Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

All Articles Published: July 2006

July 30, 2006

Wynn's Direct Marketing Campaign

Posted by detroit1051

A friend alerted me to a Wynn article in DM News, a trade publication. It describes the mailing of 205,000 "video enhanced CD-ROMs" in June and 65,000 more in July. The results have been very impressive. Wynn has tracked 164,000 unique IP addresses uploading and viewing the CD-ROM.

Unfortunately, there was a major factual error in the piece which hurts the credibility of DM News. The article discusses Wynn's competitor, Trump International Tower & Hotel which "...opened across the street a few months after the Wynn debuted last year." Further, "...the resort is not only looking to gain ground against high-end resorts like the Trump...".

I wrote a Letter to the Editor of DM News, pointing out that Trump is not open, is a condo-hotel and is not a direct competitor to Wynn. You wonder what kind of fact-checking DM News does.

Multichannel DM Draws Aces for Wynn Hotel

July 30, 2006

CityCenter Architecture

Posted by detroit1051

Liz Benston, Las Vegas Sun, describes the dramatic towers which will serve as the gateway to MGM Mirage's CityCenter. I'm slowly becoming enthused with the project.

Read the article here:
Gateway to CityCenter

July 29, 2006

Wynn: Another Chef Leaves

Posted by Mike E

Takashi, the chef Steve lured from Michigan to open Okada has left to open a restaurant in Chicago. Wynn's website has already erased all mention of Takashi. Who will be next?

Okada was/is an excellent restaurant. The new chef comes from San Francisco according to the Wynn site.

I've noticed how Bellagio's restaurants have become more corporate since MGM Mirage took over. I hope Steve keeps the individual identities of his restaurants.
Taksahi Leaves Okada

A press release this morning indicates that famous casino operator Jack Binion is going to run Wynn's International division. Interesting stuff:

Also, an RJ article about Wynn Macau, opening in 40 days:

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Harrah's has added the 'slot finder' to their Web site, basically the ability to see if your favorite slot machine is in one of their casinos. Still, no cool features like a map to the machines, etc...

You can find the slot finder here:

This leads to the larger point - Las Vegas casino Web sites generally suck. They are all basically brochures on the Web, in various stages of design prowess. Now, the biggies do have access to their slot club balances online and that sort of thing but there are still lots of features they could add, not to mention much more comprehensive looks at the properties themselves.

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July 25, 2006

Boyd Sells South Coast To Operator

Posted by Hunter

(Sorry I am late with this, my Internet access has been down.)

So, it looks like Boyd is offloading its newest property, the supposedly underperforming South Coast, to the operator himself, Michael Gaughan.


More info:

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Ok, I have some shots from last weekend at Wynn Las Vegas.

A few shots of the construction progress at Encore as well as Wynn's new B Bar.

You can also see that Keno is closed... 'Shoe In' in the Esplanade was also closed and being remodeled.

Thanks to a reader I was able to tour Bellagio's back of house areas and I am working on an article based on that incredibly amazing experience. As of now, said reader will go anonymous - don't want to get anyone in trouble!

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July 19, 2006

Wynn Las Vegas Trip Report, July 16-18

Posted by Mike E

I just got back from another wonderful stay at Wynn filled with plenty of partying, good food, great people, and a total of seven hours of sleep. More after the jump...

UPDATE: Five Hundy's latest podcast including some trip highlights I don't remember...

Five Hundy By Midnight

July 16, 2006

Wynn's Former "Avenue Q" Theater

Posted by Mike E

Jonathon Root is an actor who opened and subsequently closed "Avenue Q" at Wynn. He is back in New York performing on Broadway. He made some interesting observations about Wynn's theater in his blog. Here is an excerpt and link to it.

