Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

January 29, 2008

UPDATED: Open Topic Discussion - Jan. 29th, 2008

Posted by Hunter

A few quick hits:

* The Las Vegas Sun's Web site explained by part of the team: (Thanks to

* Monte Carlo Fire: Lots being published daily. I've been talking with some industry folks regarding EIFS details and I will post something when I have some more details.

* Podcasting - I have audio, video and photos from the weekend. I'll be doing a podcast that includes a bunch of stuff from Palazzo, etc... In the meantime, the photos are here:

* Harrah's Sale Complete:

Update: I forgot to mention this story from my friend Steve at The Strip Podcast. It seems, Mystere, the original permanent Las Vegas Cirque fixture, is starting to think about closing up to make way for a new CDS production:


Read archived comments (30 so far)
January 29, 2008 10:45 AM Posted by detroit1051

Steve Wynn gave his opinion of Palazzo to the LV Sun. Brian, you're going to like this one.

"Wynn said that he was underwhelmed by Palazzo, saying that the new resort owned by rival Sheldon Adelson, chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corp., doesn�t have the feel of a luxury resort.
�It feels like you�re entering a shopping plaza, a retail experience rather than a resort,� Wynn said. �Have you ever heard of a hotel that feels like a retail plaza?�

January 29, 2008 11:49 AM Posted by Mark D

Now the Foxwoods casino roof caught fire today.,0,2312348.story

January 29, 2008 12:31 PM Posted by DavidF

I see Brian posted the link to the press release from Wynn, but for those of you who missed it, Mobil announced their 2008 Star Awards this week :-

No Changes from 2007, no new entries, no establishment in Vegas lost their Stars on the Hotel or Restaurant ratings

Wynn keeps its Five Star award for the Tower Suites side, and the �Ghetto Side� (� MikeE) keeps its Four Stars. Bemusing as I seem to remember mention about how It was a �joke� that they got the award and that Mobil were going to take those Stars away perhaps even midway through 2007.

Also mike_ch referenced an article doing the rounds in various blogs about Wynn having motion sensors on both the mini bar and the Snacks in the room. I don�t know why Wynn is always singled out on this, its not like they are the only place on earth that has this arrangement. Practically any upscale hotel with a Mini bar has motion sensors and at the very least the Bellagio has a similar set up with Snacks. Even if they were - it�s not like its clearly pointed out, both in the room and when you check in.

January 29, 2008 12:38 PM Posted by DavidF

One other thing�

Great discussion on the Monte Carlo Fire this week, I have been following silently on the construction issues and await Hunters Podcast, however I have a question from a different angle.

Considering that Various Vegas Properties like to Boast 90% plus occupancy AND with the Monte Carlo being out of commission, we have a potential 2500 plus bookings per night that need to be placed somewhere else. Has there been any coverage on what MGM is doing, I have seen passing comments that people are being sent to MGM Grand/Mandalay/Bellagio, but do they (along with the other MGM Properties) have enough room to take care of their bookings and absorb misplaced Monte Carlo guests? Especially as this weekend is Superbowl weekend? Just wondering�.

January 29, 2008 12:58 PM Posted by detroit1051

Monte Carlo's website has messages to guests and employees. The letter to employees is dated today, 1/29. If they're not open for Super Bowl weekend, I doubt MGM Mirage can absorb the reservations at sister properties.

January 29, 2008 1:07 PM Posted by mike_ch

DavidF: As occupancy goes, the resorts like to brag about their percentages yes, but they play silly games to get their occupancy as high as it is. I've told you before how I and other locals have gotten free rooms out of nowhere at various hotels, which is one of several ploys to get rooms filled.

However, they aren't having to give away rooms on Super Bowl Sunday and yes, MGM Mirage might leave some money on the table if Monte doesn't open by then. They clearly wanted to open it up this week, but the county's order that the high rise facade be fastened or removed entirely has taken the wind out of their sails a bit.

Both times when I've stayed at Wynn the booklet invites you to inspect the merchandise, which is why the weight system surprised me. I know some hotels do that, but didn't know Wynn did it when the booklet practically begs you to give everything a look over. I figured they did some sort of visual inventory every day to see if the seals were broken.

January 29, 2008 1:16 PM Posted by detroit1051

I really like the LV Sun's new site(s). Thanks for the interesting background. I check both
The JOA is weird, and it seems the RJ's owner, Stephen's Media, enjoys making things difficult for the Sun and Greenspun.

January 29, 2008 1:48 PM Posted by Mike E

Mike_ch, the booklet explains that you get 60 seconds to look over anything before you're charged.

