Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

All Articles Published: June 2008

June 28, 2008

Open Topic Discussion - June 28th, 2008

Posted by Hunter

Here's an open topic for y'all to discuss whatever you'd like.

One thing you might be interested, a description of a high end villa suite at MGM Grand Macau.

Thanks to Mike E for tracking that down.

June 27, 2008

VegasGang #11 Posted

Posted by Hunter

Vegas Gang #11 is online here:

This time we feature:

* Encore at Wynn Las Vegas Opening
* Cosmopolitan Sued Over Its Name
* MGM Mirage Using Social Networking
* Harrah's Pays Debt With Debt
* Adelson Profiled in New Yorker

Feel free to add comments below...

June 25, 2008

VegasTripping Posts Encore Photo Update

Posted by Hunter

My good friend and fellow 'Gang Member', ("yeah, I'm in a gang") Chuck has posted a bunch of new Encore construction photos:


June 23, 2008

The New Yorker Profiles Sheldon Adelson

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to fellow Vegas Gang member Jeff Simpson for this link... Looks like the New Yorker has done a profile on everyone's favorite casino overlord, Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas Sands. Check it out below. Also, props to Jeff for the mention!

June 22, 2008

Kick Me When I'm Down

Posted by Hunter

Well, it looks like things have gotten just a little bit worse for the Cosmopolitan:

Hearst says they own the name. Ouch.

How about a little due diligence when you start a project, huh?

I just read this article from fellow VegasGang podcast member Dave Schwartz and I really enjoyed it. I think he's 100% correct.

The economics of Las Vegas have fundamentally changed (for the better) and a new 'cheapo-era' is NOT the answer to dealing with a (hopefully) short term problem.

Thanks again to George "Dram Man" Geddes for providing a trip report based around his recent trip to Macau.

The photos, previously published, are here:

Thanks George! Continue after the jump...

June 18, 2008

A Tiny Bit More on Wynn's Encore...

Posted by Hunter

Wynn Resorts started booking rooms at Encore today, for dates from February 6th, 2009 onward. They *may* accept guests before that date but for now, you cannot confirm anything earlier.

A little bit more info on the property:

* Encore will also feature a segmented hotel tower between suites and standard 'resort' rooms. As at Wynn Las Vegas, Encore's 'Tower Suites' will have their own valet, check-in and elevators.

* Encore will feature 5 new fine dining restaurants.

* As we already know, the casino will be bathed in natural light with pool and garden views.

* Encore will feature a new nightclub.

* All suites include wireless Internet access, 42" plasma TVs, and large bathroom TVs.

* The standard Encore room will feature L shaped couches in the sitting area. The standard room size is 700 square feet.

* They are also offering Parlor and Salon suites.

As we have previously heard, while Encore is described as an all-suite hotel, the standard room offering will be a segmented single room, featuring an innovative partition system.

I thought it was interesting to hear them describe Encore as a "new signature resort from the Wynn Collection". This is clearly in their script as two different reservationists gave me that line.

June 17, 2008

Massive Macau Photo Update

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to occasional contributor George "Dram Man" Geddes, we have a load of new Macau photos to share.

As usual, all the recent photos can be seen here:

Thanks to George for sharing - enjoy!

I had heard from several sources that while reservations for Encore at Wynn Las Vegas open up this Wednesday, they would not be taking bookings for arrivals before February 6th, 2009 (Super Bowl weekend).

Well, this seemed a bit strange... I checked into it myself and it is true that you cannot reserve rooms before early February. I guess it's possible the first two months are for invite only players but I find this hard to believe.

I'm still told Encore's casino should open in December - what does this mean? A soft opening for Steve Wynn, the king of the hardest of hard openings who is on record disparaging the soft opening at The Venetian and Palazzo? I'm personally pretty shocked if this is the case.

I've heard some rumors as to why - leading me to believe they may have had no choice - but nothing I've been able to confirm.

This is developing... Still plenty of time for things to change.

Update: Fellow Vegas Gang Podcast contributor Jeff Simpson contacted Wynn Resorts for comment and, unlike myself, was actually able to get a response. Wynn and Co. are saying they plan to open in December as originally planned and they're just being super-extra-cautious by not allowing normal reservations until February. Maybe that's all there is to it. Wynn Resorts - I'm happy to be a 'witness' at the official opening. :-)

June 15, 2008

The Mirage, June 8-11.

Posted by Mike E

I took my parents for a three-night getaway at The Mirage as a combined Mother's and Father's Day gift. This trip was ultra-mellow by my standards but just as memorable as any other. Rather than the usual play-by-play, I've broken the report down in sections. Feel free to skip around to parts that interest you.

