Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

July 4, 2010

Open Topic Discussion - 4th of July, 2010

Posted by detroit1051

July already? Time flies when you're thinking of Vegas.

The Las Vegas Sun has a story about a Las Vegas company which is placing commercials on idle slot machines. It looks like Palms is the only casino using this marketing product now, but I bet other casinos will follow. I don't want to be bombarded with beer, car or other ads as I'm walking through a casino. The ads don't have sound now, but how long until that changes? Less offensive would be infomercials for the casino's own offerings like restaurants, clubs, lounges, rooms, etc.

The next time any Las Vegas readers are in the Palms, let us know what you think.
Here are links to the Sun story and then the Reel TV site which has an informative introductory video.

Technology allows advertising on idle slot machines

Reel TV corporate site


Read archived comments (27 so far)
July 4, 2010 8:06 AM Posted by parchedearth

I noticed these last week at the Palms. Almost all ads were for the clubs and restaurants at the Palms, but I think there were also a couple liquour ads.Twere only running on machines that were not being played. The ads are TV quality video and actually look pretty good. They do catch your attention as you walk by. I don't really have an opinion on them as long as they don't run while I'm playing.

July 4, 2010 9:26 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

We were in the Palms about a month ago and I think they were running ads on the slot machines then. I don't recall beer ads, though. I think it was the in house ads for the pool, clubs and restaurants you were hoping for. I thought it was really cool. I think constant and varied use of any video screen is a good idea in a casino.

July 4, 2010 11:25 AM Posted by ooo000

Promoting the resort is fine with me, and probably kinda cool. But if they really start using it to generate outside ad revenue I would be somewhat offended if I was a guest. You're already paying to stay there, eat, play, drink, whatever. They are a resort, so they should focus their attention on doing what a resort is supposed to do well, and generate revenue that way. Now if you walk in their Casino bombarded by advertising, I would expect the room rates, and F&B prices to be adjusted accordingly with their new-found subsidization.... Though I'm sure that would never happen.

July 4, 2010 8:27 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Excuse me, sir, but---Vegas Gang, Vegas Gang!
Any idea when you are producing an exciting new Vegas Gang podcast?

July 7, 2010 8:15 AM Posted by Hunter

No new Vegas Gang until next week due to vacations, etc...

July 7, 2010 9:32 AM Posted by Scott

I could use some assistance and opinions;
I am coming to Las Vegas in Sept for a get together with 10 other guys (we are all 40yr old this year)
some are coming from UK and europe, some from USA
rather than hit nightclubs (either too old or not willing to get hit for entry/bottle service), we were thinking of touring the best casino bars on the strip
I have came up with a list in no particular order and would appreciate opinions on what i have included and what i have missed
Centrifuge @ MGM
Shadow Bar @ Caesars
9 Fine Irishmen @ NYNY
Center bar @ hard Rock
Parasol Down @ Wynn
I Bar @ Rio
have a couple more off strip, like Gorden Biersch & crown and Anchor (for my UK friends)

any others i am missing that would suit 40yr old guys to hang out?

July 7, 2010 10:56 AM Posted by parchedearth

Scott - 10 guys is a little unwieldy for a bar crawl especially transit and seating. I like your list so far, but you have at least 4 cab trips already. I propose a south strip walking trip of Mix, Eyecandy, Company, Liquid, Rick's, 9 Fine Irishmen, and Zuri. Alternatively, a north strip crawl of Eastside lounge, Parasol Down, Lavo (restaurant side), Dos Caminos, V-bar, La Scena, Gilley's. Or a center strip crawl of Shadow, SeaHorse, Caramel, Petrossian, PUB, Deuce, Cabo Wabo.

July 7, 2010 1:01 PM Posted by mike_ch

On the Aria food front, I know someone who is responsible for finding new menus for the Vegas Mate app, and they told me that Aria's web site now has menus for most all it's fancy restaurants. A few are still web site lists with no prices that MGM seems to love to do (Blossom, BARMASA) but a few of the fine dining places like American Fish and Jean Gorges Steak have complete menus up now.

And yes, atdleft, that includes Sage.

July 7, 2010 1:32 PM Posted by USA Casinos

It was going to happen at some point as video screens take over for reels. They will find a use for everything and I don't mind it so much like everyone else if they are promoting their own brand but if I have to see car and beer adds than I'm not going to play there. And I don't think that sound would ever come into play because 1. if a machine is open next to a player there is no way that they would subject a paying costumer to that and 2. the volume of the adds would have to be high enough to hear as you walk by and as close as the machines are packed together all the adds would be talking over one another and again anyone playing in that section of empty machines would go crazy.

