Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

June 2, 2010

Open Topic Discussion - June 1, 2010

Posted by detroit1051

Let's start June with a new customer satisfaction survey which shows The Orleans as the overall winner, and Venetian as the upscale winner.
Orleans Ranks High in Customer Satisfaction Survey


Read archived comments (27 so far)
June 2, 2010 9:25 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Well who knows, how this survey was based, and who all responds. But I've been, thinking about this for a while. Its interesting, but cause most of us on this board really love Wynn, and place them above all others. But when I compare Wynn to say a R-C, of a FS, service wise, there is no comparison. And why I realize you can't compare the service of a 400 room complex to a 4000 room complex, it makes you wonder. I some what wonder if Wynn service level is truly superior to say Venatian, Aria, or a Bellagio. I think most of us tend to overlook slight flaws or service issues at Wynn, where we might not if it were one of their competitors. Over the years, I've had a number of housekeeping issues at Wynn. I've come back to my room many times, at 3 PM, after being out all day, to find my room still un-touched. I know this happens at other places as well, but its something worth mentioning.

June 2, 2010 10:16 AM Posted by parchedearth

Obviously more information is needed before we can make too much of this. I'm guessing not all properties (Wynncore) are involved in this particular survey. I do get an online survey from the Venetian after every stay. If you exclude Wynncore, the Venetian is a plausible winner. I can also see the Orleans being voted best Vegas local's casino. The M may not be old enough, and the main competitors (RR and GVR) have bankruptcy issues.

June 3, 2010 2:27 AM Posted by Arthur

I'm hoping someone could help me with something. One of my favorite places in Las Vegas is Bellagio. I love the fountains, the gardens, and gambling in there. However, I notice that above the "Bellagio" sign on the hotel bulding, is a little oval observatory-like area. I was wondering what that area is and is there any way we can get up there?'s probably for high-rollers or something, but I always imagine it as a great place to watch the fountains!

June 3, 2010 4:50 AM Posted by detroit1051

Arthur, the area at the center top of Bellagio has be be a purely decorative architectural detail. I'm sure there is no access from the top (36th floor). This aerial view shows how it's above the roofline:

Directly below that cupola is likely a Grand Lakeview Suite. You can click on the floorplan here:
Bellagio remains Steve Wynn's masterpiece, imo.

June 3, 2010 7:46 AM Posted by Aaron_B

Several years ago while staying at Bellagio I overheard a couple who were asking one of the Bellagio security guards some questions about the property. The guard said that his favorite part of the property was unfortunately not something guests could enjoy. He said that part of his security detail sometimes involved checking the roof of the main tower and that the view from the cupola above the center of the building was incredible allowing 360 degree views. Of course the view from there today would not be as great as before Cosmo & City Center were built but I’m sure it would be pretty cool to go up there. Based on the security guard’s description I would guess access to the cupola is only from the main roof which I’m sure they would never allow non employees access to.

June 3, 2010 11:11 AM Posted by detroit1051

Walgreen's and CVS are the general stores of yore. Surprised the writer didn't know about Walgreens in Palazzo. (He must be one of the few who doesn't read Mike_ch's Strip Walks.) They do huge business, but is Jim Murren thrilled about a drugstore across from CityCenter?

June 3, 2010 11:16 AM Posted by detroit1051

Didn't Bellagio just install the Genesis Bravo tracking system last year? Maybe South Florida's not behind the times, after all.

June 3, 2010 8:53 PM Posted by Arthur

Thanks, detroit and Aaron for that explanation. I always wanted to go up there and see, but I guess I cannot then...haha. Nice to know then...

June 3, 2010 10:37 PM Posted by mike_ch

Yes, Jim Murren wants a Walgreens across the street from CityCenter, because he has a CVS breaking up his parcel between Mandarin Oriental and Monte Carlo that refuses to sell, and with good reason since they're doing boffo business. Anything that makes their business softer without building within their golden goose is fine with them.

