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Vegas For Beginners / Players Clubs / Vegas Observations / Survival Strategies / Gambling / Casinos / Tips / → All Tags
We all know that players clubs don’t exist only as a vehicle to give us freebies and discounts. They’re marketing tools that casinos use with much more diligence than you may realize. Rewarding casino customers for their loyalty makes plenty sense, but there’s a rhyme and reason behind every single offering. Casinos look at players clubs as a way to reinvest in their most loyal customers. Casino executives call this “Player Reinvestment” since rewards have historically been based solely on gaming revenue.
What might surprise you is how much casinos value customers. Casinos spend anywhere from 20%-40% of tracked gaming revenue on player reinvestment. As you might imagine, that money isn’t spread equally among customers. The more money a customer brings into the casino, the more the casino will invest in making that person return.
Vegas Observations / The High Roller / SLS Las Vegas / The Cromwell / PICNIC / Downtown Grand / Brooklyn Bowl / The Linq / Hershey's Chocolate World / Shake Shack / Cowabunga Bay / Shops at Summerlin / Mamma Mia / Tropicana / → All Tags
If you thought last year saw a lot of highly anticipated openings in Vegas, that was nothing. This year will most definitely top that. From the debut of a world record-setting attraction to even more new hotel concepts, 2014 is going to be another incredible year for Las Vegas. Here are the 10 openings we consider the biggest game changers of the year ahead:
1. The High Roller (Opening: March?)
It's the tallest observation wheel in. the. world. And, it's just a short walk off The Strip. You had a good run, all other Vegas attractions.
2. SLS Las Vegas (Opening: fall)
We lost the Sahara, but will we gain a revived north Strip with the debut of SLS? What happens here will make or further break not just this property, but an entire neighborhood.
Spending on the Vegas Strip has changed over the past 20 or so years. Visitors are spending more on non-gaming every year. It only took 20 years for casino operators to fully understand this and build more places to eat, drink and shop. We saw this last week when reviewing how Vegas Strip casinos are making and lose money.
This isn't the Vegas that many of us grew up loving. The allure of Vegas was, in part, because of its gambling. Gamblers didn't die out, they just got older and relocated. The gambler in Vegas has been slowly moving away from the Vegas Strip to Downtown Vegas.
Attractions / Treasure Island / TI / Sirens of TI / Closings / Construction / The Strip / Vegas Observations / → All Tags
VegasChatter reader Claus W. recently sent us an email after noticing Treasure Island’s lagoon had been refilled via EarthCam. We hustled over to check it out for ourselves and, sure enough, the ships have once again set sail after spending more than two months hovering above a drained pool. Both ships are looking as good as ever, but now sit eerily still behind newly added fountains.
Our Vegas Films series has become so popular (stop it, let us dream) that we're even getting email requests asking us to seek out places from specific movies. Being as nice as we are, we decided we would do just that for Trace who asked us:
Where was the nightclub that Matthew Perry was designing in the movie Fools Rush In? Of course, it could have been a set, but if you have any information on that, it would help."
After re-watching the movie and doing
weeks days hours of research, we've come up with this... we have no idea. But, that didn't stop us from trying to match up the scene in the film to the Las Vegas of today.
Openings / The Linq / Haute Doggery / Starbucks / KOTO / Purple Zebra / Chayo / O'Sheas / Snapshots / Vegas Observations / → All Tags
Caesars Entertainment has revealed the first section of The Linq, the newly created outdoor mall between The Quad (formerly Imperial Palace) and the Flamingo, but instead of beginning with six, there's just five right now.
What was once an alley is now an inviting, paver-lined promenade stretching from Las Vegas Boulevard down to the High Roller observation wheel. Or, rather it will stretch that far as soon as construction is complete. For now, pedestrians on the east side of The Strip can stroll down just a portion of The Linq before running into a barrier just beyond O'Sheas. Oh, yes. O'Sheas is back. But, first let's start at the very beginning.
From Las Vegas Boulevard, you can't miss The Linq, mostly due to its towering Strip-side pylon which is simply stunning in its clarity. Also jaw-dropping? The awkward street dancers which are frequently featured on the marquee. We're not too sure what is going on with that aside from an attempt to get youngsters to venture inside. No, that's not right. We're not sure what's up with that aside from an attempt to get the youngsters to venture inside, dawg. Yeah, that's better.
