Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

April 2, 2008

Columbia Sussex Charging Cards Without Consent?

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to a tip from David McKee comes this story about convention attendees at the Westin Casuarina who, when the convention organizer failed to pay their bill, apparently had their cards charged by the hotel to cover the loss.

If this is true, it is insane. Hopefully we'll hear more on this. The quote from the LVCVA is funny.


Read archived comments (12 so far)
April 3, 2008 12:04 AM Posted by ChrisInVegas

Has anyone else noticed that almost every one of David McKee's blogs is some barely-legitmate news bite followed by a personal rant claiming that it proves that everything in Vegas (and the rest of the world) is corrupt and evil and going out of business? Little wonder that he has never been picked up by the RJ or the Sun.

That man has never had anything positive to say about anything in this town. It's always either "X is losing money, how pathetic!" or "X is making money, how EVIL!"

April 3, 2008 4:45 AM Posted by Dave

At least they didn't make them wash dishes for a few hours before checking out.

April 3, 2008 8:30 AM Posted by Hunter

Well, I personally enjoy David's commentary and that's one of the things you can get on a blog vs. a newspaper. As I've gotten to know him through the Vegas Gang podcast I'm even more convinced that he's a very astute observer of the ins and outs of the industry.

To each his own I guess.

April 3, 2008 10:45 AM Posted by David McKee

"picked up by the R-J"? No, that will be my punishment in the *next* life for all the bad karma I've racked up in this one.

April 3, 2008 11:50 AM Posted by chuckmonster

David McKee's input on Vegas business issues are priceless. Despite the bumps and scrapes that he and I have had in the past, his was one of the first names I thought of when Hunter first approached me with the concept for the what has become the Vegas Gang. Whether or not you agree with what he says, it's always thought provoking and worthwhile.

(David, my accountant requests that you make the check out to 'McKee LoveFest LLC')

April 3, 2008 12:11 PM Posted by detroit1051

David, let's hope all this attention doesn't go to your head, but I'm always pleased when I see your pieces and comments.

April 4, 2008 12:37 AM Posted by mike_ch

Good gravy, this place is really developing a reputation:

April 4, 2008 3:53 PM Posted by jshane

There's so many other people who are dazzled by the larger than life Steve Wynn persona and the latest spin on what happened between Steve and Sheldon 20 years ago, it's kind of refreshing to read old fashioned journalism uncovering less dazzling aspects of Vegas like the bug hunt at Tropicana or shameless credit card charges to unwitting conventioneers.

April 4, 2008 5:03 PM Posted by DavidF

More from the Consumerist on this one with some interesting information from an "insider"...

Not so much the contact list, but the comment about Starwood alleged unhappiness...

While it does have the tone of Disgruntled employee about it, mind you this is Columbia Sussex we are talking about, I wonder how much truth there is the comment that they have barely kept ahold of the right to use the Westin Name.

April 4, 2008 5:16 PM Posted by mike_ch

Yeah, one of the interesting things about the posts on that site is that this ongoing story seems to be generating a lot of negativity towards the Westin name. A lot of people don't realize that Starwood isn't calling the shots over there.

I almost thought about pulling the curtain and revealing C-S as the true masterminds at the Causarina, but I figure your average Consumerist reader doesn't care about casino ownership, and would get more confused if they learned that the hotel that says Planet Hollywood is actually more of a Starwood hotel than the one that says Westin on the door.

April 5, 2008 12:18 PM Posted by ChrisInVegas

While I certainly wouldn't argue the Causarina is a great hotel, both of these stories are pretty shaky accounts of less-than-newsworthy events.

Without seeing the original group contract in the frist case we have no way of knowing if the charges were warranted or not. All we know is that a group stiffed the hotel and the hotel attempted to recover the funds owed from the members of the group individually instead of through their organizer. Jumping to the conclusion that this indicates some kind of bad faith action or contract violation by Columbia Sussex (while holding up the deadbeat organizer as a victim) is pretty editorial.

In the second case all we have is a guy requesting two double beds and getting one king bed and he claims he got the run-around from the front desk agent when he complained. This happens 1000 times a day in hotels all over the country, and while it may be indicative of a lower-quality hotel in general, it is hardly news-worthy. Without the hype from first story, this story would have been ignored.

April 7, 2008 10:30 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

A good skeptic is hard to find in a single industry town, of which Las Vegas is number one. MGM Mirage employs a higher percentage of Nevada's population than any other employer in any other state in the USA. McKee's reporting is solid. He also has the luxury of working for an employer who isn't cross invested with the casino industry, and has offended the industry enough that McKee doesn't bother them.
Columbia Sussex generates so much negative publicity now, that I think McKee's biggest problem is not running those stories every column.
I like his stuff. I hope he stays after it.