June 4, 2010 4:38 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Isn't there a Walgreens a couple block South, next to Fat Burger? Wonder if they'll leave it open. There's a lot of density there.

June 4, 2010 5:09 AM Posted by detroit1051

I hadn't realized there are already three Walgreens on the Strip plus the CVS next to Monte Carlo. I liked the CVS because it actually had a small, free parking lot on the south side of the store. The CVS store must be one of the top grossing in the country. It's always busy.
Jeff, is Fatburger next to MGM Grand?
Here are the three Walgreens. Do they need a 4th next to P-Ho?

June 5, 2010 6:43 AM Posted by detroit1051

Sheldon Adelson spoke for 45 minutes at a Sanford Bernstein conference on June 4. Sheldon is no Steve Wynn and certainly won't succeed as a comedian, but parts of it are interesting.
Vegas discussion starts at 37 minutes. He specifically names Cosmo, CityCenter, Fontainebleau and P Ho as having been built with no marketing strategy; thus, they need to or will need to buy the business. He said he's not sure if Vegas will get back to what it was " the same form". Not sure exactly what he thinks will happen. He also mentioned Obama but not as forcefully as Steve Wynn did.

June 5, 2010 11:38 AM Posted by detroit1051

This is exactly why Florida needs to open up gaming to commercial operators who would provide some competition to the Seminoles. LVS, Wynn, Harrah's could do great business, especially in South Florida. Seminole Gaming/Hard Rock International is run by professionals, but some tribal members consider the enterprise their personal fiefdom.
These charges are coming while the Dept of Interior is considering approval of the Seminole Gaming Compact. They'll probably get fined, but nothing will derail the Seminoles.

June 7, 2010 6:25 AM Posted by detroit1051

Is Jim Murren whistling past the graveyard, or are better days coming? Wasn't it just last week that Sheldon Adelson was less optmistic about midweek convention business increasing? MGM is the focus of this LV Sun story today:

June 7, 2010 9:44 AM Posted by mike_ch

Well, given what they're selling Aria rooms for, they're probably going to have people.

My prediction is that Vegas is entering a value era where occupancy and room rates are pretty much connected to each other, and people aren't going to pay over $200 for a standard room in Vegas anymore. All this new stuff, built with Bottle Service budgets, will be sold at Wal-Mart prices, a great deal for all of us and a long row to hoe for the industry.

Wynn has managed to continue demanding a premium for his rooms, but I think once Cosmo opens and, if we're to believe the propaganda, Harmon is supposed to open at the same time (good luck on that), then there will be so much action mid strip and so little action north strip that I really think that Wynn is going to be feeling the heat from the competition.

June 7, 2010 10:03 AM Posted by parchedearth

I have always been confused as to why convention rates are higher than tourist rates. I realize conventions are business expense based which implies deeper pockets, but shouldn't there be a discount when reserving/buying rooms in bulk? What do they throw-in to justify the higher rates (free meeting rooms, dining discounts, free rooms for the organizers, shuttle buses, signage)?

June 13, 2010 5:29 PM Posted by Jinx

Since it's open topic discussion, just wanted to weigh in with some things I'm seeing from the ground level of players club style offerings.

Discovered this week, that the Imperial Palace now charges $30/night for a pool view room, yes you read that right, for one of the worst pools in Vegas, they charge likely more then the online rate per night for the 'luxury' of staying in a room with the view of the pool. Considering that requesting a pool view is almost necessary if you don't want to have to deal with Carnival Court noise, which is ends at 2am and starts about 10 or 11am, I find it a bit reprehensible.

I've noticed that MGM offers seemed to have switched from 3 night comps to 2 night (3 properties so far for 3rd qtr). I've basically been level 8 or 9 tier on MGM's list over the last couple years and cannot advise on whether this is change policy for MGM or I've slipped a level, but it's a change I've seen.

June 14, 2010 7:27 PM Posted by detroit1051

mac78130 tweeted an error that Vdara made on its rate promotion. Clicking on the Vdara icon brought up Bellagio's site instead of Vdara's.

