Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

November 3, 2005

You're In Charge - What Would You Change?

Posted by Hunter

So, reading a technology blog recently, I got to thinking... If I was running a Las Vegas casino, what would I change. Seems like a good basis for an article on the blog.

So, what would you change about your favorite Las Vegas property? Imagine you're running the joint - fix the things that bother you as a customer.

Please respond in the comments. I'm working on my own response right now and it will be posted below when it is done.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,


Read archived comments (21 so far)
November 3, 2005 10:39 AM Posted by Mike E

Nice topic. Got me thinking how nearly perfect Wynn LV is.

Although the vibe in the casino is great, it could be a little darker in there, especially in the high limit room.

I would definitely want to see an evening dress code for the casino. Nothing kills a vibe more than some guy in a Mickey Mouse t-shirt and fanny pack.

Not like I can afford one, but it seems like Fairway Villa guests need their own private entrance--the walk from the tower suites registration to the back of the resort is too far.

Would it be too much for a 2700 room resort to provide a newspaper to guests daily? Small things like that, reserved normally for boutique hotels, would really set WLV apart.

Live jazz should be heard throughout the casino in the evenings.

I'll post more when they come to me.

November 3, 2005 3:31 PM Posted by John H.

Wynn LV- I would rethink the design of the B Bar, I see alot of missed opportunity, considering its location. I would also look at putting in one more nightclub, along with re-designing Le Bete.

Bellagio- Change what MGM has done to my, once, favorite resort. They have made it too bland, I would get rid of the platinum white (canopies) and return all of the multi-colored canopies.

There are other resorts I would change (Caesars being one, Mirage, Treasure Island, MGM, Mandalay, NYNY.)

November 3, 2005 5:03 PM Posted by Karen

This is a great question. I am sure we all have little things that bug us about each hotel. The first thing I would change if I could, would be to redesign the pool at NYNY. It is way too small, you have the constant screaming and roaring of the roller coaster overhead, as well as the helicopter tours that go over about every 10 min. or so. It becomes almost impossible to hold a conversation at times. Not my idea of relaxation. Our favorite pool is at the Mirage. During our last stay this summer, we noticed that they changed the music being played at the pool from the stock casino muzak that we have heard a million times, to some really cool surfer,reggae, Buffet, and Beach Boys stuff. It made for a great vibe, it felt like we were at a big summer beach party. Really added to the fun.

November 3, 2005 6:00 PM Posted by Mike

The "drive-In" movie theater waterfall in the Lake of Dreams with a more natural one.

November 3, 2005 8:10 PM Posted by charlie

Great topic of conversation!

Since we are using Wynn as the benchmark/prototype...

I think it would have been more architecturally stimulating from the exterioer, not to mention more "special" to the guest to create 2 separate towers for the "Wynn Las Vegas Resort" (i.e., resort rooms) and "Wynn Las Vegas Villas" (i.e, tower suites). Wynn should have dialed-up the standard tower rooms up a notch over resort rooms and increased the service to a hotel that pushes the upper reaches of 5-Star. By having the 2 separate phyiscal towers, it would also add to the overall allure. The place where celebrities, high-rollers, and well-healed guests have a sense of privacy (and the kind of place where the couple with Mickey Mouse shirts and fannie packs are down right scared and intimitated to go near). In addition, having 2 towers (picture Wynn with a 30 foot gap between the 2), would allow additional towers (Encore, Phase III) to plug into the design, creating a unified design concept of large hotels (1500+ rooms) and smaller casino hotels (i.e., tower suites) and true boutique hotels.

The biggest complaint I have of all casinos is that they are completely uniform and generic within themselves. My gut-feel about Wynn (and I was totally wrong), was that he would break the 120,000 of casino space into multiple environments/"theatres" (much like he did his incredible restaurants). Why not extend the transcendant beauty of Okada out of the restaurant and into the public spaces, including the casino. Why not create a broader ultra-lounge (Lure) with the DJ music that flows into a "Lure" area of the casino floor. And for once, create a lounge with live music where you can play blackjack and listen AND watch the band!

Interior Design:
No more boxes. Whether Aladdin, Bellagio, Venetian or Wynn, the ceilings and the interior space is always consistent. I expect more already. I want draw-dropping dramatic interior spaces. So far, the only thing that remotely comes close is THEhotel's lobby. Oh yes, what about sunlight in the casino? Wynn had the chance to to all this. But traded the chance for a masterpiece for 3 Bellagio Copy-Cat Vilas, sitting right on top of the casino. Steve, you should have saved all of that gravel, and built those 3 villas IN the mountain.

