Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

May 17, 2012

Vegas Gang #78 - May 17th, 2012

Posted by Hunter

Episode #78 is up!

Listen here:

This time on the show:

- Special Guest Roger Gros

- Echelon
- Wynn Cotai
- Stuart Mason

** Sure Bets **

Chuck - DIY Network - Bronson Pinshow Project
Dr. Dave - Internet Gaming Regulation Symposium
Hunter - Vegas Mate users
Roger - Boulder City, NV

Feel free to leave your comments at the link below. If it's a question that you want asked on the show, please make that clear in your post. You can also send those to


Read archived comments (15 so far)
May 17, 2012 9:00 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Great show, as always. Thank everyone for taking the time and effort of doing the show. Also, Roger Gros is a smart guy whose insights were good to listen to. I do wish that Gros had mentioned the GGB podcast that is available on the GGB website. I might be embarrassed to admit how many times I have listened to the podcasts featuring Mike Brandenburg from the Golden Gate, Terry Caudill from Binion's/4 Queens, Vince Wycliffe from Boyd Gaming, and the great 30 Years of Gaming in Atlantic City series. I think these podcasts are very close to Dr. Dave's Center for Gaming Research series and should be checked out by any Las Vegas gaming geek. Although the fact they are not on iTunes makes downloading them a major pain, IMO.
Regarding SLS Las Vegas: I wish you would never discuss it again. I think Dr. Dave is willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, and Chuck's citing of Donald Trump's opinion of the intersection via Norm! reflects his negative opinion of the project. I thought to myself that Chuck had jumped the shark when I heard it. For argument's sake I would say that WynnCore has neighborhood challenges from the north, east and west. And Mandalay Bay faces much of the same from the south, east and west. I don't have much desire to defend the project, I just wish you would let it up for air.
My genuine respect and love for you guys makes any negative comment very difficult for me, but I feel compelled to make it, because I think it is very important to keep you thick-dick studs on the journalistic straight and narrow.
Peace, be mellow.

May 17, 2012 9:17 PM Posted by Hunter

I say what I think and I think SLS is likely a dog.

Comparing SLS to Wynn seems like a major stretch. Two years before Wynn Las Vegas was set to open it was well underway not only when it came to construction but also pre-marketing and customer outreach. SLS has no customer list.

May 17, 2012 9:39 PM Posted by chuckmonster

jeff - my point in bringing the trump thing up was to illustrate how opinions on the location are convenient to the person giving them (Oseland raves, Trump derides.) Who are you going to believe? I choose to believe neither.

May 18, 2012 4:33 AM Posted by detroit1051

I haven't listened yet, but I have to say I'm getting more enthused about SLS after observing what I believe to be a success with Hyde at Bellagio, serving both the day and night markets. That, plus the generally positive anticipation of SLS South Beach opening in less than a month. If money's available, Nazarian's Sahara project may help the North Strip and the city..

May 18, 2012 7:51 AM Posted by Duffman

I think the point Jeff was trying to make is that it seems you guys are more wanting the project to fail in order to prove yourselves right, as opposed to just making objective observations to why it will not succeed.

I guess my opinion on the matter is, give it a go, if he succeeds cool, if not, sucks for him and his creditors. But if he does succeed it should pull some of the D-bags from the other properties up to where no of us is going to go.

May 18, 2012 11:30 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC


I'm trying to save you buddy! If you keep it up at this rate Sam Nazarian is going to call Robert Earl and get a copy of his dossier on you.

May 18, 2012 4:30 PM Posted by Hunter

What's the point of a show like this if we just hope everything will work out for people that have preposterous plans?

I guess you can argue if our criticisms are 'objective' or not (I do not own any casino resorts ; I don't have any personal upside if he fails beyond repeating it again when it does happen) but since you don't break down specifically what you think isn't objective, it's hard to respond directly to that charge.

There are a ton of reasons why it might not work. Pulling these things off is *incredibly* hard, even if the seasoned operators make it look easy (and even some of them don't). For a guy who had to shutter the old place cause it wasn't making enough money, why should we assume it will work? That's the part of this that no one has explained to me.