It was a mistake, but with struggles at Vdara and Aria, wouldn't it make some sense for MGM to tie Vdara and Bellagio more closely together? Physically, Vdara is closer to Bellagio's Spa Tower and conservatory than it is to Aria. For critics who believe Bellagio is an old school Steve Wynn property, why doesn't MGM reposition and promote Vdara as the Vdara Tower at Bellagio? Aria is so large and self-contained, and is further away from Vdara that it makes sense to try to diminish Vdara's image as a step-sister to Aria. Offer it as the luxurious, contemporary alternative to the original Bellagio towers. I haven't been there, but would it be possible to construct an interior walkway from Bellagio to Vdara? That would make the properties feel integrated and encourage more cross-traffic between the two.
I believe Silk Road has discontinued dinner service. Since the chef is affiliated with both Sensi and Silk Road, start some innovative cross-promotions to add some life to Silk Road. Also, create some incentives for Vdara Tower guests to feel they are a part of Bellagio and its casino and other restaurants. Over time, change all the signage to reflect Bellagio's control over Vdara. Now, you'll have a larger, fully integrated luxury resort which can cater to young and old.

June 15, 2010 8:09 AM Posted by Mike P.

detroit -

There's already a covered walkway between Vdara and Bellagio. Fully enclosing it would probably be feasible, but that's such a stark and uninviting passageway that it really needs some shops or a bar or something to encourage people to linger rather than scurry through as quickly as possible.

Vdara may be physically closer to Bellagio but I'm quite sure it's a longer walk to the casino and the majority of restaurants than to Aria's. Also Vdara's lobby is on the same level as Aria's casino -- the "ground" level of both is several stories higher than Bellagio's ground level.

IMO Vdara is probably doomed and there's no marketing fix that can save it. If MGM had been smarter -- and solvent -- they should have realized by early 2008 that the condo-hotel concept was dead and done an interior redesign to position it as a true boutique hotel. As it stands it has too many rooms and too few amenities to qualify as anything other than a dormitory, and the condo accoutrements serve no purpose for the majority of whatever guests they're getting.

Hmm, maybe turning it into an actual dormitory for MGM employees would work.

June 15, 2010 10:13 AM Posted by Jinx

I think the idea of trying to incorporate Vdara into Bellagio is a darn good one. There is a covered walk way but it would definitely need to have some things added to it.

It also would allow them to reduce some of the focus on Aria, since they could focus more on the casino/hotel itself and let the Bellagio staff incorporate Vdara, if nothing else it would make great sense for a temporary period.

June 15, 2010 2:37 PM Posted by billyinlasvegas

They're re-branding everything starting with the Players Club, now called "M life".
More changes are expected...

June 26, 2010 1:32 AM Posted by Phil

Sorry if this is old news, but while at the Wynn tonight I saw next to the Terrace Point Cafe about a 20 ft. wide area where construction is going on. There is a wall put up so you can't see anything. I asked an employee, who didn't seem 100% positive to me, and she said that it was another club. I kinda doubted that, but figured somebody here would know.

June 26, 2010 9:02 AM Posted by detroit1051

Phil, it's probably the new wine bar which open this fall. It's taking space from Terrace Pointe. Either Hunter or Brian Fey commented on it, but I can't find what they wrote.

June 26, 2010 10:00 AM Posted by Phil

Thanks Detroit, seems about the right space for something like that.

June 30, 2010 7:31 PM Posted by Jason Robar

Gary Loveman speaks:

- The retail/bar/whatever corridor is back, to be built between Flamingo and O'Sheas sometime in 2011
- Loveman admitted to soliciting bids for the Rio, but has nothing to report. The bids received were discounting the price since the WSOP wouldn't come with the Rio, so it might make more sense for Harrah's to keep the Rio
- Paulson & Co. owns 9.9% of Harrah's (I don't remember if the exact percentage was out there yet.)

July 3, 2010 11:52 PM Posted by Kenny

It looks like the Bellagio is keeping up with maintenance by repainting its roof in Google Earths recent satellite update.