Well, enough talk. I have a plane to catch tomorrow morning - non-stop to Vegas!


November 3, 2005 9:04 PM Posted by John

Implode Excaliber and replace it with a used car dealer ship. A step up is a step up.

November 4, 2005 6:45 AM Posted by Beth

I'd love it if Vegas casino hotels had coffee makers in the rooms! Why is it that a low-budget roadside hotel can have a four cup coffee maker in the room, but at any number of strip properties to get my caffine fix, I have to get dressed, run downstairs, and stand in line at Starbucks?

November 4, 2005 8:20 AM Posted by Mike P.

You're opening a can of worms, but here goes:



- Improve the video poker inventory.
- Find a spot besides the Fontana lounge for poker tourneys.


- The suites in the original tower are due for renovation. They could do worse than check into Wynn for ideas.
- Separate check-in for suites is a great Wynn idea. What Bellagio should have done was make the Spa Tower all premium rooms and suites and given it a separate check-in.
- Put coffeemakers in the rooms.



- Improve ventilation. Or ban cigar smoking (yeah, right).
- Dump bonus bingo.
- Improve background music. The current playlist is too small and too bland.
- Make cashback actual cash back, and make the return more competitive with MGM's players club.
- Carve out smaller spaces so the casino doesn't look like a warehouse.


- Put in coffeemakers!
- There aren't enough elevators, at least in the Tower suites section.
- Gym needs to expand, and they need to add training staff and classes.
- They could use one more restaurant that's moderately priced and open for lunch. If Corsa Cucina is shut down for renovations that would be a good spot for one.

Mike P.

November 4, 2005 1:03 PM Posted by Adam

Change everything that MGM has done to Bellagio. What a dump, well its O.K., wynn had it outstanding though, it really upsets me when i think about what MGM has done to Bellagio such as the keno... honestly it was pretty nice when you're tired and about to go to bed, to go and get a keno ticket to watch in the room. Its a pretty stupid reason why they removed it, staff there told that the manager doesn't like keno so he removed it. Secondly, the place is beginning to fall apart, so i would probably redo the pool and courtyards area and like other areas like elevators, last time i was there the carpet in there was destroyed.

November 4, 2005 2:10 PM Posted by Marrk



- The suites in the main Bellaio tower need to be updated. They seem drab and dingy compared to the suites in the spa tower.

- If I was the designer of the rooms, I would have put flat panel TV's the rooms and in the bathrooms when they remodeled the rooms.


- Baccarat Bar... keep the classical design with modern touches, insstead of full on modern.

- Club Prive... way too boxy and modern for its elegant surroudings.

November 5, 2005 2:16 AM Posted by Mike E

This is just a general comment for all resorts, but there really needs to be a hotel marketing loyalty program or at least one that shares information with casino marketing.

I know several people who come to Vegas and might stay at a different hotel each time, but they always eat at several fancy restaurants, get expensive spa treatments, bottle service at the nightclubs, etc. Basically, they wind up dropping more money for the hotel's services than a $500 dollar blackjack player would in the long run... and yet the gambler is the one getting all the free stuff. A hotel should actively market to these big spending low rollers who have yet to find a Vegas home or are looking for a new one. Even something as small as a limo from the airport or VIP check-in is enough to win customers loyalty.

November 5, 2005 2:06 PM Posted by MARLYMARR

Thats a great idea Mike E! I dont know anything about gambling even though ive lived in Vegas my entire life, i do however spend lots of money shopping,eating,drinking. Especially when friends are in town...a loyalty program like that would make me frequent the hotels who sent offers.

November 5, 2005 2:14 PM Posted by Mike C

Man, what's up with all these attacks agains the Mickey Mouse shirts? :) I wear a fair amount of those and have thrown quite a bit of money around Wynn. Us locals have to go SOMEWHERE for vacation, you know!

Paris has the feeling almost of a boutique hotel/casino and the buffet is excellent I honestly hope Harrah's doesn't ruin it. Bellagio, I'd try to realize the theme a little more on the inside. Not over the top italian villa, but make the signage and atmosphere feel a tiny bit more tuscan influenced in style. Think of the Mirage's old interior atmosphere, but brighter and more subdued.

Venetian has a bunch of problems and some can only be solved by adding and moving around walls to make some public places feel less stretched out in some areas and less cramped in others. First and foremost is their parking situation, though. Something has to be done about that.