July 7, 2010 2:16 PM Posted by Mike P.

Don't forget the Fontana Bar at Bellagio. It's still a great room and one of the few lounges with a regular lineup of live bands, at least when it isn't shut down to host a poker tournament.

July 8, 2010 1:32 AM Posted by motoman

Scott: a North Strip crawl would have to include the Fireside Lounge inside the Peppermill. It's north of Encore and therefore about as far north as you'd want to go within walking distance. Don't be dissuaded by the diner-meets-stripclub atmosphere of the main restaurant; Fireside Lounge is a whole separate world. I'm assuming you're not restricting yourself to only the most hoity-toity pinky-in-the-air places. End your "tour" here, and you might actually enjoy their larger-than-life breakfasts to end your night (or start the next day).

July 8, 2010 6:04 AM Posted by Tim W

I would also suggest the Mandarin Bar inside Mandarin Oriental.

July 8, 2010 8:44 AM Posted by Scott

Thanks for the comments guys, i should have mentioned we have a limo booked for the evening, so we can basically head anywhere, we might do one of the walking tours the next night though
thanks for the feedback, and i will add the Fontana Bar, PUB and Gilleys..thanks again

July 9, 2010 4:15 PM Posted by detroit1051

A Las Vegas Sun story has some interesting insights into Wynn:
1) Scott Peterson, Sr VP and CFO of Wynn Las Vegas was surprisingly candid, maybe too much so. He said it’s a good thing Macau is doing well because in Las Vegas, “we’re making less now than we were three years ago when we only had one property.”
2) Nightclubs "outshine all other revenue streams in the resort."

Matt Maddox, CFO of Wynn Resorts said, "baccarat play has saved the company’s gaming revenue for several months."

July 9, 2010 11:46 PM Posted by John

File that one under 'No duh'

July 11, 2010 5:42 PM Posted by donnymac


If you are heading to Fremont a good bar crawl would include Downtown Cocktail Room, Griffin, Beauty Bar, sidebar, Hogs n Heifers and hanging out by the one bar at Golden Gate!

July 15, 2010 10:48 AM Posted by detroit1051

The Boston Herald reports Steve Wynn is interested in Fan Pier in Boston for a new casino. The story says Steve mentioned it in the April conference call, but I don't recall it. Boston, and especially this site, seems to be a better fit than Philadelphia was.

Boston Herald story:

Fan Pier location:

July 16, 2010 9:47 AM Posted by parchedearth

Article in the LVSun about Veer now being open. Overall, less than 15% of condos in CC have closed, which is awfully low considering something like 40-50% were presold and MGM is providing financing. They also admit that 90% of closings are "related" to MGM, which I take to mean corp executives (Murren), affiliated companies (Tracinda, Dubai), major subcontractors (Cirque). I suspect these buyers had no choice but to follow through with closing. The real indicator will be how many "independent" buyers they can attract over the next year.

July 17, 2010 11:11 PM Posted by Phil

Way off topic, but came across this gem on YouTube, the Stardust Grand Prix CanAm Race in 1966. This race was long gone by the time I made my first trip to Vegas. A casino having its own race track and hosting international legends like Jackie Stewart and John Surtees, and American legends Phil Hill and Parnelli Jones, unheard of stuff to this day (besides Caesar's F1 race). Just another example of many of how forward thinking the old school bosses were.

Here is a map/location of the old circuit. At that time it was considered in the middel of nowhere.

And a video of the start of the race.

July 17, 2010 11:20 PM Posted by Phil

For those who remember the Foster Brooks robot at the MGM Grand in the lobby bar in the early 90's when the hotel opened up, here is the rest of the story. Scroll down about half way down the page for the full story. I think I remember that Mike Tyson rumor.

July 17, 2010 11:30 PM Posted by Phil

Here is a video of the Foster Brooks robot in action, along with the old MGM Wizard of Oz entrance and a brief view of how one half of the Caesars World entrance looked like when the holograms worked.

July 18, 2010 5:37 AM Posted by detroit1051

Phil, I remember watching how many people did double takes after seeing the Foster Brooks robot, but most of them were already feeling no pain. I never did understand why MGM thought the robot was a good idea. The Grand Prix at Caesars was held during one of my first trips to Vegas, so it must have been between '81 and '84. Amazing how much empty land there was along the Strip in those days.