(More after the jump)

June 13, 2008

MGM Mirage Using Social Nets Twitter and Facebook

Posted by Hunter

Well, it was just a matter of when and who - Las Vegas casino operators using social networking technologies to promote their wares.

Actually, some of their affiliates, such as the Light Group, have been using these tools for some time... but now the big kahuna, MGM Mirage, is getting into the act through a new site called the Vegas Concierge.

The new Web presence uses Facebook and Twitter to push short bursts of info to users. I expect every other operator to follow at some point.

For those not already aware, we have a Twitter account for this site and I also have one of my own.

June 13, 2008

Vegas Gang #10 - Economic Woes to Bankrupt LVS?

Posted by Hunter

Vegas Gang #10 is up -

This episode focuses on the CityCenter walkout and the economy vs. Las Vegas. We cover a few stories on the specifics, including an entry suggesting that LVS is heading for Chapter 11. That may be an extreme outcome but its an interesting discussion point.

Also, a little bit on the iPhone and its impact on Las Vegas.

Enjoy the show and feel free to post your comments here.

UPDATE: Stiffs and George's has a story about Palazzo's underwhelming performance:

June 9, 2008

Las Vegas Info on the iPhone and iPod Touch

Posted by Hunter

So, I know it's no secret - I've mentioned it before on the podcast and in comments here - I will be releasing an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch specifically for Las Vegas travelers.

I'm not going to reveal too much now but it will include a ton of useful info, updated regularly and much of it prepared specifically for the new app. There will also be a couple of things that take advantage of the device's special features like ability to determine it's location.

I've been working hard on this for a few months - I had a learning curve in getting used to the tools that Apple provided.

So, when will this be out? It'll be at least a few more weeks before I start a real testing program and then release shortly afterwards. I haven't set a price either, but it will be inexpensive and I hope for anyone that visits Las Vegas regularly, very worthwhile.

I'll be announcing more details here in the future, so if you're interested, stay tuned.

If you run a Las Vegas blog, podcast or Web site and have an iPhone/iPod Touch, drop me a line at (editor at ratevegas dot com) - I will be providing free copies for you to test out and tell your readers about.

June 8, 2008

Open Topic Discussion - June 8th, 2008

Posted by Hunter

Figured I'd fire up another one here - feel free to discuss whatever you'd like in the casino gaming world.

The walkout at City Center was quite a notable event - hopefully safety concerns, be they for workers as in this case or the public, as in the cases of illegal remodels and fire code violations, will get more attention.

June 7, 2008

Planet Hollywood AC?

Posted by Hunter

Over at CityBoom, Chuck has a story about the possibility of the Planet Hollywood folks bidding on the Tropicana AC and possibly opening a branch on the Jersey Shore.

I'm waiting for my invite to the opening party.

The Las Vegas Sun is reporting on a workers strike at City Center, MGM Mirage's large development on the Las Vegas Strip.

Due to a rash of construction deaths, the workers are demanding increased safety provisions be made before work will start again.

Update: It's possible that work will re-start again soon - it appears Perini and the trades had a positive meeting.

MikeCh is back with another installment of Strip Walk, our column that features ongoing Las Vegas Strip construction projects.

This time he hones in on The Mirage, City Center, New York New York and Monte Carlo.

Photos are here:

Continue after the jump for more...

June 1, 2008

Tao Nightclub Attempts Ballot Box Stuffing

Posted by Hunter

All you readers probably realize that the 'parent' of this blog is our ratings site, We allow readers to rate and review hundreds of Las Vegas hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and more. It's been running since 1999 and has a huge database of worthwhile data.

Over the years, I've added several features designed to protect against malicious uses of an open system - I was getting a ton of submissions that were nothing but spam links to gambling sites. I track the IP address of each submission for the purposes of comparison (no personal info is tracked or stored unless you submit your email address).

Well, over the past few months I've noticed quite a few glowing reviews for Tao Nightclub at The Venetian. At first they looked legit but the wording from week to week was QUITE similar. I checked and of course they are all coming from the same IP - one that is registered to Cox Communications in Las Vegas, NV, the region's cable modem provider.

So, it appears that Tao, or someone working for them, is attempting to defraud the public with fake reviews posted through my service. I assume they're doing this elsewhere as well.

I mention this just because it is interesting. I'll do nothing more but delete the incoming fake reviews and continue on my day.

Any other site operators notice anything like this? Fake comments? Planted submissions? Are Vegas casinos, clubs and PR operations *finally* getting smarter about using the 'Net?

Also, a note to Vegas businesses that want to get their word out - I'm happy to listen to your pitch and I love sharing interesting stories and info with my readers. Just don't try to come in the back door.