According to a new poll, Bellagio is the favorite resort of many Las Vegas visitors.
Since being acquired by Harrah's, many have speculated what will happen to the high roller culture at Caesars Palace.
This article sheds some light on what management is planning to do with Caesars:
Loveman on Caesars High Rollers
After leaving Laughlin, I headed back to Las Vegas where I would spend the next week at the LV Hilton, Venetian and Wynn. This report starts with the Hilton.
I stayed at MGM Grand, Venetian and Wynn during September.
To read part one, MGM Grand:
Well, Landry's now owns downtown's most luxurious casino, the Golden Nugget.
Tim and Tom tried to drastically change its direction with mixed results. Landry's has pledged to focus more on slot players than high rollers and to add a third hotel tower.
Due to a request from MGM MIRAGE, we have removed the images. Sorry guys.
Today we have a reader review from Tom and his recent stay at Wynn Las Vegas. Remember that we accept reader reviews at this email.
"A great admirer of Wynn’s accomplishments, I nonetheless had mixed emotions about his acquisition of the Desert Inn. A major remodel of the DI completed in 1997 resulted in a resort unlike anything else on the Strip at the time. Though relatively small, the DI had real class. Luxurious accommodations and public spaces were made complete with gracious, attentive service. From room attendants to stickmen, the employees of the DI consistently delivered outstanding customer service. How would Wynn compare with the DI? Would it measure up to my high expectations?"
Click to read after the jump...
I've been roaming the West for the past ten days and plan to write a report about my stays at MGM Grand, Las Vegas Hilton, Venetian and Wynn. It will be another week before I get my notes together. In the meantime, I sent a brief summary of my one day in Laughlin:
Drove to Laughlin from AZ for one night at Harrah's. First, I checked out Ramada Express before noon Sunday because a friend is an Aztar investor. I was impressed with how clean and fairly new much of the casino was; looked like new carpeting. Lots of new penny slots but higher denomination slots and VP need updating. Checked out two floors of the West Tower to see how the rooms looked. Top floor was all suites. The ones I could see (housekeeping had the doors open) were large and well furnished. A lower floor had standard rooms, and they looked OK but nothing special. The train motif doesn't appeal to me, but it sets Ramada apart. The Steakouse looked very nice, and the Buffet was busy. I donated $100 to AZR on a $5 slot.
I had never stayed, or been in a HET property, so I figured if Harrah's Laughlin was good enough for Danpatchfan, it would be good enough for me. $55 for one night, standard room in South "Adult"
Tower. Room was small, but very clean and comfortable. Bath must have been remodeled in the last year or so. Casino was loaded with 1 and 2 cent slots as well as many multi-denominational reel slots. Didn't see any 9/6 JoB except higher denominations. Range Steakhouse was good considering the prices for full dinner including salad, vegetables were mostly in the mid to high $30 range. Great views of the Colorado from the steakhouse. I wondered whether my Casino Management Association polo shirt would be ok for the Steakhouse. The guy in front of me had on a "A Hog's Head Is Better Than No Head At All" T-shirt, so I concluded I didn't need a dress shirt and
I signed up for my Total Rewards Card when I got there and it was Gold. When I asked why I hadn't been given the regular one, they said Gold is the lowest. So much for that. The caste system seems to work very well. The perks for Platinum and Diamond are all very visible which must act as an incentive for customers to play more to get upgraded. Hotel check-in line was long for us peons, but the Platinum counter was almost empty. Next to that is the private office for Diamond check-in.
I have a new appreciation for Loveman. Every employee I met was friendly, helpful AND competent. I was very impressed with how they went out of their way to help and even walk me where I was going. It's as if they were trained by Wynn when he operated Mirage and Bellagio.
Boyd Gaming's newest resort, the South Coast, is quickly going up on Las Vegas Blvd., South of Mandalay Bay.
About four months from opening, this RJ article takes a walk through the partially finished complex:
David Schwartz, head of the gaming library at UNLV and accomplished author, has posted about a new project he's put online showcasing Vegas through the last 100 years.
Some very interesting photos from the archives, especially early models of The Mirage, Luxor and MGM Grand.
Check it out: Gaming Centennial
Boyd has been talking up their expansion of the Borgata in Atlantic City, NJ.
At the same time, all eyes are on their Stardust site in Las Vegas - will there be a Borgata Las Vegas on the horizon?
Some might remember former LV Sun gossip columnist Tim McDarrah who jumped ship to head to US Weekly.
Looks like he got nabbed for trying to solicit sex from a FBI agent posing as a 13 year old girl.
MGM MIRAGE will release more details on their ambitious CityCenter project today.
UPDATE: Official Press Release: here.
Some information is offered up in the RJ:
Project CityCenter Details
CNN on CityCenter
Admittedly not a property that shows up on the blog too often... We are hearing from all over that the Ho is closing down in November.
I guess the lot has been sold... So, keep your eyes open for more info on this. We'll post this as we have it.
MGM MIRAGE's Terri Lani says that it will take about a year to repair Beau Rivage in Biloxi, ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
The casino will be rebuilt as it was, as a barge floating on water.
Technorati Tags: mgm mirage
If you travel to Reno or Tahoe, this is a great resource.
Some additional information on Wynn Macau is reported in this article:
The casino is slated to open in mid-2006.
Regal Hotels, which was to develop Macau property in conjunction with Las Vegas Sands, has pulled out of the deal.
A major development for downtown Las Vegas, Landry's has announced they plan to add a new tower to the Golden Nugget, which they are purchasing.
Licensing for Landry's is proceeding.
Technorati Tags: casino design
I'm staying at MGM Grand the week of September 12 while I attend the Global Gaming Expo. I haven't been there in some time, but I chose it so I could take the monorail directly from MGM Grand to the convention center.
If anyone has any specific questions about MGM Grand, let me know, and I'll try to find answers while I'm there.
By this time next year, the transformation of the Aladdin into the 'Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino' should be close to complete.
This article in the RJ details some more of the specifics on the changes.
Plus, the Sun's take: Aladdin in the Las Vegas Sun
I'd like to present a new category, 'Reader Reviews'. This is where we take reader submissions of long-form reviews. This gives you guys a chance to share your thoughts with our readers, which at this point is a pretty large number of folks.
Please feel free to submit your reviews here: Submissions to the Editor
Our first entry is from Sean Simpson and the property in question is THEHotel at Mandalay Bay. Regular readers know that this is an option that I highlight frequently as a bright spot on the usually dim South Strip.
I hope you guys enjoy it and thanks to Sean who was nice enough to spend the time to write this up for us.
Update: For those that want photos, we have a bunch of THEHotel at Flickr: here.
I have updated the blogging software to the latest version.
The most noticeable thing for y'all should be that folks that sign up for accounts can post comments without a delay - those comments don't have to wait for my approval.
Anyway, lots of nice under the hood changes that make my life easier.
We always like to let folks know about other Las Vegas sites that we're into.
This site shows current and upcoming construction, along with some educated guesses about stuff like Encore at Wynn and Project City Center.
Anyone interested in Las Vegas construction should be checking this site on a regular basis.
The hit Broadway musical featuring singing puppets, 'Avenue Q', opens to its first non-preview audiences on September 8th.
Instead of doing a national tour, Wynn Las Vegas has locked up the performance rights and built a theater specifically for the show.
Reports from the preview audiences are very strong. If you're looking for something fun and funny to do in Las Vegas, this is a great option.