Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

All Articles Published: November 2008

November 30, 2008

Trippies 2008 - Vote Now! - Last Chance

Posted by Hunter

Voting in the annual 'Trippies' award contest wraps up tomorrow at 7:11pm PT. This blog is nominated, as is the Vegas Gang Podcast and quite a few other great Vegas blogs, podcasts and fun hotel categories.

November 29, 2008

Vegas Mate for iPhone Screen Cast

Posted by Hunter

I've posted a new screen cast for Vegas Mate to its site, for those that are curious what the app looks like.

Also, a special thanks to Matt Farley who was kind enough to submit some content updates for the Downtown hotels.

November 26, 2008

The Mirage Volcano Reborn - December 8th

Posted by Hunter

The Mirage volcano will be officially reborn on December 8th but they've been testing the new setup for the past few days.

If you want to see a video of what we're in for, click below:

I'll be in Las Vegas on the 8th to see it for myself and report back.

November 26, 2008

UPDATED: Jim Murren Takes Reigns at MGM Mirage

Posted by Hunter

It's official - Jim Murren has been moved into the CEO and Chairman slot at MGM Mirage.

No one needs to repeat that this is a very tough time for business on The Strip and Murren will not have an easy time of it.

Now, does this mean anyone ends up leaving MGM? Does Bobby Baldwin stay? Who gets the now-vacant COO job?

Update: Lanni has declined even a seat on the board. Odd.

November 26, 2008

Global Gaming Expo 2008: Alive and Kicking

Posted by Hunter

Matthew Farley, author of "Good Food, Good Whiskey, and a Good Gamble: Outdated Nostaligia or Still Effective Today?" was kind enough to write up and share his thoughts after attending G2E in Las Vegas.

This dovetails nicely with yesterday's Vegas Gang coverage of the event.

Thanks to Matthew for sharing his insights - I'm sure you'll all enjoy this.

Click through for more...

November 25, 2008

Vegas Gang #22 - November 25th, 2008

Posted by Hunter

Vegas Gang #22 is online:

This time around we cover:

This is a special episode, focusing on the annual G2E gaming conference.

Feel free to leave any comments below.

Also, please consider voting for us in the Trippies!

November 25, 2008

Station Casinos Owners Inject Capital

Posted by Hunter

According to the LVRJ, Station Casinos 'owners' (which party is not specified) have will be injecting between $450 and $500 million into the company to shore up its debt situation.

Similar to a move by Las Vegas Sands just weeks ago, it shows the difficulties that the consolidated gaming companies are having in this economy.

November 23, 2008

Encore Las Vegas Web Site is Live

Posted by Hunter

A slightly less basic than before Encore Las Vegas Web site is live:

Before the resort opens, not a lot of photos... Really, not a lot of anything. Still, more than the teaser we saw before.

I have to admit, I'm getting very excited for the 22nd and can't wait to unveil our coverage plans. I think you'll be pleased.

PS - Hey, Wynn Resorts! What's the official name of this property? I've heard 'Encore Suites at Wynn Las Vegas' but now you are promoting this as 'Encore Las Vegas', 'Encore at Wynn Las Vegas' and even just 'Encore'. What's the story?

UPDATE: Site is back online.

UPDATE: The TV commercial is on the site.

November 21, 2008

Las Vegas Weekly : Elaine Wynn, Embracing Change

Posted by Hunter

Steve Friess' regular column in the Weekly focuses on Elaine Wynn this week who I am once again reminded is a class act.

Everything I've seen and know about Mrs. Wynn has been extremely positive and it's great to get a little more insight into her life.

November 20, 2008

Strip Walk - November 2008

Posted by Hunter

Mike Ch is back with another Strip Walk. Click through to enjoy.

As usual, there are some photos included but this time around you'll see the debut of our new photo gallery. Gone (hopefully) are the days of duplicated photos, strange bugs and error messages. It's still being tweaked so let us know if you find problems but generally I think it's a nice improvement.

The new gallery is here: Photo Gallery

Lastly, if you read Mike's prose you will see he's soliciting photo and recon requests from you guys for his next trip. Please respond in the comments here.

November 18, 2008

An Inside Look at City Center Construction

Posted by Hunter

The Las Vegas Business Press sent a reporter in to City Center to work as a construction hire for three days. The write up is here:

November 13, 2008

Vegas Gang #21 - November 13th, 2008

Posted by Hunter

Vegas Gang #21 is online:

This time around we cover:

* Terry Lanni to Leave MGM Mirage
* Las Vegas Sands Financial Woes Continue
* Should the Nevada Gambling Age Be Lowered to 18?
* WSOP Changes This Year

Feel free to leave any comments below.

Also, please consider voting for us in the Trippies!