Despite the eye-catching pylon, this writer sat and watched as crowds of passersby streamed by The Linq without even a glance on Saturday afternoon. Others did at least swivel their heads for a look (most probably at the High Roller which gleamed in the background), but still kept right on by. Only handfuls of people here and there actually turned off the Strip and ventured down the promenade to discover what was within.
While everything at Downtown Grand won’t be finished until the coming spring, it’s been over a month since the grand opening. Initial reviews were good, but how is the Grand settling in among its Downtown neighbors?
Quite well, according to reviewers on sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp. Downtown Grand’s scores are higher than other hotels in the area and are on par with some of the higher end Strip resorts. That’s not to say that the hotel is without its faults. The good news is that problems are not being ignored. In fact, nearly every review on the resort’s TripAdvisor page elicits a response, and not just from lowly customer service reps:
Vegas Observations / Vegas Rants / Casino Promotions / Souvenirs / Vegas Gifts / Swag / Promotions / Vintage Vegas / Off Strip / El Cortez / Silver Sevens / → All Tags
When was the last time you came across a casino giveaway that really caught your interest? For this VegasChatter writer, it’s been awhile. I long for the days when casinos would dole out logo glassware, jackets, hats, and lighters. Doing an eBay search for vintage Vegas ashtray is nearly enough to make me take up smoking. Many of these casino gifts were unique and are now highly sought after collectables. Times have changed, and promotional items –- especially on The Strip –- are hard to come by.
On The Strip, the pickings are slim. Smaller casinos like Slots a Fun and Casino Royale are your best bets for scoring freebies, and used decks of cards are about as good as it gets. Signing up for a player’s card might give you a shot at some Free Play, but forget about anything interesting to take home.
Vegas Observations / Free Vegas / Treasure Island / The Mirage / Bellagio / Wynn / Caesars Palace / Flamingo / Circus Circus / Monte Carlo / Blue Man Group / → All Tags
During its original ten year run, the swashbuckling performance served as one of the greatest examples of the city’s family friendly era. Its more recent rendition, full of scantily-clad women and poorly crafted jokes, could be viewed cynically as a representation of the party pits and 6:5 blackjack payouts that many Strip casinos are now known for. With one of Vegas’ most iconic attractions no longer in action, we thought it an appropriate time to check up on the remaining free Las Vegas Strip shows.
Construction / Attractions / Treasure Island / TI / Sirens of TI / Phil Ruffin / Vegas Observations / Rumors / Senor Frog's / → All Tags
As we begin to learn more about the new shopping venue on the way at TI, the demolition out front continues to change the resort’s appearance. When the lagoon went dry last month, the pirate-inspired rock façade began to come down. While it seems that a decision has been made to leave the upper portions intact, we were surprised to walk by recently and see the lower jaw of the facade's craggy skull was missing. Even worse, we found a solid wall behind it. Where’s that cavern full of looted gold? Here's a before and after:
Vegas Observations / Treasure Island / TI / Kahunaville / Restaurants / Dining / Eating / Drinking / → All Tags
When we last checked in at TI, we found that the party seemed to be missing at party bar Kahunaville. The lack of crowds, paired with the barrage of offers for discounted frozen drinks, suggested to us that the 13-year-old restaurant and flair bar may be on its way out. We’ve since heard from the owners, who insist that Kahunaville is here to stay.
Kahunaville suggests that its Island-style casual atmosphere is lacking elsewhere on The Strip. The island theme may be unique (assuming you've never made it over to Margaritaville), but other party bars like Rockhouse and Carnaval Court, both just across the street, aren’t exactly upscale. On competing with Senor Frog’s, TI’s new and similarly themed party restaurant, Kahunaville chooses to focus on the increased traffic moving through the doors. If guests at TI are, indeed, doing some in-house bar-hopping, then the arrangement may be mutually beneficial.
We can see a show and have a nice dinner just about anywhere in the world. A major part of what makes Las Vegas a great destination is the fact we can do those things and then walk out into the casino and do a little gambling. You can’t do that in New York (for now), Los Angeles or any other large city.
Since 1999, spending in Las Vegas casinos has skewed towards non-gaming activities. The casino floor is changing and now there is data to prove what we’ve all seen. According to Vegas Inc., casino floors are becoming more intimate with less gaming areas. There are less table games and slot machines than any point in the past 10 years. Vegas Strip casinos at the end of 2012 had 13,000 less slot machines than they did in 2000 and 5,000 less than 2005.