As for getting "Earl'd", I'm not worried.

May 18, 2012 6:10 PM Posted by socalduck

Great podcast! Roger added some interesting insight, and I hope he returns for future episodes.

May 19, 2012 9:45 AM Posted by Chris Hall

Solid show and great guest.

One thing an audio there anywhere I can donate some funds to get Dr. Dave a better mic...or at least a windscreen for his existing mic?

I'm with Chuckmonster...SLS doesn't make sense on the front end or the back end. I spent a whole day exploring Sahara near the end of the fire sale. The ONLY way this will ever be anything remotely "luxury" is if they literally tear it down to the studs and start from scratch...which they can't do on their budget. Otherwise, it will be a "Plaza" style renovation...with the same old crappy bones, smelly elevators, and dirty parking garage...just new paint and carpet. The good news is that they sold off all the old mechanical/electrical plant, so at least that will be case...if this thing ever does open under SBE, it will be a gold spray-painted, crystal covered turd that at best might siphon off some of the roid-chodes from Cosmo or Wynn.

SLS for VIMFP 2014!!

May 19, 2012 6:13 PM Posted by detroit1051

Thoroughly enjoyed it, and Roger Gros is a great guest. He's not afraid to share his opinions in a direct, fun manner. I, too, would like him to return.

I was hoping someone would ask Roger if he thought the AC Hard Rock boutique hotel/casino would ever be built, but maybe it wasn't necessary. When you all asked him about Atlantic City, his reply was, "Time has passed it by."

It'll be interesting to listen to this episode again in 2014 after we know whether the forlorn property at Sahara and the Strip will be SLS Las Vegas or still an abandoned Sahara.

Finally, I was amazed to learn that Hunter has never been to Boulder City. It's a great, small town. It's a good break for a few hours when the Strip gets overwhelming.

May 20, 2012 7:35 AM Posted by Dr.Dave

@ Chris Hall--in consultation with the TWHT engineer, I'll work on a solution.

As far as SLS goes, it's definitely an uphill climb for them, but who knows? Projects that seemed more likely than it have failed (Echelon) and ones that were arguably more of a longshot have opened (Cosmopolitan).

I don't know if they can get the money. There are certainly other things I'd do with $115 million in Las Vegas if I could get that kind of money. But if they do, there's no reason to think that Oseland won't get them across the finish line. is the property a success once it opens? I don't know.

As I mentioned on the show, there's also some ambiguity about how extreme the makeover will be. One of the press releases references tearing the structures "down to the skeleton," which I'm guessing doesn't mean the steel girders. I'll see if I can get access to the building to see just what state it's in now post-liquidation.

May 21, 2012 4:56 PM Posted by Mitesh Damania

It would make sense for SLS to buyout FountainBleu or Echelon or even partner with the New Frontier landowners and build there.

May 22, 2012 4:14 PM Posted by mike_ch

SLS is the Top Gear Project of casinos: Ambitious, but rubbish.

I haven't listened to the episode, but I'm not exactly sure of what people want to hear: "This project is stupid, let's hope it works!"?

May 23, 2012 12:41 PM Posted by DoubleD

I really enjoyed the Revel/AC conversation. In a future show, I would love to hear your formal opinions on whether this new type of business strategy will work in the casino industry, as a whole. Cosmo and Revel seem to be chiefly concerned with restaurants, nightlife and entertainment with little focus on gaming. While both markets are different, there's no doubt that both of these projects represent significant financial investments. So I'm just curious if we're looking at the future of the industry. While I did not follow Wynn when it opened, I think it's safe to say that they have adopted this trend, no?

Great show, as always. I'm a big fan!

May 24, 2012 10:32 AM Posted by Roy Vegas

Regarding Sahara SLS. Couldn't a lot more be achieved, a lot sooner, with less money, and without closing the place? Do the people running these places and projects think with ideas or only with money? Look at the promotions and ideas which Stupak had used successfully.

I don't see any real marketing, or ideas being tried. What would you do if you had to keep Sahara open, and had to make it profitable?