additional 1,000 Tier Credit bonus
*Earn 2,500 Tier Credits in one day and receive an additional 5,000 Tier Credit bonus
Customers who connect their Total Rewards and SPG accounts will be able to earn points and credits for stays and other benefits at participating hotels and resorts across both networks. The partnership begins January 9, but you can sign up now at both Total Rewards and SPG.
WSOP.com, Nevada’s second real-money online poker site to launch this year, is just over two months old. Competitor Ultimate Poker got a five-month head start by getting cards in the air, so to speak, back in April. Its launch was a bit subdued and relied on in-house advertising resources. WSOP.com, owned by Caesars Interactive Entertainment, is taking a more explosive approach in trying to sign up new players and take control of the online poker market. If you have a Total Rewards account, step foot in a Caesars hotel room, or even watch TV in the state of Nevada, Caesars is going to let you know about WSOP.com.
Online, Caesars is promoting WSOP.com through many of its own websites. WSOP.com staff are reaching out to gamblers elsewhere on the web and regularly post on poker message boards. Additionally, WSOP.com targets existing Total Rewards members with a rewards system that connects to their accounts. Although the levels don’t match up exactly, it is possible to advance your casino status through online play and vice versa. Credits earned online can also be converted to credits for use at Caesars properties.
While many players clubs detail how much money spent equals a certain reward, they will often leave their table play more ambiguous. For example, while Total Rewards specifically details that $1 spent on dining equals 1 reward credit their explanation for how to earn rewards by playing blackjack or other table games isn’t so specific.
Total Rewards is the largest casino players club and has taken steps to, possibly, be the best. Their algorithms may be confusing and the rewards may not entirely make sense, but they do make it easy to earn and keep reward credits.
Total Rewards credits expire after six months of inactivity so you'll have to visit a Caesars property every six months to keep your points alive. Well, you used to have to visit a Caesars property. Total Rewards now has a few ways to earn Reward Credits (not Tier Credits) to keep your account active without stepping into a casino. It's a nice perk for people that can't make it to Las Vegas as often as they'd like.
Earlier this year, Caesars introduced a new Total Rewards credit card that offers many benefits including a Platinum Total Rewards upgrade along with Reward Credits, a Buffet o' Buffet pass and more. One of the sneaky benefits of the Total Rewards credit card can be found when browsing the Frequently Asked Questions page.