July 18, 2010 9:00 AM Posted by parchedearth

Personally, I'd like to see some re-theming of properties. I still have fond memories of the Oz theming at MGM, which indicates to me that it worked. Obviously not all properties should resort to gimmicks, but if done properly they can add a little flavor to the Vegas experience. The biggest problem with theming is upkeep and maintenance, but Disney has proven themes can be maintained over an extended period. With all MGM properties slowly adopting the same design/decor, I now make it a point to visit the independent properties alot more often.

July 18, 2010 11:02 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Great stuff, Phil. Thanks for sharing those finds. Dave Despain sure looks young in the intro to the Can Am segment. And it paid $40 grand to win. Big money at the time, I'm sure.
Small World, I sent the Question of the Day to the Las Vegas Advisor about Foster Brooks that the guy complains about on his blog. I had just read about the robot in Cult Vegas and wondered where it went. It is really surprising how much unique stuff is destroyed after it is removed from service in those places. Surely, someone would get a clue about the collectible value of that junk, in our ebay/collectibles era.

July 18, 2010 5:36 PM Posted by Phil

I know what you mean Jeff. Although many great things have ended up in the trash, I would hope all the hotels still have storage rooms of treasures.

I remember in the mid 90's I had bought a car and had it shipped to my home out in Vegas, I knew at that time one of the guys at the Imperial Palace auto collection that agreed to hold my car there for a few days in their holding area just off the collection floor until I got in town. Well my car was near a storage area in the Imperial garage that wasn't a public area and it had a treasure trove of everything from the days when the Imperial Palace just opened, old menus, old signs, old machines, the original carpet...etc. being a Vegas nut I'm am, I was almost more excited about that heap of what most people thought was junk than picking up my car.

July 28, 2010 3:37 AM Posted by mike_ch

Harrah's is shocked (shocked!) to have discovered that P-Ho increased revenue at the same time they sacked some people:

August 1, 2010 9:01 PM Posted by motoman

P.S. Scott / North Strip crawl:
"diner-meets-stripclub" was way too harsh a description of The Peppermill. As this is Open Topic, allow me to elaborate:

At one of the Aria opening meet-ups, I heard Hunter & Chuckmonster describe this place as "mediocre." I too used to walk on by, assuming it to be some old-school greasy spoon hangout. Then, introduced by a local, I observed that once you get past the entry, there is no trace of the greasy spoon diner atmosphere. The somewhat dark interior and especially the widespread use of mirrored surfaces and neon (plus what could be described as a faux indoor forest to rival the Rainforest Cafe) do give the visual impression of a strip club. The atmosphere, however, is anything but raucous*, with no loud thumping music or rowdy crowds to shout over, even thought the place is often very busy. Service has always been friendly and professional -- never will you see a Flo from Mel's Diner, or Mel in his sailor cap and ratty T-shirt. There seem to be different music tracks on different days, never too loud; usually typical pop, but once in a while old Vegas standards and on the occasional unlucky day, country.

Benchmarks for a casual restaurant would have to include cleanliness of restrooms and organization of the kitchen. Upon using theirs for the first time, I'll admit I was shocked to find Peppermill's restroom to be utterly spotless. The kitchen, partially visible from the dining area, is a finely choreographed machine of gleaming stainless steel, with a team of neatly uniformed chefs each performing specific duties to get the fresly-prepared grub out in timely fashion. (Foodie snobs impressed by foie gras stuffed hamburgers will not be impressed by the above, but I mention it to dispel any notion that Peppermill shares DNA with the Denny's strategically located in a stripmall right next door.)

I've raved plenty about their outsized breakfasts with real hash browns (yes, a critically important menu item!), but their Cobb Salad was only a few notches below Wynn's Sugar & Ice -- er, Pizza Place -- which is saying something because Wynn's would be nearly impossible to surpass. Price was close as well, so Peppermill's not super-cheap eats. But you definitely get what you pay for.

And, to get back to Scott's question about bars: the Fireside Lounge is a completely separate world of its own, featuring round seating areas, TV screens and a pool of fire. Peppermill's website hints at this dual personality with the "It's like Night... and Day" black/white homepage. Hardly any info on the site but the drinks have been massively raved about elsewhere. The location means the crowd is neither too young nor suffused with Ed Hardy/fratboy types*. It's more a place for gathering with friends, so a good last stop on your limo tour. See Boozehound's review over at

(*Disclaimer: that was before word got out that Peepshow stars Holly Madison and Shoshana Bean occasionally dine there. Haven't been since to see if things have changed.)

...OK, so now I'm thoroughly expecting my Wynn privileges to be revoked, and to be evicted from here.... ;-)