That's one of my peeves with tourists in this city. $179 won't get them 5-star anything in any other metropolis, so when they see something as novel as a mini bar, they act like a kid in a candy store, use it as an extra fridge, play dumb when the hotel bill comes, and then go to a certain Web site (not dropping names here, but let's just say we've all used it at some point and they have Bill's ranked higher than Bellagio) to vent their displeasure.

January 29, 2008 1:53 PM Posted by doc_al

The blog entry on the LV Sun site was fascinating, despite all the "casual" name-dropping. Nice find.

I understand about high occupancy, but if anybody could handle it, it would be MGM. If I did the math right, MGM has about 33000 rooms not counting the 3000 at MC, meaning at 90% occupancy they could still absorb the MC guests.

January 29, 2008 2:45 PM Posted by DavidF

Good Points everyone on the Monte Carlo and occupancy, I hadn�t sat down to do the numbers, but they sound right. Interesting thing is the website mentions how they have everyone accommodated up to this Friday but no mention of the weekend.

However, I would not be a Happy Camper to find out that I was relocated to Excal, or even worse Circus Circus,�

January 29, 2008 4:37 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Don't feel any sympathy for the Sun re: the JOA. These are billionaires on both sides. I think the Greenspuns keep the Sun around partly out of guilt, since it was the start of the empire, and Mr. Greenspuns editorial stands are legendary. Also, it gives them a platform for their politics and socialite views. Don't get me wrong, I like the Sun, and I like its revamped website. However, it KILLS me that they don't have gaming on the header nad we have to look for it in blogs. Liz Benson (sp?) and co. are too talented to hide under "Blogs". I believe they have the power, insight and platform to have the BEST gaming business reporting in the world. Or do they have it now, and I'm just too greedy to see it?

January 29, 2008 6:03 PM Posted by BrianFey

In my endless search of Vegas info, I ran across an story on LVS tonight. This one quote really reminded me, just how crazy Sheldon really is.... What planet is this guy from anyhow? And they talk about Wynn's ego, give me a break!

"Adelson said he expects Sands to hold a 60-percent share of the Macau casino market by the end of 2010, up from its current share of about 30 percent."

There are six companies fighting for business in Macau, does he really think he's that great, that he'll get 60% of it, and leave the other 5 fighting for the remaining 40%, he's lost his mind! Here is a link to the entire article.

January 29, 2008 6:29 PM Posted by mike_ch

Dave, Circus has undergone quite a bit of remodeling lately. I saw inside a manor room a few months ago and while it wasn't Wynn it wasn't terrifying either. If it was Circus or no room at all, I'd take Circus.

'Sides, you're only a short walk away from the Hilton and their enormous sports book, and isn't that what a Big Game visitor cares about? ;D

Then again, you're talking to a guy who spent a Super Bowl in Primm, so...

January 29, 2008 8:08 PM Posted by detroit1051

I don't see how Monte Carlo can open by Super Bowl weekend. Here's an update:

January 29, 2008 8:40 PM Posted by DavidF

OK so I am going to admit an egg on face situation here, looks like all of MGM�s properties can pick up the slack from the Monte Carlo, a quick check of all websites shows everyone with room availability this weekend, except Bellagio�..

Maybe I should have done a little checking before posting, I will say I assumed Super Bowl weekend equaled total sellout, but hey I will admit it when I am wrong�.

Mike, I would agree with you, Circus does get an unfair rap, hey any Casino that James Bond gambled at can�t be all bad ;-) and IMHO is probably why do many people from the UK stay there, but lets just say it probably caters to a different clientele than the Monte. (and yes I know I am being snobby with that statement)

January 30, 2008 12:14 AM Posted by

Wow! Sheldon Adelson is out of his mind. He is a corrupt man the way I see it. Who knows how much he is lobbying politicians in Macau to receive super king powers. He owns 2 casinos that are what steve wynn calls shopping plazas and thinks he is the hot shot of the town. What about Kirk Kerkorian who owns 56% of MGM-Mirage on the strip. Do you see him bragging about his company? Or do you see him talking crap about Steve Wynn or anyone else.

January 30, 2008 6:02 AM Posted by Joey from Boston

From Casino City Times-

Tourism slump may be afoot
28 January 2008

by Benjamin Spillman

Las Vegas Gaming Wire

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Friday's fire at the Monte Carlo resort may have exposed a developing slump in the Las Vegas tourism market.

Click here for the story-

My crew usually books the best available deal we can find and then rebook better deals as they come available. During the last week we throw out ridiculous (or what we consider ridiculous) Priceline offers.

When I saw the Monte Carlo fire I contacted my pals and told them that we might want to put bids out on Priceline early because excess hotel capacity would likely be eaten up through the relocating of Monte Carlo patrons. We got Planet Hollywood for $45 a night and Venetian for $160 a night. In previous years those rates had been unheard of , especially with big conventions coming into town.