November 13, 2008

UPDATED: MGM Mirage CEO to Retire at Month End

Posted by Hunter

Terry Lanni, MGM Mirage's chairman and CEO, is planning to retire at the end of the month.

Jim Murren, COO, is being recommended for the job.

Whoa... Didn't see this coming. End of the month? That's not much time for a transition. Is he sick? Hopefully not [ED: a memo to employees says it is not health related].

I can't imagine majority shareholder Kerkorian would toss him during such a tumultuous time. They've worked together for ages... It must be something else... The timing is just so strange.

Update: MGM Mirage press release here:

We're discussing this on the Vegas Gang, which will be out later today.

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal is reporting there are some questions about his MBA from USC as the school could not verify the degree.

November 13, 2008

Tweeting Las Vegas

Posted by Hunter

Over the past few months, many of the established Vegas voices you'll find on your favorite blogs have started to also communicate on Twitter - the popular 'micro-blogging' service. Messages on Twitter are limited to 140 characters, hence the 'micro' part and can be viewed on the Web, through desktop and iPhone software like Iconfactory's Twitterrific, or on your cell phone via SMS messaging.

The system is based on the concept of 'followers' - you sign up to receive someone's updates into your stream of new messages, though the messages are (typically) not private - they are shared for the world to see. This fosters a back and forth on interesting postings - a conversation of sorts.

Twitter has become a popular way for people to share information of current events, ask questions or just to share part of their day. We'll be using Twitter to help spread the details during Encore's opening in December. MGM Mirage has even started using Twitter to share info with customers.

If you decide to jump into to Twitter-land, here are some Vegas names you might want to follow:

* RateVegas (blog headlines, breaking news)
* Hunter (my personal feed, not just Vegas related stuff)
* VegasTripping (Chuckmonster's VT feed)
* TheStripPodcast (Steve Friess from
* FiveHundy (Tim from Five Hundy By Midnight)
* MGMGrand (MGM Grand Info)
* LuxorLV (Luxor Info)
* VegasConcierge (MGM Mirage hotel information)
* VegasCom (
* LasVegasWeekly (Las Vegas Weekly)
* ThisAintIowa (This Ain't Iowa Podcast)
* ReviewJournal (Las Vegas Review Journal Headlines)
* LasVegasSign (Casino News)
* CirqueLasVegas (Cirque Info)
* VegasRex (Vegas Rex)
* LasVegasSun (Las Vegas Sun)

Several of the regular readers and commenters are also active on Twitter. I'll leave it to them to post their Twitter names if they are so inclined in the comments.

November 10, 2008

Las Vegas Sands Will Raise $2.14 Billion

Posted by Hunter

After posting fairly dismal third quarter results today, Las Vegas Sands indicated that it should have deals in place by the end of the week that will give it access to over $2 billion in new capital.

The company recently informed investors that it was in danger of breaching debt covenants due to leverage issues.

The company is suspending part of its ongoing Cotai Strip development in Macau to focus on its two other projects: Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and Bethlehem, PA casino project. The St. Regis condo project on the Las Vegas Strip will also be suspended.

November 8, 2008

LVSUN: Lower Gambling Age to 18?

Posted by Hunter

The LV Sun has an interesting article about the possibility of shifting the gaming age from 21 to 18 in Nevada in an effort to stimulate an industry that's hurting.

A few episodes ago, we discussed potential regulatory changes in gaming as a response to the economic crisis, though we focused on allowing strip clubs in casinos, the general concept is the same - will changes in regulation be sped along due to cash problems?

November 8, 2008

Harrah's Earnings Drop ; Layoffs Hit Atlantic City

Posted by Hunter

Harrah's earnings took a hit, as expected.

From the Sun:

The RJ says they are going to work on cost cutting:

Also, from a newer blog that Dave Schwartz clued me in on, some info on AC layoffs:

As required by law, Las Vegas Sands filed a disclosure statement with the SEC today that indicates the company may not be able to maintain required leverage ratios which could put it in danger of a default.

A default could potentially lead to other action such as bankruptcy, though the company did not use that term in its filing.

Will Sheldon Adelson lend the company more money? Is he in a position to do so?

Will we see cuts at their resorts, in either staff or service?

UPDATE: The Las Vegas Sun has more:

Last night was the opening of the new Cirque du Soleil show 'CRISS ANGEL Believe' at Luxor. The show features illusionist Criss Angel's magic combined with the artistry that we know from Cirque.

Well, it seems that CDS' run of perfection may be over, at least if they don't end up completely re-working the show that premiered last night.

Many of the reviews are in and they're not great.

November 1, 2008

Open Topic Discussion - November 1, 2008

Posted by detroit1051

A friend said he had heard that Caesars Palace has mothballed the entire Centurion Tower due to lack of demand. Centurion Tower is 14 stories and opened in 1970. Can anyone confirm this?