"...The Broadway audiences are spectacular! Don't get me wrong, the
Vegas audiences could be great, but it was very hit-or-miss. One
night we would have a couple hundred people in the house and the
next night there would be a thousand! There was no consistency, no
way to predict how the house would react. This is a comedy. It
thrives off of audience response. That was tough to work around in
Vegas. On Broadway, every show is raucous. The Golden Theatre just
rocks with laughter. Which is another thing: something about the
design of the theatre at the Wynn made it so that the performers on
stage couldn't hear the audience reactions well. People would talk
to me after the show and say, "Wow, did you hear that reaction when
you said blah blah blah?" and I would respond, "Actually, no. No, I
didn't hear it." Something about its cavernous design limited the
audience sound coming up to the stage. In complete contrast, the
Golden Theatre is like a shotgun funnel. All sounds from the
audience shoot right down the lane and connects with you on stage.
THAT, my friends, is a Broadway Theatre. A truly give-and-take
experience where I could hear every chuckle and outright explosive
laughter from the audience. Oh, and did I mention how nice it is to
have a FULL HOUSE?..."

Jonathon Root's blog

Another trip report featuring some high end accommodations, specifically MGM Grand's Skylofts, this time from reader David.

Thanks to David and Mike for passing this along!

July 12, 2006

Interview With Station's CFO

Posted by detroit1051

The July issue of CFO Magazine has an interview with Glenn Christenson, CFO of Station Casinos. It can be read at the link below. Two interesting quotes are:

"Back in 1997, the Nevada legislature passed Senate Bill 208, which limits where these local properties can be built. There are only a few sites that can be developed as casino properties, and we control the majority of them. In fact, we own more gaming-entitled nondeveloped land in Las Vegas than any other company. And there is no way that anyone can duplicate that."

""Eighty-seven percent of our cash flows come from slots. So we are very much oriented toward our casino floors, which is one reason we are able to give [earnings] guidance. We have guidance out there for 2007; no other gaming company is doing that. Hotel rooms and table games are very volatile. And on the Strip, hotel cash flows make up about 40 percent of the total; table games about 12 to 15 percent. Consequently, the Strip companies are not able to give guidance out anywhere near as far as we can."

Interview With Glenn Christenson, Station Casinos

July 9, 2006

Two Way Hard Three Comment Feed Available

Posted by Hunter

Well, we've had a 'standard' RSS feed available for quite some time. We are now offering a comment feed for those folks that really want to keep up to date with everything happening on the blow.

The URL for the the comment feed is:

For those not familiar with RSS feeds, they allow you to be notified when the Web sites changes with new entries, and now comments. You can use them to add content from our Web site to sites like 'MyYahoo', 'MSN' and 'AOL'.

The main feed is linked on the right, but just in case, this is the URL:

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July 6, 2006

MGM Grand's Aziz

Posted by detroit1051

CNN's online business site, "Business 2.0", has an interesting profile of Gamil Aziz, president of MGM Grand. He is in large part responsible for leading the transformation of MGM Grand from a "dormitory" to one of the hottest, most profitable properties on the Strip.

He talks about his philosophy of working backward:
"Aziz's secret is a counterintuitive management practice - nicknamed "working backward" - that he invented on his arrival at the Grand. The strategy calculates the maximum revenue that each business or space could generate in a perfect world - that is, if every customer spent the most the market could bear and if traffic reached its physical limits.
Aziz then subtracts actual sales from that hypothetical number and calls the difference a loss, even if the venue is making money. His formula for closing the gap usually starts with a jackhammer."

In my opinion, MGM Grand is now a property which appeals to all market segments, from the value conscious to the high end customers of Skylofts and The Mansion. However, I would like to see MGM Grand update the "Grand Tower" rooms in terms of syle and furnishings.

To read the article:
Gamil Aziz Has Reinvented MGM Grand

July 5, 2006

Harrah's to Trade Rio For Barbary Coast??

Posted by Hunter

Wow, if this is true, it's mighty insane. The Las Vegas Business Press is reporting that Harrah's might swap the Rio with Boyd Gaming for the Barbary Coast, enabling Harrah's to create their massive Strip project.

We'll see.

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July 3, 2006

Concert Ticket Prices

Posted by detroit1051

As the LV Sun reported on July 2, Las Vegas has become one of the most expensive cities for concert tickets. Why? To compensate for less profiable locations and because Vegas visitors pay what's asked.

Read the article at:
No Cheap Seatsl