November 5, 2005 7:58 PM Posted by josh

I agree with Charlie about how much Wynn could have done to make it THE most spetacular..
I think he could have used the decor of the Bartolotta with the beautiful draperies found all over the resort to divide the casino into smaller spaces as in the Terrace Point Cafe
With the mountain, he should have made more use of it...instead of an arc of buildings, he should have had the Esplanade surround the entire Lake of Dreams with additional patios looking back at the resort and shops with glass panels...that would have been amazing and a "new concept."
I also think that the Wynn rooms could have been designed much better...maybe smaller bathrooms while opening up the living and sleeping areas..also warming the rooms with more neutral colors
Hope he tries to make Encore more imposing..yet it seems it will be just an you think Wynn will add another a lake or second mountain?

November 7, 2005 7:53 AM Posted by muckcat

I'll be spending 4 nights in the Augustus Tower at Caesar's the first week of December. It'll be our first time staying at Caesar's and our first visit since the completion of the new tower and Forum Shops expansion. I'll pass on my comments after our visit.

One general gripe; table limits on the major strip properties. I'm only a moderate gambler but I enjoy playing blackjack. It's almost impossible to find anything less than a $20 minimum on tables at casinos on the strip. When someone does have a lower minimum like $10 the tables are always, in my experience, jammed. Or they're 6:5 tables. I used to be a bigger slots player but I don't like the newer machines. I can't stand the new video slots and I find video blackjack unbearably boring. I actually gamble less now when I go to Vegas because I play fewer slots and can't often find an affordable table at the resort I'm staying in.

November 7, 2005 4:51 PM Posted by Hunter

A lot of great responses here.

I still need to post my response, which I will do soon.

Keep 'em coming!

November 7, 2005 9:30 PM Posted by Adrian

As far as interior decoration goes, I'd redecorate Circus Circus to look like its former self (the way it looked before 1997). And some of the rooms inside New York New York are in definite need of a makeover.

November 8, 2005 9:16 PM Posted by Sean Simpson

Oh boy! My thoughts are so jumbled that I can hardly focus them into a coherent sentence, but I'll try.

Well for starters, I'd like to see a direct charter flight from Buffalo so that I don't have to either pay outrageous sums to fly Direct from Toronto, or fly across the entire USA and stopover twenty times just to get to Las Vegas!

I better just stop here and organize my thoughts further; I can't wiat to see the epistle that you're creating Hunter!


November 9, 2005 8:02 PM Posted by Hunter

I've been trying to come up with something for this space. The bottom line is that I could write pages and pages on this topic but in a lot of cases, I've already done that in the 'STRIPPING' column here on the blog (and I'm overdue for the next installment there too).

I think the hotel loyalty program mentioned above is a great idea. Someone should really do that, they'd sign up a lot of loyal customers.

I still intend to write something but as of now, I am a bit too busy and a bit too tired so it will have to wait.

November 11, 2005 6:13 AM Posted by Doug

The Paris could be MUCH better -

1. Upgrade all the rooms now!

2. Change the lighting on the ceiling to make it more realistic (technology in that area has gotten better).

3. Clean up the casino to make it classier instead of so casual. Oh sure, the the idea is an outdoor park, but lets make it a park in the 16th arrondissement!

4. Consider closing the walkway to Ballys. This might keep out some of the t-shirt low-rollers and give the Paris a more unique feel.

5. Drop the eight-deck blackjack in favor six-deck, cut back on all the carnival games like 'let it ride' and 'three card poker' and give more emphasis to baccarat and single zero roulette. - Get rid of the new poker room area(low limit poker players dumb-down a casino).

6. Spend some serious money to replace 'We Will Rock You' with a big-name performer/show.

7. Consider a dress code.

November 16, 2005 1:27 PM Posted by socalduck

For starters, the hotel loyalty program suggested earlier would be at the top of my list. As a table game player, I average about $20-25 per hand at blackjack, and about double that amount at craps. However, with only 2-3 hours a day of playing time, I generally fall through the cracks of the traditional comp system. However, with the amount of money I spend in the restaurants, spa, etc., I'm sure I'm a profitable customer. I'm not asking for full RFB, but as a frequent visitor, if a hotel were to offer some of the perks common to other hotel loyaly programs (dedicated floors, separate check-in, suite upgrades, etc.), I would be more likely to stay there over a comparable property. Starwood's Preferred Guest program is great example of a successful hotel loyalty program worthy of emulation. As it is now, I tend to move around 3-4 different hotels, with no particular loyalty to any of them.

The other changes I would make: banish all forms of 6:5 blackjack; include odds and flat bets when rating craps players; put coffee makers (with decent coffee) in all rooms; and adopt a single players card/room key, e.g., the Wynn Red Card. Also, I would be willing to pay extra for "expedited" valet service, i.e., the car arrives in five minutes or less during peak times.