Wait til Echelon and CityCenter open, we will be staying at 5 star properties for under $150 a night is my prediction.

January 30, 2008 10:43 AM Posted by Mark D

Not that I'm defending Adelson's braggadocios claims, but it is true that LVS has plans for six more resorts on the Coati Strip, that's where their future Macau growth projections are coming from. Nobody else has rights to that much potential growth in Macau. However, whether it all pans out and adds up to 60% of the market remains to be seen.

January 30, 2008 2:40 PM Posted by Brian Fey

I don't care if LVS builds 50 casinos in Macau. Wynn has proven time and time, over and over...Having 60 of the casinos-machines-floor space, does not equate to having 60% of the market share. Do you realize that Wynn LV has only 5% of the tables in town, yet they do command 18% of the market. Sheldon can just keep dreaming. He might own 60% of Cotai, for a few quarters, but only very breifly, then COD, MGM, and WYNN will be opening, and that will fall sharply.

January 30, 2008 6:43 PM Posted by detroit1051

It looks like at least another ten days for Monte Carlo:

January 31, 2008 5:10 PM Posted by detroit1051

I received the February issue of Las Vegas Life today. Luxor's new Company American Bistro is favorably reviewed, but what caught my attention was the photo of the dining room. It looks spectacular. It was designed by a firm I've never heard of, AvroKO of New York City. So far, I'm impressed with the changes MGM is making to Luxor. Now, I have to see it in person.

February 1, 2008 5:01 PM Posted by Mark D

These names might start to get confusing around here. With Packer's Crown Las Vegas resort being planned, and Elad fighting with Tamaras over the "Plaza" name, now InterContinental Hotels has announced that they will build a "Crowne Plaza" hotel in Las Vegas.

February 1, 2008 5:12 PM Posted by Mark D

Interesting story in the Sun about why Boyd probably won't be bought out or go private, even though the stock looks like an easy target. But it would be smart for them to find another partner with Echelon.

February 2, 2008 9:53 AM Posted by detroit1051

Las Vegas Life website now has the review and photo of Company American Bistro at Luxor. The photo in the magazine is full page and looks better than this smaller one:

February 3, 2008 8:51 AM Posted by Mark D

I heard on the news that there was a fire in the hotel at the Riviera Saturday and they evacuated the building. But it turned out to be a very small fire and everyone was allowed back in later. It must have been a very small fire because I can't find anything on the net about it, but it sort of demonstrates how people are a little spooked if they would evacuate the entire resort for what sounds like not much more than a trash can fire or something like that.

Around noon that same day I was on a penthouse balcony at Turnberry photographing the construction at Fontainbleau when some slag from a welder a couple floors up on the steel frame garage section ignited some material on the ground. Everybody started yelling and screaming "fire" and someone ran over and put it out with a fire extinguisher. That was interesting watching that happen right in front of us and demonstrates how welding can spark a fire.

They started installing the glass on the Font, by the way. It's a deep blue color.

February 4, 2008 12:30 PM Posted by detroit1051

Well, we're too late to buy the Gold Spike. The guy from Miami did all right with his six month investment. Downtown is coming back.

February 6, 2008 2:10 PM Posted by detroit1051

Will it work this time? Some say the Strip's never-ending building boom will save the economy in Vegas. An interesting article in LV Business Press:

February 10, 2008 9:21 AM Posted by Mark D

The next Allure tower will be 72 stories and 795 feet tall. It will have a 67,800 sq ft casino, 1,300 hotel rooms and 40 condos. It's on the city agenda for Feb. 14th, items 37-41. It's a completely different architectural style than the first condo tower. There's a large pdf file of supporting documents attached to the agenda page showing some renderings.

February 10, 2008 6:19 PM Posted by Brian Fey

Well, I just booked my annual summer trip to Wynn, and we'll celebrate out 15th anniversary also. I am staying on the Tower side for my first time, I can't take Mike E making fun of me anymore, so I booked a Parlor Suite for our special occasion. :) If the economy goes to complete hell, I guess I can always get cheap, and go back to a standard room as we get closer, but I do want to try the Tower side, and my wife has put up with me for 15 years, so its the least I can do! I really have been wanting to try the Tower side, so this gives me a good reason.

I know the new CDS show at Luxor, featuring Chris Angel opens this summer, but I don't know exactly when. We'll be there in mid July, if any of of the insiders that read this board, have a more accurate date in mind, I'd love to know. If I need to keep it private, just get my email from Hunter, and I'll keep it to myself, but I really am hoping its open for us to check out.

February 11, 2008 1:22 AM Posted by Mike E

Brian, you deserve it. Congrats. I don't think you'll ever look back once you've stayed on the tower side.

I don't have any set plans, but mid-July is tradition for me so maybe we can meet up again like last summer.